Black Elderberries – One Of The Best Natural Cold Remedies
Elderberries are the fruit produced by the flowering plant known as Sambucus, otherwise known as elder or elderflower, with the most common variety being Sambucus nigra (black elderberry). They’re mainly found in the Northern hemisphere, particularly in North America and Europe, where use of the plant’s fruit has been a folk remedy for hundreds of years.
We use them in our home, especially during the cold and flu seasons. They’re one of the best natural cold remedies that we’ve come across, cutting down our “sick days” easily in half.
The berries themselves are black or dark violet in color and have a sharp, sweet flavor. From the brands we’ve tried, we’ve found that they tend to also have hints of dark chocolate on the palate as well. Delicious! They’re great for making teas, desserts, syrups, and jams, amongst other things, or simply taken in supplement form.
How elderberries affect your immune system.
Researchers have found that black elderberries may have many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help:
- boost the immune system
- reduce the symptoms due to coughs, colds, and flu
- aid with bacterial and viral infections
- promote the health of the upper respiratory system
- assist the body with detoxification
They’re definitely of the best natural cold remedies out there because they’re loaded with tons of bioflavonoids called anthocyanins and other proteins which decrease the ability of cold or flu viruses to further damage cell walls, hence speading up your recovery. In fact, studies have suggested that elderberry extract has the ability to shorten the duration of the flu by up to three days.
In addition, elderberries are also packed with vital nutrients and minerals like:
- vitamins A, B, and C
- potassium, copper, phosphorous, and iron
Here’s why we made the switch to elderberries.
I had come home one day from work, where everybody and their mother was sneezing left and right. Before I knew it, that initial feeling of getting sick swept over me. So my husband and I took a ride to our local pharmacy to get one of the usual over-the-counter “medicines” to treat colds and so forth.
We noticed that just about every package of medicine contained drugs for their “active ingredients.” For example, Tylenol Cold and Flu:
- Chlorpheniramine maleate
Don’t you just LOVE the “See New Warning” label on top right corner of the box!
Then when we took a look at the “inactive ingredients,” which are still ingredients nonetheless, we found it contained:
- anhydrous citric acid
- carnauba wax
- FD&C blue no. 1
- aluminum lake
- flavor (huh?)
- magnesium stearate
- microcrystalline cellulose
- modified starch
- polyethylene glycol
- polysorbate 80
- potassium sorbate
- powdered cellulose
- pregelatinized starch
- sodium benzoate
- sodium citrate dihydrate
- sodium starch glycolate
What is all that stuff? We realized that there had to be a better and more natural option than all that. So off to the health store we went. That’s where we found Gaia Black Elderberry Liquid Phyto Capsules.
- Organic Black Elderberry Extract
- Acerola Fruit Extract
- Acacia gum
- Vegetable Cellulose (the capsule)
After reading what it can do for your immune system, we couldn’t resist trying it out. Plus is didn’t have any of that other junk in it!
We got home and I took the recommended dosage of one to two small capsules a day.
As the day progressed, there was no doubt. I knew I had definitely caught one of those nasty bugs from work, and it was trying its best to infiltrate.
When I woke up the next day though, I surprisingly felt so much better. Something in there worked, whatever it was! And I didn’t have to put any of those nasty drugs and wacky ingredients in my body.
From that point forward, there was no looking back.
Every time anyone in our family feels like they’re getting sick, elderberry it is! This is especially true for when our son comes home from elementary school (you know, where kids are sneezing in each other’s faces) and it looks like he’s getting the sniffles, we’ll give him (and ourselves) a couple doses. We all know how those school-born sicknesses can wreak havoc throughout the household.
And this is key: The best results for us have come when we’ve caught the cold or flu early on. It’s best to catch it during your first “signs” of a sickness coming on.
It just can’t be pure coincidence. It’s crazy sounding, but it’s true. Black elderberries work!
In fact, during the cold and flu seasons, we’ll all just take a capsule here and there or steep some tea with the whole berries just as a preventative immune booster.
Our recommended brands…
If you want to make black elderberries an easy addition to your home, we recommend simply getting them online. Amazon has a great selection, and we found that Gaia Herbs is our brand of choice if you’re going the supplement route, which is the simplest way. You might pay slightly more than other brands, but the quality of their products is incredible.
You can get them in:
- capsule form (taken easily with water)
- as a syrup (drizzled in a smoothie or tea, on yogurt, made into gummies for the kids, etc…)
- in alcohol-free concentrated extract tincture form (ml drops into a little water)
If you’re interested in steeping an elderberry tea or making your own syrup, you’ll need the actual whole elderberries. Our recommended choice for you is Frontier Whole Organic Black Elderberries.
Theses dried elderberries are also kosher certified and non-irradiated, which means that they have not undergone the process of ionized radiation, ensuring that the most valuable medicinal qualities are NOT purged from the berries.
Always remember, you want to make sure you’re getting high quality over cheaper options. Don’t be tempted! You’re body will thank you for it!
** You can grow your own elderberries if you choose so, but you’d have to be in the right climate. And this is also very important: the berries are used, NOT the branches, leaves, or twigs. They may contain trace elements of cyanide, which is a toxic substance! So if you opt to grow them yourself, be cautious and know what you’re doing.
Also, the berries themselves are highly astringent and their tannins will make your mouth pucker. They should always be cooked before consumption. Ripe and cooked berries are best.
But why go through all that? Just get them the easy way and buy them! The work’s already done for you. 🙂
The elderberries that are sourced and produced for consumption are totally safe, delicious, and are packed with a ton of nutritional benefits. So no worries!
Cheers to your health!
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below! We’d love to continue the conversation!