Boost Your Child’s Immune System with Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is an effective natural remedy against colds and other things that go around in winter. It is easy and inexpensive to make at home, and your kids will (most likely) enjoy the taste of this homemade elderberry syrup recipe.

Boost Your Child's Immune System with Homemade Elderberry Syrup

For most moms, there’s no time to be sick — or worse — have a sick child. Luckily, there’s a home remedy that can help your family prevent or lessen the effects of what goes around during cold and flu season.

Elderberries for Immune Health

Elderberry has been found effective against a wide range of influenza viruses including human, swine, and avian strains. And this study in Norway found that people who took elderberry syrup after they came down with an illness experienced fewer symptoms and recovered more quickly than people who didn’t.

For centuries, people have made the cold remedy using just elderberries, water, and honey.

Where to Find Elderberries for DIY Syrup

In North America, wild elderberries often grow in the eastern, central and western regions. You can find them along roadsides, in fields, and in wooded areas. Elderberry plants typically thrive in moist and well-drained soils. So, with a proper lesson in foraging, you may be able to source your homemade elderberry syrup for free.

Not all parts of the elderberry plant are safe for consumption. The berries are usually dark purple or black when ripe and are ready to be picked from late summer to early autumn. The leaves, stem and unripe berries of the elderberry plant contain a toxic compound called Sambunigrin and should not be consumed.

Organic dried elderberries are available in bulk online. You can also find a DIY elderberry syrup kit.

Or you can buy pre-made organic elderberry syrup or kid-friendly gummies. They’re effective and available in many health stores and online. Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup is an excellent option if you don’t have the time or interest in DIY. The main drawback to pre-made syrup and gummies is cost. They’re quite a bit more expensive compared to making your own.

elderberry syrup ingredients

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe

This recipe is a slight variation on the ancient elderberry theme to give it more flavor and immunological punch.

Elderberry Syrup Ingredients

How to Make Elderberry Syrup

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the herbs. Do not add honey yet.

Cover pot and reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer for at least half an hour, strain out the herbs (use a stainless mesh strainer, not plastic) and pour the liquid back into the pot.

Continue to simmer with the lid off until reduced to 2 cups.

Add 1-2 cups of honey and warm until well integrated.

Bottle, refrigerate, and use within 2-3 months.

How Much Elderberry Syrup Does a Child Need?

To maintain a strong immune system, adults can take 2 tablespoons daily. Children can take 1-2 teaspoons daily. During an illness, you can double this amount until symptoms disappear.

Boost Your Child's Immune System with Homemade Elderberry Syrup

If you’ve made homemade elderberry syrup, let us know any tips you’ve found along the way.

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  1. Stacy Finnegan says:

    I want to share my experience! For the last couple of years, I have been taking Wellabs Elderberry Syrup as such cold symptoms are the first symptom of a cold. And all family members too. It helps to feel better quickly. And if we do get sick, it is much easier and faster than it was before. I think the vitamin in the composition of the syrup affects this.

  2. Stormy D Zimmerman says:

    I just made my first batch in my instant pot. So easy. I am excited to see if this helps kick our colds. I don’t want to put medicine in our bodies.

  3. Miranda Molling says:

    Why rosehips and astragalus root?

  4. This syrup is awesome.. Me n my family have been having this n it has done wonders. Now that I’m pregnant n I don’t know if I can have it. Is this safe to have while pregnant?

    1. I am so glad you love the syrup as much as I do! It keeps my three children healthy all winter long (even when they are surrounded by sick children)! And yes, you absolutely can take it in moderation while pregnant . One to two tablespoons daily is totally safe.

  5. Great recipe. I like the addition of astragalus root and rose hips. We make a similar syrup but without these two ingredients and use fresh berries instead of dried ones. Love this site!

  6. Where would I begin to look for dried elderberries, rosehips and astragalus root?