Elderberry and Elderflower-A Cold and Flu Season Favorite
Many herbs are worthy of your home apothecary for the cold and flu season, it’s easy to stock up on all kinds of teas and tinctures. One plant that you will get a lot of mileage out of is the elder plant. Both elderberry and elderflower have medicinal properties.
Elderberry is a great tasting tea and syrup, and can be taken as tincture also. It is anti-viral, immune boosting, has vitamin C. You can drink the tea freely throughout winter for prevention, altho 1-2 cups a day is probably a good dose. When you are sick you can increase the amount, and take with other immune supporting herbs. There are no known side effects. The berries are also good for varicose veins and help with eyesight-; night blindness in particular. They also have some anti-cancer properties!
Elder flower is known as a children’s remedy for fevers. Mixing with peppermint is a popular combination in Europe. If you are an adult with a fever it wouldn’t hurt to take elderflower.
For making a tea with the berries, simmer about 2 teaspoons in a pint of water (or double it to make a quart). It will store well in your fridge for at least a week. It tastes a bit sour, so I like to sweeten with honey or maple syrup.
To make elderflower tea, use 2-3 teaspoons per pint of water. Pour boiling water over flowers and steep minimum 30 minutes. This is such a widely used herb for children that suggested doses vary greatly. My suggestion for a small child, up to 3 years old is to give a half cup a few times a day. Increase the dose as it makes sense to you, for older children. My email address is below if you want more guidance.
Note The berries are quite potent, and after simmering once, you can probably simmer them again in a new batch of water and get another good jar of tea.
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