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Instant Pot Elderberry-Cranberry Syrup

Make your own immune-boosting syrup at home! Stove top instructions included!

Information about the ingredients is after the recipe. It always irritates me when I have to wade through a blog post to get the recipe.


1.5 cups Dried Black Elderberries

1-2 cups Fresh Cranberries (or sub another 1.5 c elderberries)

​1.5 in pc sliced Ginger Root

3 sticks or 1.5 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 c Honey*

6 c filtered Water

*If this is for pancakes, and not medicine, you may want to add more honey. Please, use something better than a large, commercial brand, or it's just basically high fructose corn syrup, because that's what they feed the bees. Generally, sugar is not good for infection, but a good honey will have antibiotic properties. In syrups, it is used as a preservative. Do not sub this ingredient for another type of sugar, if this is for medicine.

Cooking Instructions for Instant Pot (stovetop below)

Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot. Stir the ingredients together until the honey is dispersed. Place the lid and set the valve to pressure cook. Use manual pressure for 20 min. on high pressure, no warming, let it depressurize on its own. After it has depressurized, remove lid, and select saute, medium or high heat (high will need more stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn't burn). The saute time will vary. It needs to boil down about 2/3-halfway. Using a mesh colander/strainer, or a thick metal one with some cheescloth, filter the syrup into whichever container works in your kitchen.

It came out a bit thin, because I didn't have the energy to keep getting up to check if it had boiled down. It was plenty dark, so I wasn't worried about potency. I just need to adjust the dose.

Cooking Instructions for Stovetop

Add all ingredients to a pot (that has a lid) that is about twice as large as the amount of your ingredients, or your stove might be a mess after. Stir the ingredients together until the honey is dispersed. Bring the ingredients to a boil, turn down to a consistent simmer, and place the lid on it. Stir every once in a while, so it doesn't burn, and simmer it down about 2/3-halfway. Using a mesh colander/strainer, or a thick metal one with some cheescloth, filter the syrup into whichever container works in your kitchen.


(Do not use, if you are a nursing mother, because of the honey. There are generally no other contraindications for these ingredients in this amount, but if you are on prescrptions, or just unsure, please consult your doctor before use.)

Depending on consistency- 1-2 tbsp 4-5 times per day. Since mine was a bit soupy, I upped it to 4 oz, 4-5 times per day.

Info on the two main herbs:

Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

Traditional uses for this herb are upper respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold and influenza. Research has backed this claim, as well as showing a shortened duration of illness. There is also evidence showing elderberry may have a glucose regulating effect, and may therefore be antidiabetic. Other potential uses for elderberry may be: reducing cancer's ability to make new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and some types of cardiovascular disease.

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

No one will dispute the incredible usefulness of unsugared cranberry for urinary tract infections (UTIs; the urinary tract includes everything from the kidney to the opening of the urethra) in women with recurrent UTIs. Even MDs agree with and prescribe cranberry for this use. I'm only going to include one reference for it, because there are so many, and they are easy to find in a Google search. As with elderberry, there is also evidence showing it may have a glucose regulating effect, and may therefore be antidiabetic. Exciting potential uses include: Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Colon cancer prevention and overall colon health, gingivitis (again, it must not contain sugar), reducing cholesterol, and more. I added it, mainly because of the ridiculous amount of antioxidants, especially quercetin, also I had a bag I needed to use up :)


Farrell NJ, Norris GH, Ryan J, Porter CM, Jiang C, Blesso CN. Black elderberry extract attenuates inflammation and metabolic dysfunction in diet-induced obese mice. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1123-31.

Farrell N, Norris G, Lee SG, Chun OK, Blesso CN. Anthocyanin-rich black elderberry extract improves markers of HDL function and reduces aortic cholesterol in hyperlipidemic mice. Food Funct. 2015 Apr;6(4):1278-87.

​Ho GT, Kase ET, Wangensteen H, Barsett H. Phenolic Elderberry Extracts, Anthocyanins, Procyanidins, and Metabolites Influence Glucose and Fatty Acid Uptake in Human Skeletal Muscle Cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Apr 5;65(13):2677-2685. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b05582. Epub 2017 Mar 24.

Mantzorou M, Giaginis C. Cranberry consumption against urinary tract infections: Clinical state-of-the-art and future perspectives. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2018 Dec 5.

Mojaverrostami S, Bojnordi MN, Ghasemi-Kasman M, Ebrahimzadeh MA, Hamidabadi HG. A Review of Herbal Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis. Adv Pharm Bull. 2018 Nov;8(4):575-590.

Roschek B Jr, Fink RC, McMichael MD, Li D, Alberte RS. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry. 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

Roy S, Khanna S, Alessio HM, Vider J, Bagchi D, Bagchi M, Sen CK. Anti-angiogenic property of edible berries. Free Radic Res. 2002 Sep;36(9):1023-31. [note: elderberry and cranberry were both included in this study].

Thimóteo NSB, Iryioda TMV, Alfieri DF, Rego BEF, Scavuzzi BM, Fatel E, Lozovoy MAB, Simão ANC, Dichi I. Cranberry juice decreases disease activity in women with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition. 2018 Oct 10;60:112-117.

Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 24;8(4):182. doi: 10.3390/nu8040182.

Wang L, Zhu H, Zhao Y, Jiao R, Lei L, Chen J, Wang X, Zhang Z, Huang Y, Wang T, Chen ZY. Cranberry anthocyanin as an herbal medicine lowers plasma cholesterol by increasing excretion of fecal sterols. Phytomedicine. 2018 Jan 1;38:98-106.

Woźniewicz M, Nowaczyk PM, Kurhańska-Flisykowska A, Wyganowska-Świątkowska M, Lasik-Kurdyś M, Walkowiak J, Bajerska J. Consumption of cranberry functional beverage reduces gingival index and plaque index in patients with gingivitis. Nutr Res. 2018 Oct;58:36-45.

Wu X, Song M, Cai X, Neto C, Tata A, Han Y, Wang Q, Tang Z, Xiao H. Chemopreventive Effects of Whole Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) on Colitis-Associated Colon Tumorigenesis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Dec;62(24):e1800942.

Zakay-Rones Z1, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40.

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