The rare times that I do end up getting sick, it’s elderberries to the rescue! These delicious berries were considered “the medicine chest of the common people” by the Indians and American settlers. They have a longgggg history of use in herbal medicine, which isn’t surprising when you realize what these babies contain:
- organic pigments
- amino acids
- vitamin A and B and a huge ass amount of vitamin C
The properties of elderberries are awesome shizzzzzz. One thing they are very popular for is to treat the flu. These berries prevent the flu virus from attaching to our cells and therefore, it shortens the duration and severity of the flu. SUH-WEETTTT!!!
“Israeli researchers have developed five formulas based on elderberry fruit that have been clinically proven to prevent and ameliorate all kinds of influenza. The complex sugars of the berries are the immune-active fraction.” -Mountain Rose Herbs
Here come the amazing benefits….ready for it….here it comes…elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis, and breathhhhhh. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. In 1995, elderberry was used to tree the flu in Panama. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Which is why it’s my go-to supplement once I get the sickies. It helps lessen my symptoms, I recover faster and this stella gets her groove back wayyyy faster than without it.
Elderberrys are so awesome that they are listed in the 2000 Mosby’s Nursing Drug reference for colds, flu, yeast infections, nasal and chest congestion, and hay fever. In Israel, Hasassah’s Oncology Lab has determined that elderberry stimulates the body’s immune system and they are treating cancer and AIDS patients with it! That’s amazing! Forget taking medicines that merely mask your symptoms, instead treat your aliments and build a better, stronger and more resilient immune system.
Here’s a little bit of a crotch kicker..the leaves and stems of the plant are poisonous, but do not fear! We don’t use the leaves and stems, we use THE BERRIES. Sambucus nigra is the variety of Elderberry that is most often used for health benefits, keep this in mind as you shop for it.
You can take elderberry in many forms: preserves, teas, syrups, tinctures, etc. Since I use elderberry to treat colds, flu and like sicknesses, I personally buy the already made supplements and leave the making from scratch to someone else. If you’re more interested in DIY, check out this page on the Wellness Mama website. She gives you tons of ways and recipes to use Elderberry.