Prepare Mag: August 2018 - page 15

Elderberries have become a popular remedy for the colds
and the flu, and with good reason. There is a growing body of
scientific evidence to support the long history of traditional
use of elder to prevent respiratory infections, as well as
shorten their duration and severity.
Elderberry Extract
Sambucol, a commercially prepared elderberry extract, was
shown effective against 10 strains of the flu.1 The same
study also demonstrated that Sambucol was effective at
shortening the duration of the flu to 3 to 4 days. Compare
this to Tamiflu, which shortens the duration of the flu by only
1 day.2 With the average flu lasting 1 to 2 weeks, I’d rather
take the elderberry extract. Research has shown elder to be
effective against multiple strains of both Influenza A and
Influenza B.3 Elderberry was also shown to reduce colds and
flu in air travelers.4
You can make your own elderberry extracts at home. You can
macerate your elderberries in vodka, brandy, or food-grade
glycerin for six weeks, strain, and reserve the liquid. You can
also infuse elderflowers and rose petals in honey for six
weeks. It makes a lovely cold and cough remedy.
Elderberry Syrup
The most popular elder remedy today is elderberry syrup. My
syrup is usually made from:
• Elderberries, ¼ to ½ cup
• Garlic cloves, as many as you can stand (I use around
• Fresh ginger, a piece the size of your thumb, peeled and
• Cinnamon chips, ¼ cup (or 4-5 sticks, broken up)
• Cloves, 7-10
These get simmered in water for 20 minutes until the water
has reduced by half. The plant material gets strained out, and
to the remaining liquid, I add equal volume of honey. So, if I
have 2 cups of tea, I’m adding 2 cups of honey.
There are so many easy ways to tweak this recipe to your
needs. Sometimes, I also add wild cherry bark (for sore
throats), star anise (origin of shikimic acid, the active
ingredient in Tamiflu), or chaga (immune support).
Below is a
I made for my Herbal Skills Intensive
course. This explains every aspect of how to make elderberry
syrup. Enjoy!
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