The Elderberry is a fruit that contains antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and has many health benefits.
Elderberry is scientifically proven to reduce the duration of colds. It also reduces the risk of developing complications from colds.
This article will discuss how Elderberry syrup can help you ward off colds and its other health benefits and how you can use it as a treatment for them.
What is Elderberry Syrup and How is It Useful?
Elderberry has been used as an age-old remedy for many health problems. The syrup is made from elderberry fruit.
Elderberry is a fruit from the genus Sambucus. It is mainly found in Europe, North America, and Africa. Elderberry leaves and flowers contain a chemical compound called anthocyanins that has antioxidant properties and helps prevent heart disease and cancer.
Elderberry Syrup: A Remedy For Colds and Flu
Nature provides us with the necessary ingredients to treat various diseases such as colds and flu.
Elderberry syrup is especially beneficial for children as it prevents them from taking pharmacological medications.
In this way, elderberries are very helpful for preventing minor illnesses and reducing their symptoms quickly.
Elderberry Syrup Benefits
- May help to reduce symptoms of the flu
- May provide neuroprotective benefits
- May promote a healthy immune system
- May improve exercise performance
- May help to reduce the risk of chronic disease
Elderberries are rich in vitamins A, B, and C. They also improve the functioning of the immune system.
According to Israeli scientists, the complex sugars present in elderberries support the immune system because elderberries disarm the enzymes that viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the nose and throat.
If consumed after infection, elderberries prevent the virus from spreading throughout the respiratory system.
Below, you can find a homemade recipe to prepare elderberry syrup to improve the immune system’s defenses.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
The elderberry syrup recipe is straightforward to prepare.
You can use it as a home remedy or accompany foods such as waffles and pancakes.
- 2/3 cup dried elderberries (or 1 1/3 cups of fresh elderberries)
- Cinnamon (1 tablespoon)
- Ginger (2 tablespoons)
- Honey (1 cup)
- Cloves (1/2 tablespoon)
- Water (3 1/2 cups)
- In a medium saucepan, put the water, elderberries, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
- Cook until it boils and then lower it to a simmer for about 45 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool.
- Once cool, gently mash the berries using a spoon.
- Using a strainer, transfer the liquid to a bowl.
- Discard the berries and allow the liquid to warm.
- When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir.
- Next, put the liquid in a container or bottle.
- Store in the refrigerator and drink it daily to reap its benefits.
Why Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup?
While elderberry syrup is widely available, making it homemade is recommended for several reasons.
First, it is cheaper.
Second, you can vary the recipe according to your preferences and needs.
Finally, you avoid the chemical additives that some syrups may have.
FAQs about Elderberry Syrup
How Long Does Elderberry Syrup Last in The fridge?
Generally, elderberry syrup will last about two weeks in the refrigerator.
However, if stored in a mason jar and vacuum-sealed, it can last longer, even months.
Another way to preserve elderberry syrup for longer is to freeze it in small amounts and use what is needed.
Can I Harvest My Own Elderberries?
Yes, you can harvest your elderberries. But you should only harvest the berries, as the leaves and stems can be dangerous.
You can also grow your elderberry plant, although you must ensure it is the correct plant.
Can Elderberry Cause Cytokine Storm?
The so-called Cytokine Storm happens when the immune system overreacts and becomes untamed.
While there is some concern that elderberry syrup may cause Cytokine Storm, there is no evidence that this is the case.
Cytokine Storm is a sporadic disease, and there have been no reported cases of it being caused by the consumption of elderberries.
What is Elderberry Good For?
Elderberry syrup can be used as a preventative remedy and to treat the common cold and flu.
To use it as a preventive measure, you should only consume 1/2 tablespoon per day during the season of flu and colds.
In case of contracting a minor illness, you can increase the dose and consume between 2 and 3 tablespoons per day.
On the other hand, thanks to this syrup being delicious, you can also use it as an ingredient to accompany specific recipes.
Is There a Substitute For Honey in Elderberry Syrup?
Honey is not recommended for babies under two years of age. Also, if you don’t like honey, you can try these substitutes:
- Maple syrup
- nutrient-rich molasses
Skip any sweetener (in this way, the syrup is not formed but a juice)
You can also make an elderberry tincture for adults mixing the elderberry syrup concentrate with equal parts of white alcohol such as vodka or brandy, which replaces the sweetener but is not an option for children.
Can I Use Powdered Elderberries?
Elderberry Powder is also a possible option.
To make this recipe, you should only use 1/2 cup of elderberry powder instead of 2/3 cup.
Can Elderberries Be Reused?
Reuse of elderberry is not recommended. The mashing and boiling process takes away some of its nutrients.
There is also evidence that eating large amounts of whole berries can cause health problems.