Homemade Elderberry Syrup for Colds and the Flu

DIY Elderberry Syrup Recipe by sheholdsdearly.com

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Homemade elderberry syrup has been a tool my family has used to help combat colds and the flu for years.

I first learned about elderberry syrup and it’s immune system boosting properties when my children were younger and we’ve been using it ever since during cold and flu season.

As with all my posts, this is something that has worked well for my family, but may or may not be right for yours! Please confirm with your family’s doctor if you have any specific questions about potentially adding elderberry syrup to your family’s cold and flu season tool kit.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup by sheholdsdearly.com

Elderberry Syrup’s Long History

One of the things that I have found really interesting about elderberry syrup is it’s long history! I first heard of it being used by Native Americans to lessen severity of their flu symptoms.

There are records of people using homemade elderberry syrup as far back as 400 BC!

There are even people who say that the cross that Jesus was crucified on was made of elderberry wood. What a random and interesting thought!

How my family uses elderberry syrup

My family has found that using elderberry within the first 48 hours of the first cold or flu symptoms has greatly helped to reduce both the severity and longevity of both sicknesses.

Elderberry syrup contains great ingredients to help fortify the immune system. Some of the most noteworthy ones are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Tannins

Other Possible Uses for Elderberries:

We have only ever made elderberry syrup, but there are recipes out there for a huge variety of other elderberry infused things, all of which can be made in your own kitchen.

  • gummy bears, you fun moms out there will love this idea!
  • lozenges
  • lollipops
  • capsule form
  • teas
  • cakes
  • jams
  • pies
  • smoothies
  • kombucha
  • body lotions
  • wines
  • cordial
  • food coloring
  • soups

You get the idea!

I know, mind. blown. These sure are versatile little berries!

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe:

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Natural Immunity Booster by sheholdsdearly.com

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

Gather the following Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries PLEASE NOTE- Leaves, roots, unripe berries, stems and branches are poisonous, containing a type of cyanide. They must be ripe, cooked berries and preferred them dried first.
  • 4 tablespoons rose hips for added Vitamin C
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup raw honey (regular honey will work as well, but raw honey has added benefits) You can also chose to skip the honey if you’d prefer a sugar free syrup. It will be a bit more sour tasting, but can be done if that is your preference.

Gather the following supplies.

  • Small sauce pan with lid
  • Thin mesh strainer
  • Spoon
  • Bowl or Measuring cup (with a capacity larger than 2 cups)
  • Funnel
  • Sealing Glass Jar – I love this one from IKEA for $1.49!

Making your Homemade Elderberry Syrup

  • Add your elderberries, rose hips, cinnamon sticks, and water into your small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Once it’s done simmering, let it cool slightly.
  • Then strain out all of the solids (berries, rose hips and cinnamon sticks for composting or happy chickens) reserving the syrup into a bowl, jar or measuring cup.
  • Use the back of a spoon to press all the solids against the strainer to get as much of the goodness of the syrup out into your bowl/measuring cup.
  • Once it’s all strained, you can transfer the syrup into your sealing glass jar via a funnel.

This elderberry syrup should be kept in the refrigerator, and can be stored for about 2 months.

Our family takes two spoonfuls (approx 2 teaspoons) daily starting when we first notice cold or flu symptoms, and until the symptoms are gone.

I hope this information can be helpful to your family in cold and flu seasons to come!

In closing, I want to add a disclaimer that I am not a medical professional and nothing shared in this blog post should be considered medical advice, merely what I have seen work for my family over the years.

There are a few specific situations where you should absolutely confirm with a medical provider before using elderberry syrup.

  • If you are pregnant or nursing, you should confirm with your doctor or midwife.
  • If you are on a medication which suppresses the immune system (chemo, as an example), you should consult with your medical providers, because elderberry syrup is an immune booster and could be counter productive or harmful.
  • Elderberry syrup can act as a laxative or diuretic, so if you are on any medication that also acts as either of those things, you should consult with your doctor to ensure you’re not doubling up on possible side effects.
  • Those with asthma and diabetes are also recommended to not use elderberry syrup.

Other Homesteading and Farm Life Essential Resources:

If you enjoyed this, here are some other related blogs and videos I’ve shared previously that you might be interested in!

  • Homemade Soap for the Farmhouse – 2 ingredients and perfect for all sorts of farm and house applications!
  • Why we Chose the Farmlife – A fun look into why we originally chose and still love life on our farm.
  • Make Your Hair Last 7 Days – It’s true and it saves me lots of time each week!
  • Morning Routine Essentials – A quick look through of my morning routine that helps me kick start each day.
  • DIY French Tuteurs for the Garden – One of my all time most popular posts, these beautiful, decorative pyramids can be made in a couple of hours! We use them for our green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes during gardening season, the rest of the year they make stunning statement pieces in bare garden and flower beds.
  • Beekeeping for Beginners – a quick run down all you need to know to become your very own backyard beekeeper! I have kept bees for the past ten years and highly recommend it for the hobby farm.
  • Simple Clay Herb Labels – Use these simple, sweet little markers for your veggies, flowers and herbs! I also like to give them as gifts.

Pin for Later

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Colds & Flu Season by sheholdsdearly.com

Stay healthy out there! Until next time,

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2 Comments

  1. Diana
    March 27, 2020 / 4:14 PM

    Unless I missed it, you don’t mention when to add the honey – I assume after you’ve simmered the other ingredients? On another note, Im enjoying your site – Im not strictly a farmhouse style girl, but Im a fellow PNW resident and I do own and am renovating (slowly) a 1915 Colonial. I’ve picked up some valuable and economical design tips & projects for a timeless, classic home. Thank you!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 1, 2020 / 3:12 AM

      Yes, add the honey once the liquid cools. How fun that you are from the PNW!

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