We make this elderberry syrup and have found it very effective in getting rid of cold and flu. It’s simple to make and makes a great homemade cough syrup too!
Elderberry Syrup for Cold and Flu
Few things make me more sad than watching one of my little ones sick with the flu, coughing uncontrollably and feeling like I can’t do anything to help. This was a familiar feeling several years ago, but then I discovered elderberry syrup! It’s a great natural cold and flu remedy and it helps get the coughing under control!
Meet Elder, a powerful healing plant, with a variety of uses.
Before I share my recipe for elderberry syrup, and tell you about its usefulness as a cough suppressant and general immunity booster, I want to tell you a bit more about the elder plant.
Elder is known for cleansing the body, so it is commonly used as a natural detoxifier. For this use, elder flowers are brewed into an elder tea to be taken a few times a day for a limited period of time.
These brewed flowers aid kidney function by relieving fluid retention and cleansing toxins. Elder stimulates the circulation, causing sweating, effectively cleansing the body. It quickly increases the activity of body systems and increases overall energy. One side-effect of this property is weight loss.
In addition to providing relief to the respiratory system and boosting immunity, elder also promotes a feeling of well-being. Taken before bed, this elderberry syrup (and this elder flower tea), promote peaceful sleep and relaxes and soothes the nerves. Elder has also been known to relieve anxiety and lift depression.
If you’ve ever taken a homemade cough syrup, it has no doubt contained elderberry as a main ingredient. Elder relaxes bronchial spasms, making them very useful for treating upper respiratory infections.
Further, fresh elderberries, combined with plantain, make an effective homemade cough syrup.
Cautions: Flowers are the mildest part of the plant and the safest for children. Leaves, roots, seeds, and berries of the raw plant contain cyanide-producing compounds and should not be consumed without cooking properly.
Elderberry & Plantain for Cold, Flu, and Cough
In addition to using some of my favorite essential oils when someone in our house has a cold, flu, or cough, I like to make this elderberry syrup.
As mentioned above, elder is great for colds, coughs, and flu. And I like to use the berries and flowers to get the benefits of the different parts of the plant. I also add plantain leaf because it’s also well-known for treating coughs.
We’ve noticed that this elderberry syrup recipe soothes the throat, boosts immunity, and prevents excess coughing. When I use it, I notice the tickle in my throat is gone almost immediately.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Yield 2-3 cups
This homemade elderberry syrup can be taken at the first sign of a cough, cold, and or flu. It's also great as a daily immunity booster.
For cold and flu:
- Adults, use 1 tablespoon every 2-3 hours.
- Children under six, use 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours.
- Take 1 teaspoon daily
- 4 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup dried elderberries (find organic dried elderberries here) (you can also get them here)
- 2 Tbsp dried elder flowers - optional (find organic dried elder flowers here)
- 2 Tbsp dried plantain leaf (find organic plantain leaf here) (you can also get it here)
- 1⁄2 cup honey (find raw honey here)
- Place water, plantain, elder flowers and elderberries in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for fifteen minutes.
- Place in the oven or cover and let steep for an additional two hours. Strain the infused water from the herbs and put your infusion back into the pan (go ahead and compost those herbs).
- Turn the stove on low and let it simmer uncovered, reducing by half.
- Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool for a bit. Add the honey while it is still warm so that it dissolves nicely.
- Use and enjoy your homemade elderberry syrup!
Tips for storage
Store your syrup in a labeled glass jar in the refrigerator. It keeps for about 5 months (the honey acts as a natural preservative).
We Use This Elderberry Syrup All Fall and Winter
Our family takes elderberry syrup every day for immunity against cough, cold, and flu.
Here more ways to build your immune systems & prepare your family for better health durning cold and flu season:
- 7 Immune Boosting Foods and Herbs
- Back to School with Vitamin C & Elderberry Glycerite
- 5 Creative Ways to Send Supplements to School