Elderberry herb profile!
Black elderberries are native to Europe and have a long history of use in herbal medicine. The berries of the plant are often used for preserves, syrups and tinctures, while the bark and flowers are also quite useful. Beware: The elderberry leaves and stems are poisonous
Elderberries fight the flu
Elderberries have gained popularity in recent years for their use in alleviating and avoiding the flu.
Israeli researchers have developed 5 formulas based on elderberry fruit that have been clinically proven to prevent and ameliorate all kinds of influenza. The complex sugars of the berries are the immune-active fraction.
Extensive research shows that elderberries stop the production of hormone-like cytokines that direct a class of white blood cells known as neutrophils to cause inflammation, especially influenza and arthritis.
On the other hand, elderberries increase the production of non-inflammatory infection-fighting cytokines as much as 10 fold. Elder berries are known to be effective against 8 strains of influenza.
This suggests that elderberries are superior to vaccines in preventing the flu, because flu vaccines are only effective against known strains of flu, whereas the virus is continually mutating to new strains.
Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel found that elderberries “disarm” the enzyme which viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat.
Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed complete cure in 3 days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover.
The elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating. The elderberry fruit is also used for making wine and as a food flavoring.
How to make elderberry syrup for flu prevention
Elderberries are one of the most used remedies for cooler months. The dried berries of the Sambucis nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly. They can be used to make a variety of remedies, and my favorite is this simple elderberry syrup.
With the flu season in full swing and signs for “flu shots” in every store, I recommend that you try this natural alternative which is inexpensive and much more effective. It can be made easily at home and your children will “fall in love” with it!
If you or your child has ever had a bad case of the flu, you know how miserable it can be. Especially for moms, it is awful to see your children feeling so bad and not be able to fix it. Black elderberries (Sambucus nigra) have been shown to prevent flu and speed recovery in those who already have caught the flu.
Elderberries contain high levels of A, B, and C vitamin and stimulate the immune system. Several natural elderberry syrups are available at health stores or online, but they usually cost around $15. This recipe makes 16 ounces (half a liter) for a cost of around 10 dollars and kids simply love the taste!
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
This simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey and herbs can be both used medicinally or on homemade pancakes and waffles.
- ⅔ cup black elderberries
- 3½ cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried ginger root
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
- 1 cup raw honey
- Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey at this point!)
- Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At this point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
- Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
- When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized Mason jar or 16 ounce ((half a liter) glass bottle of some kind.
- Ta Da! You just made your homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.
- Standard dose is: ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp. to 1 Tbsp. for adults.
If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms completely disappear.
ENJOY AND SHARE PLEASE!