Elderberries are ripening, and I’m so grateful for the bountiful harvest I have this year. I ethically gather local berries for use in tincture and syrup, and I’ll also make popsicles or lollipops for my son with them. Elderberry is an immunomodulator, and helps reduce the length and severity of cold and flu symptoms. It’s a staple in my Apothecary and I take near daily doses of the tincture or syrup in the thick of winter, when people around me are sick. It has a pleasant, fruity taste, and combines well with cinnamon, ginger, and honey. I offer the syrup and tincture in my shop, and will have a reformulated tincture in my shop before winter begins.
Early this year and last year I saw many people complain about the high price of dried elderberries from Herbal suppliers, but it’s work to harvest and process them, and when demand goes up and stock goes down, prices go up. I encourage you to plant your own Elder if possible, or responsibly - key word - harvest Elderberry near you. I do think this is an herb that gets a lot of attention during the colder months, and will become an over-used herb at the expense of Elder populations. But, we can prevent that through responsible growing and harvesting practices, as well as minding our consumption of this plant.