Natural Remedy for Allergies, Flu, Asthma, and Other Illnesses

Homemade elderberry syrup to relieve allergies and flu

I have terrible allergies and asthma which always leads to me getting sick. I actually went to the allergist recently to find out what I was allergic to and they told me if there was a prize for being the most allergic I would win. Sad right? You may remember a post I did a little while back about a natural allergy relief drink. Well this one is very similar but has another added benefit, elderberries. My friend Jordan from LilyWhite. designs told me about elderberries. A lady from her church told her about how her daughter had bronchitis and doctors kept giving her prescriptions and  they weren’t working so she tried this concoction and it went away.

Benefits of Elderberries
Helps prevent the flu
Full of antioxidants
Helps treat the flu, bronchitis, colds, viral, and bacterial infections. (Use as a cold/flu medicine)
Can help treat asthma and allergies

elderberry syrup for flu and allergy relief

Elderberry Syrup
Ingredients:
1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup local or raw honey (I chose local to get the allergy relief benefits)
2/3 cup Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:
Fill a pot with water and dried elderberries. Bring to a boil and let boil for 30 minutes. Take off heat and mash elderberries up well (I used a potato masher). Strain out the liquid into a separate bowl using cheese cloth, coffee filter, or something similar. Once strained add honey to the elderberry liquid and stir well. Then add ACV. Place in a jar and put in the fridge for up to 6 months.

To use:  Adults 1 Tbs a day
Children: 1 tsp a day.
You can take this straight or mix it with some water.

If your using it as a flu/cold medicine you can take same dose but every hour instead of just once a day.

This did not cost me very much to make, maybe $7 dollars for a lot and it makes me feel better that I am not taking a bunch of chemicals. I know exactly what is in it! I would love to hear of any other herbal treatments you take when you are sick!

This post contains affiliate links to help support my blogging.

Comments

  1. says

    Amy, I too suffer from allergies and asthma. I’ve been using elderberry syrup for over a year and it has really made a huge difference in the number of times I’ve had to go to the doctor and the amount of antibiotics I’ve taken. Good stuff!

      • Jo Poates says

        Something I do for asthma is Black Cumin essential oil. Just 3 drops on my wrist and rub wrists together. Within a few minutes the asthma symptoms go away and I breath deep, full breaths. Please note that I do this at the first signs of asthma problems. I have gotten off all asthma meds – especially the cortical steroid.daily inhaler. (It is said black cumin cures all but death)

        • Theresa says

          Thank you for sharing this I have asthma and am going to give the oil a try that would be awesome to get over using nasty chemicals everyday:)

        • Tracie says

          try your local health food store. That is where I just got mine! I just made this and I am so excited to add it to what I already do. It is prime allergy season plus I am battling something in my lungs right now, so I am excited to see how this works! It tastes good!

      • Tammy says

        How is it stored? And how long is it good for.? I’m very interested because I have allergies and chronic asthma controlled with inhaled steroids. I want to get away from medications that are not natural. Thank you.

  2. says

    For really bad sore throats, I use currant juice.

    If you have fresh currants, put them in a pot with a little water and then cook them until the colour is gone from the berries. Strain.
    1 tbsp as many times a day as needed – it’s like magic.

    This year, I have tried canning it to see if it will last through the winter, but I haven’t opened one up yet.

  3. says

    Hi Amy. Nice to know of someone who knows allergies can be serious. Last time I went to an allergist (shots didn’t work for me so I haven’t been to one in 40 years, literally) he said if it could be inhaled I’m allergic to it and since I live near where they made space suits I should go and tell them I needed one so I could negotiate school, etc. Funny guy. I’m really sorry to hear what your doc said to you and I applaud your courage to try this recipe. If I can find elderberries maybe I’ll give it a go. I take so much medication now it’s ridiculous and I’m wearing oxygen because I spent time outdoors Sat. and it set me way back. Have you been to the Whole Mom blog? She has a lot of natural treatments for allergies.
    Janet
    P.S. Like the new blog look! I get your email so it’s been a while since I’ve seen the site.

    • says

      That stinks that the doctor said that to you that wasn’t very nice! I knew going into it I was very allergic and I asked the doctor if my response was normal so he was more just having a little fun. You allergies are so much worse then mine that is really terrible that you have to wear oxygen Im sorry! I found elderberries at a local coop thats kind of like whole foods near the bulk spices and teas. You can also find them at mountainroseherbs.com. I hope you can get them and this will help you!

  4. says

    I am planning on trying this for my husband in the fall. He has seasonal allergies only, thankfully. I wish I could grow my own elderberries, it would be nice to have them on hand for making these types of remedies :0) Your post was so easy to read and understand. Would you mind sharing this at my link-up? I am sure my readers would appreciate it :0) Thanks! Jasmine aka Happy Mrs Bass

  5. says

    I too suffer from allergies and asthma. I will be looking for dried elderberries. It’s funny you would be writing about this today. My dad who is eighty-one was talking about picking and eating elderberries yesterday when he was a boy. They are super good for you.

  6. says

    Thanks for the info Amy! My youngest is only one but I am already afraid he is going to have asthma. He starts wheezing at the drop of a hat. I noticed you said you could give it to children but would 1 be too young? Maybe hubby and I will have to give this a try first for our allergies!

    • Trish says

      From Kiva Rose at LearningHerbs.com
      For kids under 2, add the syrup to hot water to kill any microbes in the honey that might make them sick.
      Elderberry syrup is one of the most popular cold remedies in Europe. Elder has been used for centuries and is one of the most well documented herbs for colds and flus. It’s also great for lots of other stuff, but we’ll keep it simple for now.
      You can give the syrup by the teaspoon (kids love it) every 2-3 hours while sick, or even use it regularly in your food, such as on pancakes! Elder is VERY high in bioflavonoids and is a great antioxidant. Elder is one of those magical herbs you can do SO much with. You can use the flowers in the Spring as well. There are many, many remedies you can make. We’ll be exploring this herb in more detail on HerbMentor for sure.

  7. Anonymous says

    I think that if you keep it sanitized and cleaned regularly it should be fine. Personally, I’ve found that when I use it for my kids, it really cuts down on their coughing at night, but if you don’t notice much of a difference and the maintenance is too much of a pain, you could skip it. I’ve just found it to me really effective and haven’t had to deal with mold, so it works for me! ED help

  8. says

    We use an Elderberry tincture and syrup during cold and flu season for a boost to our immune systems, great stuff!

    Thanks for a wonderful blog post and recipe. I so agree about the local honey for allergies, it helps. I feel very fortunate to live across the street from our local bee farm.

  9. Bee says

    I like this but I have a freezer full of Elderberries. (my husband loves elderberry pie) I am wondering if I did this but mashed my elderberries then strained and added the water to equal what you have in the recipe.

    • Trish says

      Use 1 cup “fresh” elderberries and follow the directions as she states above. You can also throw in a cinnamon stick, some cloves and a piece of ginger for added benefits i you like. I actually let my syrup simmer for about an hour then let cool before I mash and strain, but either way is fine.

  10. Jennifer says

    I have elderberry syrup & it’s basically this recipe minus the acv. Wonder if I just add the acv to some of the elderberry syrup if it’ll work the same?

  11. PaulDMC says

    Hi, Amy,

    Yes, I suffer from allergies and love to hike in the mountains. A Netti pot keeps me functional, but doesn’t really cure the problem so I inevitably I end popping a Claritin to get thru the day.

    I am going to try this remedy, but is that a typo in the directions? Do I really have to keep it in the fridge for 6 months before using it? Or are you saying it lasts for up to 6 months in the fridge?

  12. Lori Carroll says

    Sooooooo glad I found this!! I, too, seem to be allergic to everything (I live in FL… everyone here has allergies!) and acquired adult-onset asthma last year. I almost never get the flu (last time was 2003, and the time before that was 1991) and I almost never get a cold either (but just got one this week for the first time in next to forever). Looking forward to trying this out to see what kind of relief I get. I know cutting out all grain, all dairy and everything that is processed has helped immensely… I’ll jump on anything that gives my body a hand up!! Thanks for the info!!!

  13. Syrita Barbera says

    I have milk allergies which are very annoying. Even the smallest
    Amount of a milk product(milk, cheese, butter) makes my throat immediately mucus up.
    And I need to clear my throat. Will this help or will this only help with air borne allergies?

    • Lori Carroll says

      Syrita, I have the same problem. Fact is, dairy in all it’s forms, including whey and casein, stimulate mucus production. I know that I, personally, create more than enough mucus on my own, I certainly don’t need to help that along!!! I have found that staying dairy-free has improved my respiratory health exponentially, and I now, for the first time in my life, breathe freely in the morning when I awake. My take on it is that it will work well hand-in-hand with remaining dairy-free

  14. Debra says

    To increase the benefits of this syrup, add 5 whole cloves, a cinnamon stick and a 1/4 inch medallion of fresh ginger to the elderberry/water when boiling.

  15. Sarah Blair says

    Well, I’m willing to give it a try! It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one who amazes my allergist. My allergist (whom I love) has called me “his problem child patient” because he doesn’t even know what to do with me! I’ve tried so many things, both medicinal and natural, but I will keep trying. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Rachael says

    where I live, we have wild elderberry bushes all over the place. will fresh work and do I use the same amount of ingredients?

    • Trish says

      Yes you can use fresh. Use 1 cup of fresh berries and follow the rest of the formula. You an also add a cinnamon stick, some cloves and ginger to boost the benefits.

  17. Karen Johnson says

    I suffer from a lot of allergies and on top of that I have had a cold for almost 3 weeks and just can’t shake it. I just made my first batch and am hoping that it helps!!

  18. Ellen McKean says

    I have some concentrated elderberry syrup. How many mg should I add to make it approx. equivalent to what is in your recipe? Any ideas? I’m very eager to give it a try as my allergies are kicking in and I really don’t want to go back on the 2 meds required to keep them under control. Thanks in advance! -Ellen in Ohio

  19. Danika says

    About how much liquid do you get from the elderberries? Trying to figure out how much pure elderberry syrup to substitute. Thanks!

  20. Daisy Rivera says

    My mother suffers from really bad allergies to the point that she is not able to function during the day. I made her this recipe and she no longer has allergies; she is happy. This is a great holistic alternative if you do not want to medicate yourselves with over the counter medicine. Which does not really work by the way. Thank you for this great recipe.

  21. christin says

    Hi Amy! 2 qs….does someone w seasonal allergies have to take this every day for the whole season? Also…would this be safe for pets??? My dog gets bad allergies n the doc put him on tons of meds whichare making him so sleepy I’d love to try something more natural than just doping him up!

    • says

      Hey Christin! Well it would work best if you did do it every day, but honestly I didn’t do it every single day and still had great results! I am not sure if it would be safe for pets! I would as your vet if the ingredients would be. You can make a simpler version with just water, apple cider vinegar, and local honey that might work better for your pet. But again, ask your vet first I would never want anything bad to happen to your doggy! Hope that kinda helps :)

  22. Joi says

    I am very anxious to try this! I too am wondering how much Elderberry Syrup you would use in place of the dried elderberries. Both my daughter and I have allergies & asthma and my other daughter has a severe dust mite allergy.

  23. Dr Jill says

    I get my elderberries from my backyard – local and I know they were not harvested next to a road with all the car fumes.

    I also use raw honey that is real local – we are beekeepers – hives in the back yard.

    I love the Elderberry Syrup and have used it for allergies and colds.

    My grandkids [over the age of 2] love the elderberries prepared as for the syrup only cooking a little longer to reduce the liquid. Then when at room temp add equal amount of honey. Use this as a cough syrup that has a built in expectorant.

  24. says

    If fresh berries do I cook? (For syrup)
    Can I mix fresh juice an honey to drink ? (Uncooked)
    Does elderberry jelly have any benefit ?
    I have been fighting this crud for four year, spent a fortune on every type of Dr. even chest X-ray an upper GI. May be I should just settle for a jug of Elder wine ! Ha !
    Thanks. Van Ed.

  25. janice says

    hi this may be a stupid question but I am allergic to bees soes that mean I am also allergic to honey? or can I use this ayrup because I have horrible allergies and I am desperate for relief

    • says

      Totally not a stupid question! I do not believe so. My brother was very allergic to bees and was not allergic to honey! But that being said definitely consult your doctor or allergist to be sure before trying this recipe!

  26. lynn says

    Since you mention asthma, I’m assuming this is for “congestion” type allergies?
    I ask because I get them.
    & when you are on anti-depressants & high blood pressure meds (low dose), you CAN’T take sudafed.

    So late summer/early fall quite literally sucks….

    Finally, at the request of Mom went to dr..
    She said (what I could understand, with her accent) my throat was irritated. . .
    & prescribed antibiotic.

  27. Stephanie Thompson says

    I would love to follow this recipe but I need to know how much Elder Berry Juice can be used instead of dried or fresh elderberries and it’s cheaper and readily available. Please get back to me soon, I have all the ingredients just need to know proper measurements. Thank you so much! :D

  28. says

    Thank You! I love using elderberries for cold and flu (I try to go pick a bunch every summer along the country roadsides), but I hadn’t thought of combining it with the powerful punch of local raw honey and ACV. We will be trying this this winter!

    My daughter (1 year old) really likes drinking her elderberry in a littler bit of 100% grape juice. Tastes pretty good that way too!

  29. Millie says

    Sorry, am trying to understand, do you put the jar in the fringe for six months and than used it or you could used it up to six months. I hope my question doesn’t sound silly.

  30. lisa says

    Thankfully elderberries grow wild in Iowa.. probably a lot more states too.
    I didn’t want to mess with them LOL , but will this year for sure. Thanks for the info.

  31. Cindy says

    I’ve been meaning to write and let you know how wonderful this syrup is. I started using it last spring (2013) for my awful seasonal allergies. This syrup and the use of lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oils, have cured my allergies. I have taken allergy medicine year round for several years, now I don’t take anything. I have also not been sick with anything in the last year. I share this with everyone that asks about allergies. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  32. Tina says

    A strong cup of Mullein leaf tea can be drank before going outside during allergy season to avoid watery eyes and runny nose.

  33. Theresa says

    Thank you for sharing to with us, I am making some today for my allergies and asthma and can not wait to try it:)

  34. says

    I made this last month and my girls just woke up today with runny noses and coughs so we’re trying it out for the first time! Thank you for posting the recipe :)

  35. Theresa says

    I made some of this back in April and have been using it every day since then and it works well.. I was having issues with post nasel drip really bad and stopped using over the counter allergy meds and started using this and it has stopped. I am going to make my second brew of this today since I used the last of the other batch yesterday. It has a funky taste some times from the vinegar but I would rather have that then using the nasty pills from the store, I highly recommend trying this I love it.

  36. Jean Kanaby says

    I add 1 tsp cinnamon or whole cinnamon stick, clogs and ginger to mine. I got my elderberries from Amazon.

  37. Shanon says

    Could you skip the dried elderberries and you use the liquid kind like you find on amazon? If so what dosage would you suggest??

  38. says

    Hi Amy, I am a Christian also. My allergies are bothering me something terrible, so I knew that I had you on my Pinterest board, thank you so much. I’m going to try this today. And what a blessing that you are a Christian, that blesses my heart!! Have a nice day:):)

  39. Patricia Jordan says

    I have heard of the wonders of elderberries and I guess it’s about time to try its infamous powers. Well, I may be exaggerating for that matter; anything without the chemically-made medicine is something worth trying. Family Allergy Clinic

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