DIY Supplements

Elderberry Syrup

Next to Vitamin C with Zinc, elderberry syrup has been a lifesaver in keeping me healthy during the winter months. I work in an Urgent Care and I am frequently exposed to the flu and other viruses. When I start feeling run down, I’ll take a Vitamin C with Zinc twice a day with food and the elderberry syrup three times a day.

What are Elderberries? 

Elderberries are small, dark berries that grow in clusters on elder trees. Nutritionally they contain large amounts of vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, folate and calcium. It’s not advisable to consume raw elderberries because if can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is why many people will consume elderberry syrup medicinally.

Elderberry Benefits:

According to WebMD, elderberries can be used to help boost the immune system, which may help to treat cold and flu viruses. Per WebMD, “It seems to work similar to the prescription drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).” Other potential uses include: Heart disease, gingivitis, high cholesterol, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, constipation, HIV/AIDS, hay fever, headache, nerve pain, toothaches, and weight loss. Click here for additional information and a list of interactions.

How do I use it:

The second I feel any type of cold symptom coming on, I make a fresh batch of elderberry syrup and will take 1 TBSP three times per day until symptoms subside. I’ve noticed that it’s helped to decrease the length of my cold and sometimes it has even prevented it! Always listen to your body and speak to your primary care provider prior to consumption.

Where to buy Elderberries:

I buy my dried elderberries from Amazon. I buy from these brands: Frontier, Starwest Botanicals, and Magjo Naturals. You can find all kinds of elderberry syrups, cough drops and even gummies on and

Elderberry Recipes:

There are different types of elderberry recipes out there, but this is the one I’ve been using. If you’re not up to buying all the ingredients separately you can buy an elderberry syrup kit from to make at home. You’ll need to have a cheesecloth strainer and some type of sweetener like honey. Another option is to buy pre-made elderberry syrup.


  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup elderberries, dried 
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5-10 cloves, whole (optional)
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger (optional)
  • ½ small organic lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup to 1 cup honey- optional (do not use honey for babies under 1 year old).


  • In a small to medium sized saucepan, bring water, elderberries, cinnamon, ginger and cloves to a light boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 35-45 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool down.
  • Strain mixture through a cheese cloth into a glass bowl.
  • Add lemon juice and honey and whisk until smooth.
  • Transfer to a glass jar or a bottle with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
  • How to take it: I take 1 Tbsp three times a day when preventing or treating a cold virus. Always listen to your body & consult with your primary care provider prior to using.


  • Use a disposable cheesecloth! I ruined a few of my nicer nut bag cheesecloth’s by straining the elderberries through it.
  • Strain the elderberries in your sink and not on your countertop. I have white marble countertops and the elderberries can stain them.
  • This may temporarily stain your hands and fingernails a dark purple for about a day. To prevent this, you can wear disposable gloves when you strain the elderberry mixture.

JUST EAT REAL FOOD – Stop focusing on calories & focus on what you’re eating and how it makes you feel. Your body is always giving you signals, but many times we ignore them. Pay attention if you develop nausea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, joint pain, rashes, sinus problems, or cold sores. If you develop any of these things after eating, it’s a good indicator that your body is giving you a clue to stop consuming something in your food. Many times these symptoms come from consuming chemicals, artificial coloring, and preservatives. Other times these symptoms can occur from a food allergy or sensitivity. Pay attention. Creating a food diary is a really great way to help you figure out what your triggers are. Food elimination diets are a great way to figure out what your triggers are.

Information in this posting is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Talk to your medical provider before starting any new supplements or medications.

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