Elderberry Immune Boosting Syrup

Freshly picked elderberries mixed with warming spices make this the most delicious immune boosting syrup to be enjoyed daily during the cold season or at any time when immunity is low and struggling. 

elderberry immune boosting syrup

Fresh elderberries are one of my favourite herbal superpowers. Tiny balls of juice and sweetness packed with phytochemicals that strengthen and build immunity.

Some of the known constituents in elderberries include:

  • Vitamin C – antiviral and antioxidant 
  • Anthocyanidins (the chemicals that give elderberries, and similar dark coloured/red fruit their colour) – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral 
  • Flavonoids – such as quercetin, kaempferol and rutin – antibacterial, anti-allergic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant

Elderberry Immune-boosting syrup uses:

  • common cold
  • coughs
  • fevers
  • influenza
  • sinusitis 
  • viral bronchitis 
  • herpes simplex virus 

Due to the strong antioxidant effect of elderberries, they can be used for many conditions that involve oxidative stress and increased number of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
This includes:

  • atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases 
  • arthritis
  • chronic inflammation 
  • cancer
  • macular degeneration 
  • peripheral neuropathy 
  • diabetes and diabetic neuropathy 
  • neurodegenerative diseases 

elderberry immune syrup

(makes 500ml elderberry syrup)

  • 250g elderberries (approx. 15 heads)
  • 50g dried hibiscus (optional)
  • 10 cardamon pods 
  • 3 cinnamon sticks 
  • 4cm piece of ginger – cut into cubes 
  • 5-10 sprigs of thyme 
  • rind of 1/2 unwaxed lemon plus juice
  • 250g honey (sugar can be substituted but I prefer honey for health and taste reasons).

Other equipment:

  • Muslin cloth/cheesecloth or jam strainer.
  • 500ml glass bottle, sterilised. 
  • Label


  1. remove the elderberries from their heads and place in a sieve or colander to wash. 
  2. Add the berries and all other ingredients – except for the honey and lemon juice – to a saucepan and pour over 350ml water.
  3. Simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes until the water has slightly reduced.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature (or cool enough so you can give it a good squeeze when straining it without burning hands!)
  5. Place cooled elderberry mixture into a muslin cloth or other suitable fine strainer and squeeze all the juice from the mixture into a saucepan.
  6. Add the honey and lemon juice and stir well. 
  7. Pour the elderberry syrup into a sterilised glass bottle, label with the date and place in the fridge to keep. 


As a daily boost to the immune system, take 2 tsp a day (approx. 10ml). At times of acute illness, take 1 tsp 4-6 times a day (approx. 20-30ml). 

Can be taken neat or added to cold or warm water. In the winter months and at times of illness I like to make a hot infusion by adding the syrup to hot water.

When suffering with a cold, flu, fever or sinus infection, it works well mixed with peppermint and/or elderflower tea plus a little freshly grated ginger for an extra boost.

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