Cold and flu season is upon us! What are we to do? One of my favorite natural healers in my medicine cabinet is black elderberry. This dark nutritious berry has been used for centuries to treat colds and congestion and several studies in humans have shown that black elderberries can reduce the severity of influenza. In fact, 4 years ago, the National Institute of Health studied several natural products and found that black elderberry had strong antiviral effects against the flu, as well as respiratory bacterial pathogens.
Today I want to share my recipe for black elderberry tea that I make for my whole family whenever the first signs of illness creep in. Last week, I felt a head cold coming on and I quickly brewed up a large batch of this warming tea that I drank over the course of 3 days. All of the ingredients in this tea are purposeful and super powerful. Ginger’s benefits go far and wide such as reducing inflammation, aiding in digestion, and assisting with cold and flu relief. Its active volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds are what give ginger its power. The lemon and honey of course add flavor, but also provide additional benefits like vitamin C and antibacterial properties.
I hope you give this recipe a try. Grab a blanket, a nice soft pillow, and a cup of this soothing tea. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
3 cups filtered water
2 Tablespoons dried black elderberries
.3-.5 ounces chopped fresh ginger (skin removed)
1-2 small lemon
1-2 teaspoon Manuka honey
Simmer 2 Tbsp elderberries and chopped ginger in 3 cups of water in a covered saucepan for 15 minutes. Remove from burner and let steep covered for 10 minutes more. Pour warm tea through a small strainer into mug. Squeeze lemon juice from 1 small lemon into mug along with honey to taste. Makes about 2 cups. Enjoy! Yum
Variations: Add cinnamon for added flavor and health benefit. You can also steep a variety of different tea bags in the elderberry liquid such as camomile, lemon balm or rooibos.