Last year a dear friend had given me some of her homemade Elderberry Syrup and I liked it even better than the store bought versions that I was used to by this point. I began searching my property and the adjacent properties for some Elderberry, but to no avail. I found lots of poisonous berries (pokeberry, water hemlock and Silky dogwood, but none of the desired Elderberry).
However, in the meantime I decided to go ahead and run to the local health food store to purchase my own dried Elderberry to make this fantastic herbal remedy.
Why Elderberry you ask? For starters Elderberries are known to be very rich in antioxidants they contain 87 percent of the daily value in vitamin C, and high amounts of vitamin A, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, fiber, and betacarotene. This medicinal plant has a long history with native Americans who used it to treat conjunctivitis, cold and flu symptoms, congestion, arthritis pain, upset stomachs, gas, and for detoxification. Modern day herbalists and natural homeopathic doctors tout its boost to the immune system, and use to battle coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Elderberry juice was even used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.
Other ingredients are Slippery Elm (a substance that has been known to reduce sore throats, coughs and contains mucilage to soothe). Echinacea (a known immunity booster that works great for colds, coughs and acts as an anti inflammatory agent) Ginger (another anti inflammatory agent that also aids in battling bacterial infections as well as respiratory issues and another great all natural immune booster) Cinnamon (another antioxidant as well as bacterial infection fighter) and then some good old fashioned Honey, what our grandparents used to soothe a sore throat and a cough.