The Politics of Food, Real Nutrition, Healthy Recipes,Organic Gardening,Herbs,Foraging....and More
Cultured Red Cabbage and Apples
Friday, September 3, 2010
ELDERBERRY FOR THE FLU
I am slowly learning the skill of foraging. I have gained some knowledge by going on excursions with a friend who is an herbalist but for the most part I am relying on field guides to help me to identify what wild edibles are in my area. I am currently on the lookout for an elderberry patch so I can collect and dry my own berries. Last fall I bought elderberry elixir from my herbalist friend. She makes her own elixir from the berries she collects on a friend's property. I used the elixir throughout the winter....especially whenever I felt the slightest hint of a cold. I never did develope a cold or flu. It could have just been luck or maybe it was the infection fighting properties of the elderberry. Either way.....it tastes great!
There are several different ways one can benefit from elderberry. My friend also combines dried elderberries, cinnamon chips, bits of dried ginger and dried orange peel. One can make a tea or a syrup out of this combination determined by the length of time it simmers.Last winter....on cold nights ...I had fun making a decoction with this elderberry combination... pictured below. Sometimes I would sit in front of our wood cookstove and brew my tea on top of the stove. The spicy scent that fills the room is just wonderful! After about 15 minutes and after some of the liquid evaporates, I take it off the stove, add a bit of honey and enjoy! I find it very tasty and soothing.
So , that's my personal experience with elderberry.....so far. I haven't tried elderberry powder in capsules yet, mainly because the other preparations taste good. Read about the health benefits below and then don't forget to check out the video below which shows you how easy it is to save money and make your own elderberry syrup which prevents and treats colds and flu...and tastes really good.
If you don't have the inclination to create your own elderberry remedies, you can obtain the different elderberry formulations at the links below.
Extensive research show that elder stops the production of hormone-like cytokines that direct a class of white blood cells known as neutrophils to cause inflammation, especially in influenza and arthritis. On the other hand, elder increases the production non-inflammatory infection-fighting cytokines as much as 10 fold. Elder berries are known to be effective against eight strains of influenza. This suggests that elder is superior to vaccines in preventing flu, because flu vaccines are only effective against known strains of flu, whereas the virus is continually mutating to new strains. Vaccines have another draw back: over half of the people who get them report side effects. Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed complete cure in three days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover.