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Elderberry Syrup for Immune system Support

Updated: May 6

What is it

Elderberry syrup is an herbal elixir made from dried elderberry. Elderberry, flowers, and bark have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is now modernly used to support the immune system, both preventatively and in the case of an acute cold.

Elderberry is typically put in a syrup, as the sugar content from the honey naturally preserves it.

Health Benefits of Elderberry

· Inhibits viral replication

· Antiviral properties(1)

· Immunoprotective properties(1)

· Immunostimulatory properties(1)

· Supports immune system(1)

· Can possibly reduce flu symptoms to just 3-4 days(1)

· Can reduce travel-induced cold symptoms(2)

· Antimicrobial properties(3)

· May help inhibit strep(3)

Elderberry is not just good for supporting the immune system. It is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Studies also suggest that it can be helpful for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.(4)

How to use Elderberry Syrup

This depends on the brand, but the standard dose is one teaspoon for preventative use and one tablespoon as needed.

Where Can I Get Elderberry Syrup?

Be careful about additives in your elderberry! We love making our own and offer it seasonally in the office. Contact the office to order.

We love Organic Olivia's Elderberry Elixir. You can buy it here.

You can also make your own. Here's a recipe.

Mountain Rose Herbs directions (for elderberry kit):


  1. Combine berries and herbs with cold water in pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer 30 to 40 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and let steep 1 hour.

  4. Strain berries and herbs using a funnel overlaid with doubled cheesecloth or undyed cotton muslin bag and squeeze out liquid (careful, liquid will likely still be hot!). Discard used herbs in compost.

  5. Once liquid has cooled to just above room temperature, add honey and stir to incorporate. 

  6. If using vodka or brandy, add here and stir until well combined.

  7. Bottle in sterilized glass and store in the refrigerator."

A word on cytokine storms

Some say that taking elderberry syrup may cause a severe inflammatory response. The study that this is referencing had a flawed design.


1. Barak, V., Halperin, T., & Kalickman, I. (2001). The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. European cytokine network, 12(2), 290–296.

2. Tiralongo, E., Wee, S. S., & Lea, R. A. (2016). Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients, 8(4), 182.

3. Krawitz, C., Mraheil, M. A., Stein, M., Imirzalioglu, C., Domann, E., Pleschka, S., & Hain, T. (2011). Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 11, 16.

4. Sidor, A., & Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2015). Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food – a review. Journal of Functional Foods, 18, 941–958.

Health disclaimer

This Website may provide information related to nutrition, health, diet, fitness, and lifestyle and is intended for personal use and informational purposes only. You should consult a health professional before beginning fitness, diet, supplements, or routine, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions. Nothing contained in this Site should be considered as medical advice or diagnosis. Your use of the website is solely at your own risk.

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