Tag Archives: whole food supplements

Red Raspberry Leaf: A “Miracle Herb” for Women

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.com

This information originally appeared in a slightly different format in our Winter 2007-2008 Catalog.

My greatest passion in life is experiencing the birth of a child with parents who love children as much as I do. As a Licensed Midwife, it has been my privilege to advise many women during pregnancy, and to be present at thousands of births. I take it upon myself to care for my clients before, during, and after the birth, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.comFor thousands of years, midwives and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. This fact is not lost on the current medical community, as many of our allopathic medicines are derived from herbs.

As a midwife and herbalist, I use herbs constantly in my practice. I have found that certain herbs contribute significant amounts of nourishment necessary to our bodies. I believe that the female body was designed to give birth, and that with proper nutrition, it can usually do what it knows how to do, without much intervention.

I had one client who was worried about having her fifth baby. After a few prenatal visits, I was puzzled about her concern. I was thinking, “Fifth baby, what could she be worried about?” After some coaxing, she finally admitted that it was the after pains that had her concerned about her birth. Apparently the after pains were so incredibly intense after her fourth baby that she was not at all concerned about the act of actually giving birth to number 5, but was fearful instead about the pains to come later.

Now that I knew what was troubling her, I suggested that she increase her intake of Red Raspberry Leaf. She was skeptical that this would help, but was willing to give it a try. I advise all of my clients to take Red Raspberry Leaf through pregnancy, and I explained to her why.

The Woman’s Herb

Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a widely used herbal tonic that is especially beneficial during pregnancy. Brewed as a tea, taken in capsule form, or as an infusion, Red Raspberry Leaf is one of the safest and most commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant.

Taking this herb helps facilitate all the functions our bodies do for us on a daily basis. This is why Red Raspberry Leaf is considered a ‘tonic’ herb; it tones and supports the body in general. Red Raspberry Leaf tones the uterus, improves the quality of labor contractions, improves quality of sleep, decreases feelings of anxiety and nervousness, and decreases constipation.

It also contains the most easily assimilated form of calcium. Because Red Raspberry Leaf has calcium that is so readily available to our bodies, and most of us have a calcium deficiency, many people notice a change in how they feel right away. Since osteoporosis is related to a lack of calcium, daily use of Red Raspberry Leaf is highly recommended for all women.

Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf is easily absorbed by the body. All the necessary trace minerals and vitamins your body needs to easily assimilate the calcium are already right there, occurring naturally in the herb itself. Almost every trace mineral that our bodies use is available in Red Raspberry Leaf. This means no one in a lab had to figure out how to formulate something that might work as well as the real thing!

How to Use Red Raspberry Leaf

You can drink 1-6 cups of mild-tasting Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day, hot or iced. Or, you can take one to four capsules per day. Use more in the second half of the day if you tend to have trouble sleeping, since Red Raspberry Leaf encourages a deeper, more restful sleep.

It is almost impossible to overdose on Red Raspberry Leaf, but if you take very large amounts, you may experience either very loose stool or constipation. Either is a sure sign that you have more than reached your body’s threshold for calcium levels. Just back down on your dose by one or two cups of tea or one or two capsules, and your bathroom habits should return to what is familiar to you.Recipe: Nourish & Flourish Tea with herbs from Beeyoutiful. com

Tea recipe: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried Red Raspberry Leaf and steep for ten minutes. Steeping longer than ten minutes will only make the tea bitter, not stronger. For stronger tea, use more in the tea bag or tea ball. Sweeten with stevia, honey, or a bit of rapadura

I like to add Nettles, Alfalfa or Spearmint to my Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This combination makes for a very toning tea. Nettles has every trace mineral our bodies need and helps build up red blood cells as well. Alfalfa helps blood to clot well and prevents unnecessary blood loss. Spearmint is soothing to the stomach and adds a bit of flavor to these herbs for a little more punch to your tea.

Not up for making a tea blend yourself? Try a prepared version of Pregnancy Tea. Or if you’re just not a tea drinker, try Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf. Try one to six capsules per day, based on comfort and bowel tolerance.

Pregnancy and Red Raspberry Leaf

In addition to many vitamins and minerals, Red Raspberry Leaf also contains an alkaloid called fragrine which lends tone and strength to the uterus. There are several schools of thought on the subject with conflicting information about the use of this herb during pregnancy. (Talk with your care provider about what’s right for your body and pregnancy!)

Many clinicians advise drinking one cup of Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day in the first trimester and 2 cups in the second trimester, then switching to an infusion (a stronger tea) for the third trimester to ensure a strong uterus and prevent miscarriage.

Other clinicians suggest that frequent use (3-4 cups per day of tea, or 1-2 capsules) just during the third trimester is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles.

And finally, some clinicians advise not using Red Raspberry Leaf in the first trimester, particularly if you have a history of miscarriage. Some midwives in the U.K. claim an increase in early miscarriage rates associated with women who have used Red Raspberry Leaf, and it’s been noted that the herb may cause minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy.

What Red Raspberry Leaf does not do is start labor or promote contractions. It is not an emmenagogue (something that promotes a miscarriage) or an oxytocic herb (an herb or chemical that promotes uterine contractions). It does strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles, allowing you to feel healthier throughout your pregnancy, and allowing labor and the muscles involved with birthing to be more relaxed and efficient.

Contact your midwife, herbalist, or physician for personalized input about your use of Red Raspberry Leaf. Do the homework yourself to feel good about your decision to use or not use this herb, and when to use it during pregnancy. This advice is good for any decision you might be facing about your pregnancy options or your own health and welfare in general!

Worries Put To Rest

Well, my anxious client faithfully took the Red Raspberry Leaf in the higher amounts we discussed for her. Her birth experience went so smoothly that I almost missed it! She felt just fine at her 24 hour check up, too, but said that the next day would be the real test to see if the herb had helped. I told her to call me if she experienced any after pains like she had in the past, and then scheduled a routine five-day postpartum check up.

I never received any phone calls from her, and wondered if she was going to tough it out rather than call. That was in my mind as I rang the door bell on the day of my visit, hoping to hear good news, yet fearing I wouldn’t. My face split into a huge grin as my client all but tap-danced to the door to let me in! She couldn’t stop telling me how great the first few days after the birth had been, and how they’d been nothing like her last postpartum experience.

My client was so excited that she wanted me to promise that I would tell every pregnant woman of this “miracle herb” that made all the difference for her. So, this is me keeping my promise and telling all of you this “big secret” to feeling good during and after your births! Red Raspberry Leaf truly is a miracle herb!

Written by Jenny West, LM, CPM, HBCE, TBMP, CST, CH; a midwife/herbalist who has been in practice for 18 years and delivered over 7000 babies.

Natural Energy for You and Your Little House

whole food supplements: natural energy for you and your little house, from Beeyoutiful.com

This article originally appeared in a slightly different format in our Spring 2013 catalog

Ma Ingalls and her girls gave their house a thorough scrub-down every spring.But if you’re like me, you’re exhausted at the mere thought of doing a Little House on the Prairie-style spring cleaning on top of the regular dishes and laundry. You may also wonder exactly why it seems so hard to accomplish the things on your to-do list.

whole food supplements: natural energy for you and your little house, from Beeyoutiful.comDo your hair and nails look as dragged out as you feel? Are seasonal allergies your excuse? Or maybe you’re pregnant and just counting down the months until you can feel like yourself again; who cares about clean windows anyway?

Off to a Super Start

Even if you’ve made great changes in favor of eating more nutrient-dense, whole foods, it also takes superfoods to help your body stay in top health. These days, pollution, stress, your past history of junky eating and pharmaceutical use all work against every glass of raw milk or organic veggies you consume. Superfoods, though, are super full of nutrition, and because they are nature-made, your body can easily absorb and use their goodness.

So where do you start with adding superfoods to your diet? Which one will jumpstart your system and help you feel like washing windows after folding four loads of laundry, cooking for a crowd, and/or a long day at the office? Spirulina!

This humble, algae-like plant (called a cyanobacteria) is one of the most potent protein and nutrient sources available. And boosting energy is just one of its many abilities. Spirulina also works to relieve congestion, sniffling, and sneezing caused by all types of allergies. It boosts the immune system, helps control high blood pressure and cholesterol, protects from cancer, and more.

How does spirulina come by this impressive resume? As a source of protein, it is 65 percent complete protein. (By comparison, beef is only 22 percent complete.) This also makes it a far healthier choice than those much-touted, dubious protein powders, especially when you consider all the other hidden goodies you get with spirulina.

Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids, plus some, and provides a healthy portion of Omega-3 (like in salmon) as well as Omega 6 and 9. Omega-6 is gamma linoleic acid (GLA), known to be anti-inflammatory (for arthritis relief!), to increase fat burn after exercising, and to make beautiful hair and nails.

Spirulina is replete with vital minerals most of those pretty veggies at the store can’t provide any more, thanks to being grown in depleted soils. Spirulina is high in chlorophyll, which removes toxins from the blood and boosts the immune system. Chlorophyll and iron are a great friend to pregnant mamas, as the tendency for anemia at this season of life is significant. That’s why spirulina is a main ingredient in Beeyoutiful’s SuperMom multivitamins. The easily absorbable, non-constipating iron content of spirulina is 58 times that of raw spinach and 28 times that of raw beef liver.

(But don’t let these facts keep you from taking cod liver oil daily and eating liver weekly as well. Liver, also a superfood, contains full-blown vitamin B12 and vitamin A, not just the precursors present in spirulina. The precursors are generally usable in the body, but young children and many adults with even mild digestive issues may have trouble converting beta-carotene into vitamin A. Also, since it is disputed whether or not the body is able to absorb the B12 found in spirulina, animal products are necessary, too.)

Better Off Teeth, Nerves, and Both Brains

 If weeds get the best of your garden, or your kids (or you!) don’t like vegetables, or you simply wish you could juice but just can’t swing it, then handy, mineral-rich spirulina is the way to get your cancer-fighting daily quota of greens.

Calcium and phosphorus are two of the major mineral players in this fantastic superfood. If these minerals are lacking or out of balance in the blood, tooth decay is in your near future. So spirulina is also recommended as part of a tooth remineralization program. And because the calcium content is more than 26 times that of milk, spirulina is excellent for children, the elderly, and pregnant women, and especially for folks who are casein- or lactose-intolerant.

If your nerves are on edge or your digestion is off, you need spirulina for all the B complex vitamins it contains. The gut is our “second brain,” and it needs the B’s to work well. Do you have candida? Most people do these days, and spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial gut flora, which helps keep candida overgrowth under control. Because candida will cause and worsen symptoms, this is especially important if you have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s, chronic fatigue, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

Yet another feature of spirulina is its ability to chelate arsenic from the body. Hair analysis on one of our daughters showed her to be loaded with arsenic, which mystified me until I learned of the many places she might have encountered it in her young life. Arsenic is often present in well water, in pressure-treated wood like that at playgrounds, and in insect and rodent poison (used in public places even if not at your house). In the past few years, news came out that it can be present even in rice, which especially impacts the gluten-free crowd. Yet the good news for my family was that after taking spirulina for six months, repeated tests showed the arsenic had cleared from my daughter’s body!

“But wait….There’s more!”

Spirulina’s antioxidant ability ranks 24,000 on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), right up there with weird spices we might use only in teeny amounts, and four times the ORAC score of blueberries. Feed your eyesight with spirulina’s antioxidant-rich carotenoids (nutrients found in green and brightly-colored vegetables) including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. The high antioxidant amounts in spirulina also lower risk of strokes, inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and regulate blood pressure. They also normalize extreme cholesterol levels without the need for dangerous statin drugs. The Weston A. Price Foundation says “young and middle-aged men…who have cholesterol levels just below 350 are at no greater risk than those whose cholesterol is very low. For elderly men and for women of all ages, high cholesterol is associated with a longer lifespan.”

Although the sixteenth-century Aztecs harvested and ate spirulina that grew wild in Mexico’s Lake Texcoco, spirulina is now often grown in protected, organic ponds. Spirulina from polluted sources can cause excess levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium in the body. Beeyoutiful does multiple-sample mass spectrometer testing on each and every batch harvested to assure that no environmental, pesticide or heavy metal contaminants are present in the end product they offer their customers. So you can have peace of mind knowing it is truly pure and safe!

Spirulina does wonders for almost everyone, but if you are prone to gout, have hyperparathyroidism, PKU, or a seafood or iodine allergy, you should avoid it. Because it does have some carbs, you should also consult a physician before using spirulina if you have Type 2 diabetes.

So how much spirulina do you need to get you going? A therapeutic serving size is between three and five grams, preferably broken up throughout the day. Since six tablets of Beeyoutiful’s Spirulina equal three grams, a bottle will last one person approximately one month. For more serious health conditions, take the higher amount, but build up slowly to this dose to avoid detox reactions. Once you re-energize with spirulina, you’ll be ready to tackle that makeover spring cleaning—and to give Ma Ingalls a run for her money!

Nancy Webster is a mother of eight and leads the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. [LINK] Nancy and her family write online about their “partially working” farm where she is the resident researcher on nutrition and alternative approaches to good health. 

3 Nourishing Gifts From The Beehive

3 Nourishing Gifts from the Beehive

This material was originally presented in a slightly different format in our Winter 2006-2007 catalog.

Honeybees are industrious little creatures and they produce highly nourishing food in abundance for themselves and for humans. Almost every compound they make is usable for building health; today let’s look at just three of their valuable offerings.

Honey

Honey begins as the nectar of herbs and flowers (wild or cultivated). The benefits of hundreds of herbs are carried in the stomach of the bee where the nectar is subtly altered by the bee’s digestive enzymes in ways that modern science has been unable to explain. New health-benefiting compounds are created by this process. Then the honey is regurgitated in the hive, concentrated by evaporation, and stored in the hexagonal cells of the honeycomb.

Because of its3 Nourishing Gifts From The Beehive-- from Beeyoutiful.com high natural sugar content, it’s very hard for bacteria to survive in honey. Many honeys contain large amounts of naturally-occurring hydrogen peroxide and in some traditions is used to disinfect cuts and scrapes. Most raw honeys also contain some propolis, a compound that can kill bacteria. In laboratory tests, honey put on seven types of bacteria killed all seven!

What is Raw Honey?

There is a difference between raw honey straight from the hive, and the processed honey that’s typically available in stores. Any honey is good for you, but raw honey is by far the best since it has not been through a heating process. Heat over 120 degrees melts the sugar and also kills wonderful enzymes and bacteria that are so rich in healing properties. Raw honey can often be purchased from local bee farmers in your area; check for nearby apiaries or ask at your farmers market for a good source. WARNING: Children under twelve months of age should not eat honey in any form as there is a risk of botulism.

Propolis, The Bee Glue

And you thought honey was sticky! Propolis is made from a sticky resinous material that western bees gather from tree buds or sap flows. The sap usually comes from coniferous trees and/or poplar trees. A worker bee will tear off tiny amounts of this resin and place the bits in her pollen baskets (the middle portion of each back leg) and then carry the resins back to the hive. House bees (young bees) unload the resins at the hive and mix them with pollen, wax, and their own enzyme-rich salivary secretions.

The finished propolis functions like cement or glue, and is used to build or repair the hive. Propolis covers virtually every centimeter of the hive, acting as an antibacterial sealant, and is a sanitary covering for all hive surfaces.

A Mummy Mouse in the Bee House!

From time to time, some unfortunate little critter (most commonly a mouse or a lizard) will get into a beehive. The bees will sting the invader to death, but they aren’t capable of removing the carcass from the hive. To keep the dead animal from rotting in the hive, the bees will coat it with propolis.

Amazingly, these propolis-mummified animals can remain undecayed for years. The powerful flavonoids in the resins, which the bees collect to make propolis, are a shield for the hive. Not only does propolis protect against viral infections, but against bacterial and fungal invasion of the hive. The same things propolis can do for a hive, it can do for you in the form of Bee Immune!

Propolis’ Healing Record

Propolis has been used topically for skin problems ranging from ordinary abrasion, to advanced herpes in the mouth, gum infections, eczema, acne, skin cancers, bruises, burns, and… well, pretty much anything that can go wrong with skin. The high percentage of flavonoids in propolis results in a remarkable immune boost when taken internally.

Because of this immune boost, my favorite way to take propolis is in capsule form along with vitamin C from rosehips. This combination can stop a developing cold in its tracks! If you wake up with a sore throat and swollen glands, try three Bee Immune propolis capsules, and 1000 mg of Rosehip C every other hour all day, and then get a good night’s rest.

Bee Pollen

Pollen is the dust-sized male plant seed, required for the fertilization of the plant, found on the stamen of all flower blossoms. Once a honeybee arrives at a flower, she nimbly scrapes off the powdery pollen from the stamen with her jaws and front legs, moistening it with a dab of the honey she brought with her from the hive.

The bee’s legs have a thick crowd of bristles called pollen combs. The bee uses these combs to brush the gold powder from her coat and legs in mid-flight, pushing the gathered pollen into her baskets. Her pollen baskets, surrounded by a fringe of long hairs, are simply concave areas located on the outside of her back legs. When the bee’s baskets are fully loaded, the pollen dust has been tamped down into a single golden granule.

This pollen-gathering bee now takes the pollen back to the hive where younger house bees unload the pollen. They secrete nectar and special enzymes into the flower pollen to create what we know as bee pollen [LINK] and young bees know as delicious food.

Superfood

Bee pollen is approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods, containing nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that can be directly absorbed by the body.

Bee pollen is often used by athletes and body builders to increase stamina and speed. There are countless stories of impressive athletic improvement attributed to the regular intake of this superfood. Most believe this is due to the pantothenic acid in bee pollen which helps the body build resistance to stress, aiding the production of the adrenal-cortical hormones and creating a powerhouse of vitality and energy.

Bee Pollen and Weight Control

Bee pollen also stimulates the metabolic processes, speeding caloric burn by stoking the metabolic fires. Bee pollen is a low-calorie food, containing only ninety calories per ounce (about two heaping tablespoons). By volume, it offers 15% lecithin, a substance that helps dissolve and flush fat from the body. Bee pollen also satisfies many cravings by meeting the body’s vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Cinnamon Honey Toast

Now that you know more about honey, propolis, and pollen, give yourself a tasty treat, courtesy of your local beehive! Drizzle raw honey on a slice of fresh buttered bread, sprinkle with a bit of ground cinnamon, and toast on a cookie sheet under the broiler or in a toaster oven until golden. Mmmm… thank you, busy bees!

My Herbal First Aid Kit

One of my greatest pastimes is to meander through the halls of history museums and, as a nurse by profession, I always spend a great deal of time in front of the medical exhibits. The archaic tools, the vials of powders, a doctor’s entire practice encased in a small leather bag or wooden crate; it all fascinates me. I could spend hours perusing these items from behind the glass walls.

Recently, I was engrossed in an exhibit from the Civil War period when my daughter pointed out that all our favorite herbs were in the case in front of us. She was tickled pink to see little glass jars of Plantain, Turmeric, Mullein, and Lobelia, as well as two rows of additional herbs. She’s an avid history buff too, and we both were reminded that at home we were using the tools of our great-great-grandparents (and those that came even before them). Here are a few of my favorite ways to use these ancient but modern resources.

My Herbal First Aid Kit from Beeyoutiful

TURMERIC

This beautifully deep yellow powder is rich in benefits. We mainly keep turmeric for culinary uses when we are feeling under the weather, or just for fun because we love spicy Indian food! The main active ingredient is curcumin, which is very rich in antioxidants, making turmeric a great way to boost immunity and soothe your symptoms while sick. We add a teaspoon or two to our soups, especially when struggling with congestion or coughs. We also highly suggest sipping on Liquid Gold Coconut Milk when under the weather; it’s a Beeyoutiful favorite!

Liquid Gold Coconut Milk recipe from Beeyoutiful

Liquid Gold Coconut Milk

  • 1 can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup (Can substitute with a few drops of Stevia if needed)
  • Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root (or ¼ tsp ginger powder)
  • Tiniest pinch of cayenne pepper (generally omitted for kids, but included in the adult version!)

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly mix all ingredients together while it gently warms on medium heat (or blend at high speed in a regular blender before heating in a pan). Serve and drink immediately.

RED RASPBERRY LEAVES

Another personal favorite! It has long been prized for women, especially those preparing for childbirth, but did you know that red raspberry leaves are also beneficial to your body during periods of colds or flu? While it does not impact the virus directly, the herb has astringent properties which help to soothe throats, aid the body as it clears the mucus, and restore balance. When we’re sick at our house, we limit food intake to fresh fruits and vegetables, and then drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea liberally throughout the day.  To make it more palatable for littles, I occasionally add a bit of raw honey and some frozen raspberries and blend well.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Recipe from Beeyoutiful

Yummy Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
1 cup dried Red Raspberry Leaves
1/2 cup Rosehips
1 cup Frozen Raspberries
Honey to taste
Boil 3 quarts of water and pour over Red Raspberry Leaves and Rosehips. Let steep for 5-20 minutes, then strain and add honey and frozen raspberries. Use immersion blender to mix well. (You can also use a traditional blender, once the mixture has cooled.)

PLANTAIN

Plantain is a first rate “First Aid” plant that is usually close at hand, wherever you may be.  While my children love to pick plantain leaves fresh from the yard to chew and then drape over their cuts, scrapes, and insect bites, during the winter months they are not as readily available and the dried leaves come in handy. A cup of strong plantain tea can be drunk to help calm indigestion, and a small wad of the bruised leaf placed next to the gum can have a calming effect on a toothache until it can be attended to by a dentist.

MULLEIN

Mullein‘s gentle nature makes it one of the very best herbs for use with children’s health challenges. Mullein in the wild is absolutely beautiful; its soft lamb’s ear-like quality just begs to be handled, and is another great herb to grow in your yard to have in plenty! It combines wonderfully with Chamomile, Catnip, and Lemon Balm where appropriate, and can be used to soothe a wide variety of childhood ailments.

Mullein has a folk history of use that focuses on respiratory complaints. It has traditionally been used to calm coughs and colds. Mullein is considered the herb of choice for lung ailments; individuals who struggle with ongoing lung issues have reported positively when using Mullein, usually in a tea. Its pleasant taste blends well with others.

And last but not least to round out my favorites:

LOBELIA

Lobelia is one of the most powerful emetics known to the herbal world, and it also has fantastic benefits for respiratory issues and sore throats as well. Used in conjunction with Mullein, it has become one of our family’s favorite remedies to pull out when we first start feeling a ticklish throat. We use it in small amounts in our teas (1/2 part lobelia, 1 part Mullein, and 1 part Spearmint, steeped in 1 cup of hot water, sweetened with honey and taken twice a day), but our favorite way to use Lobelia is with Mullein in a fomentation wrapped around the neck. (A fomentation is something like a tea for the outside of the body: a steeped herb is used to soak a cloth, which in turn carries the herb’s benefits through the skin.)

Soothe the Throat Fomentation from Beeyoutiful

Soothe the Throat Fomentation

Steep both herbs in 8-10 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and then take cotton cloth (I have used old cotton diapers and cut them into four inch wide strips lengthwise) and soak them in the strong liquid. Wring out until damp but not dripping and then wrap around the throat. This can be worn for several hours and then switched for a fresh fomentation. This can be used until the discomfort has been eliminated. To protect the clothing or bedding, wrap a piece of plastic wrap over the fomentation to hold it in place, and cover with a soft cloth.

This just barely scratches the surface of the benefits that these herbs bring to our lives. Hopefully even this introductory view will pique your interest! For more in-depth information, I invite you to check out Beeyoutiful’s selection of books about herbs (beginning with Nutritional Herbology) and begin your herbal education journey today.

Stay Healthy With Elderberries

Stay healthy with elderberries from Beeyoutiful

It sometimes seems that the best things come in the smallest packages. That’s certainly true of the elderberry, a tiny, tart berry that packs an outsized punch when it comes to supporting immune health.

Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been used medicinally for centuries in Europe and North America, and is also well known in Chinese medicine. Many claims have been made about elderberry’s health benefits and the jury’s still out on many of them. However, modern scientific studies have confirmed the validity of what might formerly have been brushed aside as simply old wives’ tales, demonstrating that elderberry indeed has a measurable effect in treating the flu, alleviating allergies, and supporting overall immunity.

Stay healthy with elderberries from Beeyoutiful

Elderberries contain very high amounts of the polyphenol anthocyanin, an antioxidant which contributes to the berry’s dark blue color and protects them from fading in even sustained periods of bright sunlight. Amazingly, these antioxidant elements carry through to anyone consuming the berry, and anthocyanins have been shown to boost the human immune system. Some elderberry syrups and lozenges have been studied for their effectiveness against cold and flu viruses, and results indicate that symptoms were reduced in both severity and duration.

Elderberry has an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of over 14,000, much higher than many other berries and fruit, making it a powerful antioxidant tool and a concentrated source of immune boosters.  In addition to its antioxidant properties, elderberry also contains Vitamin C (surprisingly, more than oranges!) along with valuable trace minerals.

Because they are often found growing wild, elderberries are an easily-accessible and inexpensive resource for many to support health during flu season with homemade elderberry tincture or syrup.   If you’re less inclined to scramble through the woods in search of your own elderberries, you can get them here in dried form, or go straight to the ready-to-use syrups and lozenges.

Whether you choose ready-made remedies or the do-it-yourself variety, don’t overlook this tiny berry that can give your immune system a major boost.

*Because elderberry is widely regarded as an immune stimulant, persons with uncontrolled autoimmune diseases may choose to avoid using elderberry to stimulate an immune response that could cause a flareup of disease symptoms. Please consult an experienced healthcare practitioner for recommendations to fit your specific health conditions.