Flu season is here and this year seems to be worse than others. Elderberries may be the answer when it comes to relief and immune support, especially for those always on the go.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu and influenza-like sicknesses are widespread across the United States. We got to chat with herbalist, Summer McCreless of Mothering Herbs, about a natural, holistic remedy to rid your body of symptoms and provide adequate health maintenance. Elderberries.
Summer grew up surrounded by herbal remedies, an organic garden, and a love of wild plants. Being an herbalist is in her blood. She has combined her expertise of the outdoors with a desire to help others, and elderberries play a large role. However, Summer’s knowledge and use of plant medicine extend well beyond that.
Plant medicine has been around as long as people have been eating. It is nice to see so many people looking at plants for medicine again. In a sustainable future, we will all have to look at plants for medicine. Not just for food and consumable medicine, but spiritual and soul medicine as well. Plants are smarter than most people know.
Elderberry syrup has been a top seller for Summer this season.
Where are elderberries found?
The elderberry bush makes a distinct appearance near the beginning of summer with an abundance of white blooms. Heavy bunches of deep purple berries add to the plant toward the end of summer and early fall. Both the flowers and berries are used for medicinal purposes.
You can find the plant growing in wild in fields and near the edges of fields in moist climates. Keep an eye out for it next time you find yourself outside! You may even want to collect a few.
What are the benefits & how much should be consumed?
Elder provides a number of benefits including:
- Protects against upper respiratory infection
- Supports eye health
- Modulates inflammation
- Protects the skin from sun damage
Summer recommends a tablespoon of elderberry syrup or a cup of tea a day for general immune modulating. If sick, the same amount is suggested to take every hour. The entire plant can be used for different viruses. Elderflowers also make a great tea for fevers.
How do you make elderberry syrup?
If you find an elder plant, you can make your own syrup! Summer uses the following steps:
- Make a simple tea with the berries. Simmer for 30 minutes to infuse and reduce.
- Strain the berries off and add local honey.
- Bottle and enjoy!
Small batches can take about an hour to make. Larger batches can take up to two hours. Not looking to make your own? Elderberry syrup can be found at most natural health food stores and online. You can also order directly from Summer’s business. It is great for adults and babies!
Mother Nature can offer us more than we ever imagined. Treat your health naturally so you can stay on top of those adventures.
Cheers to you!