There is evidence of the Black Elder being used since the stone ages. Folklore tells of Elder having magical powers of protection and longevity. It was also known as “the medicine chest of the country people”.
The berries of the elder plant are high in iron and vitamin C. They contain antioxidants and flavonoids as well as many other beneficial healing properties. The berries activate immunity by increasing cytokine production to prevent damage caused by free radicals, helping to keep the immune system healthy and strong. Elderberries antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-rheumatic properties have been scientifically shown to stop the symptoms of the cold and flu virus.
The flowers of Black Elder have decongestant and relaxing effects to ease cough and respiratory congestion. They are also antispasmodic to the gut which protects against irritation and inflammation.
One of the best ways to reap the many benefits of Black Elderberry is with delicious Elderberry Syrup. Most syrups are made with fresh or dried elderberries, elder flowers, warming herbs and spices and raw honey.
Every year I make up a batch of Elderberry Elixir, adding astragalus root and medicinal mushrooms to my Elderberry Syrup, for additional immune enhancing properties. It is my go-to remedy, taken at the onset of cold symptoms, and it is also useful to take daily, for prevention, during the cold and flu season. I like to add a healthy tablespoon to hot herbal tea or to make a cool drink by adding it to water or seltzer. Elderberry Syrup can be poured over yogurt or even ice cream for a healthy dose of immune boosting herbal joy!
At Maggie's Market we have many wonderful herbal companies that produce the most glorious Elderberry Syrups, teas and tinctures. We are always happy to assist you in making the best choices for the benefit of your health and for a healthy lifestyle.
Melissa Mustapha Herbalist/Manager at Maggie's Market