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Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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I was first introduced to Elderberry Syrup by my awesome friend, Brandy.  We began taking it last year through the winter months and we started again this year.  Brandy is more resourceful than me and she goes out each year to gather her elderberries. So far, I haven’t been able to find them on our family farm – but my hopes are high! If you have the opportunity, try to gather your own elderberries.

Why do we take elderberry supplements? To boost our immunity – and because Stacy just likes saying elderberry. The benefits of elderberries are many – unless you’re talking to the FDA…then you have to cover your butt and say that they’re pretty much good for nothing. Ahem.

Elderberries help fight:



-Sore Throat



-Sinus problems

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Dried elderberries

I purchased my berries from More Than Alive but they no longer have any in stock. So, I scoured the web for you guys to see where you might be able to buy some. Dried berries are available from multiple sellers on Etsy  and on Amazon.

We take homemade elderberry syrup daily to boost our immunity – Barry and I take one tablespoon and Annie takes 1 teaspoon. If we’re stick, we take that amount about every hour (when we can remember) to kick our cold to the curb.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Raw honey

This particular recipe uses honey to make it more “syrupy.” Adding raw honey only increases the benefits of this wonderful concoction. Honey is great for sore throats and all sorts of other ailments –including allergies. Add the honey after the syrup has cooled a bit so the honey doesn’t get too hot.

In case you’re wondering, raw honey is just honey that hasn’t had any processing – and try to buy it locally so that you get the allergy benefit. I go through a LOT of raw honey.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup


I’ve made this recipe using a variety of several other recipes around the web. We like the flavor of this one because of the added blueberries – it’s very tasty!

Elderberry syrup will keep about 3 months in the fridge, but I rarely keep mine around that long – I just make up another batch of this as I run out.

If you think “Good grief, Stacy. I just don’t have time to gallivant around the countryside trying to find elderberries. And if I had dried berries, I couldn’t make this syrup because I’m afraid of being injured by popping blueberries and I’m secretly afraid of turning on my stove.” If that’s you, guess what? Never fear!

Vitacost has a myriad of different elderberry products – remember to sign up for your free $10 before your first purchase!

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Willie Mitchell says:

    Is that amount the same for a 2 year old?

    • Yes, I did give it to Annie when she was 2…one teaspoon. But I wouldn’t give it to a child under 2. :-)

      • Hi, I’d like to know why you wouldn’t give the elderberry syrup to kiddos under age 2. I made some Elderberry Syrup from a recipe on Wellness Mama and I’ve been giving it to my 18 month old son. Ugh, I hope it won’t hurt him!

        ~Sarah S.

        • I’m just uuber paranoid about stuff like that. :-) I’d say it’s probably fine, BUT I sorta have to be careful what I tell people. Ya know? I’m not a doctor. I’m just Opinionated Stacy. 😉

    • Sarah I think that children under 2 aren’t supposed to have honey, that’s probably why she said not to give the syrup to children that young. It has honey in it.

  2. Thank you for the recipe! I give Elderberry Syrup to my grandson who is in public school. I have had a hard time finding a recipe for making it from dried berries. This sounds wonderful because it has blueberries, too. Thanks so much!

  3. We use this too. When the weather cooperates, I can gather elderberries locally. Then I put them through a steam juicer and mix that juice half and half with honey and then I can it in little jelly jars. :)

  4. I am so glad you blogged on this! We currently purchase elderberry juice from a health store that is 55 miles away from our home. It cost us around $30 for a bottle. The cost of driving that far makes it even more expensive!

    We live on a farm, but I am not sure what to look for when hunting for the berries. I am scared I will pick the poison berries instead!
    I am happy to know we can purchase dry berries online.

    Adding the raw honey just make it even better! We have a local family who sells honey about 4 miles away from us.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!
    Now I’ve got to go order some of those berries so we can replenish our supply of juice before we run out!

  5. I have been hearing a lot about elderberry- I might have to put this on my to try list! Now if only my husband weren’t allergic to berries…LOL

    • Oh Loni….your poor husband.

      • Yes, the sheer amount of allergies he has is absurd. And the fact that’s he’s been developing them at a rate of 1 to 2 a year! The only fruits we know he can have are bananas and oranges. He’s super sensitive to lemons and limes, but can have those too. Add to that the gluten, the lactose intolerance, the nuts, the seafood…..Well, it’s a challenge! On the up side- we found a holistic doctor who started him on some whole food supplements to soothe his stomach and a MAJOR probiotic, and in only 2 weeks on the probiotic, he saw improvement. Turns out the allergies seem to be because he had no good bacteria and food wasn’t digesting properly, and getting by where it should and the body gradually started seeing those foods as foreign invaders and attacking it in the form of allergic responses. The doctor said once he started feeling better he could try to introduce back some of the “allergens” and if he didn’t react, he could keep gradually reintroducing them. We aren’t there yet, but it gives us some hope! The only things he needs to avoid for the foreseeable future is seafood and cherries- those are the deadly allergies (and the cherries is probably hereditary- his father can’t have them either!).

        The other good thing is that people know how many things we have to avoid, so I’ve been able to help others out. There is a woman at church who has a boy who was recently diagnosed with several allergies- corn (including popcorn, which he loves!), tomatoes, nuts, seeds, CHOCOLATE (oh, the poor boy!). She’s so overwhelmed and she didn’t used to cook or bake from scratch much, but I’ve been looking for recipes for her, and will be trying to put together a meal plan, and help her think of snacks and whatnot. She’s still overwhelmed, but I keep reminding her to take it one day and one meal at a time, and to introduce new recipes one at a time. It’s good to know that our experience is able to help someone else!

        • Yay!!! I hope he can get some healing in his gut! :-) And you’re right – you knowing this will mean that you can bless so many other people. You’re a calming presence in the midst of the mommy-freak-out.

  6. I also add cinnamon stick, cloves, & ginger while it’s simmering away on the stove. Love this stuff…thanks for sharing!! :)

  7. Stacy, thank you SO much for sharing this! We have 1 child especially who has allergies and every winter suffers from colds & asthma type symptoms. I usually buy Sambucus syrup from the local health food store (pretty pricey) to treat her but 1 bottle literally will last for one bout of sickness.

    I would also love the opportunity to use this on all of us just to KEEP us from getting sick, kwim? And with my family size (11 kiddos), this is just sooooooo cool that I can do it myself! (I’m all for self sufficiency as well as cheap!)

  8. Thanks, Stacy! I’ve got bone down and out right now, so this is great timing…except I don’t have any elderberries. Hmmm. Well, I’ll order some and have this on hand when the rest of them are ailing.

  9. Make sure the syrup isn’t too hot or it will kill the healthy properties of the raw honey. Thanks for an easy recipe. I have one that simmers all day and has cloves, ginger, and star anise in it too, but this is a nice, quick recipe.

    • You’re exactly right! :-) That’s why I wrote in that you needed to let the mixture cool a bit before adding the honey.

  10. I have this growing in my back yard.I was told it was poisonous by a neighbor.I see birds eating it all the time.I will have to try this.Thank you for posting.

  11. Nice! I’m taking capsules this year…..maybe I’ll make my own next year!

  12. A good friend of mine at church uses elderberry for lots of things to keep her family well. My secretary is a huge believer in essential oils…specifically the Thieves blend as a way of boosting immunity. I think I have some homework to do.

  13. My husband just came down with a cold. Unfortunately he’s diabetic so I think honey is out. Any suggestions? Would just elderberries work for him and if so, how should I prepare it? Thanks for the info about elderberries!

    • The honey is just for the healing properties. So, taking it daily as an immunity booster might not hurt since it’s only one tablespoon….but since he’s got a cold, you surely don’t want him taking it every hour! :-) You could leave the honey out for this batch. You could leave it out of every batch if you want. The elderberries are good themselves. :-) I hope he feels better soon!!

  14. Thanks so much, Stacy. I’m adding elderberries to my grocery list!

  15. Is the exchange for dried berries the same for fresh? I have some frozen berries in my freezer that I would like to use. Thanks!

  16. Stacy! I saw this post 24 hours AFTER I purchased elderberry extract off of Amazon! Where were you!?!? :) I actually tried to find a few recipes online, but none seemed completely reliable. I’ll be using this for sure!

    So now after reading the previous comments, I’m wondering if I purchased an inferior product…because mine was “sugar-free elderberry syrup for kids” and only $8.50! Hmmm…wonder if I got anything actually worth using??

    Anyways, my super-dumb questions is – what type of bottle would you put this recipe in? I’m just afraid my extract would go bad and I wouldn’t know it!

    • I stored mine in a glass bottle – the one you see in the pictures. It’s just a bottle I had from making water kefir. I tend to prefer glass over other types of storage. :-) I have this obsession with jars. lol

      • Jar obsession? Off topic, but you reeeealy need to see the jars at The Container Store. Oh…my…heaven! I have redone my pantry one jar at a time. There are really awesome ones at William-Sonoma, and I think I have told you about them because you hit your head on the desk when I told you they were $25 for a set of 12.5 oz. Weck jars including the glass lid, 2 clamps per jar, and one rubber seal per jar. I about died! but the jars would be a great Christmas gift for YOU, Stacy. Oh, Barry, are you paying attention?

  17. I have Thieve oil too … how do you use it when you are sick? Do you clean with it or? I used to use it on my face…before I became “learned” lol… after I got blisters on my face I left it alone… quick, fast and in a hurry! I thought it would be good for those occasional zits that pop up now and then… nuh-uh!

  18. Stacy do you know a good local source for the raw honey? I don’t trust the stuff in the stores, even if it says pure honey. I am in Bristol. Thanks!

  19. I have a quick question regarding this recipe… I made this today but it only yielded about 1 cup of liquid. Is that normal? I followed directions exactly, except for only adding 1/3 cup honey. I was afraid of adding too much since it didn’t seem like I had much juice and I didn’t want it to be too sweet. However, it ended up being reeeaaalllly sweet anyway!! Is that normal? Should I try again and add the full amount of honey? :)

    • Hmmmmm. I’m stumped. I will have to measure how much I have when I’m done, but I know it’s more than 1 cup. Did you boil it the whole time, or just simmer? It’ supposed to be very sweet because of the honey – trying to lap up those raw honey benefits! :-)

      • Thanks for your reply, Stacy! :) I simmered it for the 45 minutes. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I didn’t strain enough. Gottcha on the sweetness! 😉 Next time I make a batch I will strain more and add all the honey. Regardless, I started taking some this morning. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Okay, I finally remembered to measure. :-) I accidentally let it simmer 20 extra minutes and ended up with about 2 cups of liquid once I mixed in the honey. So, it would likely be about 2 1/4 cups or so normally. :-)

  20. Elderberry is really, really easy to grow. I got a golden elder at my local nursery “rescue” section for about $2. It gets about 10 feet high and maybe 6-8 feet across every year, has little white flowers and then huge clusters (8-10″ across) of berries. You cut it back to stumps every year, otherwise it gets gangly, with brittle stems, so it is a great screen plant (hide the compost bin), but not a good front yard ornamental. It also roots really easily – I used prunings as pea stakes in the veg garden and got elderberry bushes.

    • Hmmmm. You haven’t been here very long, have you? LOL BAHAHAHAHAHA! Barry says I have the “black thumb of death.” I kill plants. That’s my job. 😉

  21. I made some elderberry juice and added a bit of clove and cinnamon. After storing in the fridge in a beer growler, it is now very fizzy every time I open it. It tastes OK, but is still ok after I month?

  22. Quick mother in law went to the vitamin Shoppe after elderberry syrup after she saw it helped my daughter..but she grabbed elderberry extract..tastes awful..says it has 40% grain alcohol..but still says on there to take a tablespoon..yeah if you can choke it down..if she were to make your recipe using the extract instead of dried elderberry should is still work well

  23. How long do the rest of the berries in the package last?

  24. Maybe a silly question, but what do you do with the leftover pulp after you strain the liquid out? Toss it? Use in a smoothie?

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