It’s the time of the year where cold, and flu is going around, and you might find yourself with a sore throat more than once this season. Nobody enjoys having a sore throat, it makes talking really unpleasant and generally it just weighs us down. But, don’t fear, there is a tasty remedy to help you bounce back in no time. Keep reading to see how this elderberry, honey, and lemon popsicle can help!
Elderberry has been used in folk remedies for centuries and is known to help fight influenza colds and herpes simplex virus. In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study, patients (with influenza-like symptoms) received 15 milliliters of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for five days and recorded their symptoms. The group that received the elderberry recovered on average four days earlier than the placebo group (2). In another study on mice, it was determined that concentrated elderberry juice had a beneficial effect by stimulating the immune response and preventing viral infection (3).
The addition of honey into the popsicles should make them nice and sweet, without any processed sugar. Honey contains over two hundred substances, including amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, but mostly it’s just sugar and water. Honey has been reported to have an inhibitory effect on around sixty species of bacteria, including some species of viruses. A wide range of compounds including phenolics, peptides, organic acids and enzymes contribute to its strong antioxidant capacity (4).
High in vitamin C, lemon juice is a major component of this throat healing remedy. Loaded with citric acid the lemon juice helps balance out the other flavors in the popsicle and helps sooth the throat with its antioxidant abilities (1).
3 tablespoon elderberries
3/4 cup filtered water
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin
1 cup coconut water, or coconut juice
the juice of 1 lemon
Combine the elderberries and water in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil then reduce and gently simmer for fifteen minutes. Strain the elderberries from the water with a fine mesh strainer, and gently squeeze them to get the juice out. Pour the Elderberry tea back into a saucepan. Then, sprinkle the gelatine over the elderberry tea and let it absorb for a few minutes. Add your honey after the gelatine has gelled a bit. Gently heat the mixture over very low heat, stirring slowly until everything is combined and melty. Make sure not to overheat this or the honey won’t be raw anymore. In a blender add the coconut water and blueberries, then blend until smooth. Pour the coconut mixture and the rest of the ingredients into the elderberry mixture, and stir just until combined. Finally, pour the elderberry popsicle mix into your popsicle molds and freeze until firm. Enjoy!
(1) Wellness Mama. Elderberry Popsicles Recipe (Soothing for Sore Throats) http://wellnessmama.com/130286/elderberry-popsicles/ Published: December 18, 2016. Accessed: December 21, 2016.
(2) NCBI. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016 Published: March 2o04. Accessed: December 21, 2016.
(3) NCBI. Anti-influenza virus effects of elderberry juice and its fractions https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22972323 Published: 2012. Accessed: December 21, 2016.
(4) NCBI. Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases: A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758027/ Published: June 2013. Accessed: December 21, 2016.
(5) Youtube. 4 most popular health benefits of elderberry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-Yn2LPVWP8 Published: February 28, 2014. Accessed: December 21, 2016.