Much superstition has surround the Elder Tree from time immemorial: elder branches were interred along side the deceased to protect from malevolent spirits, whilst the cross of Christ and the hanging tree of Judas were said to have been an elder tree. Less auspicious uses of the plant, specifically the berries, have included easing symptoms and duration of colds, flu and bronchitis. This makes sense given the rich levels of vitamin C and antioxidants found in elderberries.
Warning: The raw fruit contains a component, sambunigrin, which may cause nausea, dizziness, confusion, vomiting and severe diarrhea if ingested.
Legalese: This product is not intended to treat or cure any disease or dysfunction. Combining some herbal products with prescription or over the counter drugs may not be advised. Always consult your health care professional. This product has not been evaluated by the FDA. Discontinue use if you experience any difficulty breathing, hives, or skin irritation. Not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing.
Bring filtered or spring water to 212°F. Add 1 tsp of tea leaves to an 8oz cup. Pour boiling water over the tea leaves and let steep 7 minutes.
Simple Elderberry Syrup
Combine 2 lbs of rinsed elderberries with 4 cups water in a large saucepan.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.
Place cooled berry mixture in a large, fine-mesh strainer over the saucepan. Press out juice.
Discard the seeds.
Stir in 2.5 cups sugar and cook over medium heat, until juice thickens into syrup.
Refrigerate in a covered container.
Source: National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs (2014)