E L D E R B E R R Y G U M M I E S 👌🏻
We are steadily peaking in cold & flu season. More time indoors, colder weather, sleep problems, limited access to fresh foods and lack of physical movement are all things that can wreck havoc on the health of your immune system. 😭 Have no fear my friends! There are some excellent supportive therapies to keep you and your family healthy this year. Today I’m going to share one that most of my patients tend to enjoy!
Behold, ELDERBERRIES! Known botanically as Sambucus Nigra.
Elderberries have been shown in studies to have the following effects:
Decrease symptoms of viral upper respiratory tract infections
Decrease duration of cold & flu infections
The anthocyanins in elderberry are anti-viral (blocking viral uptake) & immune-supportive
Elderberries are adaptogenic (i.e. they can increase or decrease cytokines depending on the need)
The magical medicinal compounds in these berries are anthocyanins - an antioxidant that falls within the flavonoid family. Anthocyanins are water-soluble, so the active constituents have a quick action and then are excreted in the urine within 5 hours after ingestion according to studies. Frequency, dosing and potency are all things to consider when looking to use this berry for yourself or your family this time of year. Talk to your healthcare provider for a product that is safe for you or your children.
Interested in the recipe for these yummy little gut healing immune supporting gummies? It's only 2 main ingredients, plus elderberry syrup.
Elderberry Gummy Recipe:
• 1 cup liquid. I mixed 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of pure tart pomegranate juice from POM wonderful for added antioxidants.
• 3 tbsp Gelatin. The amount that works for you might differ according to the brand of gelatin you use. Gelatin contains glutamic acid which helps to support the mucosal lining of the gut. Remember, the gut is part of our adaptive immune system!
• Plus elderberry extracted in Manuka honey for added immune supporting benefits. Manuka honey is different from regular honey. It has potent antiseptic properties, is anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive. Dose these ingredients according to your ND's instructions.
Note: double the recipe if desired.
Directions: In a saucepan, dissolve your gelatin in the cold liquid of your choice. Wait a few minutes until absorbed. Bring the saucepan to a gentle simmer on the stove until all crystals are incorporated into a liquid consistency. Remove saucepan from the stove and wait until cooled. Pour into fun shaped silicone molds of your choice. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!
The added benefits of making these yourself at home (other than the fact that the recipe is incredibly simple), is that you can control what is in them. There will be no added fillers, food colours, preservatives and no added sugars. 👌🏻As I touched on in a previous blog post, sugar can weaken the immune system and many store bought gummies are loaded with sugar.
Herbal medicine is truly fascinating! If you'd like to read more, check out the studies and references listed below. These studies certainly trigger a great deal of interest in the benefits of herbal medicine!
Weng, J.-R. et al. (2019). Antiviral activity of Sambucus FormosanaNakai ethanol extract and related phenolic acid constituents against human coronavirus NL63.
Hawkins, J., et al. (2019). Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation effectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials.
Tiralongo, E., et al. (2016). Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.
Hawkins J, Baker C, Cherry L, Dunne E. Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation effectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Complement Ther Med. 2019;42:361-365. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.12.004