Before I tell you about the usefulness of elderberries as a cough and flu suppressant, I want to tell you a little about the elderberry plant. This plant can be used in multiple ways and having just a few of them in your garden berry patch can keep you healthier. It can boost your immune system and has been used to fight the flu and shorten it as was witnessed in Panama with the flu epidemic that hit it.
Elder can be known as a detoxifier, it can help you cleanse your body. The brewed flowers of the elder plant can aid in kidney function and increase over all energy as well. Elder also promotes well being. Taken before bed it can help you to relieve stress, calm your nerves and give you a great nights sleep.
Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 "swine" flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) .
Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating.
Elderberry fruit is also used for making wine and as a food flavoring.
How does it work? Elderberry might affect the immune system. Elderberry seems to have activity against viruses including the flu, and might reduce inflammation
.Elderberry syrup on pancakes is also one of the best treats you will ever have. For the syrup do not add the cayenne pepper as I don't think anyone wants a spicy pancake.
Step 1: RECIPE: Elderberry Cough Syrup
I do not recommend giving this to kids unless directed by a doctor to do so as it does have honey in the recipe.
When I make this cough syrup I make it in big batches as we are big on elderberry around here, I will give a batch version of this recipe if you just want a jar of it for around the house.
For a small batch you will need:
2 cups elderberry fruit with the stems removed
5 cups of water
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup raw honey
Pour water into medium saucepan over elderberries, add ginger, cinnamon and cloves cayenne (do not add honey yet this will be the last step)
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled.
Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.
Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults.
If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
Step 2: ELDERBERRY TINCTURE RECIPE
Elderberry Tincture Recipe
What you need
clean mason jars
vodka (40% + alcohol)
1/2 Cup of sugar per 1/2 littre of Vodka
What to do To make this alcohol-based medicinal tincture, you must first pick a quantity of elderberries according to the amount you wish to make.
You need enough berries to fill your mason jar loosely with berries to within 1 inch of the rim. Here is a little hint put your elderberries in the freezer for about a half hour and then take the berry umbrellas by the main stem with one hand and with the other take the fork and use it to force the berries off the stem into the bowl below. When this is done place them in a pan of water and all the little tiny stems remaining will float to the surface, when you have removed these, take the colander and strain the berries.
Place the berries loosely into the jar followed by as much vodka as will fit into it, ensure the alcohol covers the berries by at least 1 inch so that the liquid fills the jar almost to its rim.
Add the necessary amount of sugar according to the amount of alcohol you have put in and close the lid tightly. Each day, shake the jar and during the first week, open the jar to ensure that the vodka still covers the berries, add a little more to it if necessary.
After 6-8 weeks open the jar and remove the berries by straining them through the colander. This herbal tincture will remain potent for 1-2 years if kept in a cool dark place, away from children of course! Remember to label the jar(s) with the ingredients and date them. If at any time you smell mold, then dispose of it immediately.
Dosage: Use an eye dropper and only take 1-2 drops as needed in a glass of water or other type of drink