Immune Boosting Herbs in Finger Gelatin

Immune Boosting Herbs in Finger Gelatin - combine anti-viral and antibacterial herbs with fruit juice and honey for a healthier sweet treat.

If you’ve been watching the reports about an unusually strong respiratory virus sweeping across the U.S. and looking for more ideas to give your family’s immune system a boost, you may want to give this recipe a try – or make your own variation.

I made “jello flu shots” by infusing immune boosting herbs in finger gelatin made with fruit juice.  Call them what you like, and enjoy some extra anti-oxidants and cold and flu fighting herbs. 

These are not made from the prepackaged gelatin dessert.  The color comes from fruit and vegetable juices. They are thickened with plain gelatin, or agar agar can be used if you need a vegan alternative.

Which Herbs Boost the Immune System?

There are many herbs that boost the immune system, although not all of them are “jello-friendly”.  For instance, I know garlic jello is just not going to fly.  Body and Soul~Mind and Spirit lists arandanon, astraglaus, calendula, cat’s claw, echinacea, garlic, ginger, hyssop, sage, St. john’s Wort and turmeric.  Everyday Health lists cinnamon (and carrots and grapefruit).  Natural News lists echinacea, ginseng, garlic, bell peppers, ginger, turmeric, gingko biloba, ganaderma, astragalus and cat’s claw. Mint family plants such as peppermint and lemon balm are also anti-viral.

For ease of use, I grabbed some cinnamon sticks and dried ginger root, some mint leaves and echinacea tea.  I encourage you to experiment with different combinations.  Do always check for any drug interactions if you are on medication.  Most common culinary herbs are pretty safe, but there are a lot of meds out there so it’s best to double check, especially if you’re consuming in quantity (meds or herbs or both).

Immune Boosting Herbs in Finger Gelatin


  • 4 envelopes (1 ounce) unflavored gelatin  (That’s 3 tablespoons plus one teaspoon of bulk gelatin) Knox Gelatin is readily available at most grocery stores.  Great Lakes Gelatin is certified Kosher.  You could also substitute agar agar.
  • 1 cup cold fruit juice*
  • 3 cups fruit juice, heated with herbs or 2 cups hot fruit juice plus one cup tea*
  • 2 tablespoons honey, optional

*Possible fruit/herb combinations include:

Apple/Cinnamon/Ginger – 1 cup cold apple cider, 3 cups hot apple cider simmered with 2 cinnamon sticks and 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger root or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Apple-Carrot/Echinacea – 1 cup cold apple cider, 2 cups carrot juice, 1 cup echinacea tea

Apple-Carrot/Ginger – 1 cup cold apple cider, 2 cups carrot juice plus 1 cup apple cider, simmered with 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger root or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Apple/Mint – 1 cup cold apple cider, 2 cups hot apple cider, 1 cup peppermint tea

Pomegranate/Lemon Balm – 1 cup cold pomegranate juice, 2 cups hot pomegranate juice, 1 cup lemon balm tea

Orange/Ginger – 1 cup cold orange (or carrot) juice, 3 cups hot orange juice simmered with 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger root or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger


Prepare hot ingredients – If using juice with herbs, place juice and herbs in medium saucepot and simmer for 10 minutes.  If using tea, brew tea and let steep for 10 minutes, covered, then mix with juice in saucepot and heat to boiling.

apple spice jello

Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice in large bowl; let stand 1 minute.  Add hot juice and stir until gelatin dissolves completely, about 5 minutes.  Stir in honey if desired.  Pour into 13x9x2 inch pan. (Half batches can be molded in a bread pan or 9×9 pan.)

finger jello

Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.  To serve, cut into 1 inch cubes.  Makes about 9 dozen.

The boys, not too surprisingly, liked the apple/cinnamon/ginger best, but I’ll keep experimenting.  I think this is a fun way to get in more herbs.

P.S. – You could use spiced elderberry wine for a grown up version.  ;-)


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You may also enjoy our other Natural Health Posts, including Home Remedies, Cold and Flu Fighters, Women’s Health and much more.

The Best Cold and Flu Fighters – summary of all our cold and flu related posts

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season:  Step 1 – Probiotics

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season with Essential Oils

The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Fighting Colds and Flus

The Best Herbs and Spices for Colds and Flus – Plus a “Secret Weapon”

Coping with Stomach Flu Symptoms (Why the BRAT diet may not be your best choice)

Home Remedies for Coughs

Home Remedies for Congestion

Elderberries:  How to Make Syrups and Jellies

Immune Boosting Herbs in Finger Gelatin - combine anti-viral and antibacterial herbs with fruit juice and honey for a healthier sweet treat.


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  1. says

    Great post. Do you have a book or anything published with these “tips” and other suggestions? Or, maybe a Print Friendly way to capture these without having to print an entire web post? I really want to keep some of the articles you have posted, they are wonderful.

    • says

      Given that most of my posts are things I’m experimenting with and sharing as I go, I don’t have everything in a printer friendly format anywhere. However – I do have a cool site that another reader recommended that will make the pages easier to print –

      I just tried it out and it works pretty well. You can easily edit out extra images, too.

      One day when I’m “famous” ;-), I’d like to be able to hire somebody to make everything look prettier, but hopefully that will help for now.

  2. says

    I can’t wait to try this! I love gummies.

    I have jars of unflavored Great Lakes Gelatin. Since it’s not in a packet, I was wondering if you could tell me how many ounces are in your packets!


  3. Elene says

    My 9yr old grandson and I will make these tomorrow after school…He’ll be impressed since he was curious about my concentrated bone boullion squares a couple of days ago

  4. says


    Fantastic recipe.

    I too have been reading about antibacterial herbs, and now after reading this, I will make my own variation for my boy with the special combination of fruit juices that he likes.

    Thanks for sharing the wealth!

    All the best,

    • Jenny says

      I’ve found the easiest way to get the garlic in the wee ones, is to crush up a few cloves and add it to a dish with raw honey, powdered ginger, powdered tumeric and cinnamon. A teaspoon full a couple of times a day. They always have some water near by to chase it down and have not complained yet!

      • says

        That’s a lot of herbal goodness in one spoonful, but I don’t think I could get my guys to cooperate. They don’t like to take their cod liver oil unless it’s in capsules, either.

  5. Angela H. says

    Very creative! Just be sure if you are using cinnamon regularly as a health supplement, you get the Ceylon variety that comes from Sri Lanka. Cassia cinnamon (the hard sticks and powder we are used in in the US) actually contains coumarin, which in high concentrations is bad for you. For regular cooking and baking it’s fine though :) You can google it and see!

  6. Michelle in ID says

    I’m looking for ways to increase bone broth consumption around here. Thinking about subbing some for part of the juice in these.. Thanks for this post!

  7. Ceci says

    What about tomato juice with garlic….kind of tomato aspic/bloody mary kind of thing? I am looking forard to trying these myself and will also experiment with agar. I haven’t tried that in a while. Thank you for a fun post!

  8. Lorna Hammons says

    Tomato soup with wild rice is an easy way to get get kids to eat garlic. We make ours by adding home canned crushed tomatoes to bone broth then purée. Throw into a pan with browned rice. Boil till soft then stir in roasted or raw garlic cloves just before serving. Kids don’t know it’s there. We also will mince mushrooms in this and they blend well with the rice. Turmeric and saffron also blend in unnoticed.

    • says

      You can eat them daily as part of your regular diet along with other immune boosting foods. These will not provide complete immunity to illness (just like pharmaceutical shots). They are just a little something extra in a fun package to help support your body’s immune system. Always follow good hygiene practices with regular hand washing, stay hydrated, eat nutritious foods and get ample rest. See a trained healthcare provider if any condition is severe or persistent.

  9. lori says

    Where can I get elderberries all I can ever find is Elderberry Syrup, and it’s quite expensive, but i’ve heard it is so good for you and with this awful stuff going around that’s putting kids in the hospital, I’d like to get some of this into my grandchildren, especially the 2 with health issues.

    • says

      Elderberries are not commonly cultivated in the U.S., so products can be hard to find and pricey. I’m lucky enough to be able to pick some locally, but I added some links to the bottom of the post for juice and juice concentrate. Plain elderberries are not very sweet, so it might be more pleasant tasting (and more cost effective) to combine the concentrate with some apple juice for palatability.

    • Mary Pendleton says

      Here in New England elderberry grows wild all over the place. I pick in August and make jelly and/or freeze berries for use all year.

  10. Melissa says

    I am in the UK and we have apple cider vinegar or apple cider the alcoholic drink. Is it one of these you refer to or something else? Thanks

    • says

      That would be the something else. In our area of Wisconsin, apple cider refers to cold pressed apple juice that has not had the solids removed. It is refrigerated and consumed fresh before it ferments.

  11. Gothic says

    The herbal medicine and the herbal stuffs are good, that is called unani medicine in my area. I take these natural herbs on regular basis.

  12. lisa says

    Great article..
    I just made orange juice cubes yesterday….. they are a big hit.. not super sweet.. I added a bit of sugar & honey.
    I had read about the health benefits of gelatin…. & of course orange juice & honey.
    so ………….. I made it & was very happy with the results..

    thanks for posting.


  13. Alysia says

    Im so excited to try this for my family. Just starting out. What is the recommended dosage and how often? And how long do they keep in the refrigerator?
    Thank you

    • says

      They should easily keep for a week in the refrigerator. There is no recommended dosage, for a couple of reasons. A) Because you make it at home, there’s no way to tell exactly how much of an ingredient gets in the recipe. B) This is not a “medicine” per se, it’s just meant to be used as part of a healthy diet. Quality gelatin is an easily absorbed protein, and the herbs recommended have a long history of use for germ fighting.

    • says

      There is no dosing information, because these are simply meant as a compliment to a healthy diet. Each person is different, every batch of gelatin will be different. Think of them as similar to herbal tea.

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