How to Beat the Cold and Flu Season, Naturally with Elderberry Syrup

By Kristy Dusevc CHC – The seasons are changing and we are fast approaching the nasty cold and flu season. I have seen reports of the flu virus already being reported in our area. Did you know that you can reduce your chances of catching everything that comes your way? At the very least you can drastically reduce the duration of the illness.

How is this you ask?

Build up your immune system now!

It’s best to think of boosting your immune system all year, but you can start now. There are many amazing and proven natural ways to support and boost that immune system. Of course, I will mention once again; bone broth. Drink a cup or two a day for the amazing medicinal benefits. Today, however,  I am going to cover another one of nature’s healing gifts. Elderberry, specifically Elderberry syrup.

Last year it really blew up to something I couldn’t have even imagined. You couldn’t find Elderberry syrup in this town anywhere. I know this first hand. The media starting covering stories on how people were opting for natural remedies instead of the “go to” flu medicine. That natural remedy was Elderberry syrup. Let’s go into a little history behind this fascinating herb.

There’s evidence that the elderberry may have been cultivated by prehistoric man. There are also recipes for elderberry-based medications dating back to Ancient Egypt. However, most historians typically trace its healing abilities back to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek, known as the “father of medicine,” who described the plant as his “medicine chest” because of the wide array of health concerns it seemed to cure. Whether we’re talking cavemen, ancient Egyptians or ancient Greeks, this natural remedy definitely goes way back, so it’s no wonder it’s known as one of the top antiviral herbs on the planet.

Health benefits of the elder plant include naturally improving colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation. When used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier. During the 1995 Panama flu epidemic, the government actually employed the use of the elderberry to fight the flu.

I’m sure you’re getting the picture that this medicinal berry is a real powerhouse for good health.

Here are some of the nutritional benefits of Elderberries;

  • High in vitamin C: There are 6–35 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, which accounts for up to 60% of the recommended daily intake
  • High in dietary fiber: Elderberries contain 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams of fresh berries, which is over one-quarter of the recommended daily intake
  • A good source of phenolic acids: These compounds are powerful antioxidants that can help reduce damage from oxidative stress in the body
  • A good source of flavonols: Elderberry contains the antioxidant flavonols quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin. The flowers contain up to 10 times more flavonols than the berries
  • Rich in anthocyanins: These compounds give the fruit its characteristic dark black-purple color and are a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects

There are many ways to enjoy these nutritional berries; Teas, juices, sprays, lozenges, the list really does go on and on. My favorite way to receive the nutritional healing benefits of this flowering magical herb is by way of Elderberry syrup. You want to once again make sure your sourcing is from a good clean reputable source. What is the best way to assure that? Make your own of course! Or buy local!

A Simple Elderberry Syrup Recipe


  • 2/3 cup dried black Elderberries or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen
  • 3½ cups water
  • 2 TBSP fresh or dried ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey


  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
  4. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
  5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  6. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  7. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
  8. When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16-ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  9. Ta-da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties.

We will have Homemade Organic Elderberry available at the studio. If interested, you can reserve a bottle by emailing me; kristy@thriveyogaandwellness.com

Wishing you a very happy and healthy upcoming season!