12 Wellness Reasons to Include Elderberries in Your Preps

The first time I learned about elderberries is when a homesteader I know told me she supplemented her income from making and selling her homemade syrups and tinctures.

At the time, I knew nothing about elderberries even though they are quite common near the edges of the forest here Washington State.

As my interest in natural remedies grew, I started investigating the merits of elderberry then stumbled upon this fact: elderberries can and do fight the flu.

Not only that, they do so exceptionally well.

Talk about a light bulb going off in this prepper mind of mine! That single fact set me on path to learn about the other health and wellness benefits of elderberry and, as a natural follow-up, to make my own elderberry tincture and elderberry syrup.

Introducing the Elderberry: Some Background Information

[wild berries] Picking wild berries and usingthem for both food and medicine has been a part of human existence since the dawn of time. Not much has changed in that regard.

These days, preppers and survivalists consider knowing how to forage for berries and other food items indigenous to their geographical area an important cornerstone of long term survival in the event of a catastrophic disruptive event.

The black elderberry, orSambucus Canadensis, is a unique member of the honeysuckle family which grows on a small tree that resembles a shrub.

Early Native Americans would use the durable yet pliable elderberry branches to craft tools, pipes, housing materials, and other items for their village.

The berries, which typically wereused in a recipe, were enthusiastically enjoyed by villagers young and old.

[sweet and tart little berry] The sweet and tart little berry would be crushed up, mixed with sugar or honey, and then used to make a tasty jam or syrup.

Interestingly, man’s first interactions with the actual berry from the elderberry tree involved using it for a variety of things besides food, including as a dye for fabrics.

Over time, man learned that this dark, purple berry had a lot more to offer than taste.

Pretty soon, elderberries were beingused for salves, pastes, tinctures, and everything in between.

In my own research, I have learned that there are at leastseven different species in North America, each specific to native growing conditions.

Imagine my surprise when I learned there was even a species that grows in the Arizona desert!

12 Benefits of Elderberry for Health and Wellness

The elderberry is quite potent with several health and wellness benefits.

I have identifiedtwelveof those benefits although I am certain there are others.

1. Fights Flu

This is where elderberry shines, with ample research on the safety and efficacy of elderberry as a remedy for both influenza A and B.

2. Treats Wounds

With it’s antiseptic and mild antibiotic action, elderberry helps fight infection in wounds, especially when used in conjunction with honey.

3. Powerful Antioxidant

Elderberries are dense in antioxidants which have been linked to a reduction in Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and even cancer cells.

4. Boosts Immunity to Disease

They are rich in vitamin C, which promotes the production of white blood cells and reduces oxidative stress.

5. Enhanced Brain Function

Elderberries contain 2.32mg of iron, which decreases lethargy and increases mental capacity.

6. Combat the Common Cold

[Elderberry extract has proven to be an effective remedy to fight the common cold] Elderberry extract has proven to be an effective remedy to fight the common cold by triggering an increased immune response.

7. Clearer Vision

They are dense vitamin A content which maintains and improves vision.

8. Oral Hygiene and Mouth

Elderberries are beneficial for your dental health as well, with an ability to reduce gingival index scores by a measurable degree.

9. Efficient Digestion

As a great source of dietary fiber, elderberries help decrease bloating and constipation while also helping facilitatebowel movements.

10. Improves Skin

Elderberries provide a natural boost to skin’s moisture and elasticity levels.

11. Bone Health

Elderberries contain a high level of unique minerals that combined become the perfect cocktail for proper bone density and a healthy skeletal system.

12. Heart and Cardiovascular Support

Elderberries are rich in potassium, which increases blood flow insupport of a healthy cardiovascular system.

How to Make an Elderberry Tincture & Elderberry Syrup

Homemade elderberry tinctures are a cinch to make and can save you a lot money when compared to over-the-counter versions. Also, it goes without saying that as a natural remedy, it is a better choice than synthetic medicines from companies whose primary interest is profit overwellness.

So how do you make an elderberry tincture? There are many variations but here is the version I made, using the recipe in Cat’s book,Prepping For a Pandemic.

Elderberry Tincture

[Elderberry Tincture] Fill a mason jar 3/4 full of dried elderberries (I used these)

Fill the rest of the jar with vodka (I used the cheap stuff)

Let it sit for 6 weeks

Strain and remove the elderberries, reserving the liquid

Dosage for flu: 30 to 60 drops hourly beginning when you first suspect the flu coming on.

Dosage for general health and as a preventative: 1 teaspoon daily, perhaps in a glass of apple juice.

Elderberry Syrup

[Elderberry Syrup] I also made a very simple elderberry syrup using these directions, again from Cat Ellis.

Add 1/2 cup ofelderberriesto a pot with 2 cups of water

Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 20 minutes to reduce by half

Strain out the berries, and let the liquid cool just enough so that it’s still warm, but doesn’t burn you to touch it.

You should have 1 cup of liquid

Add 1 cup of honey and gently stir to dissolve the honey into the elderberry extraction

This is a very basic recipe. Try experimenting by adding other herbals and spices with healing benefits such as ginger root, cloves, garlic, cinnamon, and wild cherry bark.

If you decide to experiment (I have not, but plan to) start off with a bit of extra water.

Side Effects of Elderberry

[Side Effects of Elderberry] There is some controversy relative to red elderberries and many authorities recommend that you avoid them. That said, if they are toxic, the symptoms are no worse than an upset stomach.

Still, I would err on the side of caution and avoid them.

In addition, some studies have suggested that elderberry tinctures may not be an issueto people with an auto-immune disorder.

This is because the elderberry tincture’s potency might cause their immune system to go into overdrive.

There is also some debate as to whether or not pregnant and nursing mothers should use elderberry syrups and tinctures.

As with all natural remedies, if in doubt, consult with a trusted and sympathetic health care professional first.

The Final Word

[positive health benefits of elderberry] As far as I am concerned, learning about the positive health benefits of elderberry and then putting that knowledge into practical use is prudent during normaltimes.

I suggest you seek out wild elderberries growing in your community or learn cultivate elderberry yourself.

Make some elderberry tincture or syrup, and the next time you feel a cold or flu coming on, use this natural remedy and see how you respond.

You can also start taking a teaspoon daily to build immunity and reap the benefits of the many addition wellness properties of elderberry.

In closing, I would like to thankCat Ellis (aka The Herbal Prepper)not only for sharing her wisdom intwo fantastic books, but for also answering my questions about making elderberry tinctures and syrups.

Source : backdoorsurvival.com/12-reasons-to-include-elderberries-in-your-preps/