When you wake up with a cold, a sore throat, or you just feel run down, then one thing I always recommend is Elderberry to get you on the right track again.
It’s the same when you suffer from a fever, or have lots of phlegm, all of these signs add up to you not being well and fighting flu or a cold.
Elderberry Elixir is something I always turn to in this situation. I used to use elderberry syrup, but I found that it seems to be more effective when it’s not heated, when it’s made into an elixir, it seems to retain more of its health benefits. Now I know some people claim that raw elderberries are carcinogenic, but an elderberry Elixir here is not about consuming large quantities of raw elderberries, as I will explain.
But what I do know is that after half a dozen doses in 48 hours, Elderberry usually helps to sort things out, and that’s backed up by scientific studies.
Why Am So Passionate About Elderberry For Health Benefits
Elderberry has been shown to stimulate the immune system. But that could actually make it not recommend for someone with an autoimmune disorder, or other chronic diseases which can respond negatively to a stimulated immune system.
However, Elderberry seems to modulate the immune system. That seems to be the appropriate term.
Anything viral, I always recommend it. It’s been around since the dawn of time, and was used by the Druids, and herbalists, for thousands of years for a range of ailments. It’s anecdotal, but they wouldn’t have kept using it for such a long time if it had no effect.
It’s only in modern times that people have become skeptical and only believe that modern medicines can do the trick, when the truth is that many herbal remedies have a strong pedigree that have been around since we could talk, and even before.
The truth is Elderberry contains a range of strong natural anti-inflammatories and natural antioxidants. It’s also high in vitamins C, as well as phenolic acids and flavanols.
But won’t take my word for it, look at the science. Endless scientific studies have found that Elderberry helps to speed up recovering from flu and cold.
In terms of influenza, one study found that people who took 15 ml of elderberry syrup per day recovered from flu in around four days, compared eight days in a control group.
So this is scientifically based. Whatever is in Elderberry really helps with a range of ailments. So let’s take a look now in detail at how you can make a basic Elderberry Elixir which actually retains far more of the qualities of elderberry than syrup.
How To Make A Classic Elderberry Elixir
This elderberry Elixir is simple to make. Not only can it help when you have influenza or a cold, but it’s packed with natural antioxidants which when taken regularly can help with longevity and better health.
These ingredients you will need of your Elixir:
- 10 oz of fresh elderberries
- 1 pint canning jar (or any glass jar that seals well)
- A pint of high-quality brandy
- One third of a pint of raw honey
- A wooden stirring spoon
Once you have got the ingredients and tools together, these are the step by step instructions you need to follow to easily create a powerful elderberry Elixir:
- Firstly, fill the jar nearly to the top with the fresh elderberries.
- Then pour the honey in very slowly. Stir gently as necessary, until the berries are all well coated.
- Top up the jar to the top with brandy, gently stirring as you go until there are no air bubbles left. Make sure there is around 1 inch of spare space at the stop to allow the next step to happen.
- Carefully seal the jar, and then gently shake it. Enough to really mix the contents, and slightly break the elderberries, but not turn it into a mush.
- Leave it in a cool, dark place for about six weeks.
- Strain it carefully, reserving just the liquid. I would recommend are fine wire strainer rather than a muslin cloth, as it can be quite thick.
When it comes to using your elderberry Elixir, simply take one tablespoon every three hours when you start to feel unwell.
Take it more frequently than having a bigger dose. Three hours apart per dose consistently day and night, don’t try and take larger doses more frequently than that. Along with rest, you will feel better in a couple of days.
Are There Any Side Effects To Taking Elderberry As A Herbal Remedy?
Elderberries have been linked with carcinogenic substances. It’s true, that eating raw berries should not be something you do regularly or in large volumes. That’s the same with bark and leaves as well.
However, this preserving and straining process removes much of that risk. If you are concerned, then toxic substances contained within elderberries can be removed with gentle cooking.
But because you not actually eating the berries, and it’s been refined for weeks, you would have to be taking huge doses of this to get the side effects that are carcinogenic, or to suffer from diarrhea and sickness. At normal levels, it completely safe to use this Elixir without cooking the berries.
Some Other Key Herbal Remedies In My Herbalist Bag
I hope you can see why elderberries are a key component of my herbalist Bag. Easy to use, strongly antioxidant, fantastic for dealing with minor illnesses, they are perfect for everyone, including children.
However, be very aware of dosage, and if you are in any doubt, gently cook the elderberries before using them.
Elderberries are one of my key components, alongside Mullein, plus things like sage and peppermint.
I’m a modern herbalist, and I also use things like kratom, and Black Lotus flower as well for calming and anti-inflammatory properties alongside the traditional herbs.
So whatever type of herbalist you are, or want to be, take a look at the whole range of things you can use. You can’t go wrong by starting with the basics of the classic herbalist tools by using Elderberry, which has been in use successfully since the time of the Druids and back to the dawn of time.