Your Brain on Elderberry

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My kids always ask me for elderberry capsules when they start getting sick. I think it’s great that they choose this over any other cold or flu medicine ❤ !  Elderberry is a folk remedy with a crazy list of benefits.  It’s a powerful antioxidant, helps lower cholesterol, improves vision, and helps your body fight bacterial and viral infections. Elderberry juice has been used to treat influenza, and was very effective!

But, of course, I’m interested in what elderberry does for your brain:

“Elderberries are wild shrubs, growing eight to ten feet tall, and are found along streambeds and waste areas across most of North America. They are exceptionally high in aconthocyanins, a potent antioxidant that helps protect brain cells and mitochondria from damage.” –Dr. Terry Wahls

“Elderberries are packed with quercetin, a flavonoid that’s critical to your brain’s health. Like blueberries and strawberries, the flavonoids found in elderberries help reduce harmful inflammation at a cellular level. Additionally, quercetin increases the activity of your cells’ mitochondria, which you can think of as the “powerhouses” within each of your cells. By boosting your mitochondrial activity, you’ll boost your overall energy level, too.” – Dr. Majid Fotuhi, author of The Memory Cure

I was talking to a guy last year about  the benefits of elderberry. He said, “Oh, I have those in my back yard. We never do anything with them.” He invited me to come over when his berries got ripe this year. I was so excited! I decided I was going to make my own elderberry syrup. I was going to be that mom!

He called to tell me the berries were ready last Friday. I started researching recipes and found out that  some elderberries are poisonous. And even the ones that aren’t poisonous need to be cooked to remove toxins from them. The stems need to be removed because they’re poisonous. There’s nothing like the internet to make a person paranoid. I wasn’t even sure if I should do it. But elderberries are one of my favorite natural remedies, so I decided to try.

Yesterday, I brought my daughter and her friend over to pick them. The berries were too high to reach, so the elderberry guy pruned some of the branches from the high part of the bush and we started picking them off.

The berries were unbelievably tiny! It took a super long time, but the elderberry guy was really funny and entertaining, so the time flew by. Later, he gave us a tour of his AMAZING 100 year old house. The girls got to pick some blueberries, too, until my daughter got freaked out by the spiders.  It was an adventure.

Tonight I cooked up 1/2 the berries after looking at this recipe. Of course, I didn’t actually follow the recipe because I almost never do.

In the pan:

*1 1/2 cups elderberries with every single stem removed 🙂

*about 10 leaves from the stevia plant in my garden

*2 tsp ground cinnamon

*1/2 tsp ground ginger

* 1/2 cup water

I brought them to a boil and then reduced the heat. I simmered them for about 45 minutes. They smelled great. I tried putting the mixture through a strainer and hardly any came out. I ended up putting the whole mixture in the blender and adding 3/4 cup of water (I should have put more water in there to begin with), and blending it up. I made a HUGE mess and used up a lot of dishes. But it tasted really good!

I put the pulpy stuff into some of those ice cube trays that look like hearts. Then I put them in the freezer for later.

Next time I would use more water-maybe about  2 1/2 to 3 cups? And then I would have some syrup to put through the strainer. I don’t want it to be too runny, though, because I am not using honey to thicken it up.

I’m still alive :). My brain feels better already.


3 thoughts on “Your Brain on Elderberry

    […] Your Brain on Elderberry […]

    Jennifer at Purposeful Nutrition said:
    September 21, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Love elderberry and I make elderberry syrup. Glad to know of the effects on the brain as well as the anti-viral benefits.

      Debbie responded:
      September 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Yep. I’m going to use your recipe next time!

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