No flu shots for us! Instead our family relies on powerful elderberry. This non-alcoholic version is perfect for kids. First, I’ll tell you what’s so great about it – then I’ll tell you how to make your own!
I remember the day it was first reported…Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu made elderberries internationally famous through the well-publicized research and laboratory studies conducted at the Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem. It was demonstrated that Sambucus nigra species of elderberry was effective against a wide range of influenza viruses including human, swine and avian strains. This led to the development of a popular elderberry glycerin tincture preparation called Sambucol. Even if the preparation is taken too late to act as a preventative, controlled clinical studies demonstrated that Sambucol could reduce the severity and duration of influenza by half.
At a press conference held in 2006 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, the results of exciting new research on the patented elderberry formula were presented and found to be at least 99% effective against the Avian Flu (H5N1) virus in cell cultures!”
Now science is beginning to understand what Europe’s country folk and native Americans knew all along – elderberry is good for preventing cold and influenza, and traditional homemade elderberry tinctures and non-alcoholic (glycerin or honey-based) syrups work just as well as Sambucol.
No Flu Shots For Us
Elderberry works in a similar way by preventing the virus from adhering to human cells and multiplying. Traditionally, elderberry preparations are taken early enough to head off a massive viral invasion right from the start.
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Easy Elderberry Glycerin Tincture (a.k.a. Syrup):
Place elderberries, water, glycerin, and optional spices in a saucepan. Bring to a very hot temp but do not boil, reduce heat, and simmer on low for 40-50 minutes. Mash the berries to release remaining juice. Let sit a few more minutes and then strain the liquid off from the berries using cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a thin old towel. Be sure to squeeze all of the liquid out of the berries.
Compost the spent berries. Allow liquid to cool. Bottle syrup and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Shake before using.
Note: You can also use raw honey, but do not boil it. Add it to the liquid the berries were heated in after straining off berries.
For one of the oldest and best resources on all-things-herbal there is Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family.
The very best time to start treating a cold or flu virus with elderberry is at the very earliest stage, BEFORE the virus has gotten a foothold, as in, “I think I may be coming down with something, but I’m not quite sure”. Cold and flu viruses multiply so rapidly that it is critically important to begin treatment while they are few in number, and before they have a chance to mount a massive attack.
Adults: If the risk of exposure to ordinary flu is very high, we adults take two tablespoons of elderberry syrup (or a dropperful of the vodka-based tincture) every four to six hours as a cold and flu preventative.
Children: For children under 12 years old, administer 1 teaspoon per day for prevention or 1 teaspoon per waking hour at the onset of cold/flu-like symptoms. Toddlers get half of that. Elderberry also makes an amazing pancake syrup!
If you don’t have a source of fresh elderberries where you live, it’s easiest to buy them dried in bulk (1/2 lb.). A good source for both elderberries and glycerin (under accessories) is Bulk Herb Store. Make it yourself and save.
Pliny the ‘Elder’ (berry)
Both Pliny the Elder and Hippocrates mentioned and recommended elderberry as a medicinal herb in their writings.
“All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature, the challenge of science is to find it.” ~Paracelsus (1493-1541)
Thanks for reading!