Elderberry Festival & Health Benefits

School is about to start, yikes! The first thing on my mind is germs, lots of them! Over the weekend we attended the annual Elderberry Festival, one of 50 celebrated around the country this summer. Elderberries (Sambucus) have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. 
Say that again!
Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Used for its antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.


Elderberry grow in the wild, we have them all around us, in the fields and along the road side. They'll be fully ripe in a few weeks for us to pick. 



Most species of Sambucus berries are edible when picked ripe and then cooked. Both the skin and pulp can be eaten and the yummy, buttery flowers. However, it is important to note that most uncooked berries and other parts of plants from this genus are poisonous. Sambucus nigra is the variety of Elderberry that is most often used for health benefits as it is the only variety considered to be non-toxic even when not cooked, but it is still recommended to cook the berries at least a little to enhance their taste and digestibility.
Elderberries possess appreciably more antioxidant capacity than either vitamin E or vitamin C and contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid,vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.



Mr. Barrett is the best town historian! We have known him for a decade now and every time we listen to something new about our town and life on the bay. If you're ever in the area stop in at the Fairhope Museum of History and you might getting the chance to meet one of the most amazing living legends here on the Eastern Shore.




Delicious as always, the juice and jam are like no other, and so very healthy!



We were a little disappointed that the rain kept the ice cream man away, no elderberry custard this year.

More Elderberry info HERE.





3 comments:

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