Elderberries come from the European Black Elderberry plant, which is grown all around the world. There are various subspecies of the Elderberry shrub, but all of them are healthy and beneficial. People have valued and used the medicinal properties of elderberries for centuries.
In 400 BC, Hippocrates referred to it as his “medicine chest” due to its various medicinal properties. It was also mentioned in the writings of Pliny the Elder that depicted the practices of the ancient Romans.
The consumption of black elderberry inhibits the replication of influenza A and B viruses and destroys bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections.
Moreover, it soothes the symptoms of colds and the flu, strengthens the immune system, and fight inflammation. Elderberries also treat various cancers and inhibit the production of hormone-like cytokines, which are responsible for the production of white blood cells that can cause inflammation.
Their active compound, Antivirin, prevents the flu virus from invading the membranes of healthy cells.
Elderberries are rich in flavonoids, such as the anthocyanins cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-sambubioside, and they stimulate the immune system by supporting the production of cytokines by monocytes.
Elderberries also inhibit the haemagglutination of the influenza virus and prevent the adhesion of the virus to the cell receptors. The anti-inflammatory properties of anthocyanins also relieve fever, pain, and aches.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS
“A 2009 study randomized patients into two groups: One group was given four doses of 175-milligram proprietary elderberry extract daily, and the other group received a placebo daily for two days.
The extract-treated group showed significant improvement in most flu symptoms, while the placebo group showed no improvement or an increase in the severity of symptoms. Researchers conclude that the extract is effective in controlling influenza symptoms.
Another study published in the Journal of International Medical Research showed that when the extract is used within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, it shortens the duration of flu symptoms by an average of four days.
A 2016 study published in Nutrients showed that elderberry supplementation can reduce the duration and symptoms of a cold in air travelers. Travelers using this herb from 10 days before travel until four to five days after arriving overseas experienced, on average, a two-day shorter duration of their colds and also a noticeable reduction in cold symptoms.”
Furthermore, elderberry is also effective against the Avian flu, specifically Panama B strain. According to the CDC, it has a mortality rate of 60% in the 600 cases reported worldwide. The main concern is that it might mutate and adapt in order to allow transmission and thus cause a deadly pandemic.
You can consume elderberries in various ways, but the elderberry syrup is one of the easiest ways to reap their benefits. It will fortify your immune system, and improve overall health.
Elderberry syrup recipe:
- 16 ounces of elderberry juice
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey
You should initially prepare the elderberry juice. Place elderberries in a saucepan, cover them with water, and heat until the mixture starts to boil. Then, remove from heat, but leave the elderberries in the liquid for a few hours. Afterward, strain the liquid, discard the berries, and store it in the fridge.
Next, in a saucepan, mix the elderberry juice with lemon juice, and heat over medium heat. Bring the mixture to boil, allow to simmer for 20 minutes, and remove from heat.
Add the honey, and drink the syrup while warm.
It will help you prevent colds and the flu, and also relieve their symptoms. It will also strengthen your immune system and help your body to fight disease.