Elder has been used for centuries; there are records of it been used as far back as Ancient Egypt. It's used to treat dozens of maladies, from cold and flu to the plague. The berries work as anti-virus and work to remove deep congestion. The flowers encourage sweating, being ideal for helping you fight feverish colds/flu. The leaves can be used for making soothing wound salves and compresses.
Elder is an excellent tonic for the immune and respiratory system; it is packed with vitamin C and flavonoids, thus its immune-supporting properties.
Parts used: berries, flowers, leaves, and bark. The most used parts today are berries and flowers; the bark and leaves can promote vomiting in high quantities.
You can find all the needed ingredients for the preparations bellow at William's Natural Foods, as well as a wide variety of Elder supplements (from syrups to capsules, tinctures and more)
3½ cups water
¾ cup of dried elderberries
1 tsp of dried ginger or 1 drop of ginger essential oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp of dried cloves or 4 whole cloves
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup raw local honey
In a large pot, bring the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, lemon, and ginger to a boil.
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by approximately half.
Remove from heat and allow it to cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
Mash the berries carefully using a spoon.
Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
When the honey is well mixed into the mixture, pour the syrup into an airtight glass jar.
Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune-boosting properties.
Natural Cold and Flu Tea
½ cup of elderflower
½ cup of dried yarrow
½ cup of peppermint
Mix all ingredients well in a bowl, move to an airtight container for storage.
Use 1 tsp per cup of hot water. Let infuse for at least 20 minutes before straining.