Elderberry Syrup as Natural Remedy for Viral Infections
The elder tree, Sambucus nigra, is where elderberries come from. Almost every part of this plant has medicinal or culinary value.
An infusion of elderflowers is usually used as a tea but can also be used in cosmetics for sallow and aging skin. Elderflowers can be added to the cake batter, creams, and custards. They can also be made into a delicious syrup rich in phenolics and high in antioxidants.
Elder tree leaves can be used to make natural protection from mosquitoes. Wipe your arms and legs with it and spray it all over your hat and clothes if you know you will be working in a mosquito-ridden area. Elder leaves can also be added to compost to improve its nutrient content. Besides, an ointment made from leaves can be used to treat bruises and sprains.
Another folks remedy based on this plant is a remedy for kidney complaints made by soaking elder roots in water.
In some traditions, dried and powdered inner bark of the elder tree is used to prepare tincture to relieve epileptic fits.
The juice of ripe berries can be applied directly to burns for almost instant relief.
However, it is the berry of this tree that has recently caught the attention of scientists. It turned out that being high in flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals elderberries can be used as a natural treatment for many respiratory, cardiovascular, and mental health problems.
What Did Dr. Sebi Recommend Elderberry For?
Although almost all the parts of this tree have certain healing properties, Dr. Sebi focused on the berries. Elderberry is a herb he recommended for detox because it successfully removes the mucus from the upper respiratory system and the lungs. Besides, elderberry helps increase the urine flow and promotes sweating, both of which are important during a detox.
However, freeing the body of toxins is only half the battle. Unless your immune system is strong, your body will be unable to fight free radicals and toxins from your environment. Elderberry is one of the herbal remedies Dr. Sebi believed to be a powerful immune booster.
What traditional healers somehow knew all along and the scientist only recently became aware of, elderberries owe their healing powers to their antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and antidepressant properties.
Science-Approved Elderberry Treatments
Science often doesn’t approve of natural remedies, even if they’ve been successfully used by many medical traditions. That is not the case with elderberry, simply because it’s health benefits are too many to be ignored.
5 common uses of elderberry syrup or supplements:
- Anti-viral and anti-microbial
Numerous studies confirm that elderberry is a natural remedy for different strains of influenza virus. If taken during the early stages, elderberry can reduce the duration of flu to 3-4 days and also speed up recovery by increasing the antibody count.
Its antiviral properties have been confirmed by clinical studies and we now know without a shadow of a doubt that elderberry can be successfully used to relieve symptoms of flu, colds, sinusitis, and herpes simplex.
Elderberries (either in the form of syrup or supplements) work by preventing the multiplication of the influenza virus and increase the body’s ability to fight infection by boosting the production of cytokines and antibodies.
Elderberry is a rich source of antioxidants which explains why it successfully boosts the immune system. Most conditions where the immune system has been compromised can be improved by taking elderberry supplements.
Clinical studies show that elderberry supplements both protect and stimulate the immune system when administered to cancer or HIV/AIDS patients, provided they are given in combination with chemotherapeutic or other treatments.
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
Elderberry fruit contains high levels of flavonoids, which gives it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These help to protect healthy cells from harmful free radicals that can cause various skin problems. Being high in vitamin A, elderberries efficiently treat different skin problems, eg they can help soothe the irritated skin, reduce the appearance of age spots, lessen wrinkles, help treat acne, etc.
- Reduction of cold symptoms in air-travelers
Elderberry supplementation can prevent or reduce cold symptoms in air-travelers. Intercontinental air travel can be stressful, especially for those with sensitive respiratory organs. For best results, start taking elderberry supplements or syrup before or during the flight.
- As an alternative to antibiotics
Upper respiratory symptoms are often treated with antibiotics and antiviral medications which, if taken often, come with many side effects. On the other hand, elderberry supplements are perfectly safe to take for months on end and will successfully prevent or significantly reduce upper respiratory symptoms. Elderberries are a fantastic alternative to antibiotics during the flu season.
Although it is usually used to fight influenza virus and boost the immune system, elderberry can help with many other conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol levels
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Swine flu
- Hay fever
- Nerve pain
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup is probably the easiest way to benefit from this versatile plant. One batch lasts for 3 – 4 months (if kept in a fridge) so depending on how much you plan to take or how many people will use it, adjust the quantity of ingredients accordingly.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe (about 50 servings)
- 1 cup fresh elderberries
- 3 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 cup honey
- Cook elderberries, water, cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Use a potato masher or a fork to mash berries (or do that manually) to get as much juice as possible.
- Strain the mixture and discard the pulp. Let the juice cool.
- While juice is still warm, add honey and mix well. Transfer to a glass jar with a tight lid. Keep in the fridge.
- If you feel the flu coming or are around someone who has the flu, take 1 spoonful of syrup 4 times a day for 5 days.
- You can also take it as a precaution during the flu season