Anti-viral essential oils are perfect for killing viruses in the body and the air. See this post.

This can help prevent you from getting sick, as the essential oils are killing the virus on contact.

Essential oils, although supportive of the immune system, don't “boost” the – look to herbal remedies like elderberry for that (recipe below!), along with proper rest, hydration, and good nutrition (sugar and caffeine can suppress the immune system for hours).

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is my #1 suggestion for viruses & colds, as it has been shown to reduce symptoms and length of illness. Elderberries are the best things to have around during cold and flu season. Taking a teaspoon a day can ward off illness, and a tablespoon a day can help your body bounce back from illness quicker. You can make your own very easily.

A clinical trial published in 2004 showed 1 TBSP of elderberry extract given to flu patients four times daily “recovered in an average of 3.1 days compared to 7.1 days for those given a placebo.”

Beyond boosting your immune system, elderberries are anti-inflammatory and have anti-cancer compounds. For those of you following ORAC ratings (ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) elderberries top the list with a rating of 147 (blueberries are only a 62!).

Elderberries contain antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, B vitamins and more.

Lea's Elderberry Syrup recipe

Pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is at least 12 months before introducing honey because it may contain spores of bacteria that can cause botulism. If giving to a child less than 12 moths, omit honey. Safe for using during pregnancy and breastfeeding

NOTE: This recipe does NOT contain essential oils – this is not the place to add them. Elderberries contain LOTS of anti-viral compounds, and vitamins, without adding potentially irritant and blood-thinning essential oils to the mix.

  1. Bring to a boil 2 cups of water. Add to the water:
    – 1/2 cup dried elderberries (I like these from amazon)
    – 1 cinnamon stick
    – 5 whole cloves
    – 1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
  2. Let it come back to a boil, then turn down and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This takes about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a mesh strainer, strain into a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press down on the berries until you can squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can (transfer berries, et all, back to your saucepan for phase two).
  4. OPTIONAL: Add 2 TBSP honey to your elderberry decoction now, while the extract is still warm (not hot, as you want to retain the properties of the honey if using raw honey), stirring until it has melted into the elderberry liquid. Adding more honey makes it sweeter and gives a thicker consistency like syrup, but I prefer to limit sugars when sick.
  5. I poured mine into a 1/2 liter Fido jar and moved it to the fridge. A mason jar is also a good choice.
  6. This elderberry syrup will keep for a couple of weeks before not being as potent, so there’s not need to make a large batch. Mine made about a cup total liquid.
  7. Back to the berries. Not one to waste, I boiled another 2 cups of water and went through the process again with the same berries. This time, I let it boil a few minutes, then covered my saucepan with a lid and let it sit for a couple of hours. I did not add additional honey, but poured it in my 1/2 liter Fido along with the first batch.

If you prefer to buy a pre-made elderberry syrup, I like the ones by Dr. Dunner here on amazon.