Taking Elderberry Syrup for Colds—Comprehensive 2024 Guide

Elderberry Syrup for Colds Featured Image

If you’re searching for a 100% natural alternative to your regular over-the-counter cold syrup, you may have come across elderberry. But how effective is elderberry syrup for colds? Does it work, and can it also heal other ailments? In this detailed guide, we’ll help answer these questions for you. Not only that, but you’ll find out more about this natural medicine’s other benefits for human health. So, if this sounds intriguing to you, make sure to stay until the end.

Health Benefits of Elderberry—The Breakdown

First of all, why should you even consider medicating with elderberries? What are the perks of this natural medicine? Well, for starters, according to research on elderberry benefits from 2020, derived from a review of five studies, elderberry supplements can reduce the severity and the length of flu and cold symptoms.

However, the supplement needs to be taken within 48 hours of the onset of the symptoms. If handled correctly, the elderberry supplements are likely to help with a runny nose, headache, fever, and congestion.

But why is elderberry for immune support so important? Besides vitamins and minerals, elderberries are also full of anthocyanins—an antioxidant-like pigment that is believed to prevent viruses from multiplying inside the body. As a result, elderberries might decrease the duration of flu and cold symptoms or even prevent the onset of illness.

If you were wondering, there is not enough scientific proof to determine the benefits of elderberry for COVID. However, since elderberries strengthen the immune system, patients might benefit from supplements based on this plant. As always, make sure to consult a healthcare professional immediately if you notice any symptoms of coronavirus. Also, before attempting to self-medicate with elderberry supplements, ask for expert advice.

According to a recent study on elderberry and COVID, the interest in elderberry supplements sky-rocketed during the pandemic’s peak—but there were also concerns that the supplement may overstimulate the patient’s immune system. The study results revealed that one could use elderberry for viral respiratory illness treatment (of course, under expert supervision). However, more research is required for its effects on COVID-19.

So, now that you understand the interest in using elderberry for coronavirus, check out the other common uses of this healing plant. The benefits include:

  • it’s nutrient-rich (high in vitamin C, fiber, phenolic acids, and flavonols)
  • decreased inflammation
  • better heart health
  • boosted immune system
  • fights harmful bacteria
  • may provide UV radiation protection (when topically applied)
  • may be a natural antidepressant

Elderberry as a Cough Syrup—Is It Effective?

As we already mentioned, one of the main benefits of elderberries is treating symptoms of colds, flu, sinusitis, and tonsillitis, including coughing. In fact, many people use it as an all-natural substitute for over-the-counter syrups. Best of all, you can make your very own elderberry immune syrup in just a blink of an eye. Here is a recipe we love for homemade cough syrup.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup dried elderberries, 2 tbsp. dried elderflowers (optional), 2 tbsp. dried plantain leaf, 1/2 cup raw honey (preferably organic), and 4 cups of water. 

Start making your elderberry for cold and flu syrup by putting the elderberries, elderflowers, plantain, and water into a large saucepan. After bringing the mixture to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer for up to 15 minutes. After letting it steep for around two hours, you’ll need to strain the water (remove the herbs) and put the water back into the original pan. Next, simmer the infusion uncovered—you’ll notice it reducing. 

Finally, remove the almost completed elderberry immunity syrup from the pan and add some honey for sweetness. After letting it cool, you can use the DIY elderberry syrup for different ailments. Does it work? According to the countless testimonials, elderberry syrup can be effective in treating coughs. However, consult with a healthcare professional for expert advice (especially if the symptoms are severe).

Elderberry and the Immune System—The Possible Side Effects

Now that we explained how to take elderberry syrup, we should also mention that it can also cause some potential side effects in specific individuals. So, is elderberry good for your immune system? Yes, it is. However, some people who drink elderberry syrup may experience the following adverse effects:

  • nausea and vomiting (if the homemade elderberry syrup is not correctly made and the berries are raw—this happens very rarely)
  • numbness
  • weakness
  • stupor

At this point, it’s important to note that raw elderberries are dangerous for consumption. However, by cooking them properly, the toxic compound in the seeds is released, and the berries become safe. Nevertheless, if you are not sure you’ll be able to make the elderberry syrup for colds correctly, opt for quality store-bought products.

The Best Elderberry Supplement—What to Look For

Having covered elderberry syrup benefits and potential risks, we should explain how to shop for the best elderberry syrup supplement to get your money’s worth. 

Purity of Ingredients

You want to reap the elderberry juice benefits? Then go with the best ingredients possible and a high elderberry content. Keep your eyes peeled for products with a minimal number of (preferably organic) ingredients. Avoid the ones full of fillers and dubious additives.

Company Transparency

Indeed, you’ll want to purchase from a company that’s reliable and customer-friendly. So, double-check for lab tests, certificates, and additional awards. Also, skim through the customer reviews.

Discounts and Bundles

A lot of companies offer mind-blowing discounts and deals on effective elderberry syrup for colds. So, grab the chance and save some money.

Bottom Line

Based on the scientific evidence, we can conclude that elderberries are safe for human consumption if prepared correctly or purchased from reliable brands. If you’re curious which brands and elderberry products are the best, then, fortunately, we made a separate article on the highest-rated elderberry syrups

Overall, elderberry is the newest hit in the modern health world. Even though elderberries have been used in healing for generations, they are becoming increasingly popular in the 21st century. Stay safe, stay healthy—and share this article with other health enthusiasts!


Does elderberry interact with medications?

Yes, elderberries can interact with medications that lower the immune system, i.e., immunosuppressants. The reason for this is that elderberry is an immune-boosting natural supplement. So, the two don’t pair well together. If you take medications such as Simulect, Zenapax, Imuran, CellCept, and Rapamune, then stay away from elderberries.

Does elderberry help with sinus infections?

As stated above, elderberry syrup helps in alleviating the symptoms of colds, flu, coughs, and sinus infections. Also, it is a natural laxative and diuretic, and may help with allergy symptoms.

What is elderberry good for?

Elderberry is suitable for a variety of conditions. Although people most often use elderberry syrup for colds, sore throats, allergies, and inflammation, it can also help with:

  • muscle and joint pain
  • constipation
  • fever
  • headaches
  • epilepsy 
  • kidney problems
  • skin problems
  • stress
Table of Contents
Health Benefits of Elderberry—The Breakdown Elderberry as a Cough Syrup—Is It Effective? Elderberry and the Immune System—The Possible Side Effects The Best Elderberry Supplement—What to Look For Bottom Line
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