Elderberry is the most popular cold remedy around the world. Native Americans used elderberry to treat infections and the Egyptians used it to improve their complexions and heal burns. Many parts of Europe use the medicinal plant in folk medicine. Today elderberry is taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. Raw elderberries, bark, and leaves of the plant are known to be poisonous and cause stomach problems and this why one should never eat them raw. Elderberries should always be cooked properly before ingesting. In this week’s series, I will describe
What is elderberry
*The health benefits of elderberry
*How to make elderberry syrup
*The Natural and Organic benefits that come with elderberries
What is Elderberry?
There are different varieties of the Sambucus tree, and Elderberry is one variety of the flowering plant belonging to the Adoxaceae family. Sambucus nigra, also known as the European elderberry or black elder. Although grown all over the world this tree is native to Europe.
This tree grows up to 30 feet and has clusters of small white to cream-colored flowers known as elderflowers. The berries are found in small black or blue-black bunches. The berries are tart and need to be cooked before eating. The flowers, however, can be eaten raw or cooked. There is another variety which includes the American elder, dwarf elder, blue elderberry, danewort, ref-fruited, and antelope brush. Use only blue elderberries for syrup. The red ones are potentially toxic if eaten in large doses.
Parts of the elderberry tree are used for medicinal purposes and culinary purposes. Traditionally the flowers and leaves were used for pain relief, swelling, inflammation, and to induce sweating. Historically the bark was used as a diuretic, laxative and to induce vomiting. In folk medicine, the dried berries or juice from the berries are used to treat influenza, infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, heart pain, and nerve pain, as well as a laxative and diuretic.
In culinary the berries can be cooked and used to make juice, jams, chutneys, pies and elderberry wine. The flowers are often boiled with sugar to make a sweet syrup or infused tea
The healthy Benefits of Elderberry
· May fight cold and flu symptoms, support heart health and fight inflammation and infections
· High in nutrients like Vitamin C, dietary fiber, antioxidants that can help reduce damage from oxidative stress in the body
· Rich in anthocyanins which are a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects
· May support the immune system by building defenses that block harmful bacteria.
· Fights harmful bacteria like Helicobacter pylori and may improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis
How to make Elderberry Syrup
When I make a batch of elderberry syrup, I combine different herbs to get the maximum effect. Previously I made a blog post about the herbs I will be adding in today's recipe. To view this information go to my blog How I Transformed Elderberry Syrup for further details.
1 1/2 cups of dried organic elderberries
5 1/2 cups of distilled water
2 cups of honey
1 tsp. Echinacea Herb
1 tsp Peppermint leaf
Cloves (Use your discretion)
Cinnamon (Use your discretion)
Supplies you will need
16 0z Mason Jars
Labels to attach to Jars
Place the berries, herbs, and cloves in a saucepan and cover with water. Turn heat on. Add cinnamon stick once the mixture begins to boil. Bring to a boil, reduce, heat, and simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes. I cook the berries close to the 45-minute mark.
Smash the berries, strain in a cheesecloth through a fine strainer. Add the honey and stir.
Bottle the syrup and store in the refrigerator where it can be kept for 2 to 3 months.
Directions Take 1-2 tbsp daily. When you are symptomatic you can take 1 tsp every 4 hours.
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