No one likes to be sick. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to boost your immune system and overcome the sniffles when you take the time to make this nutrient-dense elderberry syrup.

The recipe, originally shared to Mother Earth News, is a proven elixir of elderberries, spices, and raw honey. Each ingredient provides medicinal benefit. Most importantly, the tonic doesn’t contain any low-quality ingredients, fillers, or unhealthy sweeteners (like high fructose corn syrup).

Benefits Of Elderberry:

Elderberry, also known as ‘Sambucus,’ is relied on as a preventative measure when germs are prevalent. Elderberries are full of antioxidants and bioflavonoids that destroy the ability of some viruses to infect healthy cells.

The berries also contain tannins, carotenoids, rutin, viburnic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin, and a range of vitamins (including vitamin c!) proven to benefit the immune system. Finally, elderberry has been shown to lower cholesterol, improve vision, act as a laxative, a diuretic, improve cardiovascular health, and be antibacterial and antiviral.

The berries are easy to find in the wild throughout North America and Europe. However, keep in mind that many wild, uncooked berries may be poisonous. If you do forage for wild elderberries, ensure you pick them ripe. You can also purchase elderberries through Amazon and at health food stores.

Take advantage of this nutritious ingredient by making your own elderberry syrup.


Substitutions: You can make a vegan variation by substituting maple syrup. You can also make a low-sugar variation by substituting stevia powder and minimal amounts of hot water until a syrup consistency is attained.  

How to Make Immune-Boosting Elderberry Syrup

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 1 jar


  • 1 cup organic elderberries
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 organic cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp organic ground ginger
  • 4 organic whole cloves {optional}
  • 1 cup of raw and unfiltered honey
  • Optional: 2 tsp medicinal mushrooms (Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps)


  1. In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, add the water, elderberries, cinnamon stick, ground ginger, and cloves. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes, or until it reduces and thickens.
  2. Set the syrup aside and allow to cool. You don’t want to add the honey until it is cool, or else the beneficial enzymes found in the raw food will be eliminated. Once the mixture is cool, strain the solids and add 1 cup of the raw, unfiltered honey. Mix to combine.
  3. Optional: To enhance the immune-boosting properties, add in 2 tsp of medicinal mushrooms. Mix until well-combined.
  4. Store the syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Recommended use: Take 1 Tbsp daily through the winter months and as needed as a preventative measure. If you are currently sick, consume 1 Tbsp 3-4 times a day until you are feeling healthy again. Depending on your preference, you can drink the syrup straight, add it into smoothies, pour it into tea, or drink it mixed with fresh-pressed juice.

Important: As our friend Angela from The Herbal Academy pointed out, stevia will not preserve the syrup, unlike honey, alcohol, and glycerin. For this reason, elderberry syrup containing stevia should be made in small batches and only stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze the syrup in ice cubes; this allows the portion sizes to be deforsted as needed. In ice cube form, the syrup can be thawed in hot water and lemon, or added to smoothies. Click here to learn more about making vegan syrups.

What are your thoughts? Please share this recipe and comment your thoughts below!

h/t Mother Earth News