Why Elderberry? What are the risks and what are the benefits of using elderberry?
I started out doing some research of homeopathic ways of treating colds and the flu. It led me to Pinterest and there were so many recipes. Problem was that I needed something my 3 month old could take too. Of course I am not a doctor and I do not claim to diagnose or treat anything (disclaimer here). I only know what helped us. You can go to Walmart and see the constipation ease is made from prune concentrate. Did you know doctors advise against juice before 4-6 months of age? Our pediatrician recommended to use in my 7 week old. So I was like if prunes are okay in moderation then why couldn’t elderberry be? In composition it isn’t much different than that of a black berry.
Browsing Pinterest for hours and hours they all had the one thing that infants could not have, honey.
So I decided I’m going to go with just the easiest way possible. My kids didn’t like the flavor of elderberry. Granted, it smells like feet when cooking and it doesn’t taste much better. Some people love the flavor but I feel like it’s an acquired taste. So I decided let’s try something here. I cooked the elderberry for an hour then separated the berry from the juice. Previously purchased some gelatin. Then I made a half gallon of koolaid. I made some simple syrup and mixed it all together and made candy gummies for the kids. I still have simple syrup and some elderberry juice left over.
Here is some information on elderberry.
Sambucus Nigra, which is a black elderberry plant and it grows up to 30 feet tall. Did you know the plant is very similar to the pokeberry plant so you have to know the difference when foraging. If you actually planted this bush or are buying the berries outright then you know it is a trusted source. It grows in an umbrella like cluster. While I do not have a bush planted, I went to my local herbal shop and purchased a couple pounds of dehydrated berries.
The berries must be cooked prior to consumption because it is said to be a poisonous plant. Did you know elderberry has been used for pain relief, swelling, inflammation, to stimulate the production of urine and to induce sweating? The bark can be used as a diuretic, laxative and to induce vomiting. the dried berries or juice are used to treat influenza, infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, heart pain and nerve pain, as well as a laxative and diuretic. There are some mentions of elderberry helping the ability to stabilize blood sugar.
They are high in vitamin C, high in dietary fiber, powerful antioxidants, and a great source of flavonoids.
It also has anthocyanins which is what reduces inflammation. Want the pub med study shown to prove the medicinal effects of treating colds and flu? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28198157/
One study of 60 people with influenza found that those who took 15 ml of elderberry syrup four times per day showed symptom improvement in two to four days, while the control group took seven to eight days to improve.
Take note that the majority of research has only been performed on commercial products, and there is little information about the safety or efficacy of homemade remedies.
One study shows that elderberry can cut illness time in half by 50%.
If you are looking to make your own elderberry and do not have the plant, you can check out local herbal shops near you or visit Amazon. This is the black elderberries that I use___ they are dried and packaged and ship fast. My recipe for my homemade syrup is *here*.