Elderberry has re-emerged onto the healthy living scene over the past few years as a natural medicine phenomenon! An ancient plant deemed “nature’s medicine chest” by Hippocrates, has evolved into brews being crafted by modern herbalist mamas known as homemade elderberry syrup. Today, you can find organic elderberry syrup being made and sold by small, local businesses and even larger supplement corporations. A natural immune booster, the popular uses for elderberry include taking a small, daily dose in a variety of forms to help keep families well during cold, flu and allergy season.
A MAGICAL HISTORY
The elder plant has been part of several cultures folklore and ancient tales depicting that many people used to believe it was a magical plant that possessed potent healing energy. It’s Greek-derived botanical name, Sambucus, means ‘wind instrument’ and traditional stories share that it was made into little pipes to play music for the faeries and other similar spirits. A more popular tale is that of “The Little Elder Tree” (1) in which a young boy who has a cold is made well when the spirit of the elder tree comes to visit him and he drinks tea made using her flowers. Despite all of the fantasy and folklore, the elder plant has been respected for thousands of years as a natural immune-boosting plant.
MODERN HERBAL POWERHOUSE
The native North American elder plant is a shrub that produces white, aromatic flowers in the summer and provides black clusters of elderberries at the beginning of Fall in the Central and Eastern United States. (2) While the entire plant has been used in traditional medicine; today, the flowers and elderberries are found to be most useful and are made into cordials, syrups, tinctures, elixirs, and teas. Elderberry is popular as a ‘superfruit’ and is widely known to effectively prevent and treat symptoms of the cold, flu and allergies while also providing additional health benefits like lessening sinus infection symptoms, boosting heart health and natural energy, aiding healthy digestion and urination, promoting healthy blood sugar levels and being anti-cancer. (3)
Can you believe that such a tiny berry could quite possibly be the best natural immune booster and anti-viral fruit of our time and througout history?
WHAT’S THE SECRET
The elderberry fruit possesses several natural compounds known as flavanoids that earn it its superfood title. Rutin, quercetin and other important flavonoids, are found in significant levels in the elderberry fruit and have been shown to help prevent and treat seasonal allergies and build natural immunity. Flavonoids also work as antioxidants, helping to prevent cellular damage, which means that if elderberry wasn’t great enough already - it’s also a fruit of longevity! Until now, elderberry has been one of nature’s best kept secrets in the modern medicine age.
THE PROOF IS IN THE BERRY
Elderberry has been put to the test in recent years as several clinical studies have emerged solidifying scientific backing to the notion that the elderberry fruit is a modern natural medicine powerhouse.
According to the Franklin Health Research Foundation who conducted a study in early 2019, “...This means that roughly 98% of people who take elderberry for the flu will improve faster than the average person with the flu who does not take elderberry. Similarly, 41% of people who take elderberry for the common cold will improve faster than the average person who does not take elderberry.” (4)
Another study found similar results amongst a controlled group of air travelers.” In another randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, the EBE significantly reduced the common cold symptoms, duration, and severity of cold episodes in air travelers.”
STORE BOUGHT VS. HANDCRAFTED
The organic elderberry product industry has exploded over the last few years, you can now find elderberry tea, tincture, syrup, elixir, juice, gummies and capsules available on most grocery store shelves. While there are many elderberry product options available today, not all supplements and products are created equal - there are several key differences between store-bought elderberry supplements versus handcrafted in small-batch products. Here are some basic guidelines you can use to evaluate elderberry products:
Sweeteners: Most elderberry supplements have added sweeteners in them because the elderberry fruit is not naturally sweet on its own and has a slightly bitter taste. While local honey is added to many small batch recipes because of its many health benefits, larger manufacturers are more likely to cut corners and use refined, overly processed sugars in order to save money in the production process.. Be sure to double-check the label and stay away from low quality processed sugars and sugar substitutes like “fructose”, “corn syrup”, and pasteurized honey”.
Bad Additives: Most store-bought products contain chemical additives such as citric acid, malic acid, and mono and diglycerides, which are not natural ingredients!. Handcrafted in small batch elderberry products should not have any chemical preservatives, fillers or thickening agents in the recipe; instead, you’ll find high-quality plant-based ingredients like other berries, roots, herbs and spices that increase potency and efficacy of the elderberry syrup. Again, ensure you read your labels all the way down to the “fine print” to ensure that you are purchasing a clean elderberry supplement.
Good additives: Small batch elderberry herbalists take the time to formulate and add in other beneficial herbs that increase the benefits and potency of the final elderberry product. Some common plant-based ingredients you might see in small batch products are anti-inflammatory and healthy digestion supporting spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger as well as other stress relieving herbs and berries like goji berries, holy basil, aswaghanda and much more!
Whole Food Ingredients: did you know that many store bought brands are infusing their elderberry supplements with extracts of elderberry rather than the actual berry itself? This is cheaper in the long run for production and more simple during the manufacturing process. A quality, elderberry supplement will have used the whole berry in the production process and is usually made in smaller batches, often by hand.
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“I ordered the Elderberry kids and have tried it out the last couple days and OMG something that actually works for the kiddos! ❤️ One days worth of taking it and the next day was an incredible improvement! No more congestion and the cough was GONE (2 sick kids and BOTH are better)!”
-Ashli G., 5/21/19🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
“I totally recommend Elderberry syrup: Calm Energy Elixir ! As someone who has a pretty busy schedule all while struggling with chronic nerve pain, maintaining healthy energy levels throughout the day is struggle. Whereas coffee and energy shots do the trick, they come with so many unwanted extras like restlessness and the dreaded crash hours later. So I tried the Calm energy syrup and was amazed at how well it worked. I started off with 15ml (tablespoon) every morning then went up to 30ml. After about 3 days I could certainly feel the difference. The effects were subtle but I found myself maintaining a pretty consistent energy level without the "wired feeling" that continuous coffee intake causes. Like all of Danielle's other products, it more than delivers what was promised.”
-Eliud M., 1/15/19🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
“Bought the Immunity Plus Elixir and it has truly helped lessen strep and sinus infection symptoms. I highly recommend it!!”
-Diana G., 12/24/18🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
“First of all, I am so glad that I found Danielle. I had purchased the Elderberry syrup online at the beginning of Flu Season and was not happy with that product. Then I met Danielle and purchased her Elderberry syrup that is all natural and sweetened with honey... and I loved it. I have COPD / Diabetes and I was so pleased to find someone local that cared enough to make these products. I have used it since January and will continue to use this syrup. I had run out for 3 days and I could tell the difference. Back on the Elderberry syrup and my nose is not stuffy and my throat is not scratchy. I love it."
-Amanda M., 5/1/19 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
“Absolutely amazing!!!! I had been feeling very congested and stuffy when a friend shared some of her Allergy Relief Elixir at lunch. By the end of lunch I felt so much better by later that afternoon I was sold and contacted Danielle for a jar of my own!!! Since I’ve shared with my coworkers in Austin who are now having me pick it up for them as well!!! If you suffer from allergies I would not hesitate it is absolutely amazing.”
-Stephanie N., 3/28/18 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
“I ordered the Original Elderberry Syrup and love it! It was shipped to me quickly and it’s a nice quick shot to help our immune systems! It’s nice to feel like we are doing everything we can to keep our family healthy during this icky cold and flu season. Will be ordering more items!”
-Holly S., 2/10/18🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟