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Lenore Anderson created Natural Vitality to offer supportive natural healing therapies that balance and heal the body and mind. Her wisdom, professional practice, compassionate guidance and teaching empowers your natural healing journey toward greater health and vitality.

 

From the Blog

Elderberry has been a popular herbal remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995. Elderberry flowers and berries support the immune system to fight off coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections.

Elderberries are high in vitamin A, B and C. They are known for their high antioxidant activity from the pigments, tannins and flavonoids, including quercitian that protect blood cells against “free-radical” damage supporting the immune system.

Elderberry anthocyanins enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines. These unique proteins act as messengers in the immune system to help regulate immune response defending the body against disease. Research indicates that anthocyanins found in elderberries possess more antioxidant capacity than vitamin E or vitamin C.

fresh Elderberry

Elderberries are mildly laxative, diuretic and diaphoretic (induces sweating). Elderberry extract reduces oxidation of low-density lipoprotein lowering the (LDL) cholesterol and they are tonifying to the heart.

Ripe berries and flowers are edible, but the (bark, root, leaves and unripe berries) can be toxic/poisonous, containing toxic calcium oxalate crystals. Taken in large quantities it can cause nausea and vomiting. It is best to dry them and then make edible and medicinal preparations.

The ancient lore of the Elderberry bush holds magical associations and images of European ladies dousing their white skin with elderflower water and crystal goblets filled with elderberry wine. In European folklore it was said that fairies and elves would appear if you sat underneath an elder bush on midsummer night when the berries were ripe.

Elder flowers (sometimes called Elder blow) The flowers can be added to any salad or meal especially pancakes and baked goods. Elder flowers make a pleasant tasting tea with a little mint. They also make a delicious potent and fragrant wine. Infused in vinegar they add flavor and strengthen the stomach.

The flowers have been used in cosmetics since ancient times. Distilled Elderflower water softens, tones and restores the skin. Elderflower infusion cleanses the skin, lightens freckles, and soothes sunburn. Its Bioflavinoids promote circulation and strengthen the capillaries.

Pouring Elderberry Syrup

Pouring Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup 

2 cups of fresh or organic dried Elderberries.

4 cups cold water, soak overnight. Option: Soak berries in 2 cups brandy overnight or longer and 2 cups of water.

2 Cinnamon Sticks

1 T. fresh grated organic ginger root or dried finer root powder.

1 cup of raw local honey.

In a large pot, bring to a boil.

  • Place the water (liquid) and berries and herbs in a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and allow herbs to gentaly simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and mash (fresh berries) in the liquid mixture.
  • Strain berries and herbs through a strainer, nut milk bag or cheese cloth.
  • Add the honey.
  • Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined.
  • Bottle in glass.

Option: Add 2 oz. extract of Cherry Bark, for coughs.