Immune Boosting Herbal Syrup for the Whole Family

This winter season really snuck up on me.  The weather in Colorado can go from being beautiful and sunny to frigid winter temperatures so quickly!  My 3 year old and I spent Thanksgiving in bed with the flu this year.  Not a great way to kick off the winter.  Thanks to the power of breast milk, my 6 month old stayed strong and healthy.  My son and I were able to recover pretty quickly with rest and herbs, but it got me thinking about my family’s immunity.  Now we are in the middle of the cold & flu season and I am hearing about stomach bugs lasting weeks and coughs that won’t go away.   I want to do as much as I can to ensure that our immune systems are strong and ready to fight this years crop of bacteria & viruses that I know we will inevitably come into contact with.  That is why I made a big batch of this syrup for the whole family.  Herbs really shine when it comes to boosting immunity.  The recipe below highlights some powerful herbal allies that boost the immune system and fight germs.  This recipe is so delicious you will have no problem getting your children to take their daily dose.  I truly hope that this syrup helps your family to stay healthy this winter season.

1/4 cup Elder Berries
1/4 cup Rosehips
1/4 cup Astragalus Root
2 Tbsp Thyme Leaf
2 Tbsp Ashwaganda Root
3 cups Distilled Water
1 cup Raw Honey

Elder Berries: An excellent antiviral herb, Elder Berries are used for cold & flu prevention as well as for shortening the duration of a cold once it has taken hold.  It is rich in Vitamin C and has a delicious sweet flavor.

Rosehips:  Packed with nutrients, Rosehips  are high in Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids, in a very absorbable form. They also contain varying amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and B-Vitamins.

Astragalus Root: Astragalus is one of the most popular tonic herbs in China, used to increase energy and endurance.  It is well known for it’s ability to stimulate and strengthen the immune system.

Thyme Leaf: An indispensable herb for the cold & flu season, thyme is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and very helpful for treating respiratory infections and coughs.

Ashwaganda Root: I love this herb!  It reduces stress.  It can give you energy during the day AND help you sleep peacefully at night.  It strengthens the immune system and builds the blood.


Add the dried herbs (except thyme) and distilled water to a saucepan.

Bring them to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add the thyme, remove from heat and COVER.  Allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

Strain through cheesecloth to remove the herbs from the liquid.

Add the leftover liquid and 1 cup of honey to a clean saucepan. Gently warm for 5 minutes to combine.

Pour into a dark colored glass bottle.

Label, date and store in the fridge.

Yields 16 fluid ounces of syrup.

How do I take the syrup?
This syrup can be taken daily during the winter months to boost the immune system.  Dose is 1 tsp for kids, 1 tbsp for adults.  Due to the honey content, this recipe is not intended for use by children under 1 year.

Where can I buy these herbs?
If you have a local apothecary, they will probably have most of these herbs on the shelf.  You can also purchase them online at Mountain Rose Herbs.  They are an excellent resource for quality, organic herbs.

shared on Mostly Homemade Mondays blog hop, Tuned in Tuesday blog hop, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways blog hop

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  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Since this contains Astragalus, it should not be taken if there is a fever present. It should be taken as a preventative only.

    • Reply
      the little herbal
      January 7, 2014 at 3:46 am

      Yes, this recipe is definitely an immune booster, specific for prevention rather than for treating an infection.

      Astragalus is an interesting herb for sure. It is an immune tonic and has been well documented to boost the immune response. In traditional Chinese Medicine they avoid it during an acute illness because it’s action of boosting the immune response to the illness can actually increase your symptoms. It is also slightly warming so, in the case of a fever, it could potentially make you run a bit hotter. Interestingly, many Western herbalists use it frequently in acute immune formulas to fight infection.

      Thanks for your input KS

  • Reply
    Lilly @ gentlesimplicity
    January 11, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for the lovely recipe! I love elderberries and rose-hips. Well written explanations and photos too! It’s always a challenge for me to cook and take good photos 🙂

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Since you mentioned “label, date and store in fridge”, what is the life expectancy?

    • Reply
      the little herbal
      September 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      The honey gives it a nice long shelf life. I would say up to 6 months. But I am sure you will go through it much faster!

  • Reply
    Super Immunity Tea Blend – the little herbal
    September 23, 2015 at 11:17 am

    […]  I have already started stocking my herbal medicine chest.  I have made fresh batches of my Immune Boosting Syrup and my All-Natural Hand Sanitizer. We are making sure to take our daily doses of multi-vitamins, […]

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Can this be used for breastfeeding mamas?

  • Reply
    Joyce Basile
    September 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    We have always made elderberry syrup with the rosehips/cinnamon/ginger root. Excited to try this recipe! Is it safe for pregnant women?

    • Reply
      the little herbal
      September 12, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Hi Joyce,
      Love the sound of your recipe too! I am always changing it up depending what I have on hand! Thyme can be a bit stimulating, so you might want to leave that out for pregnancy. Everything else is on the safe list! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Ashley Steinbach
    September 18, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Can this be used while pregnant?

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