What is Elderberry?
Tip:(If you know what it is and what it can do you can skip down to the bottom to see if it helped or not)
Some people use elderberry for hay fever , cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating. Due to their diuretic and detoxifying properties, some people eat elderberries to lose weight. The flowers have been used in cosmetics since ancient times. Distilled elder flower water softens, tone and restores the skin. Elder flower infusion cleanses the skin, lightens freckles, and soothes sunburn. Its Bioflavinoids promote circulation and strengthen the capillaries.
Elderberry fruit is also used for making wine and as a food flavoring.
Elderberry jam or jelly holds many minerals & vitamins , particularly vitamin B17. Elderberry helps to boost and maintain the immune & respiratory systems. Its flower accommodate three very good sources of potassium plus viburnic acid (beneficial for asthma an bronchitis), vitamin A, vitamin C, volatile oils and bioflavonoids. A daily dose can assist you in preventing both acute and chronic disease.
Elderberry is used for "the flu" (influenza), H1N1 "swine" flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain(sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
Elderberry is believed to retains therapeutic uses an anti-inflammatory, diuretic , and immuno-stimulant, as an herbal remedy. Infusions of the fruit are efficacious for nerve problems, back pain, and have been taken to ebb inflammation of the urinary tract and bladder.
Ripened elderberries can be used like some other berries in fruit pies, muffins, and jams. The dried flowers can also be steeped in water to prepare elderberry tea and the berries mashed to make elderberry juice.
There has not been enough "research" to prove if Elderberry helps with some of these, but it has been shown to reduce mucus during a cold, and boost immunity. For me if that was all it did I'd still have it!
You can just ask those who have used it. Many people make elderberry syrup for flu season and swear by it. There are endless recipes to make it home, and it is sold in most pharmacy chains, on line vitamin and supplement companies, and retailers.
I decided to do my own experiment on this. Not a very extensive one, just starting with the non threatening tea.
Benefits of Elderberry Tea
- It is ideal for treating colds and the flu.
- Helps cure bronchitis.
- It aids with asthma, coughing and it is used as a treatment for allergies.
- Brings down fevers, as it makes you sweat.
- It is a tea that has an anti-inflammatory effect.
- It generally improves your immune system as it acts as an antioxidant and a tonic to clear your system.
- The anthocyanins present also give this tea antioxidant protection against cellular aging.
- Tea made from the root can be used as a laxative.
- Helps the kidneys function by ridding the body of toxins.
- It may help with arthritic and rheumatic pains.
- Elderberry extract reduces the effects of LDL, the bad cholesterol.
- It may be good for children with the measles and chicken pox.
Sadly I did not take a "before" picture as I remembered after I started that its better to have pictures to go along with the post. Woops, that happens a lot.
To the meat...Steep them for a few minutes and had it as hot tea. It was surprisingly NOT offensive! I dont know why I expected it to be awful but it's probably because I can be a big fat pessimist. (ME?!) Pfft..
Well it was good. No complaints. I decided to try it with maple syrup..
That actually made it not as pleasant. I have no way to describe it other than it tasted..well..I have no real description. If I had a gun to my head I'd say it tasted "dirty" but there's no way anyone can possibly know what that means for me...
Next I tried it again with raw honey. That was worse than the maple syrup. It left a bitter taste after it went down which made me not want to drink anymore.
Tried sugar and it was the worst out of all of them. Bitter going down, bitter after taste, and it didn't taste the same as it started out . I was just barely able to get that one down!
So lesson learned with the hot tea. Don't mess with nature because she got it right the first time. It doesn't need anything as far as I'm concerned. Of course we all have different tastes so go ahead and try yourself. I did read that mint is good but I was out at the time, which is a shame because fresh organic mint is something I have on hand almost always.
Then I tried it iced. Same outcome. I didn't know if cold vs hot would make a difference but it does sometimes with coffee so I tried. Basically the same result. I enjoyed much more without adding a thing to it other than the ice.
So here is the result after being steeped. I used the leaves, bark, flowers and berries. You can also use elderberry syrup to make elderberry tea.
On to the actual Experiment
I tried one cup of tea in the morning and one cup at night.
Week 1. I did not notice any difference in pain levels or inflammation.
Week 2. I decided to do 3 cups a day. Morning, noon and night. It seemed I was able to get moving around in the morning a little faster than usual. I was not able to pinpoint at this point why. I did not need my morning coffee to wake up and I was less stiff.
Week 3. My pain did seem a little less. Not significant like from an 8 down to a 2...more like an 8 down to a 6. But I'll take anything I can get!
Week 4. It seemed to hold steady as in week 3
I do wonder if I did more than 3 cups if I would see better results, or with using elderberry syrup instead. I have since run out and I am trying to decide if I will do tea again, try extract or syrup.
I will update when this experiment continues.
The key points for trying Elderberry for people in pain:
- It's anti-inflammatory properties are supposed to help reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis and other diseases.
- It's known to help increase immunity
- Detoxifying properties
- Promotes circulation
- Shown to help prevent viruses from being able to attack the cells in the body
- Traditional(European) uses of Elderberry juice include relieving low back pain and chronic pain
It is always best to speak with your Dr. and/or your Pharmacist....The Pharmacist should know the most about interactions with medications.