Today, the autumnal equinox marked a beautiful Indian summer day in Mt. Shasta, CA. A perfect day to harvest elderberries, fall’s gift for winter immunity. Our local elderberry is Sambucus mexicana or the Mexican Elderberry. These beautiful trees create large clusters of blue berries. Elderberry species have been used traditionally for both food and medicine in Europe and North America. It is a plant associated with much power, lore and magic in herbal tradition. Stephen Harrod Buhner writes, “The elder has been likened to a complete herbal pharmacy in itself.” The flowers and berries are the parts most often used, but the bark is medicinal as well.
Elderflowers are a specific remedy for fever and flu. Taken in hot water, elderflower tincture can break a fever, open up congestion in the lungs and sinuses, and stimulate the immune system to attack viral and bacterial infections. The berries are renowned for their virus fighting properties. Elderberries can prevent viruses from adhering to human cells and multiplying. Clinical trials have shown a tincture of the berries to be both antiviral and antibacterial. Elderberry can be used as a preventative during flu season, at first signs of compromised immunity, or during acute infection.
There are numerous ways to enjoy the medicinal benefits of elderberries. They make great jam, syrup, chutney, and wine. Interested in flu prevention and immunity this winter? Check out our Elderberry Extract and our Elderflower Extract.Tags: anti-viral herbs, Elderberry, elderberry extract, elderberry tincture, herbal medicine, herbal preventative, herbs cold and flu, herbs immunity, mount shasta herbs, sambucus, Sambucus mexicana, wildcrafted elderberry