If you’ve made it this far into winter without you or someone you love being flattened by an immune challenge, you may be feeling victorious. Don’t celebrate just yet though. The peak season for winter gremlins is January-February and doesn’t end until April, meaning we’ve still got at least another month or two before we’re out of the woods. You’ve probably already got tissues and vitamin C stockpiled, but there’s another item you’ll want to add to your winter wellness arsenal: black elderberry (Sambucus nigra L).
A berry interesting history
In the English countryside, the tart, dark-purple berries of the elder plant have been incorporated into preserves, wines, and winter cordials for ages. But they’ve also been used to support respiratory health and fight seasonal immune challenges in folk cultures from all over Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. Native Americans employed a closely related plant, Sambucus canadensis L, for similar purposes. Seeing a pattern here? Yeah, us too.
There are two big reasons elderberries are such a powerhouse herb for immunity:
- High vitamin C content (87 percent of the Daily Value in one cup of fresh berries)
- High levels of immune-strengthening phytonutrients like anthocyanins and flavonoids
Human studies from China, Israel, Norway, and Australia have all found elderberry helped people who were feeling run down get back on their feet faster — cutting the length of immune challenges by up to half.[i],[ii],[iii],[iv] You can thank flavonoids for that. These micro-superheroes are thought to bind to interlopers and neutralize them.[v] Kapow!
When it comes to elderberry, Flora’s got you covered.
Elderberry+ Liquid: Elderberry syrups are a time-honored and delicious — emphasis on delicious — way to support immunity.* Flora’s Elderberry+ Liquid is a delectable blend of elderberries, echinacea, and licorice. Mix with water or your favorite beverage to build up your defenses at the first sign of an immune challenge.
Elderberry Crystals: Our unique crystals are made from elderberries picked at their peak of ripeness, juiced, and immediately vacuum-dried to preserve their nutrients and antioxidants. You can sprinkle them into your favorite juice, smoothies, or warm beverage for a healthful, convenient, and delicious immune boost.
Echinacea-Elderberry Tea: What happened when elderberry met echinacea? They made this soothing, fruity, immune-supporting tea that combines elderberry with echinacea, cranberries, and rooibos from South Africa.
Looking for more immune support?
We’ve got honey, tea, and acerola powder that can be dissolved into beverages or mixed into yogurt. Boosting your immune system has never been easier, or tastier!*
Mānuka Honey: Flora’s Mānuka Honey is produced by an eco-friendly, 100% Maori-owned honey operation in New Zealand. Each jar is graded for its MGO (methylglyoxal) content and UMF rating, so you can choose the strength you want. Check the label for information on how to trace your honey to its source and view lab testing results.
Bye Bye Cold Tea: A comforting caffeine-free mix of peppermint, ginger, eucalyptus, and other herbs from various folk cultures, Cold Stop Tea will delight your senses as it supports your natural immune defenses. Start sipping as soon as you feel off.
Deep Defense Tea: This deeply nourishing caffeine-free tea blends astragalus, cranberry, echinacea and more. It’s a unique immune system tonic, with a smooth, layered taste. Drink this tea daily when you’re well, so you can stay that way!
Acerola Powder: Acerola cherries punch above their weight. Seriously, they are the richest plant source of vitamin C there is, 14 times as concentrated as oranges. Flora’s Acerola Powder is pure juice powder from organic acerola cherries, dried at a low temperature to preserve their nutrient and antioxidant power.
Have a happy, healthy winter!
- [i] King HF. Online J Pharmacol Pharmacokinetics. 2009;5:32-43.
- [ii] Zakay-Rones Z, et al. J Altern Complement Med 1995 Winter; 1(4):361-9.
- [iii] Zakay-Rones Z, et al. J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40.
- [iv] Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Nutrients. 2016 Apr;8(4):182.
- [v] Roschek B Jr, et al. Phytochem. 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61.