Elderberry syrup has been used for centuries as an effective natural remedy for treating and preventing colds, coughs and flu. 

Black elderberries (Sambucus canadensis), the fruit of the elder tree, are a natural anti-inflammatory and are particularly high in flavonoids (plant-based antioxidants)—higher than blueberries, cranberries, blackberries and goji berries—and these flavonoids are known to help prevent damage to the body’s cells and boost the immune system.  They’re also high in Vitamin A and with the exception of rose hips and black currants are thought to have the highest levels of Vitamin C.

2 cups dried elderberries (or 4 cups fresh/frozen)

1 large piece fresh ginger / 1/4 cup grated ginger
(use a bigger piece of you like spicy, and a smaller piece if you don’t)

3 whole Chinese star anise

4 whole cinnamon sticks  (1 stick = 1/2 teaspoon ground)

18 whole cloves

13 cups water (8 cups if using fresh/frozen berries)

3 cups raw honey (or to taste)

Maybe add tart cherry juice concentrate

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, star anise, cinnamon and cloves
(do not add honey!)

Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half (to 6 cups liquid).

Remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled.

Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.

Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the berry mash.

Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.

When under 100 degrees, add 4 cups of honey and stir well.  
(Possibly add tart cherry juice concentrate, too)

When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour into bottles.

Store in the refrigerator.


Take daily for its immune boosting properties.

To boost immunity, some sources recommend taking only during the week and skip weekends.

Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults.

If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.