Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

We’re creeping up once again on that dreaded time of year…the time when school starts back and the germies start spreading around. Sigh. I think sick kids is a parent’s worst fight. I’m going to be completely transparent here…I have some serious anxiety issues when it comes to my kids getting sick. I am constantly having to remind myself that I am not in control. I have to rest in the knowledge that God has not neglected us. I am also thankful that we have never encountered any serious illnesses. I wrestle with guilt when I feel anxiety over a runny nose when I know so many parents struggle with much worse issues. My heart goes out to you who are suffering from much worse. Nevertheless, it is a struggle that we can all relate to. As moms, our children carry part of our hearts around…ok, I won’t lie…my kids carry most of my heart. I would take their burdens any day. We know that is not how things are designed though. On this side of heaven we are going to have to keep fighting. I am looking forward to the day where these worries are no more.

In the meantime however, we strive to maintain the best health that we can through our own choices! I ultimately cannot control if my kids get sick or not, but I can give wellness my best shot! We accomplish this through a variety of ways, mainly diet, healthy vitamins, natural remedies, & essential oils. One of our favorite immune boosting “vitamins” is Elderberry syrup!! So, I thought we would share this today!

First, let me tell you why we think this is such good stuff!
1. Elderberries have been around for centuries and people have been using them to treat a number of different problems. They are known for their immune boosting properties, helping coughs, colds, influenza, etc. Elderberries are high in vitamin A & C and also high in iron. The antioxidant levels in elderberries are high and thus makes them a good candidate for combating free radicals in the body. Elderberries have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries or cranberries! Want to learn more about antioxidants? I found this article helpful and easy to understand!!

2. Elderberries are high in the polyphenol anthocyanin.

“Anthocyanins have been shown to boost the production of immune cytokines. The cytokines are key messengers in the immune system to help regulate the immune response. This allows the body to defend against disease. These studies have shown the antioxidant balance of elderberry to be greater than equal doses of vitamin E and vitamin C.” Read more

Studies have also found that they anthocyanins have been effective in reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes, thus helping sinus issues.

3. And if you still need some convincing read this:

“Viruses multiply by invading our cells through their hemagglutinin spikes. These spikes allow them to penetrate the cell membrane and move in and take control the cell. Elderberry contains a potent antiviral agent called “antivirin” which helps neutralize the activity of the hemagglutinin spikes. When these spikes are deactivated, the viruses are no longer able to get inside of the cell and replicate.”
Read more

Muahahah. Elderberry Super Powers! This is good stuff. Let’s make it shall we?

Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 knob of ginger, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup of honey, local and raw if possible!


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Turn the stove off and let the pan sit until contents have cooled sufficiently.
  4. Strain the elderberries and other ingredients out of liquid. Use a spoon to mash the berries in the strainer.
  5. {Optional} Often times I will add the smashed berries back into the pan and add another cup of water and boil for 10 more mins. After that,  strain them again and add to the other juice.
  6. After juice has cooled, add desired amount of honey for sweetness. We usually use about a 1/2 cup, any more than that and it is too sweet for us to drink!  If you can source some local, raw honey that will add to the immune boosting properties as well as help with seasonal allergies!! If not, regular honey is good too.

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We take this daily during cold and flu season or anytime someone is feeling a little icky. I don’t really measure the dosage out, I just put a little bit in a shot glass and give it to the kids…probably about a tablespoon worth. Actually, we usually use elderberry syrup as our chaser for our fermented cod liver oil!


References (Just in case you decided you really wanted to read more…lol):



Disclaimer: I am not a doctor! You knew that right? So I am not attempting to diagnose, cure, or solve any of your health issues! Please ask your doctor if you have concerns about your health! I am here as a mom sharing my story! 

Disclosure: Some of the links provided in my posts may be affiliate links. You pay the same if you were to purchase the product through my site, however, I may earn a commission of your purchase. Helps keep our garden growing, ya know? Thanks for supporting the homestead!

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