Flu Fighting Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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Flu Fighting Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Cough, sinusitis, fever, sore throat… all common winter ailments that can exhaust our body and mind. Although sleep is the best remedy to fight a cold or flu, coughing can be very uncomfortable and exhausting as it prevents us to sleep well.

My granny has always been a huge fan of natural, alternative medicine. Her wisdom and recipes are very precious to me and have helped our family to cure many ailments in the past. Last year she gave me her famous elderberry syrup recipe. She has been brewing it for the whole family for years to cure the common cold or flu, soothe a sore throat, and reduce coughing to provide a restful sleep.


So whenever you feel a sore throat or a cough coming on, try her recipe instead of those over-the-counter chemical-laden cold and flu syrups.

What’s In The Syrup?

Elderberries and Echinacea are well-known for their flu and cold fighting properties. They are very effective in fighting influenza and other respiratory viruses and strengthen the immune system. To learn more about echinacea as well as other herbs, you can find more useful information in the Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.


Ginger root has been used for ages as remedy for nausea, it works as an expectorant and reduces inflammation.

Clove is wonderful to soothe a sore throat and helps to cough up phlegm.

Cinnamon is not only added for its great taste, but helps you to boost your immune system as well.

And then last but not least, she adds honey for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Honey has been used for ages to soothe a sore throat and works as a natural preservative. So you don’t need to add alcohol to preserve the syrup and therefore it is safe to use for kids above 1 year old.

My Granny’s Elderberry Syrup Recipe

It doesn’t taste that bad, it’s cheap, chemical-free, and made in no time. So why would you ever opt for store-bought alternatives again?



  • 1 cup fresh black elderberries (or ½ cup dried elderberries)
  • 3 ½ cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons dried Echinacea
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root (or 1tbsp dried)
  • 1 teaspoon grounded cinnamon (or more to flavor, I love cinnamon so I always add a bit more)
  • ½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, but leave out the honey. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. When boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. While stirring smash the elderberries with the back of your spoon to make sure all the good stuff ends up in your syrup. The liquid should be halved, before you remove the pan from the stove. Strain the mixture, but be careful not to burn yourself. If the mixture is too hot for you to handle, allow it to cool down for a few minutes. Add the honey when the mixture is still warm and stir until all honey is dissolved. Pour the syrup in a Mason jar or glass bottle (for better preservation, sterilize your jar for 10 to 15 minutes in boiling water).

You can use the syrup for up to 2 months when stored in the fridge. We use 1 tablespoon every 2-3 hours. For children use half the amount.

And that’s how easy it is to make your own elderberry syrup.

Thanks granny!

AmyThis is a guest post written by Amy Goodrich, yogi, health coach, and dedicated blogger who loves living a natural, eco-friendly, and healthy lifestyle. Visit her website http://www.body-in-balance.org and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bodyinbalance.org

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7 Responses to Flu Fighting Homemade Elderberry Syrup

  1. Irene Liu says:

    natural, healthy ,easy preparation and environmental products are on the way to go if you really want to survive without getting toxidized or killed by all so-called industralilzed food products, you’d better start your home planting and home cooking by now.
    thanks for all the natural herbs and veges info, it’s a big help!

  2. ron says:

    Ginger is dangerous to people with heart/lung conditions taking certain medications, always check with your doctor or leave out the ginger when making this sort of thing.

  3. Debbie says:

    Hi there.

    I just made my first Elderberry syrup yesterday and I was hoping you could answer a few questions for me?

    1. Is there an odd smell to boiling/simmering Elderberries? What do/should they smell like? My family thought they smelled like cheese!

    2. How would I know if they were bad?

    3. Is it possible the added ingredients could cause the finished product to taste a little bitter? Maybe too, cinnamon?

    I appreciate any help/tips you may offer because I’d like to keep at this syrup making since the store bought versions are getting to be too costly. Thank you.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Debbie, I’ve referred your questions to Amy, the guest blog writer who wrote this article as per her granny’s recipe. Below is Amy’s reply:

      For the questions, just phoned my granny, as she always makes our syrup 🙂
      Indeed elderberries have a typical smell when boiled, granny calls it more a cabbage-like smell (but the end product shouldn’t taste like cabbage) … the riper the berries, the more they smell, granny says overripe, rotten berries stink and you should be able to make the difference. Make sure the stems are removed. and she always uses fresh elderberries, so could be dried elderberries have a different smell.
      And for the bitterness, make sure the mixture is still hot enough to dissolve the honey, When she makes it for us the taste is not that bitter though… but it is a cough syrup, it doesn’t taste like sweet fruit juice or smoothie, I don’t mind, but granny says if it is too bitter, she could add more honey or add some stevia or sugar. Or indeed more cinnamon if she likes the taste. For my syrup she always adds a bit more, because she knows I’m a huge cinnamon lover :-).
      Hope this info will help, if not I’ll ask granny for more tips…

      • Debbie says:

        Thanks for your reply and from Granny. I made another batch today and only boiled/simmered the dried berries…wait till slightly warm to add the raw honey, but to me, it still tastes a little bitter. Could it be because I used dried berries? Not sure where to get fresh ones. I have only tried Sambucol syrup from the store and that does not taste like this, but it’s also not homemade. The berries smell okay in their bag and to me almost like a black licorice smell, but when they simmer…that’s where the funky smell comes in. Once it’s done and syrup is added it’s not that bad, but a little bitter. Thanks again.

  4. Safia says:

    Why ginger is dangerous for lung and heart conditions ? can you pls explain. My mother is taking ginger and cinamon tea and she is asthmatic and HCV patient

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Safia, ginger can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners. Therefore for a person with a special condition who takes certain medications, it’s best to consult with a doctor to be on the safe side of things. See more information here.

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