Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Yes, this post's focus is on the wonderful berry of the elder plant, but we are also going to hone in on its flower properties as well! Both the berries and the flowers of this plant offer benefits to our health, mainly that of bolstering our immune systems. The secret is in their rich bioflavonoids! Below you will see an image of the Elder Plant; one of my herbal insight drawings. Let's break down the basics of this beautiful botanical:
Botanical Name: Sambucus Nigra
Common Names: Black Elder, Bore Tree, European Elder, Sambuca
Common Medicinal Uses: The bioflavonoids in the berry & flower of the plant offer immune protection, specifically for the respiratory system. Consuming the extract from the elderberry and/or flower can assist in resisting a cold/flu, or restoring from a cold/flu virus. A mouth wash made from the flowers of the elder plant can help ease the pain of a sore throat and possibly shorten its duration.
Common Culinary Uses: The berry's juice is slightly sweet, which is why it is often used in jams, jellies, syrups, cordials, and wines.
Caution Note: Do not eat the leaves, root, or bark of this plant.
This recipe is made with dried elderberries, honey, and herbs for an immune-boosting, delicious syrup. Creates: About 1 quart
⅔ cup black elderberries (dried)
3½ cups of water
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon cloves powder
1 cup raw honey (raw honey is best- Raw local or Manuka raw is fantastic)!
Optional: Add Elderflowers to mix (add 1/4 cup flowers to the mix and boil with berries)
Pour water into a medium saucepan. Add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves (do not add honey yet). Bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove the saucepan from heat and let cool. Mash berries carefully using a large fork or masher. Pour through a strainer into a bowl. Discard the elderberries (or compost or feed to the birds). Let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of pure honey and stir well. When the honey is mixed in well, pour the syrup into a pint-sized mason jar. TA-DA! You have just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge.
Maintenance dosage: Children under age 12- ½ tsp to 1 tsp daily. Adults- ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp a daily. * If the flu does strike, take the normal dose (depending on if you are a child or adult) every 3 hours (instead of once a day) until symptoms disappear.
Do not want to make your own? * Elderberry-based products to check out:
Garden of Life Organic Elderberry Immune Syrup ($23) With Organic Echinacea. Zinc and Vitamin C. USDA Organic. Non-GMO Project Verified. No Added Sugars. Kosher. Gluten-Free. Vegan. http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-8855512-13453131?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vitacost.com%2Fgarden-of-life-mykind-organics-elderberry-immune-syrup%3Fcsrc%3DGPF-658010123198&cjsku=658010123198
MegaFood Elderberry Immune Support Berry 90 Gummies ($20) Elderberry Immune Support contains organic elderberry for plant-powered immune support, + ginger, wild blueberry, and zinc which plays a vital role in the body's immune response. http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-8855512-13453131?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vitacost.com%2Fmegafood-elderberry-immune-support%3Fcsrc%3DGPF-051494103586&cjsku=051494103586
Doctor's Best Elderberry Gummies with Vitamin C & Zinc Berry Blast 60 Gummies($12) This immune health booster is your trusty companion especially during the cold season. Contains immune boosting antioxidants of C & Zinc. http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-8855512-13453131?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vitacost.com%2Fdoctors-best-elderberry-gummies-with-vitamin-c-zinc%3Fcsrc%3DGPF-753950005075&cjsku=753950005075
Please know that this information is for your personal enrichment and educational purposes only. This is not a medical prescription or instruction. This information is NOT intended to replace any medical care, medical advice or protocol.