There's a good bit of buzz surrounding Elderberry—and rightly so. It's one of our favorite immune-supporting herbs to use during the challenging winter months and all year long.* If you're a parent looking for the best ways to support your children's health, you probably have questions about how to use Elderberry for kids.
Here, we'll give you the information you need to know. We'll review recommendations to keep in mind, Elderberry supplements and dosage for kids, and some delicious recipes that make this herb even more irresistible!
But first, let's talk about what Elderberry is and how it supports the body.
What Is Elderberry?
Elderberries have been well-loved for their immune-supporting properties for thousands of years and are commonly found in Europe, Western Asia, North America, and North Africa.*
These tiny berries grow on bushes called elder bushes or elder shrubs, which also produce lovely white flowers in the summertime. The berries are dark blue or black and grow in clusters, and they're part of the plant used in immune-supportive herbal supplements.*
For culinary purposes, Elderberries were traditionally—and still are—used to make wine, syrup, cordial, pies, and jams. (Note, though, that unripe or undercooked Elderberries can be toxic and cause diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting; they are processed for use in supplements and are then safe to consume.REF#1362)
At Gaia Herbs, we source only the best Black Elderberries in our syrups, lozenges, capsules, gummies, and tonics. They’re called Haschberg Elderberries and come from a European growing cooperative based in Austria. Our high-quality Elderberries are Certified Organic, handpicked, and fresh-pressed shortly after harvest to preserve their beneficial properties.*
As part of our commitment to transparency, we want to make it easy for you to learn about the origin of your herbs and how they were grown. That’s why we created meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform.
Through this program, you can enter the ID number on the back of any Gaia Herbs product and instantly learn your product's manufacture date and about each herb in your product. Learn where it came from, how it was grown, harvested, and extracted, and its level of purity and potency.
You can rest assured that our products are produced safely without pesticides and other toxins that can damage our bodies and the earth.
How Elderberry Supports the Body*
Elderberry is a versatile herb used for centuries for both adults and kids, Elderberry helps support the body's natural defense system.* One way that Elderberry supports immune health is through the flavonoids it contains.*
Flavonoids are polyphenols, compounds that occur naturally in some foods we eat and have antioxidant properties.*REF#1363 REF#1364 Antioxidants are beneficial because they help to protect your cells from damage by free radicals.*
Elderberries contain anthocyanins, water-soluble pigments in fruits and vegetables responsible for red, purple, and blue colors.
Additionally, quercetin, a constituent of this berry, helps to maintain the integrity of the mucous membranes and promotes the health of the upper respiratory system.* Elderberries are full of nutrients, including vitamin A and vitamin C.
Elderberry for Kids
As you can see, the Elderberry is a wonderful berry with health benefits that helps promote overall wellness.* Adults and children can safely use it.
Here are a few recommendations to remember if you're considering giving Elderberry to your little ones.
Talk to Your Pediatrician
When considering adding an herbal supplement to your child's regimen, consult their healthcare provider, particularly if they have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Elderberry can stimulate the immune system, which may not be desirable for children with health conditions such as autoimmune disorders, and can interact with certain medications.
Your child's pediatrician can advise whether Elderberry is safe and appropriate for your child's specific health needs and medical history. They may also be able to recommend the proper dosage and form of Elderberry that is best for your child's age and weight.
Look for Quality Elderberry Supplements
You want to provide your child with the best of the best.
That means opting for an Elderberry supplement that is clean, natural, and free of common allergens such as dairy, gluten, and soy. Check the label for preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors that can affect some children.
When possible, we recommend choosing an Elderberry product that is USDA Certified Organic.
Give the Appropriate Dose
Once you’ve spoken with your child’s pediatrician, follow their recommendations and the dosage instructions on your child’s Elderberry supplement to know how much to give. Remember that the appropriate amount for an adult is not the same for a child.
How Often Should Kids Take Elderberry?
Children can take the daily recommended dose of GaiaKids elderberry syrup or kids' gummies once daily for immune system support.
You can find the recommended dose for your child on the supplement labels based on age and weight.
Homemade elderberry syrup is less concentrated. The following are recommended doses in the case of dosing for homemade elderberry syrup.
For daily support:
- Babies (six months to two years) can take one teaspoon daily.
- Toddlers and children (two years and up) can take one tablespoon daily.
- Teens and adults can take one to two tablespoons per day.
- Babies (six months to two years) can take one teaspoon twice daily.
- Toddlers and children (two years and up) can take one tablespoon three times daily.
- Teens and adults can take two tablespoons three times a day.
It's important to note that if you make elderberry syrup for children under one year, it's best to use organic sugar or natural sweetener instead of honey.
Does Elderberry Have Side Effects for Kids?
While Elderberry is generally considered safe for children, it is essential to use caution and follow dosage recommendations. Overconsumption of Elderberry can lead to potential side effects such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.
If your child experiences any adverse reactions, stop using Elderberry and consult your healthcare professional.
*Dietary supplements are not intended to replace medications.
Support Your Child’s Immune System in Other Ways
Elderberry is one of the top herbs for immune support, but it’s vital to support your child’s immune health in other ways.
Keep their immune system in tip-top shape by ensuring they get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet of fruits and vegetables.
Adding probiotics to your child's diet can help support their immune system by promoting a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for optimal immune function, as it can help prevent harmful pathogens from entering the body and help regulate immune responses.*
Elderberry for Kids: Our Safe Immune Supplements*
With the above recommendations in mind, here are two different Gaia Herbs Elderberry supplements designed especially for kids, including our ever-popular Black Elderberry Syrup. Choose the one that best fits your child’s needs.
GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Syrup
A syrup is one of the most popular ways to work Elderberry into your routine, and it's no different with kids! We use organic Black Elderberries in our Certified Organic GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Syrup and lightly sweeten it with honey.
Each teaspoon contains the equivalent of 7.25 grams of fresh Black Elderberries. We recommend a half teaspoon for little ones ages one to three. For kids ages four to 11, give one teaspoon daily. Give each dose twice a day for extra support.
*Children under one year of age should not consume products containing honey.
GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Syrup tastes great, and you can work it into your kids' meals or drinks in various ways.
GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Kids Daily Gummies
GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Kids Daily Gummies harness herbal wisdom used for centuries in traditional remedies to support immune health.*
These USDA Certified Organic gummies are made from real fruit without refined sugars, added colors, or flavors. These delicious gummies are made without gelatin, making them an excellent choice for vegan or vegetarian families.
Each gummy delivers 429 mg of Elderberry extract and concentrate (equivalent to 3 grams of fresh Elderberries). We recommend that kids ages four through 11 begin chewing one gummy daily, then increase it to twice daily for additional support.
Black Elderberry Recipes Kids Will Love
One of the great things about Black Elderberry syrup is that it goes well with many foods and drinks!
For example, if you follow dosage instructions, you can simply drizzle it onto your kids’ waffles or pancakes in the morning. You can also blend it into a smoothie on those hot summer days. Adding it to yogurt or oatmeal is another healthy and tasty option.
If you want to get more creative in the kitchen, take a look at these four kid-friendly Black Elderberry Syrup recipes.
Elderberry Freezer Pops
All you need for this one is lemonade, GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Syrup, and enough time to let these popsicles freeze.
Check out the recipe here, where you’ll also find recipes for Black Elderberry Lemonade and a Black Elderberry Slushie.
While you can purchase Elderberry gummies, if you have a budding chef on your hands, you can also make gummies with your child using our GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Syrup.
This syrup will be especially great for your kids if you have fun molds. Find the recipe here.
Applesauce is a favorite for most kids, and if you can make it yourself with immune-supporting Elderberry and no sugar, even better.
Elderberry Fruit Strips
Fruit strips are always a crowd favorite! You can feel good about feeding your child these homemade Elderberry Fruit Strips, as they are made with nothing more than fruit and GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Syrup.
Provide Immune Support with Elderberry for Kids*
As a parent, you always want to ensure your kids stay healthy and strong. Kids are resilient, but sometimes their immune systems need extra support. Adding elderberry to your child's daily routine can help support their immune system.
Elderberry is a natural and effective way to help keep your kids feeling their best.* And with GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Kids Daily Gummies or GaiaKids® Black Elderberry Syrup, you can provide them with a great-tasting option they will love!
With GaiaKids® kids elderberry supplements, immune support for your little ones has never been easier or more delicious!
- 1. The American Botanical Council, "The ABC Clinical Guide to Elderberry", accessed on March 15, 2021. http://abc.herbalgram.org/site/DocServer/Elderberry-scr.pdf?docID=165 1 1. The American Botanical Council, "The ABC Clinical Guide to Elderberry", accessed on March 15, 2021. http://abc.herbalgram.org/site/DocServer/Elderberry-scr.pdf?docID=165
- 2. T. Ozcan et al., "Phenolics in Human Health", International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications 5, no. 5 (October 2014). http://www.ijcea.org/papers/416-N0002.pdf 2 2. T. Ozcan et al., "Phenolics in Human Health", International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications 5, no. 5 (October 2014). http://www.ijcea.org/papers/416-N0002.pdf
- 3. Andrzej Sidor and AnnaGramza-Michałowska, "Advanced Research on the Antioxidant and Health Benefit of Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in Food – A Review", Journal of Functional Foods 18 (October 2015): 941-958. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464614002400 3 3. Andrzej Sidor and AnnaGramza-Michałowska, "Advanced Research on the Antioxidant and Health Benefit of Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in Food – A Review", Journal of Functional Foods 18 (October 2015): 941-958. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464614002400
- 4. Khoo Hock Eng, Azlan Azrina, Tang Sou Teng, and Lim See Meng. 2017, "Anthocyanidins and Anthocyanins: Colored Pigments As Food, Pharmaceutical Ingredients, and the Potential Health Benefits", Food & Nutrition Research 61 (August). https://foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/1257 4 4. Khoo Hock Eng, Azlan Azrina, Tang Sou Teng, and Lim See Meng. 2017, "Anthocyanidins and Anthocyanins: Colored Pigments As Food, Pharmaceutical Ingredients, and the Potential Health Benefits", Food & Nutrition Research 61 (August). https://foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/1257