Getting to know herbs–Elderberry
As soon as the weather gets cooler, most people want to do all they can to keep from getting sick. Thankfully, Elderberry syrup has made its way into our lives as a winter staple. You can easily find many Elderberry options at Peoples–syrup, lozenges, gummies, capsules–but what exactly is it, where does it come from, and how does it help us?
Elder is a tree or shrub native to Europe, with a history of use that dates back thousands of years and is still one of the most popular remedies in European folk medicine. The berries and flowers are most commonly used, and there are many folk recipes for Elderberry wines, medicinal beers, jams, and more!
Elder flowers are commonly used in teas for upper respiratory affections. They are soothing to irritated mucous membranes and act as an expectorant and relaxant. They can also be used when there is a fever present as they are a diaphoretic, which means they help to encourage perspiration and release heat. Rich in quercetin and rutin, they are also useful for inflammation due to allergies.
Elderberries are most famous for their efficacy in shortening the duration of the flu, which many clinical trials have proven. Studies have also shown that the berries have a direct effect on viruses by inhibiting their reproduction. These flavonoid-rich berries can also help decrease oxidative stress, strengthen the eyes, and protect from inflammatory damage. They are an important antioxidant, containing anthocyanin, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, and so much more. Elderberries are a deep acting immune tonic that can be taken every day throughout cold and flu season.
We offer many different brands of elderberry syrup at all Peoples locations. While the syrup from Gaia is a highly concentrated form, I prefer our Texas-made Cassie Green Elderberry syrup because you get an additional benefit from the added honey. There are also sugar-free syrup options available as well as tinctures, capsules, and gummies. A bonus to Elderberry syrup is that it tastes delicious! It’s not to be missed this season!
Laurène Elliott-Deyris is an Herbalist and Wellness Specialist at Peoples. She received her training at The Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin and is furthering her clinical studies with the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine program out of North Carolina.
**This article is not intended to be medical advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before use.**
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