Flu Busting Gummy Bears

Cold and flu busting gummy bears- simple homemade recipe that kids love

I’ve shared my recipes for chewable gummy vitamins and healthy fruit snacks before, and today I’m sharing a flu-busting combination of the two.

It seems that this flu season is going to be a bad one, and elderberry syrup is one of my favorite natural remedies for avoiding or beating the flu. These flu busting gummy bears combine the immune boost from elderberry syrup with the gut benefits of gelatin for a healthy and delicious way to beat the flu.

My kids love these! In fact, that is why the ones in the picture above look a little rough- little hands kept touching them while I was trying to take pictures!

To make this recipe, you’ll need to make homemade elderberry syrup first (don’t worry, it is easy- and then make them into gummy bears.

4.9 from 11 reviews
Flu Busting Gummy Bears
Prep time
Total time
Homemade gummy bears with a base of elderberry syrup help boost the immune system and are fun for kids (or adults) to take!
Recipe type: Snack
  • 1 cup elderberry syrup (here is the recipe)
  • ½ cup hot water (not boiling)
  • ¼ cup Gelatin powder (I use this one)
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil for greasing pan
  • Glass container or silicon molds
  1. Grease molds or glass pan with coconut oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Place ¼ cup of cooled elderberry syrup in a 2 cup measuring cup and add gelatin powder.
  3. Quickly whisk together to temper the gelatin powder.
  4. Add the ½ cup of hot (not boiling) water and stir quickly until smooth.
  5. Add the rest of the elderberry syrup and stir or whisk until completely smooth.
  6. Pour in to molds and put in fridge for 2 hours or until completely firm.
  7. Pop out of molds and store in air tight container with parchment paper between layers.
  8. Take daily as needed to avoid flu or take every few hours to help beat the flu faster.
  9. Will last up to a week in the fridge in an air tight container.


Ever tried to make homemade healthy gummy bears? How did they turn out? Share below!

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  1. I’ve already switched to homemade toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant, so this hurdle is jumped… thanks in part to your recipes! I also don’t use soap when bathing, just water and baking soda if I’m extra smelly.

    Next big thing is switching to homemade laundry soap and fabric softener. I’m part-way there — I only use Oxi-Clean powder and a tiny bit of liquid softener, but I’d love to make a complete switch.

    My biggest challenge now is household cleaning, specifically in the kitchen. I really can’t find anything that cleans as well as I’d like, especially with all the cooking and raw meat handling that I’m now doing. Doesn’t help that we have white everything (including tile counters), which stains like crazy.

    • Try Shaklee’s Get Clean products. I’ve been using them for the past eight years and love them!!

    • Try Mrs Myers cleaning products. Smells divine and all natural cleans great!

      • But a warning is in order on those: the fragrance is very strong for sensitive individuals. If you have sensitivities to scents, you likely will not do well with these.

      • I use NORWEX products. The cloths have silver in them and you clean with water only. They work great!

    • White vinegar and baking soda is awesome in the kitchen! I add tea tree oil and lemon rinds in a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water. Works as a degreaser and removes turmeric stains no problem.

      • what is the recipe?

    • For my white tile and ceramic sink I sprinkle baking soda, then spritz with hydrogen peroxide. Allow to penetrate for 10 min to an hour (whatever works for your schedule) then gently scrub. The peroxide will whiten AND kill gross germs. The baking soda helps keep the peroxide in place and is a gently abrasive cleaner.
      You can clean the counters with a peroxide spray:
      1 (16 ounce) spray bottle
      16 ounces peroxide (3%)
      8 ounces water
      5 drops tea tree oil
      5 drops lemon oil
      Pour all ingredients into spray bottle
      Shake well
      Spray on counter surfaces and wipe with a clean rag

    • Have you ever used Norwex? It is a cloth that has silver in it and you only clean with water. 🙂 Check it out on youtube.

      • :):):)LOL.

    • try lemon and eucalyptis essential oils in a spray bottle of water. It will kill the germs and make your kitchen have that clean smell. Depending on the tile you could possibly use hydrogen peroxide to get the stains out.

    • A simple cleaner that you may enjoy is 1 part white distilled vinegar (do not use apple cider as it is alkaline and you want the acidic value of white vinegar to kill germs), 1 part water, several drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well and clean away. Avoid wood, but most everything else goes. I have used this for years in cleaning my bathrooms, kitchen, appliances, doors, glass, walls. It’s simple, clean, inexpensive and works and smells great without dangerous chemicals.

      As an added note, white vinegar is great for weed control and especially those pesky weeds that grow in our sidewalk cracks. Just don’t spray where you want plants to grow as it works by creating an unfavorable acidic environment.

    • I’ve just discovered the combo of spraying vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, one right after the other. Apparently it kills ecoli, salmonella, etc and performs as good as bleach! Look it up, there have been a couple of studies. Don’t mix them in the same container.

  2. The challenge has been going great!  The forum has been awesome to connect with others & offer support (and get it!).  Thanks for doing this…it has been wonderful.  During these past weeks, I’ve been able to stay off of sugar, legumes, wheat, & dairy while focusing on all the things I can eat & enjoy.  I threw out the scale, and will do my after weigh-in and measurements as the challenge comes to an end.  It has been a fun experience & I feel so much better!  

  3. Is this like a gummy vitamin, so that I should only allow one or two per day as a preventative or more if they are actually sick?

  4. What does “serve 6″mean?
    I’m wondering how many molds I need for this sized batch?

    • I used three molds- two small and one bigger.

  5. Hey there – any suggestions for a workable vegan gelatin?
    I love your site – a wealth of info! thanks!

    • Maybe try agar, made from red algae. I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve heard it is a good substitute for gelatin.

    • Any luck with the agar? I had the same question…

    • I tried this recipe tonight with Agar Agar flakes. It turned out wonderfully. I halved the recipe just in case it didn’t work. I used 1/2 cup of Elderberry syrup, 1/4 cup of water, and 3 Tbsp. of Agar Agar Flakes. I mixed the liquids and warmed them in a pan and then added the Agar Agar flakes. I mixed for exactly 15 minutes. It came out great! I hope this helps.

  6. how many molds do you need for this recipe? I only have one…should I half the recipe?

    • I used two molds with small shapes (dinosaurs and stars) and one bigger mold (flowers). You could always just put the extra in a pie dish (or other flat glass thing) and cut them into cubes- they just won’t look as cute.

  7. Do you think you could add vitamin C powder to this recipe to increase health benefits and add to the shelf life?

    • The elderberries are naturally high Vit C content

  8. I’m craving gummy bears now. Bad.

  9. Ingenious!

  10. You must not have oily skin or hair, water will not take oils off and I do not think baking soda will either. Have you ever heard of castile soap?

  11. Can you use elderberry syrup purchased from health food store ?

    • That’s what I am about to do so I will let you know how it turns out!!

  12. I am wondering the same question as Catherine. (Can I use store bought syrup for this) I have Nature’s Way Bio-Certified Elderberry and it has echinacea, Zinc, Propolis and Vitamin C. I live near chicago IL and could not find frozen or fresh elderberries anywhere.

    • You usually use dried Elder Berries which can be purchased online and probably at some local health stores. Especially if they have a bulk section.

    • I use dried elderberries from Amazon

  13. I was wondering if you thought that this elderberry recipe could combine well with the Green Pasture FCLO/Butter oil gel to make it into gummies for the kids? I was reading up on the FCLO and was thinking that the elderberry would probably work well with the cinnamon flavor and would help hide any additional taste. The biggest trick would be measuring it all out correctly to ensure proper dosing. But since I haven’t used/worked with either product I thought I would pick your brain for thoughts/suggestions/tips. thanks

    • It should work great. I’d start with a small amount of the FCLO and work up

  14. At what age can you give these and how many?

  15. Hi, I love the website and I am making my home a natural home, little by little. I already see a difference in my skin and people at work are commenting on it as well.
    Questions: What to do with the leftover elderberries? Can we eat them? I thought of putting them in my nut-meal (oatmeal w/o the oats) and my smoothies..and what about coconut flour pancakes and waffles? Are they okay to eat after used for the elderberry syrup?
    Another question, have you tried to make pasta with the coconut flour? That is my next hurdle, along with dumplings to put in the great chicken stock I have made!

    • Everyone feels bad about what to do with spent herbs. You will compost it. You have already removed all the healing properties from the herb when you boiled it.

  16. Hi, I absolutely love your website and very appreciative of the knowledge you are sharing. I have a a couple questions. Are these a snack or a once a day vitamin? Also, if, I use Elderberry for the base, do I have to purchase the children’s and adults separate? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • If sick, they can be eaten as much as needed, but when not sick, a few a day works as a multivitamin. As long as you don’t have any babies under 1-2, this version is fine for adults and kids (don’t use honey with babies that age)

  17. Hi,
    If I want more of a gummy bear consistency, how much more gelatin would I use? Can I use this sane recipe for fruit juice gummies or does it change because juice is thinner?
    Thank you

  18. Hi, I am trying to bring up the PDF of a few of your pages/recipes, but when they open, there are no ingredients! Ive tried for the gummies here and also the herbal cough syrup??

  19. Can these be frozen? I want to make them but I’m not sure if we will go through them in a week…

    • I don’t think they freeze well, but we’ve never had trouble consuming them in a week..

    • I accidentally stuck these in the molds in the freezer and left overnight. It was a little bit easier to pop out the next day and I had no problem with putting the gummies into a container in the refrigerator for use. So no difference in texture. They did come out of the freezer initially with light frost but that went away at room temp. =) Recipe is AWESOME. Thank you.

    • I freeze homemade gummies and they are great!

  20. Super easy and fun- flavor is great! Consistency was an issue for my 3 year old- a bit rubbery and hard, how can I make them more “chewable”? My 45 year old loved them though!!

  21. Hi- I can’t wait to make these. What molds are people using? Also- is elderberry safe for nursing mothers? Thanks!

  22. Oops- I see recommendation for molds. That’s what I get for multi-tasking! Thanks for the great recipe.

  23. Can you add vit c & d?

  24. Thanks for reposting these, Katie. When I’ve made other gummies (from your Tangerine recipe), they’ve popped right out of the silicone molds for me. Are the elderberry ones stickier? I’m wondering why you would use the coconut oil to grease them…

    • They are stickier because of the honey in the syrup and the oil just helps with that 🙂

  25. Has any tried this with store bought elderberry syrup? I would hate to waste it if it doesn’t work :/

    • Yes I used store bought and they worked fine for me. I also froze them and gave them to my son when he had a slight fever with his illness. They of course didn’t help the fever but they were nice and cool for him.

      • Regarding elderberry, I have a question 🙂
        I had a friend give me fresh elderberry and I froze them on the stem. Once they were frozen, I took a fork and loosened the berries, but I also have quite a few stems. The stems are many and some are very small, so I cannot remove them all. I have heard that the stems are somewhat poisonous. Can I still make elderberry syrup even with the stem pieces in there. I do know not to put them through a foley mill but just let them sit on cheesecloth to drain. I hope I haven’t ruined my berries 🙁

        • Take the frozen berries and put in a fine colander and shake around. The stems should fall out . Do a little at a time as the berries will defrost and cause moisture then the stems will stick .
          I dehydrate the berries on the stem and use this method with the dry berries .

          • What a great idea for getting rid of the stems! I will remember that next summer!

  26. Hi, I was wondering how long the elderberry gummies last? Your elderberry syrup, you said, lasts several months. Do you think then the gummies would be good that long in refrigerator?

    • My kids always eat them within a week so I haven’t been able to test, but I would think if you could keep them in an air-tight container they would las a while.

  27. I seen that the shelf life on these were only 1 week in the fridge. Can you tell me why that is? Thanks!

    • They might last longer, but I haven’t personally had any last that long without my kids eating them so I can’t say first hand.

  28. This recipie came out great! However, I have hashimotos I couldn’t figure out why I kept getting sick, achy and more and more fatigued (than usual). Now I’m broken out in cold sores.
    Just did some research and hashimotos and elderberries don’t mix!

    • That’s odd cause I have hoshimotos and I’ve been using elderberry syrup daily for a year now.

  29. I’ve been jealous of people who are making all things with elderberry. Where I am in Florida, they don’t grow, and I’ve never seen them at the market. Where can I get elderberry syrup? Thanks, with hubby sick right now, wish Id seen this before. 🙂

    • Jeanette, whereabouts in Florida are you? I live near Clearwater and I get the dried elderberries at an organic foods store.

  30. Is there any reason that I couldn’t use Knox gelaton?

  31. This is a great recipe! I used as my gateway to making natural remedies. I’m thrilled that the syrup is so easy to make. I just made the gummies and they turned out a bit gritty and bouncy. I’m wondering if I stirred the gelatin too long or not long enough. Has anyone else had the same experience? Or does anyone have any advice on making them a bit more like a gummy bear and less like a plastic bouncy ball that tastes good? Thanks 8)

  32. I have made an elderberry tincture – can I use that in place of the syrup? I’m worried the alcohol may effect the gel process.

    • Yes, it should be fine. I’ve had champagne jello so I think alcohol can gel.

  33. Is the store-bought elderberry syrup ok to use in place of the homemade syrup? Also, what age should my child be while taking this remedy?

  34. Have agar agar instead of gelitin. Hope to try it tonight with my silicone herb freezing trays. We have honey elder syrup and would love to add pureed blueberries also. Any suggestions would be great

  35. we love this recipe! thanks so much for posting it. I use your recipe for elserberry syrup, too, but find that 1/4 cup of honey is plenty sweet for us! I know local raw honey has benefits, but any more honey is just way too sweet for our taste. maybe I am making more of a liquid instead of a syrup? either way, the gummies always turn out just fine!

    I also freeze ours because I only have one little one who eats one a day and we can’t get through a batch fast enough before they start to mold in the fridge.

  36. When making my elderberry syrup I add dried rosehips to steep along with the elderberries. They are a great source of vitamin C. I put 1/4cup to the recipe.

  37. I got collagen peptides and I thought I read somewhere that they are interchangeable. I ordered the Vital Proteins brand (they were out of the regular gelatin which is why I got the collagen). It did not gel up when I put it in the fridge. It has been in there for 1 day and still nothing. Should I try adding more? Did I need to mix it in a different way, or does it not gel? If it doesn’t gel, can I just administer the elderberry syrup which is now mixed with collagen.
    Thank you

  38. Thanks for this inspiring recipe! I changed it up a bit to get my daughter to drink elderflower and calendula tea for her fever. Instead of water, I just replaced it with the infusion. Thought that would be nice to share on this wonderful blog.

  39. can these gummies be frozen? I would like to make them in a larger batch.

  40. I love love love these gummies!!! My oldest son (10) doesn’t like drinking any elderberry syrup but he loves it in gummies. We make fun lego shaped gummies and I just got a gingerbread man mold that I know we are going to get lots of use out of. Thank You so much for this recipe!! 🙂

  41. I just wanted to say how helpful you have been to me over the last 2 years since I found your blog. I feel truly blessed by you!
    Thank you!

  42. Hi there

    I have a 21 month old. Can he have these gummies? How many a day/week?

  43. Thanks for sharing, my kids love these! Just wondering….

    How many should they eat a day? My kids want to eat them all in one sitting lol.

  44. Hi. Do you find that these taste like clove? I can’t do clove. I don’t like the smell and the taste makes me gag. Would it be better to just leave it out? Thanks.

  45. I’m making these now, my question is about dosage (sorry I didn’t read every comment if you did address this already). Just 1/day/kid (mine are 2 & 5)? I’m also adding wild harvested ginseng & probiotics to mine!

    • I personally give 1-2 a day and as many as desired if they get sick.

  46. HI! Do you think these would freeze well, to keep for longer periods of time? Just curious about the ability to make larger batches and keep them for a while.


  47. We made a different version of Gummy Bears using these molds: http://amzn.to/1JTUYit
    This mold is silicone and it is easy to use and easy to clean. I plan on making more in the future…

  48. Made these and they turned out great, but I have only one little and we don’t go through them very quickly, and they started to develop mold in the fridge after several weeks. Just the tiniest specks of white were visible on the surface and it seemed like such a waste to toss them…. So I melted them back down and boiled the mixture for several mintutes and re-gelled them. Do you think they are ok?

  49. Hello Katie,

    I am going to make these tomorrow as my ingredients will be delivered :). Do you think I can also add Vitamin C powder to this recipe as well. You have a separate recipe to make vitmain C gummies with Vitamin C Powder and I was just wondering if it is OK to combine them.

  50. can you share a link for the vital proteins collagen protein? i can only find the collagen peptides and i saw in comments that that doesn’t gel.
    also, do you know the substitution for elderberry powder if you don’t have dried elderberries? and then i am assuming you would just strain with a cheesecloth?
    i have all my ingredients/tools. just need these last two things answered before i begin!!
    thanks…your entire website is WONDERFUL!

  51. Wouldn’t the hot water kill the honey’s live enzymes and benefits? Could you let the gelatin/hot water mixture cool completely and then add the elderberry syrup? LOVE the benefits of the local raw honey and don’t want to lose any of them! Thanks

  52. Is there any way to make a large batch and keep them fresh. Not sure if it’s possible to freeze the gummies and only keep a weeks supply out at a time. I would like to make a batch for the winter months and just have them all cold and flu season. I know the syrup version seems to keep in the fridge for a few months I’ve been told but have never tried making the gummies just yet. Thoughts?