Elderberry is making a popular name for itself, yet what is elderberry, where can I find it, and how can it help me this cold + flu season? I've got all the answers, as well as a great natural remedy. Have these immunity boosting cubes on hand the next time sickness hits your house, and get ready to bust that flu right out the door with the incredible elderberry health benefits.
What is elderberry?
Elderberry is a berry that comes from a Sambucus tree. It's been used for centuries by people throughout North America, Europe, northern Africa, and parts of Asia to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling. Raw elderberries are poisonous, so make sure they are properly cooked before consuming.
Elderberry isn't just a flu fighting force. Cooked elderberries make delicious jams, pies, syrups, juice, and wine, just like other berries. While you might not find them in the produce section of your local grocery store, they can often be found in their dried form in health food stores, or at local markets.
There is some controversy as to the effectiveness of elderberry in medicine, though it is one of the most common natural remedies found throughout history across multiple continents. A study by the US National Library of Medicine showed that elderberry significantly shortened the life of a cold.
Where to buy elderberry
Now that we know what elderberry is, let's talk about where to find it. I make elderberry syrup at home, and typically buy dried elderberries from Mountain Rose Herb. They source USDA certified organic ingredients, which is important to me when making natural remedies. If I'm out of homemade elderberry syrup and in a pinch, then I reach for Sambucol or Gaia black elderberry syrup.
Black elderberry syrup for colds - an age-old remedy
One of the oldest natural remedies for cold, flu, and sinus infections is a syrup made from elderberries. Black elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are a small, firm berry that are a deep, almost-black purple color. They grow in Europe and parts of North America. Like other berries as well as jewel-toned fruits, elderberry health benefits include vitamin C, anthocyanins, and other antioxidants. Vitamin C is especially important for a strong, healthy immune system.
Elderberry smoothie cube immunity boosters
I love using this elderberry smoothie cube recipe when I'm getting ready to travel, as well as when coming home from a trip. They make a great soothing drink full of elderberry health benefits when you feel under the weather. I want my immune system to reach its full potential, and these ingredients help it do just that. Since some of the ingredients in these smoothie cubes aren't as common, let's break them down.
Natural ingredients that specialize in health
First, I'll talk about Olive leaf extract, a liquid supplement derived from Olea europaea olive leaves and combined with benign carrier liquids such as glycerine and water. Suggested use for adults is 1 tablespoon per day. Do not give this to children unless instructed to be a medical professional.
Olive oil and olive leaves have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Olive leaves contain the powerful antioxidant called Oleuropein as well as a wide range of polyphenols. Oleuropein helps support the immune response and can also help with seasonal wellness.
Vitamin D3 is also used in these smoothie cubes. It contains properties that the immune system needs to stay strong. A diet rich in vitamin D3 can help fight certain kinds of cancer, autoimmune diseases, as well as osteoporosis. I use a liquid supplement that uses extra virgin olive oil as the carrier oil.
Using natural remedies
Once I started using a few natural remedies, and realizing they actually worked, I began finding a whole host of all natural recipes for my family. I don't waste time on 'remedies' that claim to work but don't. Instead, I've found some incredible recipes that really do all that they claim (and then some!), and now I use them on the regular to keep my family healthy.
- Natural decongestant chest rub
- Homemade fire cider tonic
- Honey lemon ginger tea
- Sleepy tea smoothie
- Natural toothpaste
- Natural deodorant
- Elderberry syrup
I also drink a green smoothie every single day, and find that when I stick with them, I don't get sick as often as when I don't have my daily smoothie.
Elderberry Remedy for FluRate this Recipe Print Recipe
- 1 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen )
- 1 ½ cups blackberries (fresh or frozen )
- 5 tablespoons black elderberry syrup
- 32 drops Vitamin D-3 drops 4000IU (100 mcg per serving)
- 8 ounce Olive Leaf Complex
- water (if needed)
- Place all ingredients except for water into blender. Puree until smooth. If needed, add enough water so there are 4 cups puree.
- Pour into two 16-well standard ice cube trays and freeze until firm enough to pop out. Remove the smoothie cubes from the trays and transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container until ready to use.
- To use, add 4 cubes per every 16 ounce smoothie.
- Substitute 4 cubes for ½ cup fruit in smoothie recipe, if desired.
- Other fruit or berries can be substituted for the blackberries and blueberries. Strawberries are very high in vitamin C and would make an excellent substitute.
- See this blog post for DIY Black Elderberry Syrup. Dried elderberries can be found online at stores like Mountain Rose Herbs.