Boosting Immunity with Elderberry (incl.recipes)
One of my most asked for recipes for flu prevention is always my elderberry gummy recipe. I used to make it exclusively for flu season but because elderberry is so helpful in more than just flu, I started making it year-round. It’s simple and tastes more like a morning treat than anything. Elderberry is popular for fighting colds and flu but it offers so much more. It has cancer-inhibiting properties, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, improves performance and moods, supports the immune system, and they are finding out more every day. Now scientists have a better understanding of how it works for both prevention and healing. For prevention, elderberries have unique phytochemicals that block the virus from entering or attaching to our healthy cells. If you already have the virus the compound will prevent the virus from replicating and eliminate the virus within forty-eight hours. They found that elderberry is also potent at fighting the virus at later stages of infection. It does so by stimulating the infected cells to release cytokines. Cytokines are the messengers the immune system uses for communicating between the different types of cells that aid in coordinating a more efficient response. In order to conduct this study researchers used commercially farmed elderberries and turned them into a juice serum and applied to cells before, during, and after they had been infected with the influenza virus. According to Dr. Golnoosh Torabian, this resulted in a “potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus. It inhibits the early stages of infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells.” So now you know why it’s a great option during cold and flu season but also the benefits of using elderberry all year long. If you are interested in creating your own elderberry recipe you can check out the two recipes given below. You can use fresh elderberries and boil them down but where I live it’s easier to find the powder and it’s less messy. It still gives all the great benefits of using fresh elderberries. Elderberry Syrup Ingredients 2/3 c. Elderberry powder 2 T. Echinacea root 2 T. fresh ginger root 1 Cinnamon stick ½ t. Whole cloves 31/2 c. Water ¾ c. Raw honey or stevia (optional) Don’t add honey if giving to diabetics or children under 2. Directions Place all ingredients except the honey into a saucepan and simmer 30-45 minutes. Strain well. Allow mixture to cool til warm to touch. Add honey to taste if desired. Stir well. Refrigerate. Dosage for boosting immune system: Adults: 1 T. daily Children: 1 t. daily Dosage for Acute colds & flu: Adults: 1 T. 4x daily Children: 1 t. 4x daily. Elderberry Gummies (makes up to 150) Ingredients 1 1/4 c. Tart cherry juice 4 T. unflavored gelatin ¼ c. Elderberry syrup (from above recipe) 2 T. Raw honey or stevia Directions Heat ½ c. juice til bubbling. Combine gelatin, juice, stir quickly to dissolve gelatin. Combine all ingredients and whisk until well blended. Pour into molds and refrigerate about an hour. (I store it in refrigerator as well) Raw honey is not safe for children under 2 or diabetics. You could add stevia to taste instead if you prefer. TIP: Sometimes I have more syrup than I can keep before it spoils. So, I fill ice trays with the syrup and freeze. In my trays, I know that ¼ c. syrup equals 4 sm. cubes or 2 lg. cubes. I can take out what I need when I need it and not worry about it spoiling. Always date the bag or container that you store it in. Do you have a favorite recipe that you use for boosting immunity? If you would like to share send it in to email@example.com and add immune-boosting recipe in the subject line and we may put it in a later blog.