Immune Boosting Elderberries


Disclaimer: I am not a physician. The information provided in this post will include references for further reading. I will also provide a basic elderberry syrup recipe that I've been giving to my kids but please consult your pediatrician or physician before trying any of the recipes. The rest of the recipes were written by other bloggers. Like always, do your research and consult a physician.






It's that time again, our kids will be coming home with sniffles and sneezes. I remember two years ago, it felt like both of our girls were sick every month! I think that is how my love for coffee started. It is exhausting to have sick kids at home. We lose sleep and we worry as well. It was during that non-stop sickness that I was also taking my Master's degree and earning certifications such as CPR certification. I remember asking my husband for an espresso machine, wanting to roast my own coffee beans and maybe one day open my own coffee shop...must be the exhaustion talking then. But I'm serious about the coffee shop. It is a dream of mine.

Back to sickness, I have been giving our children homemade Sambucus syrup ever since. If you have not heard of it, here's a quick background:



Elderberry from the Sambucus Tree is widely used for food as well as medicine. The black elderberry or Sambucus Nigra is the most common type. Other types are dwarf elder, American elder, blue elderberry, danewort, antelope brush, and red-fruited elder (Cheung et. al., 2014) It is used to color wines, jellies, and juices (as cited by Agalar, Demirci, and Basci, 2014). The infusion of berry is known for its anti-inflammatory, diuretic, diaphoretic, and laxative properties. Healthline mentioned that elderberries were used by the Native Americans to treat infections and Egyptians for improving their complexions as well as treat burns (Mandi, 2018).

Aside from its rich flavor, elderberries are famous for their role in our immune system. It stimulates the immune system to treat symptoms of cold and flu (Agalat, et. al., 2014). A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study consisting of 60 patients with influenza-like symptoms was conducted in Norway (Thom, Wollan, Zakkay-Rones, 2004). Participants were given 15 ml of elderberry syrup or placebo syrup four times a day for five days. Results show that the symptoms were relieved on average four days earlier. Furthermore, the use of rescue medication was significantly less in the group receiving the elderberry syrup than the placebo group. While the study seems to confirm that elderberry syrup is an efficient, cost-effective, as well as a safe treatment, it is always better to do more research, looking for a larger sample size.

Another study showed a reduced duration of cold symptoms and episodes. to air travelers when elderberries were given as a supplement (Lea, Tiralongo, and Wee, 2016).The clinical trial was also randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled, with 312 sample size (passengers).  This website here now; Draxe.com discussed taking elderberries is also showing benefits in the stimulation of glucose metabolism and secretion of insulin (lowers blood sugar levels), which can act as a natural diuretic, and laxative. Its antioxidant properties promote healthy skin as well as the improved immune system.


I used to buy my elderberries at Amazon and Vitacost. But because it had gotten popular, the berries are either out of stock or over-priced. Luckily, Sprouts Market opened near us. Elderberry syrup is a must-have in our household. I give it to our girls as part of their daily supplement and I would up the dosage during the flu or cold season. I will share the recipe with you at the bottom of the page and will include a printable.

There are other recipes that you can make with elderberries such as this website sharing her recipe for elderberry jelly.



Gummies are always a winner for kids.

ELDERBERRY GUMMIES by Paintbrushes and Popsicles



Homemade popsicles are always delicious and made with elderberries for an immune boost.

ELDERBERRY POPSICLES by Simply Designing




As for the elderberry syrup that I promised you:




Just save the graphic on your computer and print as an image, easy peasy! I use my mason jars as containers for my elderberry syrup. This recipe saves us a lot of money as one 8 oz of store-bought syrup can cost you around $8 to $12.00. 

If you are ready to start giving Sambucus to your children, consult with your pediatrician first! 


REFERENCES:



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