Many have heard it before, and you will likely hear it again. When "Flu season" strikes, have Elderberry Syrup on hand. Or for any illness that is being spread, for that matter. European Black Elder trees (Sambucus nigra) produce the berries that are most commonly used as a medicinal herbal immune booster. This large shrub to small tree bears greenery that is poisonous, as are the berries (mildly) when they are unripe. Once the black-to-blue colored berries are ripened and cooked, they become a culinary and medicinal treat with a wide variety of uses.
The berries of the Black Elder tree are used in many household recipes in its native Europe. They serve as a tasty treat in the creation of jams, jellies, chutney, and sauces. They are also used in the production of infusions, cordials, wine, brandy, and commercial drinks due to the pleasing and popular flavor. Just as common are the traditional medicinal uses for elder berries. Native peoples and herbalists use extracts from aerial and root portions of the plant for bronchitis, cough, disorders of the respiratory tract, viral infections, the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, fever, colds, and influenza.
So what makes this tiny delicious berry so very good for you? Elderberries have been shown to contain a variety of compounds that enhance individual immune function. These compounds include organic pigments, tannins, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids (including quercetin and anthocyanins), rutin, viburnic acid, vitamins A and B, and a large amount of vitamin C. It is believed by researchers that the anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants) present serve to protect against cell damage and are responsible for the therapeutic effects of the berries.
All in all, this little fruit is big in both flavor and potential health benefits. It's also the star ingredient in the ever popular Elderberry Syrup either on it's own in a simple decoction, or combined with other immune boosters to make a delicious and healthy daily ritual to avoid seasonal illness.
Welcome to Nourished Earth Apothecary! We are finally up and running! Though as with all newly actualized dreams, we are a work in progress.
This shop will be focused on all natural remedies and teas for life's many adventures. As with all small businesses, individual passions may prevail, and there will always be something here awaiting the new mother in her journeys as I continue my own travels in motherhood.
Please feel free to contact us anytime, and new product suggestions or requests are always welcome!