Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) is a favorite herb at CNM for building the immune system ‘boundary’ during cold and flu season. It is wonderful prevention that tastes great and can even be taken year round because of it’s nourishing properties.
Why do Black Elderberries pack such a nice punch for your immune ‘muscle’?
- They are rich in bioflavonoids – potent antioxidants (think preventing rust on a car!)
- Elderberries have anthocyanins which boost the immune system signaling
- They contain potent antiviral compounds that actually deactivate viruses- making them unable to get inside our cells!
- Elderberry is known as an ‘anti-catarrhals’ – meaning it prevents excess mucous formation, it assists in removing phlegm, AND it and reduces inflammation in the body.
If you aren’t already convinced – studies demonstrate Elderberry’s powers:
A 2016 Austrian study showed that supplementation with elderberry can reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold in air travellers. Those who used elderberry 10 days before travel and up to 5 days after arriving had a noticeable reduction in symptoms as well as an average 2 day shorter duration.
There was a double-blind trial involving Elderberry during an outbreak of influenza B in Panama in 1995. Within 2 days there were significant improvements in symptoms, including fever, among 93.3% of those taking elderberry syrup. 90% of the elderberry group were completely well again within 2 – 3 days compared to 6 days in the placebo group.
You can make your own Elderberry syrup:
- 3/4 cup dried elderberries
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon dried cloves or 4 whole cloves or 1 drop clove essential oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 drop ginger essential oil
- 1 cup raw honey
- In a large pot, bring the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 40-45 minutes.
- Allow the liquid to cool, and then drain the liquid using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
- Press all liquid out of the berries using the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the raw honey and mix well.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to two months.
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