Recipe: Immune-Boosting Elderflower Fizz & Elderberry Elixir

Recipe: Immune-Boosting Elderflower Fizz & Elderberry Elixir

Here at ECOSYS, we love using Mother Nature’s plants and herbs as gateways to unlock our full health.

While we hate to see the warm weather start to transition to darker and cooler days, September is a perfect month to start to think about how to boost your immunity and keep your body healthy during the upcoming cold and flu season.

While there’s plenty of herbs that work with your body’s immune system, we find that elderberries and elderflowers are some of the best late-summer and early-fall plants that provide the most medicinal benefits to our body.

Health Benefits Of Elderflowers


Oh, the lovely elderflowers. These are the flowers that bloom on the plant before turning to the berries. Both the elderflowers and elderberries contain powerful medicinal qualities.

Elderflowers can be used to help calm the nervous system during the changing of the seasons and provide additional immune support to the body. 

Elderflowers have been shown to support the body’s respiratory system and reduce runny noses due to their natural anti-catarrhal properties.

Additionally, elderflowers have shown positive effects in fever management by inducing sweating by working with the body’s sweat gland activity.

Further, elderflowers contain ursolic acid, making them naturally anti-inflammatory.

This is especially useful during allergy season or if you’re wanting to reduce your body’s inflammation from alcohol or processed foods.

White little Elderflowers are best harvested around late May to mid-June and can be natively found in North America, Europe, western Asia, northern Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and many Pacific islands.

They're best picked when the buds are freshly open on a warm, dry, sunny day. They later develop into purple elderberries later in the summer.

Health Benefits of Elderberries


The elderberry actually dates back to ancient Europe and many Native American communities where it was used as an important facilitator in minimizing seasonal illnesses.

Research throughout the decades has pointed to elderberries assisting with health and longevity of the body, immediately working with the body’s immune system to boost overall defense and action against sickness. 

Additionally, elderberries contain antioxidants and Vitamin C while also being antimicrobial, providing overall support and protection to the immune system.

The berries directly contain chemical compounds that block receptor sites which are used by viruses to invade cells that cause illness to the body.

While elderberries contain these powerful and helpful health benefits, you can’t actually eat elderberries raw.

Raw elderberry seeds contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside, which can cause a buildup of cyanide in the body and make you ill.

It definitely won’t kill you, but eating them straight from the bush will likely irritate the digestive tract and induce vomiting and diarrhea.

But don’t let that scare you away! Elderberries provide so much healing and immune protection to the body when they are cooked and no longer contain the toxin.

Elderberry shrubs bloom throughout the summer months from June to August throughout the United States.

They are usually found in moist, edge habitats, in full or light shade, close to lake and pond shores, within low areas along roadways, forests, and old fields.

Late August and early to mid-September is the best time to pick ripe elderberries to use within recipes, like the elderberry elixir recipe below.

Why You Should Make Your Own
Elderflower & Elderberry Medicine

While you may see shelves stocked full of elderberry tinctures and vitamins, many of these contain additives – like citric acid – that are actually harmful for the body.

Additionally, because they are made in large batches, local fresh elderberries and elderflowers are not used and don’t provide as much immune support as it could be.

I grew up making homemade elderberry elixir with my mama and I cannot say enough good things about these recipes.

Whether I’ve been around a lot of people and want an immune boost, feel an oncoming cold or cough, or am already sick, drinking the elderflower fizz in the summer and taking 1-2 shots of the elderberry elixir in the fall has saved me so many times.

With that said, you’ll see the recipe for the elderberry elixir calls for vodka. This is because the vodka works as an extract.

The berry juices get extracted into the vodka and the vodka also makes it shelf stable.

It is up to the discretion of the user to determine if they want to give it to anyone under the age of 21.

Whether you decide to use the vodka or not, homemade elderberry elixir will be your go-to immunity shots.

Elderflower Fizz


  • 5 quarts water
  • 3 ½ cups sugar
  • Juice & thinly peeled rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp cider or wine vinegar
  • 12 elderflower heads


  • Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil.
  • Pour into a sterilized container.
  • Add 3 ½ cups of sugar, stirring until dissolved.
  • Let cool. Once cool, add the juice and rind of the lemon, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and the 12 elderflowers.
  • Cover with several layers of cheesecloth and leave for 24 hours.
  • Filter through cheesecloth into strong bottles and store in a cool dry place for at least 2 weeks.
  • Serve chilled & enjoy! 

Elderberry Elixir


  • 8 cups of fresh elderberries
  • 3 cups local honey
  • 1 bottle of cheap, unflavored vodka
  • 1-2 fresh ginger roots, grated
  • 1 medium piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves


  • Add (8) cups of fresh, local elderberries into a pot of water (submerging all berries). 
  • Add 1-2 decent sized grated fresh ginger root, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, and 3 cups of local honey to the pot.
  • Stir and bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes while occasionally stirring and gently smashing the berries.
  • Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
  • Fill quart mason jars half full with the mixture, straining out most of the berries (you can decide how much you want to keep within the elixir).
  • Fill the remaining half with cheap vodka and shake gently.
  • Wipe the rims of the jars and secure with lids.
  • Store in a cool, dark place for about 3 months before using, just in time for cold/flu season for natural immunity shots.

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