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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ginger Berry Sore Throat Soother


Elderberry syrup is a traditional plant medicine effective against cold and flu viruses, bacteria that cause severe pneumonia, and even herpes viruses. Studies show that elderberry's anti-viral activity is comparable to medications like Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Amantadine, and that it's a good source of vitamin C and natural anthocyanin antioxidants. These compounds trigger genetic signaling that has proven protective against cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory, and degenerative diseases.

Elderberry is usually swallowed by the spoonful but it can also be mixed into beverages. It has a slightly sweet and fruity flavor, and a beautiful purple-red color. Use it to dress up sparkling water or add it to real ginger ale, like I did here, which is especially good for fighting colds, flu, and indigestion. As an ice cold drink, it can soothe sore throats and help hydrate the body.

Use a good quality pure elderberry syrup (like the one from Gaia) so you're sure to get the medicinal effects. Use a good quality ginger ale made with fresh ginger and real sugar (like Bruce Cost's Unfiltered Ginger Ale) instead of extracts, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors and sweeteners.

  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon black elderberry syrup
  • 6 ounces ginger ale

  1. Reserve a few good looking berries for garnish and return them to the freezer. Allow the rest of the berries to thaw in the bottom of a glass. 
  2. Stir the elderberry syrup into the thawed berries and their juices until it has completely dissolved.
  3. Pour the ginger ale over the berry mixture, stir briefly, and add ice if you wish. I don't strain this drink but if you prefer to remove the pulp and seeds, feel free to strain it.
  4. Garnish with lemon zest or mint leaves if you wish. Serve immediately.

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