Dr. Koperski's Sweet Treat for the Immune System

Hello from Dr. Koperski!

To support your immunity during this seasonal change, you can incorporate elderberries into your everyday cooking. Elderberry Jam was one of my favorite sweet fall treats growing up and with a boost of vitamin C from oranges, it’s perfect for your table. Other options include Elderberry syrup to replace maple syrup for the fall. My kids love adding a little elderberry syrup to mineral water for flavor. 


Elderberry Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries or 1 cup fresh 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger 
  • Peel from 1/2 the orange (with as much of the pith as possible)
  • 2 cardamom pods 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 cup honey or maple syrup 



  • In a medium stainless steel pot bring elderberries, water, ginger, orange peel, and spices(except vanilla) to a boil and reduce temperature down to a simmer. Make sure not to boil for long as this can damage some of the delicate anti-oxidants. 
  • Keep covered at a low simmer for 20-30min or until reused by half. You may need to stir occasionally to prevent burning. 
  • If not reduced by half after 25min, uncover for the remaining 5 min of cook time. 
  • Turn off heat and let cool for 5-10 min. 
  • Strain into a glass bowl. It is really important to strain out the seeds, they are a laxative and can cause problems. You can strain through a cheesecloth or a regular mesh strainer. I like using an old tea towel so I can get most of the good juices out. 
  • Stir in Vanilla and honey 



  • For kids under one, make sure to leave out honey and use maple syrup instead. 
  • If you are using this as pancake syrup I recommend diluting in some maple syrup so you have more flavor.
  • For an immune boost, take 1 tbsp per day for adults and 1 tsp for kids. Can be taken up to 4 times per day as needed. 
  • This is wonderful mixed in with some mineral water if you’re in the mood for some fall flavor.