How Black Elderberry Benefits Health
One of the many black elderberry benefits is it's power to fight of colds and flu because it's strong anti-viral properties but first let's take a look at the plant.
There are several types of elderberry plants but the elder plant we're talking about specifically is sambucus nigra. Some of it's other common names are: black elder, European elder, boor tree, German elder and ellan-wood.
This shrub-like plant can grow from 10 to 30 feet tall and is found in moist, semi shady places. In June and July it has white flower clusters which then develop into green then shiney black berry clusters.
The medicinal parts of the plant include the roots, bark, young shoots, leaves, flowers and the preserved or cooked, ripe black berries. Keep in mind that red elderberry seeds are toxic. This is a similar but different plant so make sure you know the difference.
HERE'S HOW TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF ELDERBERRY FLOWERS
The flowers are effective at reducing phlegm and encouraging sweating. They are also good for hay fever and strengthening the upper respitory tract. Use an elderberry flower poultice to reduce inflammation.
Black Elderberry Benefits from Tea
Make a tea from the flowers to treat fever, excess mucous, upper respitory tract problems and hayfever. This tea can be made more powerful by combining with yarrow or peppermint.
A strong tea can also be used as a mouthwash or gargle for mouth ulcers, tonsilitis or sore throats.
An elderberry tincture made from the flowers can help you get over colds and flu much faster. Taken for several weeks before spring can reduce hay fever symptoms.
USING THE BENEFITS OF DRIED BERRIES
The dried berries are full of vitamin A and vitamin C and have been used in wines and syrups for centuries to prevent and fight winter colds. The berries and elderberry juice should always be preserved, dried or lightly cooked and not be eaten raw.
Use the dried berries to make a tincture for treating rheumatic conditions.
Make a syrup of dried berries in combination with thyme and use to treat coughs and colds. Great for children!
The elderberry leaves can be used externally in ointments, for bruises, sprains, wound and hemorrhoids.
The elderberry benefits are so powerful that there is a patented Israeli drug called Sambucol for fighting off cold and flu virus's. This product is now available in pharmacy's and health food stores. Elderberry capsules are also available at many stores.
Elderflower Iced Tea Beverage
This is a refreshing, healthy tea to be made in the summertime with fresh elderflowers. A fun way to absorb some elderberry benefits!
Here's what you need:
- 1 colander full of fresh sniped elderflowers
- grated rind and juice of 3 lemons
- just short of 1 cup sugar or honey
- 3 1/4 cups water
- 1 egg white
Heat the lemon rind, sugar and water slowly while stirring. Once hot bring to a slow boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the elderflowers (if using honey, you'd add the honey at this time), cover and allow to cool.
Strain through cheesecloth and squeeze all the juice out of flowers. Add the strained lemon juice and place in freezer for 2 - 3 hours.
Now scrape your slush into a chilled bowl and fold in 3 tablespoons of STIFF, WHIPPED egg white. Refreeze in covered containers. Move from freezer to refrigerator 1/2 before serving. Yum!
TIP - You can add about a cup of brandy before freezing the second time for a summertime adult beverage. This will stay permanantly slushy in your freezer also!
ELDERBERRY CORDIAL RECIPE
A very tasty yet flu and cold fighting, wild food cocktail!
You will need:
- 4 cups fresh elderberries or 2 cups dried berries
- 1 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sized piece of fresh ginger root (sliced)
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- Combine elderberries and water. Simmer over low heat about 40 minutes. Stir and mash berries every once in while.
- Strain the berries and pulp out then return the liguid to pan. Add the ginger and cloves and simmer 15 minutes longer. Strain again.
- Measure the amount of elderberry infusion you have left then add an equal amount of honey and an equal amount of brandy. Stir until honey is totally melted. Cool completely.
- Bottle and store in the refrigerator.
Impress the guests at your next dinner party!
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