Herbal Recipe

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is a popular and effective remedy during the cold and flu season.

Elderberry syrup is a popular and effective remedy during the cold and flu season. It reduces the symptoms of cold, flu, and seasonal allergies and reduces the duration of the flu.

This version includes wild cherry bark for cough suppression and ginger as an antiinflammatory to compliment the elderberry’s immune-boosting and anti-viral properties.


  • 2 cups dried elderberries, or 4 cups fresh 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh ginger chopped or ½ cup dried
  • ½ cup dried wild cherry bark
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 cup vodka or other high-proof alcohol (optional)


  1. Combine berries, ginger, and wild cherry bark in a pot with the water.
  2. Bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid reduces by half.
  4. Remove from heat and let it sit covered to cool.
  5. While still warm, strain out the berries and herbs using a strainer with cheesecloth, muslin, or a disposable coffee filter.
  6. Add honey to the remaining liquid and stir well
  7. Add alcohol if desired
  8. Bottle and store in the refrigerator or freezer


  • Honey is a preservative and will keep the syrup for about three months in the fridge. Adding alcohol will extend that life further, up to a year.
  • You can add less honey if you’re avoiding sweets for any reason. You want to have at least a 1:2 ratio of honey to liquid, which means you should add at least one cup of honey for every two cups of liquid decoction.
  • You can add other or different herbs. Some to consider include; 
    • orange peel or rose hips for vitamin C
    • cinnamon or cloves for anti-microbial action, digestion help, and warming
    • echinacea for more immune support
    • white willow, meadowsweet, or yarrow for fever and pain reduction
  • Mountain Rose Herbs has lots of info about elderberry syrup on their website.