Black Elderberries, Syrup & Tea
One of the most eye-opening facts that I learned this past year with regard to keeping myself healthy was about the existence of black elderberries, how to make black elderberry syrup and black elderberry-ginger tea.
What are black elderberries?
The National Gardening Association describes them as:
“Elderberries are one of the easiest and most versatile shrubs to grow in your edible landscape. These Central European and North American natives are often found growing wild along roadsides, forest edges, and abandoned fields.
The prize for growing elderberries is the fragrant, edible flowers and the delicious fruits. The dark purple berries contain vitamins A and B, and more vitamin C than oranges. They are also high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. In fact, elderberry fruits have historically been used to treat many ailments, such as respiratory problems, colds, and flus.”
In addition to being high in vitamins C, A and B, they also contain iron, calcium and are loaded with antioxidants and flavinoids. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can strengthen the immune system.
eHow Health states:
“The antioxidant flavonoids in black elderberry strengthen the immune system and help the body resist viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Viral infections are one of the major immune system threats. Black elderberry can combat a viral infection by preventing the virus from entering healthy cells. The antiviral agent acts to strip the virus of the hemagglutinin coating it uses for entering healthy cells. In addition to its antiviral properties, black elderberry can help to strengthen the immune system and combat infection while reducing symptoms of the flu.”
While looking for a good recipe, I came across a video (shown below) that shows how to easily make homemade black elderberry syrup. Compared to buying commerically-produced black elderberry syrup, which I have found ranges from $20 to $30 for a regular-sized bottle, purchasing the ingredients for this recipe was very inexpensive, and let’s face it, homemade is always better. More good news: This black elderberry syrup tastes delcious and usually gets two thumbs up from both adults and children.
In the wintertime for general maintenance I take either a tablespoon of the syrup per day or have a cup of my black elderberry-ginger tea. At the first sign of feeling run down or if I feel my immune system is working overtime, I begin a regimen of one tablespoon of syrup per hour. This really works well for me.
Items you will need to make the syrup:
½ cup dried black elderberries
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger root
2 cups spring water
1 cup wild local honey (raw is preferable)
Follow the instructions on the video below and enjoy!
Items you will need to make the tea:
1 tsp black elderberries
½ inch organic ginger root
1 tsp wild local honey (raw is preferable)
1. To make the tea, grate the ginger root. Put the ginger root and the elderberries into the mesh tea infuser.
2. Add the mesh tea infuser and honey to tea cup with boiling water. Let steep for 15 minutes.