The Elderberry is an amazing little berry full of immune system building goodness. It has been used to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, and improve heart health. It has also been used for centuries to treat and prevent coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. It’s even been used to treat flu epidemics, HIV patients, cancer patients, and other patients with compromised immune systems.
“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. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.”
And if all that isn’t amazing enough, it’s super simple to make your own Elderberry Elixir to keep your family healthy this cold and flu season as well. We recently mixed up a batch for the winter ahead. I used dried berries that I purchased at my local apothecary, but in many areas, you may have them growing right in your own back yard.
BE CAREFUL to be sure you know what you are working with. Some berries are poisonous and elderberries themselves are only safe when fully ripened and cooked. But if you can find some and verify that’s indeed what they are, you’ll have a wonderful source of free berries for years to come. I intend to plant my own elderberry bushes this coming spring for this very reason. In the meantime…
You will need the following. Most of these can be found at your local herbalist or apothecary (some can be found at Amazon–links below.). Again, it cost me $18 for all of it.
7 cups of water (filtered, boiled…pure is best)
1 cup dried Elderberries
3 medium slices Astragalus Tongues
6 pieces of Fo-Ti (Ho shu wa)
1 ounce dried Rosehips
1/4 ounce dried nettles
2 cups honey (or less depending on your taste)
Directions: bring water to a boil in an enamel or stainless steel pot. Add Elderberries, Astragulus, Fo-Ti, & Rosehips. Stir and cover and simmer for 35 minutes on very low heat. Add Nettles. Simmer for another 7 minutes. Turn off heat and mash the berries in the pan. Strain a few times. Then add honey while everything is still warm.
Bottle it up. This batch made two full quarts. Keep it in the fridge. Take a daily supplement throughout the winter season. Adults–2 tsp daily. Kids 1 tsp daily.
If you prefer, you can take only after getting sick. For that, adults take 2 tsp 4 times a day. Kids 1 tsp 4 times a day. Your cold or flu will be greatly lessened and will generally be gone in a day or two instead of a week or two.