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The elderberry has become very popular in the past couple of years, but elderberry tinctures and syrup are time tested natural immune boosters that have been in use for centuries or more. Elderberries (official name Sambucus Nigra) are harvested in many different parts of the world.
Elderberry as an antiviral?
According to the World Health Organization More than people across the world suffer from influenza and as many as 250,000-600,000 deaths are reported annually.
The CDC reports (accessed April 9, 2020) that from October 1, 2019 to March 28, 2020 there have been 24,000 to 63,000 influenza deaths.
While no supplement or herb is shown proven to cure or prevent disease, it is interesting to know that several studies have proven that elderberry is active against influenza. The study cited below states that:
“Elderberry compounds have been found to be highly effective against influenza and as an immune booster. In this particular study it was shown that …that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus,” said Dr Golnoosh Torabian. “It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells…” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190423133644.htm?fbclid=IwAR3o7y3DHek7qNPZLwHvhw_HBsb1gH-gWUkIJY7sJ55Gbj_9ZniCzDhvXAg
PLEASE NOTE: There is currently no research available to confirm that elderberry is active against the COVID 19 virus. Please consult with your medical professional with questions regarding Coronavirus.
Elderberries have many nutritional benefits:
- High in vitamin C:
- High in dietary fiber:
- A good source of phenolic acids:
- A good source of flavonols:
- Rich in anthocyanins:
You never want to eat raw/fresh elderberries because they may cause nausea and vomiting. Eating them boiled and prepared into a syrup or in a tincture/extract is the best way to get health benefits.
My daughter and I prepared this elderberry syrup, adapted from Katie Wells’ recipe https://wellnessmama.com/1888/elderberry-syrup/
- 3½ cups filtered water
- 2/3 cup organic dried elderberries https://amzn.to/3aeX2jh
- 2 TBSP fresh organic ginger root or dried if unavailable https://amzn.to/2VAciBV
- 1 tsp organic cinnamon https://amzn.to/3bi64xc
- ½ tsp ground organic cloves https://amzn.to/2RJWHPc OR whole cloves https://amzn.to/2RJV83P
- 1 cup raw honey https://amzn.to/3chVfLQ *Honey is not recommended for infants/children under 2 years old.
- Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. I prefer to use whole cloves and mash them with a mortar and pestle to bring out the essential oils.
- Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
- Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
- Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil, I use my bean masher.
- Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
- Discard (and compost if you can) the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
- When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
- When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
- Store in the refrigerator up to seven days, adults may take one tablespoon per day, children over 2 years 1/2- 1 tsp. Many have taken normal dose up to four times in the case of flu.
Enjoy your elderberry syrup! It has a smooth, sweet taste and is easy to take daily for up to twelve weeks. We take a couple of days off from the dosage a couple of days a week to let the body rest. The kids have gotten into a good routine and it’s not a chore to have them take their syrup!
If you prefer to buy rather than make the syrup, try this elderberry extract https://amzn.to/3cqDM3K.
Let me know if you made some or bought some….