Since my recent post on natural remedies for flu, colds, and other winter maladies, I've done a little more digging into related topics. Today I bring you - The Elderberry!
Elderberry, Black Elderberry, European Elder, American Elder
The Elderberry is a tall, woody shrub widespread in the northern hemisphere, native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa and can also be found in the United States.
The Elder has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is still primarily used for colds, sinus infections, and influenza (the flu) as well as treatment of the Herpes virus and other maladies. Many studies have been and are being done to discover all of the medicinal benefits this plant offers. As with most berries, elderberries contain antioxidants (antioxidants help protect cells from damaging effects of free radicals, the byproducts of toxins found in the environment that contribute to serious health problems). Elderberry is also said to lower cholesterol, improve heart health and vision, and aids in bacterial and viral infections including tonsillitis. While no study indicates the elderberry can prevent the flu, studies have shown this plant extract to be effective in significantly improving flu symptoms within two days of dosing (15 ml syrup four times daily), stimulating the immune system, and in having anti-inflammatory effects.
How Do I Take/Use Elderberry Syrup?
To relieve flu symptoms - begin taking elderberry extract (this can be found in health food stores nationwide as well as big name grocery stores and pharmacies or HERE) at the first sign of symptoms. The study indicated 15 ml syrup four times daily. I would suggest following the instructions on the bottle or that of your natural health care provider. There's also a kid's version.
To boost the immune system - directions on the elderberry syrup bottles suggest doses of 2 tsp. daily.
Drops - I am aware that elderberry is available in drops and other forms besides the syrup. I have not used these products therefore I will not provide links. I'd love to hear though, if there are some that you have used and trust as this is something I do want to look into. I'm wondering if it would be more cost efficient?
Do you use Elderberry Syrup or another form of Elderberry? Share with us how you use it!