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What is an elderberry?

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A week ago I was exposed to the flu, strep throat, and other viruses. I was worried that I was going to get sick. A struck of luck I was in my local Whole Foods and there were these lozenges that said, elderberry best vitamin C source. Of course I had to try it. Fortunately, I did not get sick and was able to battle all these fun germs. However, it did bring me to find out more about the elderberry. A month ago I wrote an article on an interview I did with Burke Lennihan, RN, CCH, about her practice and why it is so different than traditional practices, and I remembered her mentioning that she does not use medicine, but she uses natural remedies. She even writes about elderberries in her book, Your Natural Medicine Cabinet.

What is an elderberry? An elderberry comes in two different colors red and black. What I found is that the red is a better source for animals and insects to feed off of. So I am not going to talk about that. The black elderberry is a natural antiviral property known as Sambucol, it fights against colds, coughs, the flu, reduces fevers, and infections both bacterial and viral. Other benefits of the elderberry it is used as an antioxidant, lowers cholesterol, improves vision, boost the immune system, improves the heart health, and can be used as a diuretic. The elderberry juice was used to cure the flu in the Panama 1995 epidemic, and reduced the symptoms drastically. The Dutch believe that the tea of the leafs purifies the blood and boost your immune symptoms. The cooked berries improves your metabolism and relieves your arthritis. Syrup from the elderberry is said to heal sore throats, while reducing fevers. Dave from explains that the elderberry is edible when fully ripe and even shows on his website what the black elderberry looks like when it is ripe. When it is not ripe do not eat it.

The elderberry contains organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavanoids, sugars, vitamin A,B, and C, which is why it is such a great source for to help all of the above. All I know is I am virus free, and was able to work through these harsh storms in the past week, and still feel fine. Also, Burke Lennihan, RN, CCH mentions in her book, Your Natural Medicine Cabinet that the elderberry is a great herb for coughs, while acting as an antibacterial and antiviral. She also says, when you are sick take one spoonful of elderberry syrup to reduce the symptoms. I highly recommend the moment you feel like you are getting sick start taking the syrup, and also you can take the tablets that melt in your mouth, or the lozengers, and you will start to feel better.

If you would like to learn more please email me at

Have a Happy Holiday Season

Cheryl A Nocera



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