ElderBerry Syrup: Great for Colds, Flu, and Homemade Cough Syrup

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Elderberry Syrup Homemade Cough Syrup

This elderberry syrup is very effective in getting rid of cold and flu. It is simple to make and works great as a homemade cough syrup too!

Elderberry Syrup for Cold and Flu

Few things make me sadder than watching one of my little ones sick with the flu, coughing uncontrollably, and feeling like I can’t do anything to help. This was a familiar feeling several years ago, but then I discovered elderberry syrup! It’s a great natural cold and flu remedy and it helps get the coughing under control!

Meet Elder, a powerful healing plant, with a variety of uses.

Before I share my recipe for elderberry syrup and tell you about its usefulness as a cough suppressant and general immunity booster, I want to tell you a bit more about the elder plant.


Elder cleanses the body, so it is common to use it as a natural detoxifier. For this use, elderflowers are brewed into an elder tea to be taken a few times a day for a limited period of time.

These brewed flowers aid kidney function by relieving fluid retention and cleansing toxins. Elder stimulates the circulation, causing sweating, effectively cleansing the body. It quickly increases the activity of body systems and increases overall energy. One side-effect of this property is weight loss.


In addition to providing relief to the respiratory system and boosting immunity, the elder also promotes a feeling of well-being. Taken before bed, this elderberry syrup (and this elderflower tea), promote peaceful sleep and relaxes and soothes the nerves. Elder has also been known to relieve anxiety and lift depression.

Respiratory Aid

If you’ve ever taken a homemade cough syrup, it has no doubt contained elderberry as the main ingredient. Elder relaxes bronchial spasms, making them very useful for treating upper respiratory infections.

Further, fresh elderberries, combined with plantain, make an effective homemade cough syrup.

Cautions: Flowers are the mildest part of the plant and the safest for children. Leaves, roots, seeds, and berries of the raw plant contain cyanide-producing compounds and should not be consumed without cooking properly.

Elderberry & Plantain for Cold, Flu, and Cough

In addition to using some of my favorite essential oils when someone in our house has a cold, flu, or cough, I like to make this elderberry syrup.

As mentioned above, the elder is great for colds, coughs, and flu. And I like to use the berries and flowers to get the benefits of the different parts of the plant. I also add plantain leaf because it’s also well-known for treating coughs.

We’ve noticed that this elderberry syrup recipe soothes the throat, boosts immunity, and prevents excess coughing. When I use it, I notice the tickle in my throat is gone almost immediately.

Elderberry Syrup Homemade Cough Syrup

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

5 from 2 votes

This elderberry syrup is very effective in getting rid of cold and flu. It is simple to make and works great as a homemade cough syrup too!

Prep Time
5 minutes
Active Time
45 minutes
Steeping Time
2 hours
Total Time
2 hours 50 minutes
2 cups
Estimated Cost



  1. Begin making your elderberry syrup by placing water, plantain, elderflowers, and elderberries in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for fifteen minutes.

  2. Place in the oven or cover and let steep for an additional two hours. Strain the infused water from the herbs and put your infusion back into the pan (go ahead and compost those herbs).
  3. Turn the stove on low and let it simmer uncovered, reducing by half.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool for a bit. Add the honey while it is still warm so that it dissolves nicely.
  5. Use and enjoy your homemade elderberry syrup!

Recipe Video


For Cold and Flu

Adults, use 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup every 2-3 hours. For children under six, use 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours.

For Immunity

Take 1 teaspoon daily

Tips for Storage

Store your syrup in a labeled glass jar in the refrigerator. It keeps for about 5 months (the honey acts as a natural preservative).

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We Use This Elderberry Syrup All Fall and Winter

Our family takes elderberry syrup every day for immunity against cough, cold, and flu.

Here are more ways to build your immune systems & prepare your family for better health during cold and flu season:


About Nina Nelson

Nina is a writer, student midwife, and mama of four. She blogs regularly at Shalom Mama and loves helping others create wellness through simple living. Check out her website for more simple wellness tips.

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  1. Joshua Howard says

    Hi! I also like this syrup! The recipe is simple and it really works! Natural and healthy remedy what can be better?

  2. Lady Ike says

    I can’t recommend this recipe enough! I made it yesterday for the flu season, etc. It really works and I’ve been using this for a couple of years with great success. Thanks so much for all your helpful information and keep up the good work to keep us all healthy and happy!