Elderberry juice is considered a home remedy for colds and flu infections. The berries contain a lot of anthocyanins. They can protect against inflammation and cell damage and alleviate rheumatism and osteoporosis symptoms.
There are many legends surrounding the elder bush: the Germans believed that the tutelary goddess Holder lived in it. The Brothers Grimm turned the goddess into Frau Holle. It was said that an elderberry bush should never be felled: otherwise, there would be a disaster. And for centuries, healers have sworn by its healing powers as a home remedy for influenza infections.
Healthy colorants: anthocyanins
The dark red, juicy elderberries are harvested from late August to early September. They contain a lot of anthocyanins. The water-soluble dyes are responsible for the intensive coloring of the berries – and are also very healthy. Anthocyanins belong to flavonoids. These are secondary plant substances that protect the body from inflammation and cell damage caused by aging and disease and can also alleviate rheumatism or osteoporosis symptoms. A Japanese study shows that the antioxidants contained in elderberry even work against the flu. Australian scientists have found that elderberry juice prevents the common cold and shortens the duration of the illness by two days.
Researchers suspect that there is much more to the elderberry than the well-known cold remedy: It is currently being discussed whether the fruit is also effective in diabetes mellitus. In the past, elderberry tea, which can be brewed from flowers, leaves, or bark, was drunk against stress and inner restlessness. So far, however, there is no scientific evidence of this effect on the soul.
Vitamins, minerals, and a toxin in elderberries
In addition to anthocyanins, elderberries contain many other valuable ingredients: vitamin C, B vitamins, tannins, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and iron. But not everything in the elderberry is healthy: the toxin sambunigrin causes abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. In order to neutralize it, elderberries must be heated to at least 80 degrees before consumption. However, this also means that part of the heat-sensitive vitamin C is destroyed. The valuable antioxidants are more resistant so that the juice is healthy even after heating.
Elderberry juice helps the bladder and kidneys
The healthy ingredients in elderberry juice also include the flavonoid sambucyanin and the mineral potassium. Both have a diuretic effect and ensure that pathogens are flushed out of the body more quickly. That is why elderberry juice is also good for mild bladder and kidney problems.
For elderberry juice, sugar, berries, and water are heated together. The juice is then poured off and hermetically sealed. If you like it particularly healthy, you can also cook the juice without sugar. However, it only lasts about three days in the fridge. However, it freezes well and can be thawed and slightly sweetened when needed.
In the cold season, hot elderberry juice tastes good as a non-alcoholic substitute for mulled wine or as a soup.
Elderberry tea is made from flowers, leaves, or bark
Elderberry juice from the supermarket can also be used very well, but you should pay attention to the ingredients. It should be pure and unsweetened.
Incidentally, not only the berries but also the flowers, leaves, and even the bark of the elder bush can be prepared as a tea. This makes the plant a healthy home remedy that grows on your doorstep all year round.