Find out how to make delicious elderberry kombucha for immune support!
Did you know that black elderberry has been used as folk medicine for hundreds of years?
And did you know that studies have shown it may be effective in treating the flu, allergies and boosting respiratory health and the immune system?
The best thing is, that elderberry varieties grow almost everywhere across the globe and you can pick them yourself, for free! So there’s no excuse not to use them…
European black elderberry is ripe in autumn, just in time for flu season.
Elderberry is rich in several micronutrients like the vitamins A and C and various B vitamins. It also contains minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Most importantly though, elderberry is a potent anti-oxidant due to its bioflavonoid content. Flavonoids have the ability to ‘mop up’ free radicals. As such, flavonoids can protect against many diseases and have an anti-aging effect. Flavonoids also help to keep viruses from entering the cell, which could explain why elderberry can be so effective against flu.
Elderberry is usually used to make elderberry juice, syrup or wine. My mum used to make hot elderberry juice with apple slices for us in winter and I’ve always loved this perfect winter drink and how nice and warm it used to make me feel (and we rarely caught the flu, too).
I’ve recently written about kombucha and its various health benefits and have been experimenting with various flavors. Adding the benefits of elderberry to probiotic kombucha just seemed like the perfect winter drink to me. I also added some winter spices like cinnamon to give the whole drink more of a winter punch taste. You can also add a little honey if you find the drink too tangy. I loved the result!
Important note: Elderberries are toxic when consumed raw, so always make sure you cook them first (this actually increases the bioavailability of the flavonoids)!
If you haven’t made your own kombucha before, or second fermented it, read this article first .
What’s your favorite kombucha flavor? Let me know in the comments!
- 200 g elderberries
- 1 pint kombucha
- cinnamon stick
- whole clove
- whole cardamon pod
- 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
- Juice the elderberries and cook the juice on low heat for 20 minutes
- If you don’t have a juicer you can cook the elderberries in a bit of water for 20 minutes and then mash the berries up to release their juice, then strain through a sieve
- If you want, add the honey now and let dissolve. Let cool
- Poor the elderberry juice into a clip top bottle, throw in spices and top with kombucha
- Close bottle and let sit at room temperature and away from sunlight for 4 days
- Transfer to fridge where it will store for many weeks. You can strain the spices at this point (note: the longer you leave the brew the more sour it will become)
- Health Defence Dr Paul Clayton. Published by ALS. ISBN 0905553632