The use of elderberry syrup to fight off illnesses is on the rise and for good reason. The use of elderberry flowers have mostly been used to cure the common cold for 100’s of years by the Native Americans and Europeans. There are records of their use since medieval times. Even the Ancient Egyptians have been said to have used elderberry and Hippocrates, known as the “father of medicine” used it to cure many illnesses. Its no wonder, with COVID tearing through the world, elderberry has become crazy popular again.
The most popular way elderberry is used today is by being made into a syrup. The elderberry alone is somewhat tart so local honey is usually added to sweeten it a bit. This has an added benefit of its own healing properties. Local honey can help ease a sore throat, help seasonal allergies, can also reduce the lifespan of a cold, and can help tame a stomach flu.
There are a few optional ingredients that can be added to elderberry syrup. Ginger root can be added for its mind and body benefits. It can help digestion, reduce nausea, and can help you fight the common cold and flu. Cinnamon is another great addition to elderberry. Cinnamon has a bunch of antioxidants and can be used as a natural food preservative.
Let’s get down to the science:
New studies have been coming out about the effectiveness of elderberry on the flu. A new study from the University of Sydney has found that elderberry doesn’t just shorten the life of the flu but it attacks it. Dr. Golnoosh Torabian says, “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.” But it gets better. The use of elderberry also proved to have a positive effect on cells that were already infect with the flu virus. Basically, you can take elderberry as a preventative measure and as a reactive medicine. This is great news! https://nutritionreview.org/2019/04/elderberry-compounds-directly-inhibit-flu-virus-entry-and-replication-in-human-cells/?fbclid=IwAR1zZokzb-p2MUjfg_eDyUbe-ZUVCW5GN6qDxdi5FXDXo32oP-bNW-aewNs
When do I take elderberry?
My family takes elderberry a few times a week because my husband is exposed to a lot of different people each day, but if any of us start feeling sick we will take it immediately and every day until we feel better. During an illness, adults can take 1 tablespoon every 2-3 hours and children (over age 1) can take 1 teaspoon every 1-3 hours. Because elderberry (fresh-made) uses honey, kids under 1 shouldn’t take it. As far as the taste goes, my 5 year old loves it and even asks for more but if you child doesn’t, you can always add it to something (smoothies, applesauce, or make it into popsicles).
How do I store elderberry syrup?
Most elderberry syrups, even commercial ones recommend refrigeration after opening. If you get it fresh or make it yourself it definitely needs to be refrigerated. It will normally last about 2 months if kept cold.
Where can you get elderberry?
Most holistic stores sell elderberry syrup and even larger chain stores are starting to sell it as well but it can really cost you. If you live in Southern Wisconsin/Norther Illinois, you definitely need to check out my friend’s business: Sweetland Elderberry Syrup. Kristine is a mom, wife, grandma, and a nurse who is a huge believer in the benefits your health can reap when you use elderberries. She uses local, Wisconsin honey and Mid-west elderberries. She makes it in a commercial kitchen that is fully licensed and inspected by the state of Wisconsin. She uses a blend of two elderberries to give you an even greater immune support boost. Definitely check her out. If you’re looking to make your own, shoot me a message and I can send you the recipe I use.
Now, go get yourself some elderberry syrup and help support your immune system for the upcoming cold season… you are going to need it!