Herbal Syrups for Common Ailments: Nose and Throat Remedy

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Photo by Fotolia/sattva
Elderberry can be used to fight off cold and flu but should not be taken in excess.


  • 1 cup elderberries
  • 1⁄2 cup plantain leaf (Plantago major)
  • 1-1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar or honey


  • Vodka or yarrow tincture (1⁄4 of bottle space)


  • Herbal Concentrate Method: This recipe requires the berries and leaves to be cooked separately — use the decoction method for the berries and the tea method for the leaves. Then combine the two herbal concentrates before adding sweetener and thickening.

    Medicinal Potential

    Elderberry: Acts as an overall cold, flu and cough remedy; has antiviral properties; excellent for sore throats, breaking up phlegm and preventing the spread of infection to other areas of the body

    Plantain: Used to assist in fighting colds, sinusitis, throat and ear infections; calm the respiratory system; reduce inflammation; and unclog phlegm 

    Yarrow: Highly astringent; suggested to fight infections, fever and congestion


    Elderberry is quite potent, and more is not necessarily better. Some people will take small doses daily as a preventive measure during the cold and flu season. It should be noted, though, that elderberry can cause nausea and vomiting when used excessively. Never ingest raw berries — always cook them. Yarrow shouldn’t be taken in conjunction with heart medicines, blood thinners or antacids. Not intended to be used long-term. Best to avoid in combination with coffee or alcohol. Use with caution if a ragweed allergy exists and stop taking at least two weeks prior to surgery. Read more about herbal medicines for common illnesses in Herbal Syrups for Common Ailments.


An overall flu, cold and cough remedy, this blend may provide protection against spread of infection within the body.

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