Prepare Mag: August 2018 - page 14

Elderberry syrup is a popular herbal remedy for respiratory
complaints, especially influenza. As we enter peak cold and
flu season, elder remedies are an easy and tasty way to help
the body heal itself.
The Elder Bush
Elder, Sambucus nigra, is found everywhere in the eastern
half of the United States, as well as the northwest coast.
Elder is also native throughout most of Europe, where elder
has a long history of use for respiratory infections.
Elder is a deciduous bush, though sometimes referred to as a
small tree. You can find elder easily in the spring and summer
when its delicate flowers are in bloom. Elder flowers are tiny,
white flowers clustered together. The flowers produce a
pleasant tea reminiscent of honey.
Elderflower tea is helpful for coughs, colds, allergies, and
respiratory complaints in general. The tea makes a fair
expectorant and helps to induce sweating. This is especially
helpful in cases of bronchitis and respiratory infections with a
Elderflower is one remedy that I know my kids will take
readily. They enjoy the honey-like flavor. Elder flower blends
well with peppermint, another decongestant herb with a
taste most kids enjoy.
Taste is a major factor when making herbal remedies for
kids. Add some honey and lemon to the tea, and you have a
cold and flu remedy any kid will happily take.
Make sure to leave plenty of flowers on the bush to get
elderberries in the fall. I like to save the dried elderflowers to
mix with my elderberries, as I find it makes a more effective
remedy. If you only have the flowers or the berries on hand,
don’t worry. Just use what you have. You can also find both
elderflowers and elderberries online and at most herb shops.
I use elderflower and elderberry together to make tinctures,
glycerites, elixirs, and syrups. I use the syrups to make
homemade gummy candies and as a drizzle over homemade
yogurt. An eyedropper of elder tincture in an ounce of apple
juice has chased away many colds from our home.
Elderberries: Tradition Backed by Science
Elder Remedies for
Natural Cold and Flu
By Cat Ellis/
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