The sub-zero Canadian winter is amongst us, which is all the more reason to effectively prepare for Cold & Flu season.
Elderberries are a reliable ingredient to boost your immune system - with its signature flavor enjoyed by children and adults. Elderberries are delicious, immuno-friendly, and effective remedy for sore throats.
What are Elderberries?
Sambuscus commonly known as Elder, or Elderberry, belong to Adoxaceae family. Traditionally, Elderberries grow in Europe, Japan, and regions of Asia, with European Elderberry or Black Elder being the most popular.
What do Elderberries taste like?
Elderberries have a tart and earthy flavor, but is generally elderberry is tolerated (and adored) by children and adults. Elderberry blends well with both sweet and tart ingredients, bursting with flavour when sweet cinnamon and honey are added to the mix.
Popular choices include:
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Aronia (Chokeberry)
- Ginger Rt.
Popular Herbal Choices:
- Slippery Elm
- Valerian Rt * if you are unable to sleep from Cold & Flu Symptoms
- Pine Needles
The Health Benefits of Elderberries
The black hue of elderberries represent the concentration of anthocyanidins, a group of phenolic compounds that are abundant in elderberries. Elderberries are extremely rich in antioxidants, which play an essential role in protecting against free radicals, and damage of the cells. 
Elderberries also contain a variety of nutrients including:
- Vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, B9, C and E)
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc, iron
- Minerals, potassium, magnesium, calcium
- Phytochemicals such as carotenoids, phytosterols and polyphenols 
Elderberry is Bioactive
The anthocyanins of elderberries are bioactive; for example, elderberries were reported to increase plasma antioxidant status in healthy humans . Antioxidants are known to support longevity.
Standardized elderberry liquid extract display antimicrobial effects (p <0.05) against the gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria:
- Streptococcus pyogenes
- group C and G Streptococci,
- Gram-negative bacterium Branhamella catarrhalis, which often cause infections of the upper respiratory tract. 
How to Use Elderberries
Elderberry syrups can be purchased at our Health Foods Store, or at a local health foods store near you. By clicking the link, you can order online from our website.
Elderberry syrup can also be made at home, by using organic dried whole elderberries. You can simmer the berries in hot water, and add many beneficial spices, herbs, and sweetener's to improve the taste, and effectiveness of the syrup. Always cook elderberries with caution, raw elderberries, their stems and leaves are considered poisonous.
Elderberry Lozenges are soothing way combat Cold & Flu. Our lozenges are combined with 7mg of Zinc Gluconate for more immune-boosting benefits.
Elderberry tinctures are made from organic, dried whole elderberries extracted with alcohol (i.e. grappa, brandy, vodka). It takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks for the extraction to take place. Amber glass jars and dropper bottles are recommended.
Elderberry tea can be made at home by using dry elderberries and simmering them in water. Once the berries are fully steeped, you can enjoy the wonderful benefits of elderberries.
Elderberry tea bursts with flavor and pair well with:
- Pine Needle
- Valerian (if you cannot sleep from Cold & Flu Symptoms)
Capsules are filled with elderberry extract, which undergoes a fermentation process that breaks down the compounds and supports their absorption. This is an easy way to use elderberry, and it’s dose-specific, so there’s no need to do your own measuring.
Are Elderberries Poisonous?
Raw, uncooked elderberry and elderberry stems contain toxic compounds, and are not for human consumption.
However, once the berries are cooked, they are used in many medicinal remedies.
There are contraindicators to Elderberry Syrup, and one must always consult their Health Care Professional before supplementing. There is not enough data suggesting Elderberry is safe to consume during pregnancy.
What is Aronia?
Aronia, Aronia melanocarpa, is otherwise known as Black Chokeberry, a deciduous shrub belonging to the Roasacae family, and natively grown in North America.
However, the historical context of Aronia spans back to over 100 years ago in Eastern Europe, with its medicinal benefits cultivating unique tonics and remedies. Aronia is safe to consume, and has been found in multiple formats from cold-pressed juice, herbal teas, tinctures to delicious jam.
What does Aronia Taste like?
Aronia has a tart, bitter "deep berry" taste. However, adding sweeteners like natural raw honey can definitely improve the outcome of the flavor.
Is Aronia Berry Poisonous?
Aronia berry is generally safe to consume. However its leaves, stems, and seeds are toxic and contain hydrocyanic prussic acid. 
What are the Health Benefits of Aronia?
Aronia is notoriously high in its polyphenol count, in particular - anthocyanins, responsible for its purple / black hue.
To date, Aronia has the highest recorded concentration of polyphenol amongst any other fruits. Which is exceptionally incredible, since it has very little spotlight as a functional food in western culture.
Polyphenols help fight against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to inflammation, and associated pathologies:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Alzheimer's / Dementia
Consuming a diet high in polyphenols will help support a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Recorded concentration measurements of Arionia:
- Total Polyphenol Content is 1752 mg per 100 g dry weight 
- Anthocyanin Content is 1480 mg per 100 g dry weight
- Proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g fresh weight 
 Zheng W., Wang S.Y. (2003) Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolics in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51:502-509 PubMed (12517117)
 Wu X, Gu L, Prior RL, McKay S (2004). "Characterization of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in some cultivars of Ribes, Aronia and Sambucus and their antioxidant capacity". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 52 (26): 7846–56. doi:10.1021/jf0486850
 Iowa State University: Extension and Outreach. Horticulture and Home Pest News. https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2015/02-13/aronia.htm#:~:text=While%20the%20fruits%20of%20the,full%20sun%20to%20partial%20shade.
 Wu X; et al. (2006). "Concentrations of anthocyanins in common foods in the United States and estimation of normal consumption". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 54 (1): 4069–75. doi:10.1021/jf060300l. PMID 16719536.