Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Elderberry syrup recipe ingredients

Elderberry syrup is an old standby for the herbal apothecary. It's been prescribed for ages to help treat cold-weather maladies like cold and flu. Every year as summer is ending, Cindy whips up a batch to keep on hand as a remedy and an immune-boosting tonic. This is her own secret recipe--it's a supercharged version of classic elderberry syrup.

We take a teaspoon three to five times a day if we have cold or flu symptoms and a teaspoon a day for regular maintenance. We skip a day here and there because echinacea is most effective when used intermittently.

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe includes unsterilized honey which may be lethally dangerous to infants, so please do not let babies ingest this syrup.

Here's a short summary of the ingredients and their herbal actions:


  • antiviral
  • immune system support

Fresh elderberries can be difficult to harvest and process given the fact that they love to ferment as soon as you pick them. If you don't refrigerate, dry, or use them right away (within hours), you'll likely lose them. When we can't get it together to collect and process enough for syrup, we buy dried elderberries and keep a stash for winter in case we need to make more.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

  • immune system support

Turkey tail mushroom has been used for thousands of years to treat various health conditions. More recently, its powerful immune support qualities have garnered significant recognition from the allopathic medical community. It's even being used as an adjunct therapy for breast cancer patients:

We forage our turkey tail since it's fairly common where we are. I don't think I've seen it sold in bulk but it is available in capsules.


  • immune system support
  • antibiotic
  • specific for respiratory system


Usnea is a common lichen that grows on older trees. We see it quite a bit on branches that have fallen on the ground, especially after wind or a storm, and we usually make a point of grabbing a little whenever we come across it.


  • anti-bacterial
  • immune system support

Echinacea is another foraged ingredient in our elderberry syrup. We usually grow a supply just for medicine.


  • diaphoretic (sweat inducing)
  • anti-inflammatory


  • alkalizing


  • cough suppressant

elderberry syrup ingredients

Elderberry Syrup

Cindy Halbkat
6 cups
elderberry syrup ingredients
  • 6 cups water

  • 1 cup dried elderberries or 2 cups fresh elderberries

  • 1 cup turkey tail mushrooms, broken into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 cup usnea

  • 1 cup echinacea flowers, leaves, and stems

  • 3 TBLS fresh ginger, chopped

  • 3 TBLS lemon juice

  • 1 cup honey

  1. In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine everything except honey and lemon juice, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat, strain out the herbs, and stir in honey and lemon juice (mixture should still be warm but not boiling).

  3. Set aside to cool, pour into jars or bottles, and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Syrup can also be frozen in ice cube trays or plastic containers and stored for up to a year.