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Wellness Wisdom: The Magic of Elderberry

As the weather begins to change and the seasons flow one to the next, nature has our back with herbs and medicinal weeds, flowers and berries to support our health. Elderberry is one such plant with a magic all its own.  I read that Native Americans once used the branches of Black Elderberry to make flutes, so it is sometimes called “the tree of music.”. In Harry Potter, the all-powerful Elder Wand was made from the branch of an elder tree.

There are several varieties of the Sambucus or Elderberry tree, the most common being Sambucus nigra, aka European or black elderberry, it has clusters of small white or cream-colored flowers known as elderflowers and the blue or black berries are found in small bunches. Though there are a variety of ways to use elderberry, the most common use is to treat cold or flu. Studies show that it can help lessen the severity and duration of both. (Source).

Elderflowers and leaves can be used for pain relief, swelling and inflammation. Since it’s high in antioxidants, elderberry is great for our skin, supporting collagen health and helping to combat premature wrinkling, the flower providing softness and tone.

The dried berries or juice can be used to treat influenza, infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, heart and cholesterol issues and nerve pain (2). The berries themselves are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium, antioxidants and fiber. However, raw, uncooked elderberries are poisonous so you must cook them to rid them of their toxicity. Since elderberry has mild diuretic effects, proceed with caution if taking any water pills. Also be aware that elderberry can over-stimulate the immune system so be sure to consult a healthcare provider if you are dealing with autoimmune issues. (Source)

Elderberry extract can be used in a variety of forms. There are capsules, tablets or sprays, lozenges, syrups, jellies, jams, juices and wines, astringents, liquid supplements and teas.
We have many of these varieties available here at Open Harvest. I welcome you to stop in and take a look.

Blessings and good health!

 


 

Elderberry Products Available at Open Harvest:

Local Products

  • Spiritus Vitae Botanicals: 
    • Elderberry Shrub
      8 oz – $13.99
      A delicious drinking vinegar, perfect as a daily tonic, on its own or with soda water for a healthy cocktail. Also great as a sweet and sour salad dressing.
    • Elderberry Syrup
      4 oz – $11.99
      8 oz – $17.99
  • Prairie Star Botanicals: 
    • Elderberry Tincture 1 oz – $12.99

Other Products

  • Mountain Rose Herbs: Organic Bulk Elderberries – $1.89/oz or $30.24/lb
  • Herbs for Kids: Elderberry Syrup – $13.29
  • Zand: Elderberry Lozenges – $2.99
  • Zand: Elderberry Gummies – $13.29
  • Gaia: Black Elderberry Nighttime Syrup – $21.99
  • Sambucol: Black Elderberry Syrup – $14.99
  • Wish Garden: Kick Ass Immune Blend – .66oz $9.99 or 2oz $19.99
  • Urban Moonshine: Immune Zoom – $8.99

 


 

Elderberry Recipes

How to Make Elderberry Syrup
Recipe by: Katie Wells

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.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 2 Cups
Calories: 6

Ingredients

  • 3½ cups water
  • 2/3 cup elderberries dried or (1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen)
  • 2 TBSP ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup raw honey

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  jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  9. Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties.


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.

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

 

Find great recipe ideas using elderberry here: https://www.gaiaherbs.com/pages/search-results?q=elderberry+recipe