The International Herb Association has chosen Elderberry as the 2013 Herb of the Year. Every year, the IHA chooses an herb that deserves special focus. They have compiled a list of various things to make with all parts of this easy to grow bush. Even if you don't actually make any herbal remedies, Elderberry is delicious enough to simply use as a wild food source. Your family will love the sweet flavor, and never even realize they are getting an immunity boost. Food as medicine makes me happy.
- How To Grow Elderberry-For many of us, elderberries simply grow in ditches and on quiet country roads. We harvest them every year, as a sort of rite of Summer's passage.
If you would like to grow elderberry on your own property, they are easy to grow. Don't forget to plant enough for the butterflies and birds to enjoy as well. They are a valuable resource for wild animals.
Elderberry (Sambucus spp.), has a rich history in the herbal world. There seems to be no end to the delicious recipes and healing benefits of this tasty shrub.
What Can I Use Elderberry For?
Make Delicious Elderberry Jelly - There is nothing simpler than making a jelly for friends and family. This is a great reason to collect all the berries that you can find during the summer months.
Not sure about canning your own jelly? You can certainly freeze this tasty treat and thaw the jars as needed.
- Make Elderberry Fizz- A naturally effervescent drink, this lightly scented and flavored delight would make a pretty addition to any spring brunch.
- Make Elderberry Wine-There was a time when people drank wine as a healing tonic. We have fallen away from that idea, which is too bad. Elderberry wine is the perfect way to indulge in a bit of delightful herbal remedy, without actually feeling as if you are medicating yourself.
- Make Elderberry Syrup-Possibly my favorite way to enjoy all that elderberry has to offer, elderberry syrup is a sweet treat that can be used as a flavoring for sodas, pancakes and atop angel food cake.
- Make Elderberry Pie - Who can say not to a pie? This is a traditional use of the wild elderberry. In fact, many of our grandmothers have their own way of making it. Think blueberry, with a tart twist. Delicious!
- Elderberry Tincture-Making tincture is a basic herbal way to use the medicinal properties of herbs. Elderberry is not exception. Elderberry tinctures can be made with alcohol or glycerin. I make mine with alcohol and they still taste so much sweeter than a regular alcohol based tincture.
- Elderberry - The Natural Immune Booster-Elderberry is well known as an immune booster. Find out more about this delightful natural remedy from About.com's Alt Medicine site.
What Makes Elderberry Boost The Immune System?- Elderberry is not only known by herbalists. Check out what WebMD has to say about elderberry's ability to affect immune system.
In short, it keeps the virus from replicating in our cells. So actually, you could think of elderberry as an extra level of protection against illness. But don't take my word for it. Here is more information about elderberry as a way to help fight off illness.
- Sambucol - Elderberry On The Shelf - Sambucol is actually an elderberry extract that is sold on the shelves of drugstores around the world. The active ingredient is elderberry.