Respiratory & Immune Support Syrup Recipe

With over 4 million acres of land burned and counting, California’s 2020 wildfire season is the worst recorded in state history. Our beloved state has been on fire since the end of August and the air quality has been extremely unhealthy for not only California residents, but also neighboring states and beyond. The smoke pollution we have been experiencing for over a month here in Northern California has put stress on our minds, nervous systems, and, of course, our respiratory systems. We have experienced firsthand the impact of wildfire smoke and have suffered from headaches, bloody noses, dry, stinging eyes and lightheadedness. So, what exactly is it in the smoke that has such a detrimental effect on our bodies? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, when we inhale wildfire smoke, “the biggest health threat is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases”. With the health risks involved with wildfires, the transition into vata season and the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of letting up in the United States, we felt called to share with you a Respiratory & Immune Support Syrup. This syrup is appropriate for all doshas and is designed to nourish the lungs, pacify coughing, reduce congestion, alleviate inflammation and overall boost your ojas or physical and subtle immunity. 


Elderberry Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 4 cups water 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • ½ tsp cardamom, decorticated seeds
  • ½ tsp ginger, dried
  • ½ tsp licorice, dried
  • ¾ cup raw honey



Combine dried elderberries, water, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly cook the mixture until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow it to cool completely. Strain the syrup into a bowl, squeezing out any excess liquid from the elderberries. Next, add the raw honey and stir to combine.  

As your elderberry syrup reduces, continue with the second portion of the recipe.

Respiratory Tea Ingredients:

  • 0.5 oz fresh or dried mullein leaf
  • 0.25 oz fresh or dried thyme
  • 0.25 oz fresh or dried peppermint
  • 16 oz boiling water 


Pour 16oz of fresh boiling water over mullein, thyme and peppermint. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain herbs from tea. 

Lastly, add 1 oz of Respiratory Tea to the Elderberry Syrup, stir to combine. 

elderberry syrup

You can enjoy 1 tablespoon of this syrup daily for overall support or for acute ailments such as cold, flu and/or reducing congestion and/or cough, take 1 tablespoon three times per day. 

Please note: if you desire a sweeter syrup, simply add more honey to taste. Also, apple cider vinegar is another nice addition to this recipe. Add 1oz or more to taste when you add the Respiratory Tea to the syrup. When stored in the refrigerator, your Respiratory & Immune Support Syrup should last for 2-3 weeks. 


We highly encourage you to utilize the Ayurvedic practices of neti and nasya! These ancient rituals help to protect the nasal passageways from pollution and airborne pathogens as well as bring much-needed oleation or moisture into the nose. To learn more, please visit our blog, Neti & Nasya: Ayurvedic Practices for Optimal Wellness


If you are feeling the onset of a sore throat, try our easy-to-make Throat Soother Recipe or demulcent rich Hydrate Blend Tea


@LAllison Yes, the tea is meant to be combined with the Elderberry Syrup. No, this recipe is not shelf stable. We recommend refrigerating and using within 2-3 weeks.

PAAVANI Ayurveda April 07, 2024

Is the syrup shelf stable? Can the two parts be combined for easy dosage, and if so is refrigeration needed?

L Allison April 07, 2024

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