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When Can Babies Have Elderberry?

Michael Gonzales
September 14, 2023

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) provide your immune system with essential vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin C, fiber, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins to keep it functioning optimally while supporting digestive health and regularity. These berries also support your digestive health by keeping things moving along in their digestive systems smoothly.

Elderberry syrup can be administered to children over one year of age; however, for optimal results it should be used only after they begin solid foods and in small doses. Infants younger than one should opt for honey-free options.

1. 0-6 months

Elderberry is an all-natural immunity booster, and can help fight infections like the common cold. The Sambucus nigra plant’s berries contain Vitamin C, dietary fiber, flavonoids and anthocyanins – known to reduce inflammation while bolstering immunity; in addition, elderberries also contain alpha linolenic acid which promotes digestive health.

Elderberry can be introduced to babies once they are ready to try solid foods, typically around six months of age. Always consult your pediatrician prior to giving your infant any new foods such as elderberry syrup supplements.

Elderberry supplements for infants and babies has not been extensively researched; nonetheless, most experts consider it safe for infants when cooked and consumed moderately in moderation. Elderberries should not be used as a replacement for conventional medicines or treatments.

At large doses, elderberries can be harmful for both children and adults. Therefore, it is wise to limit your consumption to raw or cooked dried elderberries; homemade elderberry syrup preparations containing sugar could pose risks that lead to toxicities in infants or small children.

If you decide to give your child elderberry syrup, it is essential that the product does not contain honey as this ingredient can lead to botulism if not cooked properly. Instead, look for one without sweeteners that uses small doses when treating symptoms such as coughs or fever. Furthermore, ensure the manufacturer follows Current Good Manufacturing Procedures laid out by FDA.

2. 6-12 months

Elderberry syrup should be given to babies once they begin solid foods and are at least six months old, although raw berries contain toxic substances which could harm babies or adults. If your child has a cold, try giving a small dose once daily – it could help alleviate their symptoms!

However, as there has been little clinical research conducted on elderberry for children and infants, you should still speak to your child’s healthcare provider before making a decision about its suitability for your family.

However, many parents report finding elderberry to be effective at alleviating their children’s cold symptoms, and believe it to be a natural remedy worth trying. Unfortunately, as only studies on adults have been done so far, more research needs to be conducted in babies and kids before making definitive claims of effectiveness or safety.

If you’re considering giving elderberry products to your infant or toddler, start off slowly (around 1 teaspoon), monitor their reaction for any adverse side effects and only purchase products specifically made for children formulated by FDA-compliant companies (to reduce botulism risk in infants). Honey can cause botulism; choose those made by companies which adhere to current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) for best results.

Make your own elderberry syrup at home to add an extra treat. Only use fruit from this plant – flowers and stems contain poisonous toxins – when making elderberry syrup at home, as using these parts could contain toxic elements that are unsafe to consume. A great way to do this is juicing three oranges with equal parts filtered water and chopped elderberries before leaving it steeping for at least 24 hours until cool before straining into bottles – adding sugar may help your child enjoy it too.

3. 12-24 months

Elderberries can be consumed safely as long as a baby is over 6 months old and has been introduced to solid foods. Raw elderberries contain toxins which could pose serious health risks; therefore, infants should avoid them at all costs. This also applies to the leaves, stems and roots of the plant which contain toxic elements; only its edible fruit itself (the berries themselves) are safe when properly prepared.

At this age, babies are also developing their pincer grasp, making it easier for them to pick up and hold smaller food pieces. Because of this development, syrup should be used when introducing elderberry to babies as it reduces choking hazards while being much simpler for infants to digest than whole berries.

Elderberry syrup can be served straight off a spoon, added to beverages or mixed into recipes as an effective cold or flu remedy. Many parents find that elderberry has helped shorten the duration of colds and flu symptoms for their infants; however, due to limited research regarding its medicinal uses in infants it is essential that you consult a healthcare provider prior to administering any new supplements to your infant.

When purchasing elderberry products, always select those without honey. Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which is harmful for infants and toddlers. By opting for black elderberry syrup without honey instead, this risk can be avoided altogether. Sambucol offers products designed without honey which make them safe even for infants as young as six months.

Or you could create your own homemade syrup by washing and zesting three oranges, combining their juice, zest and chopped elderberries in a saucepan, simmering over medium heat for 20 minutes while regularly stirring to prevent sticking of elderberries to bottom of pan. After this is complete you should strain off elderberries from mixture before pureeing remaining liquid to form puree for infants (six months to two years old), while toddlers and older children can take up to a tablespoon twice daily.

4. 24 months and older

Elderberry syrup is an easy and effective way to help ease cold and flu symptoms in babies, and boost their immunity. As with all supplements, however, please consult a healthcare professional prior to giving any elderberry product or herb to your children.

At present, infant allergies to elderberries or their ingredients found in syrup are rare, however if any such reaction occurs then immediate action must be taken by discontinuing its use and consulting a doctor immediately – some signs may include hives and swelling.

Babies who have begun exploring solid foods can enjoy elderberry extract in tea form as an effective alternative to chewing solid berries which pose the risk of choking for baby. You may even consider freezing elderberry tea into ice cube trays to make consumption even simpler for your little one!

Elderberry drops are another good herbal option to support your baby or toddler’s immune system and alleviate sore throat, headaches, congestion, fever and other common cold and flu symptoms such as sore throat. Just make sure that any product made without honey as the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against giving honey products to infants under one year old due to risk of botulism.

If you decide to make elderberry syrup at home, it’s essential that only pure and filtered water be used when creating it. This will ensure your baby consumes only the healthiest parts of the plant. Furthermore, any additional sugar should be avoided and honey is generally not recommended for infants under one. If using honey anyway, ensure it remains in a sealed and sterile container.


  • Michael Gonzales

    Michael has a diverse set of skills and passions, with a full-time career as an airline pilot and a dedicated focus on health and fitness consulting. He understands the importance of balancing a busy lifestyle with maintaining a healthy mind and body, and is committed to helping others achieve the same success. Michael's expertise in health and fitness is not just limited to physical training, but also extends to nutrition, stress management, and overall wellbeing. He takes a holistic approach to health and fitness, helping clients to achieve their goals in a sustainable and fulfilling way. With a strong desire to inspire and motivate others, Michael is always ready to share his time and knowledge with those who seek his guidance. Whether in the air or on the ground, Michael is dedicated to helping others live their best lives.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gonzales-07bb4b31/ [email protected] Gonzales Michael


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