Herbal Remedies: Simple Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup

January 30, 2013

Well my friends, it may be a new year but we are definitely still in the midst of cold and flu season. With that said, it’s time to add another powerful herbal remedy to your medicine cabinet: Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup. The active ingredient, elderberry, is an effective plant used to treat colds, flu, coughs, bacterial and viral infections, and tonsilitis. In fact, this lovely little plant was used to treat the flu epidemic in Panama in 1951.

This simple recipe calls for items that can be found in a grocery or health food store. If you have trouble locating elderberries, try an apothecary store or a Chinese herbal store. Alright let’s get to the recipe!


2/3 cup elderberries
1/3 cup ginger
1/3 cup licorice root (optional)
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of cinnamon stick or powder
1 cup of raw, local honey
3 1/5 cups of water

1. Mix all ingredients (except for honey) in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat.
2. Let simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. Strain liquid out, dispose of remaining tidbits or use as compost.
4. Let liquid completely cool. Add honey.
5. Store in an air-tight container and keep refrigerated. Syrup can be stored up to a month.
Adults: Take  1/2 to 1 tablespoon daily to help prevent colds and flu. If you are experiencing flu or cold symptoms take 1 tablespoon every 2-3 hours daily. Children: Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily
InteractionsThis recipe pretty much calls for safe ingredients. The only ones I would recommend watching out for is licorice root and ginger. Large doses of licorice root should be avoided by people with high blood pressure or hyper adrenal function. Licorice root contains a substance similar to adrenal cortical hormones that may cause edema. Large doses of ginger could affect medications that slow blood clotting because it reduces blood clotting itself. Also, people with diabetes should avoid over-consumption of ginger when taking medication to lower their blood sugar. Ginger is also known to lower blood sugar and pairing both of these might cause your blood sugar too go to low.  Check out more interactions and contraindications on WebMD. As always, I advise speaking to a qualified healthcare physician before taking any homemade remedy.
DisclaimerThis article is meant for research and educational purposes. It is not intended to be qualified health advice. Please consult a qualified health physician for any questions or concerns regarding your health.







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