12 January 2021

Join Us for anti-COVID Plant-powered January!

Blog By Ernestas

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Since its appearance in Asia last year, the virus has spread to every continent except for Antarctica.

Following the situation in Lithuania and in the world, we asked our school’s community an important question- WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT the spread of COVID, to keep healthy and to support our families and friends?

And the answer is:

Try using herbs for making healthy tea!

 Let’s make it a simple domestic way to keep healthy and fight the viruses in the way everybody can afford!

Let’s even take pictures of the process! (The photos can be used to share on Facebook page or via Messenger groups to spread the idea).

Yes! The idea is perfect! And Today we are going to talk about the unique plant helping to fight influenza and other viruses- The ELDERBERRY

The elderberry is a very popular plant that grows well in the garden as well as the wild. It is an excellent tree to grow that will attract wildlife to your garden and the flowers and berries can be harvested for a variety of uses.

The elderberry grows as a tree and it is a wonderful addition to any edible garden. It also grows plentifully in the wild, particularly along river banks throughout the northern and western parts of Europe and North America. 

  • Latin Name: Sambucus nigra
  • Common Name: elderberry, sweet or wild elder

The flowers and berries from the elderberry can be harvested for use. As mentioned, it’s important to harvest them at the right time in order to avoid any of the health concerns associated with the plant.

The flowers of the elderberry tree should be harvested once the entire cluster has opened. Simply snip off the entire cluster of blooms.

Science and Uses 

One of the best-known uses of elderberry is for fighting the flu. The berries and flower clusters contain compounds that keep the flu virus from attaching to the body’s cells, so it can shorten the duration of your illness and possibly lessen the severity.

Moreover, Elderberries contain polyphenols which are a type of antioxidantAntioxidants prevent damage to your cells that can lead to diseases. The antioxidants in elderberry have suspected benefits such as, reduced risk of tumors, boosted immune function, lower blood pressure levels, and reduced blood sugar levels.

  • Elderberries and flowers make a wonderfully tasty remedy.
  • You can use them fresh or dried to make a sweet elderberry syrup, a semi-sweet tincture or full of flavor tea.

The berries can also be used to make a fruity jam or even a delicious pie.

Tip: To dry elderberries, place them in a dehydrator or bake them lightly in the oven. They can also be spread out on a drying screen in a thin layer until dry.

The intense fragrance of the elderberry flower is very relaxing and can be added to a calming potpourri mix. The flowers can be used to make a tea, liqueur, or wine as well. 

Elderberry Tea Recipe

Equipment

Mesh strainer

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups water
  • 2-3 tsp. dried elderberry flowers
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or a few slices of fresh ginger- optional)

Instructions

  1. Place elderberry flowers, water and cinnamon/ginger (if using) in a pot. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and cover the pot.  Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain out the flowers. Add honey to your taste. (optional)
  2. Enjoy your tea!