Home Apothecary: Home Made Elderberry Syrup “The Flu Fighter”

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home apothecary elderberry syrup

Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis, S. Nigra)

Recently my husband The Viking in my life made a batch of homemade Elderberry Syrup which is something we have meant to make for a while. I was working on another project so he took the helm on this one and he came up with outstanding results. I was excited because I work in the school system with give or take 500 to 600 children and 75+ adults I come into contact with every day and I realized this needs to be part of my daily routine and I am so excited to share this natural flu fighter with all of you! It’s not only a flu fighter though it’s an immune booster as well and I don’t have to worry about putting more chemicals into a body that comes into contact with chemicals all day long.

We are very fortunate to have a very mature elderberry tree on our property and we are using the berries for medicinal value and for wine as well. I love it when plants are growing right out back and we just use them and take care of them and they keep giving to us!

The Elderberry is a fascinating shrub I recently learned that it is a member of the honey suckle family and some even consider it a weed and lucky for us it grows very easily in Coastal North Carolina. Did you know that even though the leaves contain alkaloids and poisons so they cannot be taken internally that you can use them for salves and help with bruising.

The berries of the Elderberry tree or shrub (whatever you prefer to call it) are great at fighting off the flu. “They contain compounds that can inhibit the enzyme that flu viruses use to penetrate our cell membranes.” (The Herbal Drugstore, White/Foster) This berry contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and a very large amount of Vitamin C and quercetin which I have shared about before in my Home Apothecary: Onion Cough Syrup. It is also a mild laxative and diuretic to boot and that’s just a few of the medicinal qualities this berry is packing!

Elderberry syrup can be used for several ailments not only the flu but for hay fever, yeast infections, viral infections, sore throats, and nasal, and chest congestions. This berry has been shown to stimulate the immune system and I for one am glad it’s growing right in my back yard.

The Viking’s Elderberry Syrup Recipe


2 C. fresh elderberries
4 C. water
6 cloves
2 TBSP. grated ginger (fresh is best)
1 TBSP. cinnamon
2 C. honey (raw is best)



  • Rinse elderberries thoroughly and remove all stems.
  • Add all ingredients in a shallow pan or pot on stove except for the honey. Bring mixture to a boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes or close to it.
  • Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or sieve as best you can you may have to wring the cloth out several times.
  • Add honey and mix up thoroughly.
  • Place syrup in jars and refrigerate. If you make a large batch you can process it in a water bath like we did we used the small jelly jars and processed for 20 minutes.

It is tasty and healthy for me! What could be better?

Dosage is as follows:
Children – ½ tsp to 1 tsp 1 X per day for prevention
Adult – ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp 1 X per day for prevention
If you contract the flu every 1-3 hours until symptoms alleviate.

Note: It is very important not to eat unripe elderberries and never eat or take internally leaves or stems. This may cause adverse reactions or toxicity. Please see my home apothecary disclaimer on my main blog page.

Karen Lynn




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9 thoughts on “Home Apothecary: Home Made Elderberry Syrup “The Flu Fighter”

  1. Thanks for this post. I’m tucking this recipe away for when my baby elderberry…ummm… bushes(?) grow up. We just bought some up from the county extension this spring so I suppose it will be a couple years before they bear. I’ll just have to be patient. 🙂

    1. Joy I am glad you enjoyed the post! I am really trying to share some good herbal knowledge as I believe natural is still best! So glad you commented I so appreciate!

  2. Thumbs up Karen. Ive been wondering if we can grown Elder Flower here in Southeastern, NC. good to know. I really enjoy your podcast and posts. I’m more or a farmgirl at heart then an actual practicing one. I live vicariously through your posts. Thanks Monika Winters-Sanchez Mags Wilder is my alter ego.

    1. Monika I am so glad you enjoy my podcasts and posts that means so much to me! I love your alter ego name that is awesome! Yes you can grow elder flower/elderberry bushes here and if I can get you a shrub from my backyard (a rooting) I will be happy to share it with you I know you live not too far from me 🙂 Thanks for commenting, your kind words, and stopping by! Here’s to all Farm Girls at Heart <3

  3. I planted a couple of elderberries on our new (to us) property this year, but — the chickens keep roosting over there! The plants are hanging in there; here’s hoping they flourish come next Spring! Thanks for this recipe — do you think it would work with some dried elderberries I bought from an herbal supplier online, and, do you know if there’d need to be a change in the amount used? Thanks again!

    1. Hi so glad you stopped in I have never made it with dried elderberries myself but I believe there is a change in the amount used let me see if I can find it for you 🙂

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