Try this Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup Recipe when you feel a sickness coming on. Elderberries have been used as a folkloric remedy to help reduce cold and the flu. Some modern scientific research (listed below) has backed up this traditional use.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist, LMT, RYT
Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup Recipe Ingredients
- 1 cup of fresh or a 1/2 cup of dried elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of honey
Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup Recipe Instructions
Boil the elderberries in water, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool. Pour into a blender and add the honey. Store in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge. Lasts up to two months. Adults take 1 Tbsp up to 3 times a day for up to 5 days when you feel a sickness coming on. Consult with your Doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Some Research on Elderberries
- Elderberries have shown in research to help boost immunity, aid in cardiac health, improve blood sugar levels, and have beneficial antioxidant activities. From: Sidor, A., & Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2015). Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food–a review. Journal of functional foods, 18, 941-958.
- Elderberries show antiviral activity against the flu, antioxidant actions, and potential in lowering cholesterol. More research is needed. From: Vlachojannis, J. E., Cameron, M., & Chrubasik, S. (2010). A systematic review on the sambuci fructus effect and efficacy profiles. Phytotherapy Research, 24(1), 1-8.
- In a double blind study of 312 intercontinental airline travelers, the group who took an elderberry extract had a significantly shorter duration and severity of cold symptoms. From: Tiralongo, E., Wee, S., & Lea, R. (2016). Elderberry supplementation reduces cold duration and symptoms in air-travellers: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutrients, 8(4), 182.
- In a double blind study of 60 patients suffering from flu symptoms for 48 hours or less, 5 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup was taken four times a day for 5 days. Symptom duration averaged 4 days shorter with less of a need for rescue medication in the elderberry group. It maybe a safe and affordable treatment for influenza but more larger studies are needed. From: Zakay-Rones, Z., Thom, E., Wollan, T., & Wadstein, J. (2004). Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. Journal of International Medical Research, 32(2), 132-140.
- In a double- blind study with 64 patients with flu symptoms for less than 24 hours, participants were given 4 doses of 175 mg of the proprietary elderberry extract or a placebo once a day for two days. The elderberry extract was safe and highly effective in relieving symptoms. From: Kong, F. K. (2009). Pilot clinical study on a proprietary elderberry extract: efficacy in addressing influenza symptoms. Online Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics, 5, 32-43.
- In a double-blind study of 40 individuals with flu symptoms, an elderberry extract given daily for 3 days significantly reduced symptoms. From: Zakay-Rones, Z., Varsano, N., Zlotnik, M., Manor, O., Regev, L., Schlesinger, M., & Mumcuoglu, M. (1995). Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1(4), 361-369.
- According to a 2014 review of research on elderberry extracts to treat influenza, a good amount of scientific research supported the herb. From: Ulbricht, C., Basch, E., Cheung, L., Goldberg, H., Hammerness, P., Isaac, R., … & Weissner, W. (2014). An evidence-based systematic review of elderberry and elderflower (Sambucus nigra) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Journal of dietary supplements, 11(1), 80-120.
- In a meta-analysis of clinical trials including 180 participants, Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation substantially reduced upper respiratory symptoms. The herb may be an effective alternative to antibiotic misuse for viral infections and a potentially safer alternative to certain prescription drugs for cold and flu. From: Hawkins, J., Baker, C., Cherry, L., & Dunne, E. (2019). Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation effectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Complementary therapies in medicine, 42, 361-365.
This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use. These statements are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. The information at this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult a Doctor before using herbs and essential oils if you have medical conditions, are taking medications, or have questions.