‘Tis the Season to be Sick: Elderberry Cough Syrup

The winter season is upon us and so is colder weather with a mix of cold and flu. Instead of running to the drugstore to get cough syrup that not only has a bunch of stuff in it that has mystery ingredients, try to whip up something homemade! Not only is elderberry cough syrup easy to make and effective, it tastes good and it super effective, (in my opinion works better than cough drops). The elderberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A & C, iron and more, while the honey is sure to soothe that scratchy, itchy throat and keep everyone from coughing. Below is an easy, elderberry cough syrup recipe.

**I do not claim this recipe cures any disease or illness.

***This recipe contains honey, which is not suitable for infants under 1 and children with immature digestive systems or problems. Always consult a medical professional if you are unsure!


Elderberry Cough Syrup


2 c. water

1 c. organic honey (substitute agave if you’d like, I find that both work pretty well)

½ c. dried elderberries (1 c. if the elderberries are fresh)

3 cinnamon sticks

A pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Add water, elderberries, cinnamon sticks, cayenne and whatever other herbs that hold medicinal properties that you would like to add, (i.e. ginger), together in a saucepan on medium heat. Give a stir and cover the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. When brought to a boil, stir, reduce heat to simmer, than cover again. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until the liquid in the pan reduces by about half.
  3. Remove from heat and strain liquid into a bowl. Press down elderberries with potato masher or spoon in strainer, so all liquid can be removed from the berries.
  4. Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature.
  5. After cooled, mix with honey.
  6. Store in dark bottles and keep refrigerated.


**This article was also featured and published in Planting Seeds in South Carolina magazine. Besides following Elephant Mum, please check out the magazine’s site for more sustainable tips, tricks, and interviews!


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