It seems that today, there are a growing number of people who want to learn more about the plants that grow naturally and can be consumed. Modern people are aware of the negative effects of the additives and processed foods and that’s why they are looking for natural alternatives.
The good news is that there are dozens of plants that are rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, and other nutrients that can boost human health and contribute to the healing of many illnesses and prevent any disease.
Health Benefits of Using Elderberry
Herbs that come from Mother Nature and are safe for consumption are completely natural and not affected by chemicals, fertilizers, and similar carcinogenic substances and compounds. In ancient times, people used various natural herbs to enrich their diet. They knew that these foods are good for their health. Today, hundreds of years later, science has proven that wild natural plants that are safe for consumption are rich in essential nutrients that usually cannot be found in modern diets.
Elderberry, also known as Sambucus nigra, is a well-known herb that naturally grows in the Northern Hemisphere and in some parts of the Southern Hemisphere. Elderberry can be found in hills and mountainous areas covered with bushes and lower places like woods. The medicinal properties of these berries are located in all of its parts – roots, bark, fruit, leaves, and flower. This plant is packed with essential oils, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, malic acid, bitter compounds, sucrose, etc.
In many cases, people use the fruits and flowers of this plant to make juices, tea, jams, and even wine. This plant has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. Starting from the end of the 19th century, elderberry wine was available in London stores and it was especially popular among passengers and workers who wanted to boost their energy and refresh themselves when the weather was cold. In addition, many people walked with elder twigs in their pockets because they believed that they can save them from rheumatism.
The Elderberry leaves are very small and they come in pale yellow or white colors. They come in the form of shields when they are harvested. In addition, the fruits of this plant are small too, but they have a circular form. They have a dark blue color when they are ripe. When it comes to phytotherapy, people usually use elderberry flowers harvested in May and June when the weather is dry. If the leaves are dry they have the ability to collect moisture and that’s why they must be kept in containers that are sealed well.
Elderberry fruits are loaded with flavonoids, vitamin C, and plant proteins and they are great for the elimination of viruses and infections. Many people use them to prevent the flu and colds.
A recent scientific study conducted in Israel has confirmed that elderberry can significantly lower the chances of developing flu and colds (including swine H1N1 and avian H5N1 flu) and in addition, it reduces the intensity and makes these illnesses shorter. The scientists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Department of Virology) have reported that individuals dealing with influenza who ate elderberry regularly managed to eliminate this disease and its symptoms twice faster than sufferers who took placebo pills. According to these scientists, thanks to the active substance found in this plant, the flu lasts four days less.
If you want to prevent flu and colds, the best way to do this is to use an elderberry extract pellet of elderflower extract pellet (Healthline). In case you are interested in the extract, remember to take one or two tablespoons a day. In case you are already witnessing the symptoms of flu and colds, you can increase the dosage, but no more than four tablespoons a day.
Elderberry tea has proven to be very healthy. This herb is one of the favorite herbs in many cultures at least when it comes to healing respiratory problems. It is mostly used in cases of excessive sweating. Some experts claim that the color of the elderberry (which actually comes from the active ingredient) has the ability to reduce the maximum capacity of irritation and boosts the work of the system that manages to sweat.
So, taking a cup of elderberry tea will support sweating. One of the many health benefits of using elderberry is sweating because it helps in the elimination of toxins and the regulation of high temperatures. Obviously, these things are very useful for those suffering from flu, respiratory inflammation, and cold.
Traditional Elderberry Tea Recipe
In order to make an elderberry tea, follow this short guide:
- Take one teaspoon (or about 10 grams) of dried elderberry flowers and place them in a cup of boiled water. Seal the container for half an hour. Consume this tea with some raw honey. Use half a glass of it four times throughout the day. It is best to be used for about 20 minutes before you eat.
- If you are looking for excessive sweating you will need to mix elderberry flowers, mint leaves, and lime blossom. This mixture must contain equal parts of each ingredient. Pour two cups of water over one tablespoon of this natural mixture and boil it for 12 minutes. After that, strain the mixture and drink the solution while it is still hot. Once you are finished, lie down on the bed. Elderberry tea has the ability to ease dry coughs. That’s why you can find elderberry in many remedies used for cases of cough that come in the form of syrups or pills.
- Elderberry fruits can be used in cases of constipation and according to the experts; these fruits are efficient because they contain pectins and resins. A small number of people know how to make a tasty jam from ripe elderberry fruits. This jam is not only tasty and has a pleasant scent, but it is also good for bowel cleansing. It can be used for bowel cramps and inflammation in this area too. People recommend it for small kids. This is a perfectly safe natural remedy for constipation. Kids who are experiencing problems with constipation should take three tablespoons of elderberry jam.
- Leaves and fruits of young elderberry are packed with vitamins, especially with B-carotene and vitamin C. If you want to heal your body after some illness, it is highly recommended to prepare a tea from eight elderberry leaves. Pour boiled water over them and leave the tea for 15 minutes. Consume this healthy tea before your main meal.
- Elderberry can also help people suffering from sciatica, neuralgia, and lumbago. You can drink elderberry juice for this purpose (both hot and cold). Consumption of elderberry juice two times a day will result in fast recovery from these illnesses. This juice has the ability to treat facial nerve problems too.
It is good to point out that people can also prepare wine from this plant and in this case, they need to use ripe fruits. This is not only a tasty beverage, but it has the ability to make your body stronger. People are encouraged to use this drink when they feel psychologically or physically drained. Elderberry wine that comes from ripe elderberry fruits helps digestion, cleanses the blood, shrinks the belly and soothes intestinal cramps, boosts blood flow, and increases energy levels.
On the other hand, hot mulled wine from elderberry is great for cases of flu, colds, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems.
Traditional Elderberry Flowers Juice Recipe
- One lemon;
- One tablespoon of dried elderberry flowers;
- Two cups (500 ml) of wine vinegar;
- 2,2 lbs. (1 kg) of sugar;
- 1,3 gal (5 l) of water;
- 1 tablespoon of elderberry flowers.
Place the sugar in the water and pour the vinegar. Next, boil this solution for half an hour on low-medium heat. After that, add the flowers, lemon slices, and boil for additional five minutes. Leave this solution overnight and in the morning, use gauze to strain it. Finally, put the solution in clean bottles and seal them well.
Traditional Elderberry Wine Recipe
- Three lemons;
- 1,3 gal (5 l) of plain water;
- A dozen of blossoms of elderberry;
- 1,5 lb (700 g) of sugar;
- 1,25 cups (3 dl) of raw apple cider vinegar.
Put the sugar in hot water in order to dissolve. Wait until the syrup is cooled down. Add the apple cider vinegar, lemons, and elderberry blossoms to the syrup. Leave the solution for about one day. After that, pour the elderberry wine into clean glass bottles which are tightly sealed. Wait for two weeks (shake them from time to time). Once this period has passed, you can drink the wine. It is the best idea to use it after your meals. Drink about 1-2 cups.
The elderberry wine, juice, and jam have the ability to soothe tension, anxiety, and help in cases of insomnia.