By Vida Gustafson

Contributing Writer

Every year, just before flu season I start making batches of Elderberry syrup as a natural immunity booster. While I can’t promise you any miraculous cure for the common cold, many people, including myself, swear by taking a tablespoon a day.  

If you’ve cast your eye over the cold and flu section of your local health food store lately, you know the cost of this stuff rivals that of gold. Not if you take the time to make a batch yourself! You may have to buy the dried elderberries in bulk online, but they’re shelf stable and should last you a very long time. 

Please note: Raw elderberries should not be eaten, it’s only after the cooking process, that destroys glycosides in the raw berry, that we can enjoy their phenolic and anti-oxidant benefits.


  • ¾ C dried Elderberries
  • 3 ½ C filtered water
  • 5-6 whole cloves (½ tsp powder) 
  • 1 slice fresh ginger (½ tsp dried)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (½ tsp powder)
  • 1 C Honey (raw, unfiltered is ideal)


Combine berries, water and spices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 45 minutes to an hour, however long it takes to reduce the liquid by half (this will vary, depending on the size and shape of your saucepan).

Remove from heat and set aside to cool for one hour. Pour through a strainer to separate the berries and spices. Mix in your 1 cup of honey after the mixture has been strained and cooled.

Pour in a bottle or jar and store on the counter for up to one week and refrigerator for up to one month.