Should I Be Taking Elderberry?

What Is Elderberry?

Elderberry is the purple berry that grows on the Elder tree in North America and Europe. The edible fruit of the Elderberry shrub or Sambucus Nigra is used to make many things. The most well-known use is for boosting the Immune system. The elderberry is very nutritious; with just 105 calories and 10g of fiber, and 58% of the recommended daily amount of daily vitamin C! On top of all of that, they are full of flavonoids that provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. 

An Israeli researcher found that elderberry contains complex sugars that support the immune system in fighting a cold and the flu. According to Isreal21c, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel completed multiple test studies during the Southern Israel flu epidemic. What she found not only did the sambucol have dramatic improvements in symptoms like fever, cough, & muscle aches, and pains but also a higher percentage of her patients felt better than the untreated group. Within 24 hours 20% of the patients reported significant improvement, 73% improvement by day two and 90% feel better in three days vs the untreated group only had 16% feel better after two days. The subjects that received the placebo required six days to recover. She also found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses used to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. When taken before infection, elderberry prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents the spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. 

As mentioned above the most commonly known use of Elderberry is for the common cold and flu. But it is said to offer many benefits. According to RxList Elderberry is also beneficial and have been used for the following:

+ Sinus Pain

+ Back & Neck Pain

+ Cancer

+ Swine Flu

+ Gum Inflammation

+ Nerve Pain

+ Hay Fever

+ Weight Loss

+ Constipation

+ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

+ High Cholesterol

+ Headaches

+ HIV/AIDS

+ Toothache

+ Heart Disease

Keep in mind that the benefits lie in the extract, which can be taken in many different ways. According to Eating Well, it is important to remember that the concentration varies with each product and recipe resulting in different outcomes. Some may work better than others. It is not recommended to use Elderberry syrup that contains honey in children under 1 year of age. Ask for a syrup without honey if you wish to give to younger children.

 

References:

1) www.rxlist.com/elderberry/supplements.htm
2) https://www.israel21c.org/study-shows-israeli-elderberry-extract-effective-against-avian-flu/
3) http://www.eatingwell.com/article/2060857/health-benefits-of-elderberry/

 

Wellness Mama’s Elderberry Syrup Recipe

A simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey, and herbs for an immune-boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.

Course: Remedy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 2cups
Calories: 6kcal
Author: Katie Wells

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, ginger,       cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
  4. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
  5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  6. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  7. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
  8. 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.
  9. Ta-da! You just made 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.

Notes

Instant Pot option: Put all ingredients except honey in pot, seal lid, and set manually for 9 minutes on high pressure. Vent pressure and strain. When cooled to room temperature, stir in the honey.

The standard dose is ½ – 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tsp | Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.7g | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1.5g

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