How to Fight the Flu | Benefits of Elderberry

How to Fight the Flu + Benefits of Elderberry

This post contains affiliate and supplementation recommendations.  Please read my disclaimer here.

So I’m sure you’ve heard about elderberry if you’re searching for cold and flu remedies.  However, you’re probably wondering what the heck it is and how you ever use it?!  One of my friends suggested that I used it.  Of course, with my background in nursing, I HAD to research it before I tried it.  So I am taking all of the legwork out for YOU and to show you everything that I have learned/research about the benefits of elderberry and how to fight the flu with elderberry!

There has been more and more at-home treatments to fight cold and flu in recent years.  With the influenza virus that was an epidemic in 2017-2018,people have been turning to at-home remedies to keep themselves and their families healthy. (Seriously, the flu last year was BAD. I had first-hand, acute care hospital experience, taking care of sick patients with the flu last year.)

What is Elderberry and What are the Benefits of Elderberry?!

Quite simply elderberries are the fruit from the elderberry shrub [1].  It has been used for a long time for herbal remedies for colds, flu, and sinus infections [1]. 
“Black elderberries…, are well known to be supportive agents against common cold and flu like symptoms and have been used for centuries [2.]”   Elderberry has been gaining popularity due to its reported “antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory as well as antidepressant properties [2]”.

There has been numerous studies that have shown the antibacterial and antiviral properties of elderberry.  Also, there have been other studies that looked at elderberry liquid extract which showed to have a reduction in symptoms AND duration of the flu.  There was also another study that looked at elderberry lozenges which reduced the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms [2].

There was this pretty awesome (a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled) study that tried to see if using elderberry (10 days) before and (4-5 days) travelling via plane, would help reduce cold and flu symptoms.  The study concluded that using elderberry DID help with the reduction of cold symptoms of travelers [2].  AKA, if you’re travelling soon.. grab some elderberry and take it before and after your flight!!

What does all of this mean?!

Quite simply.. it means grab some elderberry because it helps!

My personal experience with elderberry

Initially, I bought some children’s gummies for my daughter.  She wouldn’t take any vitamins, so I thought that I could give her these gummies.  I tried them for a couple days before her!  They were actually REALLY good!!  These gummies tasted like a sugary, grape fruit snack!   I tried to give them to her.. and she wouldn’t eat it!  She only licked the sugar off it!  UGH!

I needed to do something else.  So I looked into liquid elderberry syrup!  I thought.. she HAS to take this!  So I ordered this one off of Amazon, because it had dosing for toddlers! 

Again, I tried it for a couple days before giving it to her.  (Please note that there are different dosages for adults and toddlers).  It was SURPRISINGLY good!  Like REALLY good!  It tastes like a dull grape flavor.   A couple days later, I gave some to my daughter and she TOOK it!  Yesss! 

Guys, I am telling you (and knocking on wood).. since we have been taking elderberry, we have NOT been sick!  We’ve been using this for about a month.  I am SO glad that we have tried it.  Seriously, give it a try! If there is ONE thing that you ever buy from my recommendations.. PLEASE let it be this!  I am telling you.. This stuff works!!  And there is dosing for toddler and adults.  SO  you only have to purchase ONE thing for the WHOLE family!  Buy blackberry elderberry syrup here!

Cool things that you can do with Elderberry

Guys.. You can make COCKTAILS with it!!  I don't know about you.. But after a long shift in the school or hospital, and nice cocktail that BATTLES the FLU?!  Sign me up!  (I have never tried this, but am going to!). 

Here are a couple recipes for cocktails using Elderberry!  The first one I found from Kathy Eats.  The second I found from Boxwood Avenue!

  •         3 ounces gin.
  •        1.5 ounces moscato (or other sweet wine)
  •        1/2 tsp elderberry syrup.
  •        1/2 tsp lemon juice.
  •        1 basil leaf.
  •        Lemon peel for garnish.
     Mix and ENJOY!

  •       1.5 oz elderberry syrup
  •       Juice from 2 limes
  •       3 oz vodka
  •       0.5 oz germain

     Mix and ENJOY!

      Disclaimers for Elderberry Use

  • Please note that if you find elderberry in the wild, do not eat them!  There are some parts of the berry/shrub that are poisonous.  
  • Also, if you are pregnant or nursing, please consult your physician before taking any supplements or medications.  There has not been enough research to show if elderberry is safe for pregnant or nursing women.
  • Please consult your physician before giving any medications to your child/toddler.
  • If you are taking any medications, please consult with your physician to ensure that you are healthy enough to take them and to ensure that there is no medication reactions.  Even with herbal supplementation, there could be potential adverse reactions. 

I hope that you have found this post helpful!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


     (1) Wong, Cathy. ( 2018). Can Elderberry Fight Colds?
 (2)Tiralongo, E., Wee, S., & Lea, R. (March 24, 2016).  Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration Symptoms in Air Travellers:  A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.  Doi: 10.3390/nu8040182


  1. Hi Ashley,

    The new design looks great! And I love the information on elderberry too!

  2. Thank you SO SO much for your positive feedback, Laura! I appreciate it SO much!