The Hippy Homemaker’s Homemade Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup

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I am going crazy hearing about the epidemic that the flu virus has become here in the United States! Somehow, the Hippy Husband, Syfy, and I have managed to skip out on being sick, so far, this winter season. I would give a large amount of credit to the natural methods I have been employing around our house, to keep germs out.

The most awesome naturopathic weapon that I have in my medical kit, is my bottle of Sambucus (an elderberry cold and flu syrup that you can get at the grocery store for around $5.00).  This bottle is incredibly small for the price of $5.00. It tells you to take it 2-4 times a day, YIKES! For that much money, I just can't afford to take it as often as it was suggesting, so I went searching around for my own recipe instead! After researching the ingredients I came up with my own recipe to share with you guys, and it most definitely saves you money too! I kicked up this recipe a notch by adding echinacea and rosehips for extra immune boosting properties and vitamin C! Rosehips are FULL of vitamin C! You don't have to add these to the recipe but they definitely give this recipe an added boost to your immune system.

What are the benefits of  taking Elderberry syrup?

Part of the current fascination over elderberries stems from their high antioxidant levels. The USDA has compiled a database on the antioxidants in food and lists elderberries as a standout. Foods are measured by their “ORAC values,” or their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. Blueberries, a known and popular antioxidant fruit, have a total ORAC value of about 4,700. The total ORAC value of elderberries is 14,700 — the second-highest antioxidant fruit in the database. Elderberries are also very high in Vitamins A and extremely high in Vitamin C and B!

A clinical trial during a severe flu outbreak around 1992-93 in Israel confirmed a perfect cure rate of severe flu victims there. Another study performed in Oslo, Norway more recently, around 2002, also confirmed the amazing efficacy for type A and B flu victims of several different strains. The cures mostly occurred in two days while a few were cured in three days. Tamiflu normally cures the flu in 4.5 to 5 days. It took victims on placebos, 6 days to cure the flu.

In one study published in the Journal of International Medical Research, 90% of Norwegian influenza patients who took the elderberry extract were free of the flu virus within three days, compared to six days for the control group who took placebos. Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found similar results . Both focused on the standardized extract of the black elderberry, Sambucus nigra.

When should I take Elderberry?

Whenever anyone around you is getting sick or you start to feel even the slightest tickle in your throat, reach for your Elderberry syrup! If you take it when everyone else around you is getting sick, chances are, it will be much easier for your body to fight off getting sick. Elderberry syrup has been known to fight off Both type A and B flu viruses as well as all types of swine and avian flu.

 Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup

Yield: 16 oz.



  1. In a small saucepan, combine everything but the honey (heating honey up past a certain temperature can cause it to lose all of it's natural antibacterial/antiviral properties).
  2. Over high heat, bring the elderberry mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove elderberry mixture from heat and strain through a mesh strainer, making sure to squish out all the juice that you can.
  4. Mix honey into the strained juice and stir until completely melted and mixed together.
  5. Store in a glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator! This homemade elderberry cold and flu syrup will keep for up to 6 months in the fridge.


Children 2+ years take 1/2 Tbsp. (for babies under 2 years take 1 tsp.)  hourly, at the onset of symptoms and taper off to 4 times daily as you get better. If you are trying to build immunities, take 3 times daily at least one week before a trip or whatever you are preparing for.
Children and Adults 12+ years take 1 Tbsp. hourly, at the onset of symptoms and taper off to 4 times daily as you get better. If you are trying to build immunities, take 3 times daily at least one week before a trip or whatever you are preparing for.


The honey is added at the end of the process and not during the cooking process because honey keeps its antiviral and antibacterial properties at a certain temperature. As long as you do not boil the honey, but instead add it to the already cooked product, you will not destroy the good viral fighting properties that you are trying to use in your syrup. Also always make sure that your honey is raw and unfiltered, as that is the best kind of honey with healing benefits.

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All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.