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Easy Elderberry/Herbal Syrup

Materials needed: 

Large Pot

Quart Ball Jar 



Brandy/bourbon if desired

Scale/measuring cup

large bowl



Folk Method:

My kids love to help me make a home stash of elderberry immune syrup to help ward off seasonal bugs. We have fun with it and the jars empties quickly when I put it on the lower shelf where they can help themselves to a large spoonful. ​

Add a quart jar of water to the pot and add 1/2 cup elderberries and 1/4 cup warming spices and support herbs.

Examples include, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fresh ginger, monada (aka bee balm - powerful rona support), echinacea, loquat leaf, cherry bark.


Make a note of where the water level is on side of pot.


Bring water to a boil and boil until it is about 1/2 the volume of water you started with. Don't worry about displacement too much - the lower you boil it the stronger the syrup.


Once it has boiled down to half the volume pour through a strainer allowing syrup to go into a large bowl or measuring cup


Measure the volume of your baby syrup. (I pour ours back into the quart jar to measure.)


Take the volume of liquid and divide it in half. Add up to that amount of local honey. ( We like our less sweet and add less than half the volume by taste I also do this in the jar)


Stir or shake until honey is mixed thoroughly. 


At this point we put ours in the refrigerator and use it in 4-6 weeks.


Add half the total volume of brandy or bourbon for shelf stability and use within 6 months.  

Measure it!

Batch size: 

8oz (by weight) herbs + 1gal/128 oz water

4oz herbs + 1/2 gal water/64 oz

2oz herbs + 1 quart/32 oz water

1oz herbs + 1 pint/16oz water


Example Recipe:

for 1/2 gallon(64oz) water and 4oz. herbs

2oz Elderberry

.5oz ginger

1oz star anise

.5oz cardamom

.5oz cherry bark

stick of cinnamon 


Combine all herbs and spices in a pot with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until water is about half the volume.


Strain and measure liquid: ________________ oz. decoction. (example 32 oz. )Pour back into rinsed pot


Add half the volume honey: _____________oz. (example 16oz) warm honey and liquid and stir until mixed thoroughly. Keep in refrigerator and use within 2 weeks. 


If you’d like your syrup to be shelf stable add half the volume of alcohol (brandy and bourbon are delicious) For example 32 +16 =48/2 =24oz of alcohol. Will be shelf stable for about 1 year, maybe longer. 


Get creative y’all! You can adjust amounts and types of spices and herbs and honey to your taste. 


Examples of spices that I love in elderberry syrup: allspice, chili, coriander, cumin, fennel, mint, black pepper, tulsi, citrus peel, rose hips, hawthorn, echinacea. The pungent herbs/spices warm and disperse energy through the body. The sour herbs tone tissue and help resolve infection.


Research herbs for the respiratory system and you’ll find a great list for herbal cough syrup. Some include: elecampane, loquat leaf, cherry bark, monarda, echinacea, licorice, mint, ginger, horehound, yarrow and more. 

When to make a syrup? Syrups are delicious making them a palatable way to get herbs into the body. Kids of all ages love syrups and they can be alcohol free making them an accessible option for many. My favorite herbal syrups are often for coughs and cold/flu/covid support.



Caroline Riley, Mutable Earth Botanicals

The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook by: James Green

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by, Thomas Easley

Ginger Webb, Herbalist, Sacred Journey School

*The statements made on this site are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease and have not been evaluated by the FDA

Our favorite immune and respiratory
support remedies:

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