We get elderberries from the European Black Elderberry plant, and there are several subspecies of the shrub. Elderberry flowers and berries are mostly used in traditional recipes.
These berries are rich in antioxidants, and provide an anti-inflammatory effect. Elderberries can help you fight cold and flu symptoms as they inhibit the replication of influenza A and B viruses.
Compounds in elderberries destroy bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections. Elderberries protect the body at a cellular level and reduce inflammation. Studies have also found that elderberries aid in the treatment of some cancer types, AIDs and other serious diseases. Elderberries block the production of hormone-like cytokines.
Even Hippocrates used elderberries 400 BC, referring to it as his “medicine chest.” Scientists have isolated the active compound called Antivirin, found in proteins of black elderberries.
“The main flavonoids present in elderberries are the anthocyanins cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-sambubioside, and are detectable in plasma after oral intake of elderberry extract. A possible mechanism of action of elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza is that the flavonoids stimulate the immune system by enhancing production of cytokines by monocytes.
In addition, elderberry has been shown to inhibit the haemagglutination of the influenza virus and thus prevent the adhesion of the virus to the cell receptors. Anthocyanins also have an antiinflammatory effect comparable to that of acetylsalicylic acid; this could explain the pronounced effect on aches, pain and fever seen in the group treated with elderberry syrup.”
Avian flu has a morality rate of 60%, and it is rarely transmissible to humans.
“Since the first avian influenza outbreak, in 1997, there has been concern that the influenza A (H5N1) virus might either mutate and adapt to allow efficient transmission during the infection of mammals or reassort its gene segments with human influenza viruses during the coinfection of a single host, resulting in a new virus that would be both highly lethal and transmissible from person to person.
Such events are believed to have preceded the influenza pandemics of 1918, 1957, and 1968. Several lines of evidence indicate that the currently circulating influenza A (H5N1) viruses have in fact evolved to more virulent forms since 1997, with a higher mortality among human, different antigenic properties, a different internal gene constellation,and an expanded host range.”
Elderberry syrup recipe
This recipe is the easiest way to consume elderberries. You actually activate the compounds that boost immunity. However, you should not eat too many fresh elderberries because they contain cyanide. Remember, high temperatures destroy cyanide.
First, prepare your elderberries. Clean and put them in a saucepan. Pour enough water in the pan just to cover the berries. Bring the liquid to a boil turn off the heat, and let the content cool at room temperature. Strain the liquid through a sieve, and get rid of the thick bits.
- 16 ounces elderberry liquid
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp raw honey
Combine the ingredients into a saucepan, and put it over medium heat. Bring the syrup to a boil, turn the heat on low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Let it cool a bit, and stir in your honey. Drink your syrup while it is still warm to relieve your symptoms or prevent flu/cold.
Source: Juicing For Health