You’ve probably seen it on grocery store shelves, in online stores, and recommended by influencers. You must have been wondering: “Is this organic remedy truly worth the hype?” If your curiosity finally got the best of you, you’ve come to the right place and you may even find a DIY Elderberry Syrup recipe here 🙂
I’m going to break down all you need to know about the infamous medicinal plant currently enveloping the internet in a frenzy and help you figure out the all-important question:
“Is elderberry syrup as magical as they say?”
What is Elderberry Syrup?
Used for centuries by herbalists as a form of traditional medicine, elderberries are the main ingredient of countless home remedies to boost health.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called elderberries “the medicine chest of the country people”, being consumed by everyone from children to senior citizens in the form of tea, gummies, or a rich and thick elderberry syrup.
To add truth to the claims, research shows that the herb has significant health benefits.
It is Millionaire-rich in Nutrients:
Elderberries are low caloric and are known to have many antioxidizing traits. A 100-gram serving of the berries has about 73 calories, 18.4 grams of carbohydrates, and less than a gram of protein and fat.
Syrups, however, have a slightly different nutritional breakdown due to their concentrated nature. Every teaspoon serving of elderberry syrup containing about six calories, 1.7 grams of carbohydrates, 0.1 grams of fiber, and 1.5 grams of sugar.
This wonder plant has numerous nutritional benefits, including lots of vitamin C and dietary fiber. Other beneficial nutrients such as anthocyanin compounds are also found in the berry and have anti-inflammatory effects.
They are also rich in antioxidants, including phenolic acids and flavanols, which can help protect the skin from fine lines and wrinkles and reduce uneven pigmentation on the face and neck. Be bold and feel beautiful every day!
It offers relief for Cold and Flu:
We all dread the flu season that hits every winter. Sometimes, even a doctor’s visit and over-the-counter medicine aren’t quick enough to subside its uncomfortable symptoms.
With the recent Coronavirus pandemic that has swept not just the nation, but the entire world, many people, including me, are returning to organic remedies to safeguard their immune systems as a precautionary measure.
This is where natural alternatives such as the elderberry syrup come in. They not only help reduce flu symptoms but also help prevent catching it in the future.
It has been shown that taking small doses of elderberry syrup during the flu season can help avoid illnesses and even speed up recovery. You can also take other elderberry products such as capsules, tablets, and gummies to advance the healing process of colds and the flu.
The effects of elderberry have been demonstrated in various scientific studies. A 2004 study on 60 influenza patients to see the effects of elderberry reported that on average, those receiving elderberry syrup recovered four days earlier than those who received an alternate placebo syrup.
Such studies have not yet been done on large enough scales to be irrefutable evidence of the benefits of using elderberries to treat flu, but the results are definitely promising.
It Hearts Your Heart
In addition to being used to treat the common cold and flu, elderberry also has some reported positive effects on heart and blood vessel health.
Elderberries can reduce blood sugar levels, fat levels, and cholesterol in the blood, all of which positively impact overall cardiovascular health.
Unfortunately, as most of the research on this topic has only been conducted on rats, there is not enough information on the direct effects of elderberry syrup to improve the heart. But in any case, no data contradicts elderberry syrup’s cardiovascular benefits.
But That’s Not All…
If improved immunity, high antioxidants, improved heart health, and reduction in recovery time aren’t enough reasons for you to add elderberry syrup to your diet, then maybe its other health benefits are enough to change your mind.
Elderberry syrup has been reported to be an effective laxative in the treatment of constipation. This can be a great natural substitute when taking medicines is not the preferred option.
Elderberry syrup also has the potential benefits of lowering cancer risk, decreasing fatigue, increasing urination, protecting against UV radiation, acting as an antidepressant, helping treat HIV/AIDS, reducing tooth pain, aiding in weight loss, and easing gingivitis.
This long list of benefits ranges from improved skin and energy levels to better bloodwork and digestion- making it clear that you can use elderberry syrup to mitigate almost all your health concerns.
However, there’s a bit of a downside to everything. Elderberries are great for your health, but they need to be consumed with caution.
The Potential Risks of Elderberry Syrup
Raw elderberry can be toxic. The elderberry bark, unripe berries, and seeds can cause stomach problems, owing to them containing the substance lectin. The elderberry plant also has shown to release the poison cyanide in certain circumstances.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea have all been reported as effects of consuming uncooked berries, bark or roots. However, there is no cause for alarm – these effects are not in commercial products made from elderberry, because they are vetted and tested for safety measures.
However, if you are preparing elderberry syrup at home, you must make sure that it’s adequately prepared before it is consumed.
In 1983 California, a family was reportedly hospitalized following their consumption of elderberry juice made at home from the bark, leaves, and seeds of the tree, along with the actual berry. This resulted in digestive issues such as diarrhoea and nausea. Yikes!
Moreover, due to its diuretic properties, it may not be best to consume elderberry syrup medications that increase urination. It could cause interference, so before taking elderberry syrup, you should always consult with your doctor.
If you’re a diabetic patient, be vigilant when consuming the concoction. Elderberry has shown promise in increasing insulin levels and may interfere with your existing medications.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women are also advised not to take elderberry syrup. Again, as goes the rule, a doctor’s consultation for such patients is always best.
Is Elderberry Syrup Worth the Hype?
Elderberry syrup is an easy-to-make and easy-to-use syrup with fantastic potential to boost immunity, help fight flu and colds, and be an effective diuretic to both children and adults. It is a centuries-old traditional medicine, and with the recent trend towards natural medicines, it looks like it won’t be going away anytime soon.
Although the syrup is found in most supermarkets for a low price, you can make it yourself to save a little extra. If you ever have a weekend off and find some elderberry at your local grocery store, go ahead and whip some up! You can easily store it in the fridge to consume over time.
With that said, it is also important to stay well-informed on what is best for your body and your needs before trying out something new. This is because raw elderberries are toxic and should only be dealt with utmost care. Before rolling up your sleeves, do some research, and test out a small dose before committing.
Remember: Always consult your doctor to stay on the safe side. Although elderberry syrup has been shown to have significant health benefits, it still may not be for everyone.
Once you are satisfied, don’t be afraid to take the leap, and switch to elderberry syrup for your daily needs.
How can I Make Elderberry Syrup at Home?
The nutrient-rich syrup is the most common method of ingesting the healing plant. It is made by boiling elderberries with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves mixed in the water and then mashing them to release their refreshing juice. The mixture is then strained and mixed with honey and stored in a mason jar for later use.
If you’re in a rush and can’t be bothered to spend all that time waiting for the mixture to boil, I got you! There is an alternative method for making the decadent concoction.
Place ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in an instant pressure pot and cook for nine minutes on a high flame, making sure to keep the lid sealed. Afterwards, strain, cool and add honey to the mixture, stirring the liquid to make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
You can store the syrup in your refrigerator for long-lasting freshness, but make sure to refrigerate it warm off the pot rather than completely cooled for greater longevity, up to several months.
This way, you’ll have fresh, homemade elderberry syrup available at home in no time at all.
Recommended Elderberry Syrup Dosage
About one tablespoon for adults and one teaspoon for children taken a few times a week is recommended to boost immunity. The syrup may also be taken as a supplement when you feel sick, where the dosage is increased to every couple of hours to help speed up the healing process.
And trust me, it works wonders!