The Secret of Sambucol

by admin on October 3, 2014

Sambucol has of late become a fairly common household name for a medicine that claims to be a cold and flu remedy.  Studies have indeed shown that Sambucol significantly aids flu recovery.  The earliest double-blind test given in Israel in 1995 showed that both children and adults taking the medicine recovered twice as fast as those who took the placebo—pretty conclusive.  Another study carried out at the Department of Oncology at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem suggested that Sambucol may be useful in cancer treatment because it generates an active immune system.  So what is Sambucol’s secret of success?  Elder berries.

The sambucus Canadensis, or American elder berry, is a shrub that grows freely in most of Canada and the United States producing dark purple-black berries. Extract from all parts of the plant is useful medicinally, but Europeans have been using elder flowers as an expectorant and treatment for fever and cough since the Middle Ages.  Sambucol functions mainly using black elderberry extract.

Try making elderberry ginger syrup at home for some of the same benefits!  Stem and clean two pounds of elderberries and boil them in about four cups of water until soft, approximately ten to fifteen minutes.  They must be juiced, most effectively done with a food mill to discard the skin.  Return the juice to a pot and add up to four cups of sugar.  Boil the mixture until reduced by half and thickened.  When it cools, add a tablespoon of lemon juice.  The syrup can be stored frozen for months or sealed for some weeks.

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