Make Your Own Immunity-Boosting Gelatin Shots

Boost your defenses this cold and flu season with these gelatin "shots" made with immune-boosting herbs and vitamins. Try this easy recipe!

This recipe was developed by Laurie Neverman, Common Sense Home. Used with permission.

Easy, fun, and flavorful, everyone loves fruity gelatin desserts, right? Why not try this version that’s a bit healthier? These gelatin shots are made by infusing immunity-boosting herbs in gelatin made with fruit juice. So if you’re looking for more ideas to give your family’s immune system a boost that’s fun to eat, you may want to give this recipe a try.

gelatin shots
Laurie Neverman image, used with permission.

These gelatin “jigglers” or “shots” are not made from prepackaged gelatin dessert. The color comes from fruit and vegetable juices which are thickened with plain gelatin, or agar agar can be used if you prefer a vegan alternative.

Which Herbs Boost the Immune System?

There are many herbs that boost the immune system, although not all of them are “gelatin-friendly” (for instance, garlic gelatin is just not going to fly).  Some immunity-boosting herbs and vegetables you can use include: astraglaus, bell peppers, calendula, cat’s claw, cinnamon, carrots, echinacea, Ganoderma, gingko biloba, ginger, ginseng,  grapefruit, hyssop, sage, St. John’s Wort, and turmeric. Mint family plants such as peppermint and lemon balm are also anti-viral.

Experiment with different combinations.  But always check for drug interactions if you are on any medications.  Most common culinary herbs are safe, but there are a lot of medications out there so it’s best to double check.

Immune Boosting Herbs in Gelatin (Gelatin Flu Shots)


  • 4 envelopes (1 ounce) unflavored gelatin (that’s 3 tablespoons + one teaspoon of bulk gelatin). You may also substitute agar agar or any vegan gelatin alternatives.
  • 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:
Glass of fruit juice with orange, carrots and ginger on a cutting board
  • 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 a medium saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.  If using tea, brew tea and let steep for 10 minutes, covered, then mix with juice in saucepan and heat to boiling.

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 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. (Half batches can be molded in a bread pan or 9×9 pan.). Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.  To serve, cut into 1-inch cubes.  Makes about 9 dozen.

Kids seem to like the apple/cinnamon/ginger best.  For a more “grown-up” version, you may also use spiced elderberry wine.

The information contained in this article is not a substitute for medical advice.

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Laurie Neverman

Laurie Neverman is the creator of the Common Sense Homesteading blog, which covers topics such as self-sufficiency, wildcrafting, and green building. Her e-book, "Common Sense Homesteading 101: 7 Steps to Become More Self-reliant Now," is available free to Common Sense Homesteading subscribers.

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interesting recipes/combinations

I was thinking how someone could invent a recipe using lemon or lime jello and make shots with tequila silver or gold that
would be a fun alternative for New Years Eve celebrations even though not so ‘healthy’

Denise Cavassa, CMA

For vegetarians, these recipes can be adapted using agar-agar!

Cynthia Robinson

I am going to experiment with adding propolis tincture for ultimate immune builder.


Great recipes. We also use the raw organic (local) honey. Maybe a way to help them keep longer is just pour the mixtures (minus the gelatin) into ice trays and once frozen transfer into freezer bags. Then when you want one pop it into a cup of hot water? If I try it this way, I’ll let you all know how it turns out.

D. Smith

I would purchase a good grade gelatin product (such as Bernard Jensen’s stuff from rather than using Knox type gelatins. Also, use more herbal tea and water, and less fruit juice. Illnesses thrive on sugar, although the honey is ok if you don’t overdo.

Buy good quality herbal organic tea and make lots of different kid pleasing favorites.

I would not use essential oils in this unless you are very well trained in how to use them and how much to use per ratio. But that’s just me.

Also be sure to use filtered water.


Can you dissolve Echinacea tablets, zinc, vitamin C, and other bottled herbs, minerals and trace elements in boiled water if you don’t have access to the teas and fresh ingredients? Thanks!

Ruth Steward

Wish an answer to this too!

Susan Higgins

Hi Ruth, since we haven’t tried it ourselves this way, we can’t advise on flavor; some components may be destroyed in high heat.


How often and how many should an adult eat? Daily, weekly, monthly, all winter????? Thanks.

Susan Higgins

1 a day


Can these be made using essential oils?


How do you store the gelatin flu shots and what is the shelf life?

Susan Higgins

Kathryn, you would store just as you would Jell-O and eat fairly promptly. As you know, gelatin can start to get runny if left in the fridge too long.

Susan Higgins

Janet, use your discretion as to how often; similar to any other herbs or teas you would consume to boost your immunity. And, of course you should check with your healthcare professional to ensure nothing conflicts with any medications you are taking.


how often are these to be eatin?

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