STUDY: Elderberry Cuts Duration of Colds and Flu in Half

Make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with elderberry syrup this winter. Studies show it can totally eliminate cold and flu symptoms within 48 hours.

Several studies have confirmed the immune-boosting power of elderberries.

Studies from 2004 and 2009 demonstrated its ability to cut flu duration in half, and in many cases eliminate symptoms within 48 hours.

A more recent 2016 study, shows the berry works similar magic on colds.

The 2004 study, published in the Journal of International Medical Research, showed that when elderberry extract is used within 48 hours of the onset of the influenza A or B virus, it shortens the duration of flu symptoms by an average of four days.

Patients received 15 ml of elderberry syrup four times a day for 5 days.

In a 2009 study, published in the Online Journal of Pharmacology, H1N1 and avian flu patients were given four 175-milligram doses of elderberry extract daily.

While a group of patients receiving a placebo showed no improvement or worsening symptoms, those who received the extract “showed significant improvement within 24 hours.”

Fever, headache, muscle ache and nasal congestion were significantly reduced within 24 hours.

“Within 48 hours of treatment, nearly 90% of the elderberry extract treated patients were either symptom free or had only mild symptoms,” the researchers wrote.

A 2016 study, published in Nutrients, showed elderberry can reduce the duration and symptoms of a cold in air travelers.
Travelers using this herb from 10 days before travel until four to five days after arriving overseas experienced on average a two-day shorter duration of their colds and also a significant reduction in cold symptoms.






38 responses to “STUDY: Elderberry Cuts Duration of Colds and Flu in Half”

  1. Pam Avatar

    I have elder berries in my freezer.
    Do you have recipes how to make n use them?

  2. Robert Ishee Avatar
    Robert Ishee

    Like that jelly.

  3. Dubravka Avatar

    Hi! I was wondering, can you eat berries themselves? I picked a lot and froze this summer so instead of making a syrup, can I just eat them raw?
    Thank you!

  4. Shannon Avatar

    What’s the best elderberry to buy ? References please! TIA

  5. Michelle Avatar

    Could we gave a recipe please

  6. Rachelle Avatar

    We use a cpl teaspoons every morning and haven’t got any colds or flu’s since. Only from fall to spring

  7. Robin D Thac Avatar
    Robin D Thac

    need to post recipe on how to make syrup. I have 2 gallons of juice. Do I just cook it some more till it reduces and get syrupy? And do I add sugar or honey to make it palatable?

  8. Betsy Avatar

    nice research but the headline suggests the information is new. Clearly these aren’t new studies.

  9. Constance Moll Avatar
    Constance Moll

    Hello, does elderberry have any affects while taking warfarin (Coumadin)?

  10. JoAnn Avatar

    Do you take elderberry when cold or flu symptoms appear?

  11. Dianne Phillips Avatar
    Dianne Phillips

    Dosage: 15ml 4 times a day.

    Is this the dosage for children(what age) adults/elderly? Do they all take the same dosage? Is the syrup full strength or diluted. Is the syrup packaged or do you pick the berries and make the syrup?

  12. Luigi Torretti Avatar
    Luigi Torretti

    Hello. Thank you for this summary information. Did the articles specify how the elderberry syrup/extract was prepared? If so can you please share them (i.e., for the 2004, 2009 and 2016).

    Thanks in advance.

  13. Larry Reed Avatar
    Larry Reed

    What about Elderberry wine??? Home Brew??

  14. Marian Jane Murry Avatar
    Marian Jane Murry

    is there a reciepe for this ihave been buying from a lady but if i can i will make myown

    1. Meia Avatar

      1 cup dried elder berries to two cups water, simmer on the stove for an hour, smushing berries as you stir. Strain, mix in 1 cup of honey, and pour into jars. It can be frozen but it keeps in the fridge for months!

    2. Lynne Thomas Avatar
      Lynne Thomas

      This is the recipe I use, super easy.

  15. Ronald Pederzani Avatar
    Ronald Pederzani

    Where to buy

    1. Sarah Avatar

      You can buy dried elderberries and make your own syrup! I lessen the cloves a little, but this is the recipe I use…

    2. Breanna Nielsen Avatar
      Breanna Nielsen

      Amazon look up elderberry syrup

  16. Ada A.Perez Avatar
    Ada A.Perez

    Donde se consigue en Puerto Rico ?

  17. Michael Avatar

    was there a reason you chose not to cite properly the studies you reference?

    1. Jac Avatar

      I believe links to the studies are embedded in the article.

    2. DKD Avatar

      There are hyperlinks to the studies provided.

    3. Rory Avatar

      The links include the studies and the citation appears proper.

    4. Sarah Avatar

      I’d like to see citations also!

    5. Sarah Avatar

      Although I followed the 3 hyperlinks and tattoo are from the the NIH and one is in a pharmacy journal. So seems legit.

  18. Bench Avatar

    What else is added.?

    1. Meg Avatar

      To make:
      2/3 cup dried black elderberries or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen

      3½ cups water

      2 TBSP fresh or dried ginger root

      1 tsp  cinnamon powder

      ½ tsp  cloves or clove powder

      1 cup raw honey


      Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon,and cloves

      Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.

      Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.

      Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.

      Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.

      Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.

      When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.

      When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
      Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity

      1. S Hall Avatar
        S Hall

        How much should one take daily?

      2. Debbie Perryman Avatar
        Debbie Perryman

        Thank you for posting!!!

    2. Kimberly Drake Avatar
      Kimberly Drake

      i make it with organic dried elderberries, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and honey!

  19. Kim Avatar

    Self-reporting of “flu-like” symptoms is not the same as actual flu diagnosis. This article is blatantly lying.

    1. Theresa Avatar

      To anyone that actually takes this… does it REALLY work?! I’d hate to buy all the ingredients and the time to make a batch and it not really work. My thoughts are.. wouldn’t it be more well known and practiced by many many others if it was that significant. Just my thoughts. Willing to try if anyone with experience thinks it does do SOMETHING… Ty

  20. S Hall Avatar
    S Hall

    How much should one take daily?

  21. Jamie Avatar

    15 ml (4) times a day

  22. E. Daniel Green Avatar

    Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!

  23. Ellen Evert Hopman Avatar

    I gather elderberries in late summer every year and tincture them in Vodka with a bit of Echinacea root. Just remove the berries from the stem and put into a glass jar with the Echinacea. Barely cover with Vodka (or any alcohol 80 proof or higher) and steep for about 8 days. Shake every day as the mixture steeps, just to distribute he alcohol and berries. Strain and bottle. Keep in a cool, dark place (does not need refrigeration). When you get the flu or a bad cold take 1 tsp. every 2 hours in hot water or hot herbal tea. If you need to avoid alcohol you can tincture in vinegar. The alcohol tincture keeps about 5 years.