Thursday, February 7, 2008

To combat the flu, Elderberry Syrup.

Having been assaulted by a touch of what I believe to be the flu bug, I figured now would be a good time to make a batch of my surefire flu and cold cure, Elderberry Syrup.

I was introduced to this amazing, though simple, extract in my Ethnobotany class, a couple of years ago. Under the instruction of the genius Dr. Clark, we were exposed to many uses for wild plants. One of the most useful, Dr. Clark taught us, was the Elderberry, often known as the "people's medicine chest" because of its many medicinal uses, not the least of which is a cure for flu. There is an element in the Elderberry which prevents the flu virus from attaching itself to the cells in your body, thus preventing it from spreading. This, in turn, reduces the severity and duration of the illness.

My method is simple, first, I thawed out about three cups of elderberries. I then took my stick blender to them and pulverized them as best I could. Next, I poured the puree into a pan, added a shot of vodka (this helps to extract the beneficial alkaloids), and brought the mix to a gentle boil. Finally, I strained out the pulp and bottled my syrup.

One shot in the morning, and one shot at night, just as the shaman ordered.

If you fear the flu as well, but don't want to go through the trouble of collecting wild elderberries and making your own extract, go check out your local health food store and look for Sambucol, a popular elderberry formulation that is said to also work wonders against influenza.

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