Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

In the Petruno household, we've been making elderberry syrup each fall and winter for years. Probably 5 or 6 years now. Elderberries are harvested around late July and early August and can be dried and stored all winter long. If you don't have a bush near you, you can buy them dried to make your own concoctions with them.

They are rich in flavonoids like rutin and quercetin, which, when consumed, make them great at supporting a healthy immune response and a healthy histamine response. The only problem is that they are pretty bitter by themselves, so what you'll see most often in the store are elderberry gummies and syrups - with added sweeteners to make them palatable.

But, the syrup is SUPER easy to make at home with just some elderberries and honey, and it lasts for a while in the fridge as honey acts as a mild preservative.

As part of my fall preparations, I made some elderberry syrup over the weekend. Rather than adding other dried herbs to our syrup as we normally do, today I added 1 drop each of several Vitality essential oils to add both flavor and immune and body supporting benefits. Vitality oils are Young Living's essential oils that are labeled with white labels to indicate they are safe for ingestion - I do not recommend just using any oil from the store for ingestion, as most mass marketed oils contain synthetics, additives, and other things that are not listed on the bottle (there is no regulation of the essential oil industry, which is why you want to use a company with a strict quality standard). We use and trust Young Living Oils in our house.

Here's the recipe I used on this last batch, and it turned out delicious - like, I want to just eat a giant bowl of it as soup.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe

  • 3 1/2 cups water 
  • 2/3 cup dried organic elderberries *affiliate link
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 drop Clove Vitality
  • 1 drop Cinnamon Bark Vitality
  • 1 drop Ginger Vitality
  • 1 drop Frankincense Vitality 
  • 4-5 drops Orange Vitality to taste 


Add water and elderberries into a medium saucepan.

Heat water and elderberries to boiling then turn down heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes until water is reduced by half. Remove from heat.

Strain out elderberries into a bowl or large glass measuring cup. Discard berries. Then, add honey to elderberry liquid and oils. Pour into a pint canning jar and cover with a lid!

Take 1-2 oz daily as a health supplement.




DIY Dish Soap (That Smells Like Fall!)

DIY Dish Soap (That Smells Like Fall!)

*This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site at no difference in cost to you.

So, quite a while ago, like 10 years ago when I was 23 and had no kids, I was really into DIYing my own cleaning supplies.

Except, Pinterest and blogs weren't a big thing back then, and the available recipes were kind of terrible and didn't really work. I also didn't really know about adding essential oils to things.

As I got older and busier, I stopped making my own stuff and reverted to buying store bought. First, the crazy toxic chemical heavy stuff, and then later, when my daughter was born in 2012, switching to gentler, more plant-based options.

Nowadays, I use Young Living products for a lot of my plant-based cleaning needs (learn more about that here), but I'm getting back into DIY for a few reasons: 

1. We are finally starting to get serious about doing the Dave Ramsey debt snowball to pay off a mountain of debt that I've been ignoring for like 15 years (eek, that's a blog for another day) and I am striving to be as resourceful as possible with making things with what we have, and also on a budget! I've kind of become obsessed - listening to his podcast, joined his FB groups, everything!

2.  I like it. I get a weird sense of satisfaction from making my own stuff and having it work (just me?)!

3. Recently, I discovered I have a chemical sensitivity so making things with as few, non-toxic, ingredients as possible is super important to me.

So, today I want to share with you the DIY dish soap I made today that I am LOVING. It smells amazing, bubbles up nicely, and it works!

Most of the ingredients you might have on hand, and if you don't have Thieves Essential Oil, a Young Living blend, you can get some in a starter kit here (it's in both the Premium Starter Kit and the Thieves Starter Kit). It's what makes this soap smell like fall and the oils in it also have cleansing properties that are great for a dish soap!

DIY Dish Soap


  • 1 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild)
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar 
  • 1 Tablespoon Washing Soda (Usually in the laundry section of the store, but not always. If you don't have it, you can make it! See *note below)
  • 5-20 drops Thieves Blend Essential Oil (start lower and see what works for you. You can always add more later but you can't subtract). 

*Note: Regular old baking soda can be converted to washing soda via a chemical reaction in your oven! Simply spread a layer of baking soda about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick on a baking sheet, and put it in your oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees F. Mix it up halfway through. Baking soda is silkier and softer, and washing soda is grittier and grainier, that's how you'll know it's done. Take it out and let it cool on the counter. When it cools, put it in a jar and cover with a lid. Ta-da! You made your own Washing Soda for like 50 cents.


  1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and then pour in 1 1/2 cup very hot water (I got it to almost boiling on the stove and then poured it in). Be sure to whisk/stir this mixture until all ingredients are blended
  2. Allow mixture to cool completely on the counter. Stir occasionally. 
  3. Store in any dish soap dispensing container. I personally re-used an old bottle of dish soap and don't feel stressed about storing something with oils in there. It's diluted enough and I'll use it quick enough that I feel okay about it. 

Enjoy!! And if you don't have your oils yet, you can get them here