Each fall and winter we know that the cold and flu season comes around along with the cooler temperatures. The winter temperatures here in Georgia tend to fluctuate quite a bit throughout the season and can contribute to us feeling under the weather. If you're looking for natural ways to arm your immune system (even if you're already sick), one of many ways is with elderberry syrup or extract.
Elderberry (also known as sambucus) comes from a flowering plant and is often used in medicine. Sambucus nigra, or European elder (aka black elder) is the specific species of elder that is most commonly used for medicinal purposes.
I started using elderberry syrup consistently during flu season about 3 years ago. At the time, flu season was approaching and I wanted to use a natural method to enhance my immune system. To my surprise, I have not been sick with a cold or flu since then! This includes several periods of time when I was surrounded by coworkers that had come down with the cold or flu. I attribute being able to avoid contracting the cold primarily to my use of elderberry as it was the only major change I made to my daily routine.
Ways To Use Elderberry
Raw elderberries can be poisonous as they contain a chemical similar to cyanide. For safe consumption, they must be cooked before they can be used. There are several forms that elderberry can be found in:
These items can be found at health food stores, nutrition stores like Vitamin Shoppe and Amazon. Based on my personal experience, this has worked well for me and my household. Check with your physician before starting any alternative regimen to ensure that it will be safe and suitable for your needs.
Nature's Answer elderberry extract spray that I'm currently using
So whether you've got the sniffles, a sneezing coworker, or just a strong desire to dodge feeling miserable and draining your PTO (isn't that everyone?), consider giving sambucus a try to help protect you during the cold/flu season!**
**Remember to consult a physician or health care provider before starting this or any alternative practices. The above is meant to provide information, not to prescribe treatment.