As we gear up for the winter holiday season, we should also be preparing for the cold and flu season. I’m not writing to you about any Black Friday deals this week, I’m talking about Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), one of the most underestimated berries out there!!!
Black elderberry has been used in medicine for hundreds of years, and many published studies are demonstrating it may effectively treat the flu, alleviate allergies, and boost overall respiratory healthy (among other things). A quick Google search and you will find lots of information! Two years ago we decided to grow our own elderberry (Sambucus nigra subspecies Canadensis). The flowers smell lovely and we use them in our summertime teas!
Here are some ways you can incorporate this amazing herb into your diet! Since I started my elderberry hunt, I have come across the following:
Fresh elderberries (summer time)
Elderberry liquid extract
Elderberry gummy vitamins
Black Elderberry extract spray
I have also found elderberry wine, although I have not tried it yet. Elderberry is being incorporated into more and more products each year. Check with your local specialty food or whole foods store to find all of the products listed above. Or grow your own! It is very easy to grow in Florida, although it can get up to 13 ft in height so make sure you have the space. Here is an article on growing Elderberry in Florida.
I would like to note here, I am not advocating any company or product, just the berry itself. Personally we use an alcohol-free extract spray and my little gardeners really like Dino Elderberry Yummy Gummy vitamins. Our western culture needs to re-discover this native plant! It has so many uses, and is a wonderful attraction for birds, butterflies, and pollinators in any garden!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!