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Ever heard of elderberry syrup? Flu season is upon us! I know many people dread to think of that, and I am certainly not a fan either. Flu, allergies, colds, and miscellaneous other sicknesses quite rapidly destroy all of the fall and holiday fun. You can’t stay locked up for 6 months, unfortunately, so what are we to do? One thing we do to help keep us all healthy is to take elderberry syrup during the winter.
If you are not familiar with elderberries, they are a drupe (not a berry – actually a stone fruit, technically!) that grows basically all over the US natively. They are extremely hardy and can grow to be quite large. As is typical with many medicinal plants, the plant itself is toxic and even eating just the raw berries is considered unwise. There seems to be some disagreement about eating the raw berries, but the safest bet, and the most useful, is to cook the berries down into syrup.
Why should I care?
First off if it was not clear, I’m not a doctor. So consult your doctor before taking random stuff – this is not medical advice.
Elderberry syrup, is in my opinion, is one of the best ways to help us stay healthy or get over a sickness. Whether you prefer to go to the doctor every time you get sick or rather to stick with home remedies where possible, elderberry will help you! Elderberry has been shown to help defeat virus’ and bacteria and potentially even to have anti-cancer benefits. Many doctors actually recommend elderberry syrup as it is one of the few “natural” remedies that has actually been scientifically tested and proven to be effective against the flu virus.
Long story short, this is fantastic stuff, with tons of micronutrients and antioxidants that will help you be healthy. I have included a link to an article that includes several different medical journal articles on the awesome benefits of elderberry if you want to dive in further.
How do I make it?
You can find all sorts of elderberry based products online and in stores. As with anything on a store shelf or from amazon, you have no idea the quality or how long it has been in storage. I am always a fan of buying local or making it yourself.
As I mentioned above, elderberry is native all over the US. So you probably have some close by. For more info on foraging it, check out foragingtexas.com. Beware that there can be some poisonous plants that grow near and look like elderberry, so be very careful when wild foraging anything! It is best to find an experienced forager to show you the basics if you have never gone foraging before.
If you want to grow your own, find somewhere that sells it, buy some plants and grow it. There are many different varieties, but whatever your local nurseries sell should suffice. Ours (from Legg Creek Farm) were cheap, grew very well, and produced berries their 2nd year in the ground.
Can I buy it?
You can also buy dried elderberries to make your own or just find a quality producer of elderberry syrup to buy from. If you are looking for a quality producer, I highly recommend checking out Abby’s Elderberries. Some lovely friends of ours run this business along their a beautiful family. It actually started out as a venture for their daughter to raise money to help by a horse, though it has now grown a beyond that. This is a great way to help support a local family rather than throwing money at a big corporation!
They are super fantastic people who truly care about what they are doing and the quality of food we put in our bodies. They source everything local or organic. Not only do they use some of the best quality elderberries available, they also include cinnamon, ginger and cloves, and their original formula is made with honey to boost your immune system even more.
I’m Keto or Low Carb, what about me?
The great thing is they have you covered as well! They have just rolled out a low carb version for those who want to stay healthy, but also need to keep the carbs down! We are currently using some of this version and it is fantastic! Our kids still like it even though it’s not as sweet, too, so it’s still family friendly.
I highly recommend you go and check out Abby’s Elderberries. They are a family pursuing a dream, and they produce a fantastic product to boot. John also just came out with an entire book on elderberries if you want to dive in more. We are reading it now, and it has been very educational and a fun read besides! Please go check them out and support them and their excellent product to help keep you healthy!
Make it a tasty week,