One of the stables in my alternative medicine cabinet is Elderberry syrup, and during the cold and flu season, I tend to give a bottle as a gift, that is how much I believe in its versatile power. But, I have found that not everyone seems to know much about this dark and mysterious berry, so I am sharing with some information on the health benefits of elderberry today.The Powerful Elderberry And It's Health Benefits / Avalon-Media #healthyliving Click To Tweet
Elderberry syrup is, as I already mentioned particularly important during the cold and flu season. With its immune building power, it can prevent, or at least shorten the flu. Elderberry tea can shorten the duration tremendously, from 6 to 2 days (source: https://www.kraeuter-verzeichnis.de/kraeuter/holunder-neu.htm). The high vitamin content in the elderberry is partially responsible for that.
Elderberry flowers have anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid in various ways. One of those is that it can loosen mucus.
Sufferers from allergies (like me) will also love this berry – best if taken as a syrup for this particular issue. Taken regularly, allergies are lessened, without the chemicals and side effects of the otherwise available standard medications. I would not enjoy much of spring without it.
The antioxidants in the berry aid in lowering cholesterol, strengthen the heart muscle, and even strengthens eyesight. Studies show that elderberry even helps prevent cancer, which to me makes this berry a true powerhouse
Flowers can be collected between June and July, berries in September and October
Flowers smell sweet, but the leaves have a rather unpleasant smell to it.
Never eat elderberries raw! Elderberries are poisonous in their unprocessed form.
Use 1 tablespoon of dried or 2 tablespoons of fresh elderberry flowers, for 250 ml of hot water. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, strain, and sweeten it with honey as desired. Drink hot, 2 cups a day when experiencing cold or flu symptoms.
The culinary use lays in its syrup, which is derived from the berries, as well in creations of jams, jellies, sauces and pies. Eating the cooked berries by themselves is not advised as they are bitter on their own. Elderberry wine is, on the other hand, is quite delicious. The only other edible part of the elder is its white flower blossoms, which can be deep-fried, in a light batter.
Matches well with: Jams, jellies, pies, simple flour batters, sweets in general.
For those of us who follow a Pagan path, you might find it interesting that to note that elderberry is particularly considered the home of the Germanic Goddess Holda.