There were times you wanted to warn off cold or flu from your body due to the change in seasons? Certainly yes, as our environment is liable to seasonal changes. Often, we turn to a hot cup of tea or coffee to keep warm; sadly, it might not be effective.
Fortunately, with elderberry tea, you wouldn’t have to worry about cold or flu during cold temperature seasons. Amazingly, elderberry tea can counter cold just like a syrup would do.
In addition, dried elderberries have tons of healthy benefits attached. But, it has to be taken and prepared in the proper method before consumption. Why? Eating raw, unripe berries of Elderberry is poisonous.
It contains a toxic substance called Sambunigrin, which is converted to hydrogen cyanide when consumed into the body. This end product is harmful and may lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
However, this article will enlighten you on making your delicious elderberry tea, its nutritional benefits, how best to store it, where to buy it, and many other questions you may have regarding elderberry tea.
What is Elderberry Tea?
Elderberry tea is obtained from elderberry plants belonging to the Sambucus genus flowering plants. It’s a soothing drink that can be either warm or iced, depending on your choice. The main aim of this tea is to ward off cold and flu. Also, it’s rich in minerals and vitamins that help boost the body’s immune system.
Elderberry tea is easily prepared by boiling dried elderberries in water with the addition of other spices that can be optional, depending on your preference.
Furthermore, what’s so fascinating about this inky purple berry tea is that it’s inexpensive to make, and you can make it from the comfort of your home. In other words, you can prepare this with less budget compared to the cost of a bottle of syrups.
Moreover, I have understood that consuming raw, unripe Elderberry is harmful to the body system. Similarly, eating ripe elderberries or dried elderberries isn’t that healthy either.
Hence, cooking or enjoying your elderberry tea is the safest way to eat or want it. Cooking helps eliminate the harmful Sambunigrin from all parts of the elderberry plants.
Therefore, let’s find out the best way to cook elderberries to obtain nutritional elderberry tea, shall we now?
How to Make Elderberry Tea
As I stated earlier, elderberry tea is one of the most accessible teas to prepare within a few minutes. However, what ingredients do you need?
Ingredients for Making Elderberry Tea
- Dried elderberries
- Cinnamon stick (optional)
- Ginger or Turmeric (optional)
- Honey (optional)
- Orange juice (optional)
Other valuable materials include a saucepan, fine mesh strainer, a source of heat, a mug or cup, and a spoon.
Elderberry tea is mild in flavor; hence, feel free to spice it up with any optional herbs or juice mentioned above. It’s also a sure way of making your tea rich; for instance, cinnamon helps regulate sugar levels, among other benefits. Likewise, ginger lowers blood sugars, improves heart disease risk factors, and helps treat chronic indigestion.
However, be careful not to crowd your tea with herbs and spices, as it might be awkward. To enjoy your elderberry tea, you should combine at least two or three different herbs.
For the below steps, you can use four ingredients; water, dried elderberries, cinnamon, and honey for sweetness— I prefer honey, and I suggest you try it out.
Steps on Making Elderberry Tea
- Pour clean water into your saucepan and stir using your preferable source of heat.
- Add your dried elderberries and cinnamon sticks to the water.
- Heat up still boiling and simmer for at least 15minutes
- Take it off the heat and allow it to cool down for at least 5minutes.
- Strain using a fine-mesh strainer to remove the solids of the dried elderberries.
- Turn your tea into a mug, add honey to taste, and enjoy your elderberry tea.
Nutritional Benefits of Elderberry Tea
Elderberry is rich in so many minerals, vitamins, and trace elements that give you the health benefits of this delicious tea. This includes;
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Elderberry Tea Benefits
1. Boost Immune System
Antioxidants, which include vitamins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, are natural components of foods that can help eliminate reactive molecules. Antioxidant-rich diets may help prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and cancer. As a result, the elderberry plant’s blooms, fruits, and leaves are rich in antioxidants.
Elderberry contains polyphenols, an antioxidant that boosts the body’s immune system. It helps prevent damage to the body cells and tissues vulnerable to disease attacks.
2. Fight Cold and Respiratory Infections
Elderberry aids in the battle against cold and flu viruses by inhibiting the proteins that bind viruses to your cells. This means that the virus cannot gain control of the cell, making it easier for the immune system to eliminate it.
Elderberries also contain phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which can prevent viruses from replicating. These are the same compounds that give the berry its deep purple hue.
According to research, Elderberry is more efficient at stopping late-stage influenza virus replication than it is at preventing the virus from infecting the cell in the first place.
3. Reduces Pain
Anthocyanins reduce Inflammation. Elderberry extract works by preventing the immune cells in the body from producing nitric oxide. When you get hurt or have a condition, nitric oxide acts as a signalling molecule that causes inflammation.
You can reduce pain and swelling by slowing down this response. It can treat tooth pain, bruises, cuts, burns, and even ingrown fingernails.
4. Lower Blood Pressure Level and Reduce Blood Sugar
The heart and blood vessels may benefit from elderberry consumption. Elderberry tea lower cholesterol and fat levels in the blood. A diet rich in flavonoids, such as anthocyanins, has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Elderberries may also help to lower blood uric acid levels, just like the Rambutan fruits which have a lot of benefits. Elevated blood pressure and detrimental effects on heart health have been related to increased uric acid levels.
Elderberry can also help to improve blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion. Blood sugar control is critical in preventing heart and vascular disease, as type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor.
5. Relieve Constipation
Elderberry could help ease Constipation. Elderberry is abundant in dietary fiber, which aids regularity, promotes digestive health, and has laxative qualities, making you rethink question how often should you poop.
Fiber not only aids digestion but also relieves gas, bloating stomach discomfort, and constipation.
6. Help You Lose Weight
Apart from the numerous other benefits, elderberry tea can help you lose weight fast, just like these powerful juice recipes for weight loss.
Dried elderberries help you shed weight so much that I think it should be considered among the superfoods for weight loss.
Where to Buy Elderberry Tea
Elderberry isn’t restricted to a single location, although it’s common around North America and Central Europe. Perhaps, suppose you don’t own a garden of elderberries.
In that case, you could always take a stroll to your local market, grocery store, or farm to purchase your berries, preferably dried elderberries which have a less poisonous substance.
Perhaps, the time isn’t convenient for you, or you couldn’t access any of the options mentioned above; you could also order it online— I recommend the Amazon store.
Elderberry Tea Bags
You can get Elderberry Tea Bags from dried berries that have been processed and packaged in the form of teabags. It offers the same nutritional benefits as when you boil dried elderberries. Also, you don’t have to entertain a second thought when purchasing an elderberry tea bag because they are caffeine-free.
Interestingly, using an elderberry teabag saves you more time because straining isn’t necessary. All that’s required is a cup of warm water to dip in your elderberry tea bag just like every other tea bag, after which you add your preferred spice like honey.
Perhaps, you want to add other herbs, do that as you stir your water and strain before adding your elderberry tea bag.
Often, most dried elderberries you may get to order online or from a nearby store are packaged as elderberry tea bags.
How Best to Take Elderberries?
Treatment should begin no later than 48 hours following the onset of cold or flu symptoms. As a general rule, you should never exceed the dosage indicated by the product’s manufacturer.
Many commercial syrup makers suggest taking one tablespoon (15 milliliters) of elderberry syrup four times daily to treat cold or flu symptoms. You can use Elderberry tablets (175 mg) up to twice daily.
Remember that elderberries tea should never be taken as a replacement for medical treatment. Self-treating an illness and postponing regular medical treatment might lead to catastrophic complications— Visit a doctor when there is no improvement of symptoms.
Elderberry tea is of great benefit to your body when taken correctly. Considering its benefits, Elderberry comes in different forms like tea bags, syrups, capsules, ointment, and more, all performing the same function.
Even though elderberry tea help women lose weight after pregnancy, I do not recommend it for pregnant, or nursing mothers, or those under 18. Similarly, those under strict medications should consult their doctor before using dried elderberries for their tea.
What is elderberry tea good for?
The main aim of this tea is to ward off cold and flu. Also, it’s rich in minerals and vitamins that help boost the body’s immune system. However, it’s not a substitute for medical treatment when symptoms persist.
Also, seek medical advice before you take it.
How to avoid the negative impact of Elderberry?
Elderberries in raw form are harmful. Likewise, ripe ones are not healthy. But, you could reduce the effects by drying it out or cooking it.
Hence, I highly recommend dry elderberries.
How to store dried elderberries?
You can store dried elderberries for several months by keeping them in a cool, dry place like a pantry, just like how you store zucchini. Also, for a more extended period, store it in the fridge.
Can elderberries be taken as iced tea?
Yes, it can. However, it’s influenced by the weather at a particular time. Hence, it’s best if you take it cold when the temperature is hot. Therefore, store it in a fridge for chill and serve it over ice for a refreshing beverage.
How to store elderberry tea?
Perhaps, you cannot consume all the elderberry tea prepared; you can store it for later by keeping it in the fridge for weeks. Afterward, it’s left for you to decide which way you want to take it— reheat it or take it to chill.
Does elderberry tea have caffeine?
No. It’s caffeine-free.
What gives Elderberry tea its purple color?
All thanks to anthocyanins which give the berries their deep purple color. Perhaps, if you aren’t cool with the purple color, you can alter it by adding a hibiscus flower.
Is elderberry tea recommended for all ages?
No. It is not for those under the age of 18, pregnant or nursing mothers. Similarly, those under strict medications should consult their doctor before using dried elderberries for their tea.
How to spice your elderberry tea with orange and ginger?
Add a slice of orange when cooking and squeeze the juice out after allowing it to cool for a few minutes. Similarly, simmer a piece of ginger with water and elderberries.
What are the common side effects of eating raw elderberries?
Eating unripe or raw elderberries might lead to vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea.