Elderberries have been clinically shown to prevent and reduce flu symptoms. It has also been shown to help reduce the duration of colds, respiratory illnesses (head colds, bronchitis, sinus infections), and boost the immune system. Sambucol is a great brand and can be purchased at local grocery stores (Walmart, Walgreens, etc.) and natural stores. Sambucol for Kids is also available for children 2-10. For those with dietary restrictions, Sambucol Sugar-Free is available. Herbs for Kids has an amazing blend for children called Sweet Elderberry. Herbs for Kids can be found at most natural stores such as Natural Grocers, or online at Amazon.
Below is a recipe for DIY Elderberry Syrup and a link to Elderberry Gumdrops. Make sure to check out our Q & A page to get answers to some of my frequent elderberry questions!
***Elderberry syrup should not be used with those by those with an active autoimmune disorder as it can stimulate the immune system. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if you should use it. Elderberry syrup is safe for lactating and pregnant mothers. When ingested the benefits will pass on to the child. DO NOT give to children under the age of 2. ***
While there are many different recipes out there, this one is my favorite. Use it daily during winter months to help prevent the flu.
1 cup dried elderberries – sifted through to remove rocks, leaves, and stems
4 cups water
In a medium sauce pan, add elderberries and water. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, simmer over low-medium heat for 30-45 minutes. The berries should look plump.
Remove from heat and strain using a fine mesh colander. Gently press the berries to extract any extra goodies from the berries. Toss or reserve the berries. Measure the liquid and add half to equal amounts of honey. For example, if there is 3 cups of juice add 1 1/2 cups of honey. Stir to combine.
Pour into a sterilized jar (a jar that has been washed and rinsed with boiling water) and refrigerate. It will last up to 6 months in the fridge or freeze it.
Children 2 and up: 1 tsp (5ml), 2-3 times per day
Adults: 1Tbsp (15ml), 3 times a day. Do not exceed 4 doses.
As a Preventative:
Children 2 and up: 1 tsp (5ml) daily
Adults: 1Tbsp (15ml) daily
If you like this recipe, make sure to check out Elderberry Gumdrops.