It’s that time of year when colds, viruses and the flu are abundant. Before you head to the drug store for a flu shot (which experts warn may only be 10% effective this year) or OTC medications, consider using this natural alternative to keep your family healthy all winter long!
This “magical” remedy is called elderberry.
Never heard of it?
Popular in Europe and Australia, elderberry is gaining traction in the U.S. Elderberry comes from the Sambucus nigra tree, native to Europe, Africa and parts of Asia and have been used Native Americans used every part of the plant for medicinal purposes, foods, beverages, dyes, tools, and more. Elderberry can be traced back to Hippocrates (the Father of Modern Medicine), who boasted about its healing power and called it his “medicine chest.”
Elderberry has been shown to not only alleviate cold and flu symptoms more quickly, but also help avoid these illnesses altogether.
Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu , of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel, found that elderberry deactivates the enzyme that viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Bottom Line: Taken before infection, it prevents infection.
When used within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, elderberry has been found to reduce the duration of the flu by an average of four days. In a clinical trial, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed to be completely cure in three days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover.
Elderberries have also been known to help with sinus issues, allergies, inflammation, fatigue, constipation, and even cancer. They can help lower blood sugar and are naturally high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron and potassium. Elderberries are high in flavonoids that are antioxidant-rich and can help prevent cell damage.
So now that you know the benefits, how do you go about incorporating elderberries into your winter health routine? The easiest way is to buy or make your own elderberry syrup. This recipe from Wellness Mama is easy to make and very cost-effective.