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Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - Cover

Elderberry Syrup With Echinacea and Goldenseal

This is a go-to recipe for keeping away cold and flu.  The powerful antioxidant action of elderberry (Sambucus sp.), paired with the cold-fighting attributes of echinacea, and the anti-bacterial aspects of goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) make a potent immune-stimulating syrup.

In general, there are two options when making an herbal syrup.  The less sweet option that requires refrigeration, has a shorter shelf life of one month and is the one I will be using in the recipes below.  This syrup has a ratio of 1:4 sugar to water.

Non-Shelf Stable Simple Syrup:

  • 1-part dried elderberry or 2-parts fresh elderberry (Sambucus Nigra or Sambucus Canadensis).
  • 2-parts high-quality water, spring or distilled if available.
  • 1/2-part honey or sweetener of your choice.

The second option is to create a syrup that is shelf-stable.  To do this, you need to use much more sweetener.  Many people find this too sweet.  The basic shelf-stable recipe is a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water and can last up to six months.

Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - Ingredients

Shelf-Stable Simple Syrup:

  • 1-part dried elderberry or 2-parts fresh elderberry (Sambucus Nigra or Sambucus Canadensis).
  • 2-parts high-quality water, spring or distilled if available.
  • 4-part honey or sweetener of your choice.

One more option:

Alternatively, for a more shelf-stable recipe using the 1:4 sugar to water ratio, as in the first recipe, you can add the last step, adding 1 tablespoon of a high-alcohol-content liquor such as vodka or brandy.  This will keep in the fridge for up to three months.

Choosing your ingredients:


As with everything we make, choosing the best quality ingredients leads to the best results.  This is true even with simple water.  I am fortunate enough to have untreated spring water straight from our well.  For those who rely on city water that may be treated, or have other water issues, it may be best to choose filtered water or purchasing distilled or spring water for this recipe.


Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - Ingredients 2

If you have access to fresh ripe elderberries, this is an excellent choice for this recipe.  Black elderberries have shown more healthful properties than the blue and red varieties but elderberries in general, are potent, healthful antioxidant, antimicrobial, and immune-stimulating.  I use dried black elderberries in the below recipe because that is what I had on hand.


An herbaceous perennial, goldenseal is protected in the wild.  In the recipe below, I have used a root extract declared as sustainably grown, agriculturally sourced goldenseal.


Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - EchinaceaEchinacea is a beautiful flowering perennial plant also known as purple coneflower.  It is known for its antiseptic, antiviral, and immune-stimulating properties, and all plant parts including the flowers, leaves, stems, and roots are used.

I do not grow echinacea, and in this recipe, I have used prepared, dried echinacea tea, containing flower, leaf, and root parts. 

The tea also contained spearmint and lemongrass, with extra pleasing aromas.  This enables me to make this recipe at any time throughout the year, not just during harvest time for the purple coneflower.  If you are harvesting your own echinacea, harvest flowers, leaves, and stems when the plant is in bloom, and harvest roots once the plant has finished flowering for the most potency.

Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - Honey

My sugar of choice is honey.  Raw local honey has many excellent health attributes in addition to being very nutritious and low on the glycemic index, making it safer for people with insulin issues such as diabetes. 

You may notice, it is added last to the cooled decoction, so that it’s healthful attributes are not cooked away in the process.  Alternatively, raw organic sugar could be used, or maple syrup, as examples.  You may need to look into the ratios when using alternative sweeteners as you might need more or less, particularly if your goal is to make a shelf-stable syrup.

Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal Recipe:

  • 1-part dried elderberry or 2-parts fresh elderberry (Sambucus Nigra or Sambucus Canadensis).
  • 2-parts high-quality water, spring or distilled if available.
  • 2 teabags Echinacea tea or 2 tablespoons dry, echinacea flowers, leaves, stems, and roots, or ¼ cup fresh echinacea flowers, leaves, stems, and roots.
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1/2-part honey or sweetener of your choice.
  • 10 drops goldenseal root extract.
  • 1 tablespoon organic lemon juice
  1. In a large pot, place elderberries, water, echinacea, and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a minimum.Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal
  2. Let the ingredients simmer at a low temperature with a lid on for 30 to 40 minutes.  We are making a decoction, or a concentration of the beneficial substances of elderberry and echinacea, so allow the ingredients to steep for at least one hour up to overnight.Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - Step 2
  3. Once the decoction is completed to your satisfaction, sieve the ingredients through cheesecloth or a fine wire mesh strainer depending on how “clean” you want your preparation.  I use a fine wire mesh strainer, as I prefer the re-usability in most cases.Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - Step 3
  4. In a sterile jar, mix the raw local honey, goldenseal root extract, and lemon juice with the room-temperature decoction.  This way the beneficial properties of the honey, goldenseal, and lemon juice remain intact, rather than cooking them with the berries, echinacea, and cinnamon.  This elderberry, echinacea, and goldenseal syrup will keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.Elderberry Syrup with Echinacea and Goldenseal - Step 5


Take one teaspoon daily as a preventative measure during cold and flu season or as a stimulant for the immune system to help it run efficiently as we age.  At the onset of a cold or flu, take one teaspoon up to four times daily.  Hope you feel better.

Recipe alternatives:

Although this recipe is delicious on its own, you may want to experiment with other flavor combinations.  I really enjoyed the little bit of spearmint in the prepared echinacea tea so a mint variety could be something you might want to include.  Other berries are also a good option.   Cranberries are also ripe at this time and the tartness could be a nice compliment.  In addition, cranberries are very good for certain infections so would be an excellent contribution to the healthful benefits of this syrup.

You may also like:

How to Make an Alcohol Extraction with Goldenseal to Fight Inflammation

Erratic Blood Sugar? Never Eat This Veggie (Video)

How to Make Healing Herbal Honey

50 Essential Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

How to Make Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

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As I do not grow some of these is there a website or shop that sells fresh elderberry and or goldenseal. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area in the event you know some one here in the area

you can order form Mountain rose Herbs they are organic.

Try Sunflower Shoppe, several locations in Fort Worth.

I hope you can answer this.Furst I enjoy your emails.
Now my question is I use a juice extraction to juice blue elderberries and I have 20 pints sealed.
I also have 20 freezer bags of elderberries I will use.
Now, can I use the juice to make the syrup?

For me personally, I use Elderberry but not Echinacea or Goldenseal as I find it is too stimulating for my autoimmune condition (I have MS). Many people aren’t aware of that so make sure to do your research :-). – Nicole

Hi Nicole, Thank you for sharing all you have learned and your wealth of knowledge on herbal plants. Do you have a recipe for Elderberry, Echinacea and Goldenseal together as a tincture? I understand it’s not good for Autoimmune. Would you just do equal amounts of each?

Where do you purchase the ingredients for elderberry syrup?

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for your comment.
You can purchase the ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs using the link below:

God bless!

I’ve seen that Barberry root can be a substitute for Goldenseal, could I substitute it in this recipe? If so, how could I substitute the root for an extract?

Hi Nikki,

Yes, Barberry Root can be a substitute for Goldenseal.
To make an extract, Chop the roots into pieces, and add them to a pot with 2 qt. of water, and bring to a boil. Let the pot simmer until you have reduced the liquid to about one quart, then strain through a cheesecloth. Do this 2 times and then Combine the liquid saved from the two boilings. After permitting the boiled down extract to cool, funnel it into a dark glass bottle with a lid or stopper. Add either vegetable glycerin or vodka.

God bless!

Oh THANK YOU! I found loads of creeping barberry last week and goldenseal is so expensive. Really appreciate! 🙂

Hi Nicole,
I just want to say thank you for the wonderful website and for sharing your knowledge. It’s truly amazing what nature offers us and to be able to use it the way you do is a gift! I have just received your book and can’t wait to put all this knowledge in to practice!

Hi Larissa,

Thank you so much for your feedback.
We really appreciate it!

God bless!

Great recipes thanks.
I make elderberry juice but I add ginger& rose hips & hibiscus flowers to it.

Hi Sandra,

Thank you for your comment.
Elderberry juice with ginger, rose hips and hibiscus sounds amazing 🙂

God bless!

Someone please tell me how to make syrup from elderberry juice😊 Someone?

Hi Nora,

We apologize for the late reply.
You can make syrup from elderberry juice.
Just combine juice and sugar in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil.
Let boil for a few minutes (until sugar is completely dissolved).
Let cool for about 30 minutes.
Pour into a glass syrup bottle and store it in the fridge.

God bless!

Hi, in the above recipe it calls for 1-part dried elderberry….how much is 1-part?
I’ve seen elderberry powder at the health food store…how much would I need? Would that be the same for any of the recipes? Thank you for your time!

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