Strengthen your immune system with elderberry juice, a nutritious natural home remedy (recipe included)
07/31/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
Strengthen your immune system with elderberry juice, a nutritious natural home remedy (recipe included)

While not as popular as strawberries or blueberries, elderberries are just as tasty and nutritious.

In fact, drinking elderberry juice can help boost your immune and digestive systems.

Elderberries, a superfood full of vitamins and minerals

Elderberries come from the elder plant (Sambucus nigra) that is native to North America and Europe.

An elderberry tree can grow up to 20 feet and it is related to the honeysuckle. The plant often grows in a shrub-like cluster of stems, but some varieties are smaller and single-stemmed.

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The plant bears fruit that is reddish-brown to purple and shiny black in color, which is why it is sometimes called black elderberry.

Elderberries are widely used for medicinal and culinary purposes. The berries are even used as ingredients in various skin creams and other cosmetics.

Fresh elderberry juice contains antioxidants and the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Amino acids
  • Calcium
  • Carotenoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C

Health benefits of elderberry juice

Incorporate nutritious elderberry juice into a balanced diet to reap the following health benefits:

It can prevent the common cold and the flu

Drinking elderberry juice can help prevent ailments and respiratory conditions like chest congestion, common colds, cough, flu and a sore throat.

As a natural antiviral, elderberry juice can help cure common colds, the flu and fevers.

It can boost your immune health

Elderberry juice is naturally rich in vitamin C, making it the perfect home remedy for some bacterial diseases. The juice can help boost your immune system, which is key to preventing and curing various infections and diseases.

It can improve your digestive health

Drinking elderberry juice can help help your digestive system healthy. The beverage improves digestion by promoting the secretion of digestive juices.

The juice also helps prevent conditions like constipation.

It can help fight cancer

Studies suggest that elderberry juice also has anticancer properties and prevents free radical damage linked to cancer.

It’s a natural anti-inflammatory

You can relieve arthritis and joint pain by drinking elderberry juice.

It promotes skin health

Elderberry juice is good for your digestion, immunity and skin health. Consuming elderberry juice help promote skin health by reduces signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles.

According to experts, elderberry juice boosts skin health thanks to its high antioxidant content.

Considerations before consuming elderberry juice

While elderberry juice is considered generally safe to consume, not everyone should drink the beverage.

  1. There aren’t enough clinical trials on the safety of elderberry in pregnancy so avoid the beverage if you are with child.
  2. Don’t drink elderberry juice if you are taking prescription drugs like blood pressure medications since elderberries can lower blood pressure.
  3. You should also avoid elderberry juice if you are on chemotherapy since the juice can increase the risk of side effects.
  4. If you have diabetes, avoid elderberry juice since it can alter insulin secretion.
  5. Elderberry flowers and berries can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

If you are foraging for berries, don’t harvest elderberry fruits that are not completely ripened. Immature fruits are poisonous and can cause nausea.

When foraging for elderberries, learn how to distinguish the fruits from other plants. The elderberry may look similar to other berry-producing trees but red berries of similar species are very toxic. Only use dark purple or blue to blackberries that are safe to eat.

How to make homemade elderberry syrup and juice

Homemade elderberry syrup can be taken as a sore throat remedy or drizzled on ice cream or pancakes.

You can drink elderberry juice as is or combine it with apple, blackberry, or rhubarb juice to make a refreshing beverage.

Take one teaspoon of homemade elderberry syrup once or twice a day to boost your immune health. If used to treat illness strikes, a study suggests taking at least three teaspoons about four times per day.

Elderberry syrup

Ingredients for 4 small 8-ounce bottles:

  • 3 Cups of filtered water
  • 1.5 Cups of dried elderberries (or 2-3 cups fresh), preferably organic
  • 1.5 Cups of raw honey

Preparation:

  1. Place the dried elderberries or fresh, ripe elderberries and filtered water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Note that the liquid will reduce by about one-third when you’re done.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the elderberries to release any remaining juice.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass bowl using a cheesecloth.
  5. After the liquid cools down to body temperature or lower after about 30 minutes, gently stir in the raw honey. Mix thoroughly. Use a digital food thermometer to check if the syrup is lower than 118 F (48 C). Any higher and the heat will destroy the antibiotic properties of raw honey.
  6. Store and label the syrup in small, glass amber bottles.

Elderberry syrup can be refrigerated for several months. You can also store the syrup in a cool, dark pantry since the raw honey acts as a natural preservative.

Elderberry juice

This recipe for elderberry juice is easy to make and pairs elderberries with juicy apples.

Note that the concentrated juice can be mixed with cold water in the ratio 1/3 and a couple of ice cubes. If you prefer a warm drink, add some rum to keep the cold away.

Ingredients for 2 liters:

  • 2.5 Kilograms of elderberries (Remove the largest twigs)
  • 12 Apples
  • 1 Liter of water
  • 800 grams of sugar

Preparation:

  1. Wash and clean the elderberries, then cut off and remove the branches and twigs. Leave on the smallest ones.
  2. Wash the apples and remove the core, then slice the fruit.
  3. Place the elderberries and sliced apples in a large saucepan, then add all the water. Let the mixture boil for at least 30 minutes or until all the juice is extracted from the berries.
  4. Place a clean tea towel inside a strainer, then place the strainer on top of another large saucepan or bowl. Pour the elderberry juice in the strainer. Use a spoon to press the berries and extract all the juice.
  5. Get a saucepan and at medium heat, heat up the concentrated juice. Add the sugar and continue heating and stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Clean the bottles in very hot water or boiling water, then let the bottles cool off. Pour the concentrated elderberry juice into the bottles and seal them right after. This step helps make the juice last longer.
  7. Refrigerate the juice. An opened bottle will last for a couple of weeks.

Make elderberry syrup or consume homemade elderberry juice to boost your immune health and prevent colds and the flu.

Sources:

Home-Remedies-For-You.com

TheSpruce.com

EverydayHealth.com

TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

NordicFoodLiving.com

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