With winter weather (at least in my neck of the woods) and what they refer to as cold and flu season just around the corner, not to mention Ebola looming on the horizon, I’m going to be featuring a number of posts in the near future that focus on strengthening the immune system. Today’s post features information on elderberry, an effective remedy for viral and bacterial infections, plus I have another great free health resource for you to check out! Yea!
(from MedicalMedium.com) Elderberries are one of the most effective remedies for viral and bacterial infections, such as colds and flu, and can substantially shorten the duration of your illness if you get sick. They contain special proteins and bioflavonoids that have the ability to destroy viruses on contact that infect cells in the body.
Elderberries also are known to have the ability to significantly enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines in the body. In addition, the are very beneficial for bronchial and respiratory problems and can help loosen and expel congestion in the lungs. Elderberry juice is known to relieve neurological spasms and tics in the face and body, as well as alleviate pain of neurological conditions such as sciatica.
Sambucol, a type of elderberry extract, has potent antioxidant abilities and has been shown to increase the production of lymphocytes, or immune cells, which are needed to fight off infection and are particularly beneficial for shingles, hepatitis, HIV, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart and cardiovascular conditions.
There are several ways one can take elderberries. Dried elderberries can be steeped in hot water to make a healing and immune boosting tea for daily preventative use. Elderberry syrup is a popular cold and flu remedy and is typically formulated in a honey or glycerin base, making it a sweet remedy that even children enjoy and take willingly. Elderberry tinctures and capsules are another convenient way to use this powerful berry in your health regime.
Some additional info on elderberries from HerbWisdom.com….
Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies, these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.
Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, hence the medicinal benefits of elderberries are being investigated and rediscovered. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Elderberry juice was actually used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.
And a note of caution from an article by Underground Health Reporter:
Elderberry extract doesn’t act as a preventative as much as a remedy. For best results, you’ll want to take within 24 hours of the first signs of the flu. However, experts advise caution when purchasing your elderberry extract. The raw or unripe fruit of the elderberry plant can carry an ingredient related to poisonous cyanide. Therefore, they recommend you look for Sambucus nigra on the label, and avoid Sambucus ebulus, a type of dwarf elderberry plant that has toxic properties!
Elderberry extract also acts as a diuretic, and can trigger a blood glucose-lowering effect. Consult your medical practitioner to make sure elderberry extract is safe for you.
A yummy-sounding way to incorporate more elderberries into your diet by way of a smoothie recipe featured on the Abe’s Market website….
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 1 scoop vanilla protein
- 1 TBS flax oil
- 1/4 cup dried elderberries (you can also use an elderberry syrup)
Want a green boost? Add a handful of spinach or kale into the blender or pop a teaspoon of a green superfoods powder, which contains a full daily serving of greens and other helpful vitamins and minerals.
[ed. note: Some people have commented that eating dried elderberries have made them nauseated or ill. If you have concerns, you can always cook the elderberries before using them in a smoothie. Never eat red elderberries as they’re always toxic, and never eat ripe blue or purple elderberries as they can be toxic. See this University of Maryland write-up for more information on elderberries.]
And here’s a recipe from 30 Ways to Kill A Cold & Prevent the Flu, which you can download for free (just check the end of my post on vaccines for details) using elderberries:
Organic Super Cleansing Tonic For Strong Immunity
• 2/3 cup dried Elderberries
• 4 cups water
• 2 tea bag of Rooibos tea
• 1 tsp of Cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fresh or dried Ginger
• 1/2 tsp of Cloves
• 1/2 cup raw Honey
1. Pour water into saucepan and add all ingredients except for honey
2. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
3. Remove from heat, let it cool
4. Pour through a strainer
5. When completely cool, add honey and mix completely
6. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator
Take daily during flu season for immune support; 1 tsp for children, 1 TBS for adults. If the flu does come on, take suggested dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms disappear.
Tonic ingredient benefits:
Elderberries: High levels of Vitamin A, B and C, high in antioxidants,
immune system stimulate, helps with digestive system, anti-inflammatory.
Rooibos: From South Africa, this red bush is excellent for you. Very high in
antioxidants, lowers blood pressure, protects the heart, inhibits brain aging,
Cinnamon: Reduces pain linked to arthritis. Contains fiber, calcium and
iron. regulates blood sugar levels. Reduces cholesterol.
Ginger: Anti-inflammatory, helps digestive issues, rids throat and nose
congestions, reduces flatulence.
Cloves: High levels of antioxidants. Encourages healthy teeth and gums.
Raw Honey: Antibiotic properties which treats conditions like the cold, sore
throats, indigestion and acne. Treats allergies, helps support and protect the
growth of bacteria in our gut. Relieves constipation.
Copyright © 2014 Halcyon Publishing
Want to make your own elderberry syrup? Check out this link:
FYI, you can get organic dried elderberries, elderberry syrup/Sambucol, capsules, tincture, extract, juice, lozenges and the rest of the ingredients for the tonic at one of my favorite places to shop iHerb.com; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus can take advantage of their wonderful Specials and Trial Offers section. Shipping is free on orders of $20 and up, and there’s no sales tax. There’s an extra 5% off on orders over $60.
Vitacost.com is another on-line favorite of mine and also has a huge selection of elderberry-related products. If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase of $25 or more through the link on my webpage you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular stores) and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, eBates also offers some reward–I got a $10 gift card–when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!
And here’s a free resource I think you’ll be interested in….
For the next few days the folks at Food Matters are offering FIVE health movies for free on FMTV..…and you’ll get the movies as they’re released one day at a time!
These are the free movies:
- Super Juice Me (Jason Vale)
- Food Matters
- Hungry for Change
- Carb-Loaded (Dr Perlmutter – Grain Brain)
- Love Bomb
Plus live Q & A calls with Jon Gabriel, Jason Vale, Dr Perlmutter, Dr Andrew Saul & Dr Rhea Zimmerman Komarek.
And, knowing James & Laurentine at Food Matters, there will be other freebies and bonuses. Invite your friends and family along for the fun – who know’s who’s life might be changed forever after watching these movies 🙂 The event runs from Oct 21st thru Nov 2nd.
P.S. James & Laurentine at Food Matters are also giving away over $10,000 of health & wellness prizes – you gotta be in it to win it!
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my new website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.