It probably comes as no surprise that Elderberry Syrup has increased in popularity over the last three decades. While most of our parents likely never considered taking it themselves or giving it to their children, most parents nowadays are at least familiar with the term. We decided to do our own research and see what the fuss is all about!
When I think of taking vitamins as a kid, my memories are of the Flinstones shaped chalky-chewables that were full of artificial dyes now linked to negative behaviors in children. Luckily, as parents today we have so many more options! Depending on the brand you buy, our children's vitamins are now made from fresh fruits and vegetables and none of the bad or artificial ingredients. We also have so much more knowledge around other healthy supplements to keep them well like probiotics and elderberry. Since Elderberry, Elderberry Syrup and Elderberry gummies have grown in popularity in recent years, I decided to do my own research and here's what I found:
What is Elderberry Syrup?
Elderberry syrup comes from the dried flowers and berries of the European elder tree, also known as a Sambucus tree. The tree is native to Europe, but can be found in other parts of the world as well. These flowers and berries can also made into teas, pills, extracts and even gummies.
What are the benefits of Elderberry Syrup?
Elderberry is not an alternative to medication prescribed by a physician. That said, many different nations have used elderberries for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. Native American nations have reported extensive knowledge on uses for various parts of Elderberry. Hippocrates noted Elderberry’s medicinal benefits over 1500 years ago. The berries and flowers of elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that some studies have shown will boost your immune system. Elderberry is antiviral and antibacterial. Historically, elderberry has been used to lessen inflammation, reduce stress, and can even help to protect your heart, too. Some people recommend elderberry to help prevent common cold and reduce flu symptoms. Elderberry is also thought to help with diabetes.
Elderberry for Kids
You should ask your pediatrician before giving your child elderberry. Elderberry can be found in both gummy form and as a syrup. Most elderberry gummies for kids are combined with Zinc and Vitamin C and sometimes other vitamins like A, D, and E. All of these are linked to positive immune responses and a healthy immune system. Look for gummies that are made with pectin, not gelatin, and ones that are gluten-free with no artificial colors. Our kids take Zarbees Naturals. If it’s a syrup, check the other additive ingredients to make sure it has only natural ingredients.
How Do you make elderberry syrup?
Elderberry syrup can be made with either dried or fresh elderberries. Some people believe the health benefits are more potent when making from fresh berries, but dried berries are easier to find. (Etsy has great options with good reviews here and here). Elderberry syrup is made by simmering dried or fresh elderberries with water and spices until the liquid reduces by half. Next use a fine mesh strainer to drain the berries from the juice. You can use the back of a spoon to ensure you’re getting all of the juice. If the liquid is allowed to completely cool, you could use a nut milk bag also.
Elderberry and Covid:
There are no studies that show that Elderberry prevents or is an effective strategy of treating Covid.
Does elderberry syrup really work?
Elderberry syrup is an effective complement to other healthy practices like exercising, eating a balanced diet and taking vitamins. While it has been shown to boost your immune system against colds and shorten the effects of the flu, it is not an alternative for medicine prescribed by a physician.
Have you taken elderberry syrup? What has been your experience? Our kids take these.