You feel it coming on, that all to familiar scratchy throat, glassy eyes and runny nose. The unpopular but ever present threat in the winter time is invading your body! The common cold has haunted mankind for centuries and has caused countless missed days from school, work and the fun events of life. But you don’t have to suffer from colds or at least have them hang on for any longer then is absolutely necessary! About five years ago I started incorporating the use of elderberries into my wintertime arsenal to combat those pesky viruses. I’ve never been sorry and have seen lots of evidence of it’s efficacy.
Sambucus Nigra or black elderberry is believed to be native to Europe but you can find this flowering bush in many places that have fertile soil and sunny locations all around the United States. Many times it can be found along the road or on the edges of pastures. This little berry is jam packed with antioxidants and makes a wonderful jelly or syrup to add to your pancakes! It contains a substance called Antivirin that can help neutralize the spikes that are located on the outside of a virus cell. Viruses are not able to replicate unless they are contained in a healthy cell so these “spikes” allow them to penetrate these cells. The Antivirin helps to dissipate these spikes that allows them to do this, thus weakening the viral cell not allowing it to replicate! This makes the berries a great ally to fight colds and flu!
You can usually find elderberry syrup at your local store and it is essential to take it at the first sign of a cold before the virus is able to obtain a good foot hold on your body. It is super easy to make your elderberry and much cheaper! Here is a simple recipe to bottle your own up and have it ready for your family in the event of a respiratory infection.
What you need:
1/2 cup of dried elderberries
3 cups of filtered water
1/2 to 1 cup of raw honey
What you do:
Bring berries, cinnamon and water to a boil and simmer on low for 30 minutes covered. Mash berries and pour liquid through a sieve straining out berries and cinnamon. Allow to cool and stir in raw honey. This will keep for 3 months in the refrigerator.
Place a label on your syrup with the date and contents for future reference.
Another Great Variation:
1/2 cup dried elderberries
1″ piece fresh ginger root
3 cups filtered water
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raw honey
Place everything in a saucepan except for the honey and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes, mashing berries. Strain through a sieve and allow to cool. Add honey and combine well. Great for colds and flu! Will keep for 3 months in refrigerator.
For another fun alternative for children or adults too! Try this recipe for elderberry gum drops! It’s a great way to make your elderberry portable and kids love them! I can’t take credit for this one. Thank you Vintage Remedies 🙂