How To Make Elderberry Syrup {and why you want to}

When the seasons change, does someone in your family get sick?

Does the idea of scouring the cold and flu section at the drugstore have you screaming into the night with all the choices there are? Are you wondering if there is a better way at helping your family deal with cold or flu symptoms?

I believe there is.

Enter in the humble elderberry, and the elderberry syrup. Elderberries have a long history of being used for cold and flu symptoms. Studies also support the idea that elderberries may help with better digestion. Elderberries are also an immune stimulant, meaning they support the immune system in fighting infection.
Learn how to make a delicious elderberry syrup from dried or raw berries, and several ways to use it! The Homesteading Hippy

So, why do you want to make elderberry syrup?

The raw elderberries are actually toxic. Cooking them into a syrup eliminates the toxins from them, making them safe to use. You can make the syrup from raw, foraged berries or from bought dehydrated berries. The method will be the same.

To get started with raw elderberries, remove the berries from the stems.

The easiest way I have found to do this is by running a fork down the stems. You will want to wear gloves, or your hands WILL get stained. Measure 1 cup of raw elderberries to 4 cups of water.

If you are using dried elderberries, you will just measure them into the pot.

You will meausure 1 cup of dried elderberries to 3 cups of water. Learn how to make a delicious elderberry syrup from dried or raw berries, and several ways to use it! The Homesteading Hippy

With either method

Once the berries and water are in a large pot, simply begin to bring to a boil

You will want to use a stainless steel or other heavy bottomed pot for this, to reduce the chance of burning. Once it is at a boil, allow to simmer for at least 20 additional minutes, stirring often. Drain the berries from the now infused water and put the water back into the pot. Your berries can now be composted.

Bring the infused water to a boil, and allow to boil to reduce to 1/2 the amount. Add in 1 cup of honey, or brown rice syrup for every 2 cups of reduced water. Allow to the honey and water to simmer for 5 minutes to thicken. Store in a tightly covered container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

To use your syrup, you have myriad of ways.

You can simply add a tablespoon of the syrup to a person’s daily diet as an immune support. Or, you can “let your food be your medicine” and use it in these ways:

  • As a pancake syrup
  • to top oatmeal or other porridge
  • as a sweetener in tea or coffee
  • as a topping for cake or ice cream treats


What ways would you use elderberry syrup? Be sure to pin this for later!


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4 thoughts on “How To Make Elderberry Syrup {and why you want to}”

    1. You could, but with the honey, I would suggest just storing it in the fridge. Canning it with the honey would destroy the honey’s antibacterial properties.

  1. Our family has been using elderberries for decades. And the raw berries are not toxic. The stems and branches are toxic, they have arsenic in them. We eat them raw off of the bushes and also after they have been dehydrated. And nobody that I know has ever gotten sick from eating them. You might get a stomach ache if you ate too many of them, just like anything else.
    I just did some searches on the internet and never ran acrossed anything that says raw elderberries are toxic.
    I do love your recipe for the Elderberry tonic, I also make tonic every year and have not had the flu or sicknesses in a very long time.

    1. I appreciate your reply…however, all the information I have learned in herbalism schooling says that erring on the side of caution with raw elderberries and cooking them first is the safest approach.

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