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The Willow Journal

The Gifts of Elderberry

The Gifts of Elderberry

Happy second week of school for Durango 9-R and many beyond! After an extremely busy summer, I know many are feeling relieved to get back into a routine and rhythm. We have a well of support to keep your kids and your families healthy as everyone is easing back into school season. One of the best allies for maintaining a healthy immune system is Elderberry. This herb has become more famous in this last year, and I want to explain a little more about the reasons why it is so beneficial and effective. 

A little more about Elderberry...

Elderberry is extremely rich in vitamin C and protective antioxidants called bioflavonoids. We all know that vitamin C supports the immune system, but it also plays a major role in overall health. Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in the brain and works within the fluid between the nerve cells. It is also a precursor to collagen formation, which is responsible for maintaining skin elasticity, as well as lubricating and strengthening ligaments and tendons. The other major antioxidant group that exists in Elderberries are called proanthocyanidins.

These specifically protect vascular tissue and can be helpful for varicose veins, preventing atherosclerosis, or other damage that may occur within the blood vessels. Proanthocyanidins also take everything that vitamin C does to the next level by helping fight infection, supporting collagen, and upcharging the activity of vitamin C antioxidants.

A strong syrup made from Elderberry not only stimulates the immune system by replenishing it with these antioxidants and other co-factors, it also directly inhibits the influenza virus. Influenza virions are coated with tiny molecular spikes that latch on to our healthy cells, penetrating them before injecting the healthy cells with the genetic material of the virus, much like zombies, to continue spreading amongst healthy cells in this way. In order for the virus to penetrate our cells, however, it wears down their protective coating with an enzyme called neuraminidase. According to several in vitrotrials, Elderberry was seen to deactivate this neuraminidase enzyme, therefore inhibiting the spread of the virus.

In the human body, this has helped several people in clinical trials as well as empirically, recover from the flu more quickly. Madeline Mumcuoglu, Ph.D. of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel studied Elderberry’s effectiveness against the flu virus. Of those taking the Elderberry, 20% of the subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, 90% in three days. Contrastingly, the group who received the placebo took 6 days to recover (Medical Herbalism 8(4)).

Elderberry works best when taken preventatively as a daily tonic.

At Dancing Willow Herbs, we have a potent Elderberry syrup that is made with love to support the immune system, and overall health of you and your family. The good news is, it is also highly palatable and beloved by adults and children alike! Because it contains honey, it is only safe for children above 1.5 years old. We do also carry Elderberry Glycerite that is safe for children under 1.5 years old, so even the tiniest bodies can get Elderberry's support!

Our Elderberry Syrup can be enjoyed by the spoonful, poured on pancakes, oatmeal, used to sweeten tea or incorporated into other recipes whom call for a touch of sweetness!

Elderberry Popsicles

Here is a simple little recipe to help you stay cool and support your immune system! It is kid approved...

1 can Full Fat Coconut Milk

4 oz Dancing Willow Herbs Elderberry Syrup

2 oz Blueberry Juice (optional)

1 tsp Vanilla extract 

Whisk the ingredients together until smooth and there are no clumps. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze until set and enjoy!


May you stay well, and enjoy the many gifts of this immune ally!