Ayurvedic Spice Infused Elderberry Pastilles

elderberry gummies with ayurvedic spices

These Ayurvedic Spice Infused Elderberry Pastilles offer a natural and effective remedy for colds and coughs. With the immune-boosting power of elderberry and the warming properties of Ayurvedic spices, these delicious gummies provide relief from cold symptoms while supporting your overall well-being. Embrace the wisdom of Naturopathy and Ayurveda and let nature’s remedies soothe and heal you during the cold season.ย 

Elder Berry ~ your winter wellness ally

Let’s talk a bit about Elderberry first. The Elder tree with its beautiful black berries and delicate white flowers (Sambucus nigra) is a Northern hemisphere native, and herbalists use the berries and flowers for upper respiratory tract infections and symptoms like sinusitis. It has anti-viral properties, mostly attributed to its flavonoids content โ€“ these typically have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects and theyโ€™re quite common in dark berries. Studies show the flavonoids in Elder actively fight viruses such as herpes simplex and influenza.1

Viral infections seem to govern our health concerns and yes, we’ve had a challenging timeย  feeling in control of our health these past few years. So if you’re feeling more motivated to boost your defences this winter season you’re in good company ๐Ÿ™‚ Seasonal viral infections like influenza affect nearly 10% of the global population with around a million deaths annually attributed to them. 2 Typically you can expect to feel malaise, fever, headache, muscle pains, sore throat and cough (or a non productive cough with a dry throat). Most of us can get over a flu infection within 5-7 days but for some of us its more debilitating and more serious (for instance in those who are immune compromised). 1

Influenza is a type of virus, and viruses are the smallest microorganisms in nature. The common cold, cold sores, glandular fever, AIDS and SARS are all types of viruses. They have a parasitic nature in the sense that they need to merge with a host in order to reproduce and survive and theyโ€™ve developed ingenious ways to enter your cells, and essentially โ€œhijackingโ€ your cellular machinery once inside. 3

Flu viruses are divided into types. The Influenza type A virus invades your body cells which act as hosts. Once inside, it subverts the machinery in your cells for its own purpose and thus the process of viral replication begins. Influenza viruses have a type of protein (a glycoprotein specifically) in their membranes called hemagglutinin (HA) and it helps the virus physically attach to the surface of your body cells, initiating signaling pathways that welcome the virus inside. This method of getting inside your cells is called โ€˜endocyticโ€™ โ€“ where something foreign from the external environment is assimilated into a cell. ย So ideally our flu-fighting medicinesย will have the ability to stop the flu virus from gaining entry into cells in the first place. 4

Elderberry can do this. It blocks the flu virus glycoproteins by neutralising them and making them inert, so the virus canโ€™t bind to your healthy cells, cant move through your cell walls and cant hijack your cell machinery to replicate itself. Youโ€™d expect this stops the virus in its tracks so that, in a perfect world, you donโ€™t experience those flu symptoms mentioned above. At the same time, it initiates the release of immune chemicals that help fight infection, meaning it activates your immunity. Triggering immune chemicals is thought to be a direct result of the flavonoid compounds in the berries. But thereโ€™s more, the berries also contain pectins which theoretically boost immune function by stimulating your immune system to gobble up the virus and remove it as debris, in a process known as phagocytosis. 5

I love that Elderberry is a low cost, safe and effective means for relieving influenza symptoms. According to a Norwegian trial using Elderberry Syrup to treat Influenza types A and B, 15mLs of Elderberry syrup daily shortened flu symptom duration by 3-4 days. It helped relieve not only cough and fever but also improved sleep and quickened recovery and return to work by 3 days. 1

Another 2019 study showed Elderberry inhibiting early stages of the influenza virus cycle and continuing to have a protective effect in the post-infection phase too meaning you don’t need to take it at the first sign of infection, it’s helpful at any stage of active infection. 5ย 

The Power of Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, a holistic approach is taken to treating illnesses and acute infections. The focus is more on balancing the body and mind than simply fighting off a virus or pathogen. Ayurvedic herbs are carefully selected for their warming and strengthening properties and are often combined with other ingredients to enhance their effectiveness. They complement the antiviral action of Elderberry nicely. When infused with Ayurvedic spices, this recipe becomes a true elixir for battling colds and coughs.

Common spices used in Ayurveda for colds and coughs include ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves. Ginger, with its warming properties, helps your blood flow, delivering nutrition to your cells more efficiently and removing debris so you can feel clear headed and invigorated more quickly. It clears mucous congestion with a drying effect too. Turmeric isn’t in this recipe but you could add it in if you like. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, so it could be useful if you have a chronic inflammatory condition. Cinnamon, known for its antimicrobial properties, fights off infection-causing pathogens. Lastly, Cloves, with their antibacterial and antiviral properties, help alleviate coughs and cold symptoms. They also have a numbing effect on a sore throat which is just what you need when you get that horrible unproductive dry cough.ย 

If you’d like to read more on the spices in this recipe head to my other article on Spices here. So let’s make these pastilles! Or even just make the glycetract and take that as your medicine. Up to you ๐Ÿ™‚

Step 1: Create the Elderberry Glycetract

home made elderberry glycetract cough syrup

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home made elderberry glycetract cough syrup

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Combine all the dry glycetract ingredients and the sliced ginger in a glass jar. Pour over the mixture of glycerine (food grade) and water, and stir to combine. Let it sit on your kitchen bench for a few days. Each day use a clean spoon to press the herb into the liquid so it stays coated. It’ll look like the pic below. And after a few days soaking, strain it using a sieve or muslin and you should yield 150mL which covers you for the next rounds of pastilles too.ย  You’ll only need 50mL for the pastille part.

elderberry glycetract with ayurveduc spices

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Glycetract Yield = ~ .150mL.

Absolutely divine! Rich, thick, almost black medicine in the making here. It should smell aromatic, spicy and light, and when you strain it, make sure you don’t leave fruit pieces in it. I like to store any leftover glycetract in the fridge because it preserves it longer (usually it lasts 6mnths on the shelf) and makes it thicker, like molasses. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE taste testing this glycetract in the days that its infusing. It’s delicious.ย ย 

You could just stop here and take the glycetract each day, 10-15mL as needed. But if you want to make the pastilles, read on….

Step 2: Create the Pastilles (Gummies)

home made elderberry glycetract cough syrup

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home made elderberry glycetract cough syrup

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Measure out the dried herbs and prepare the tea infusion, letting it infuse for 15 mins before straining. You’ll need 200mL of tea.ย 

home made elderberry glycetract cough syrup

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home made elderberry glycetract cough syrup

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Mix the gelatin powder into the tea and stir. Pop in the fridge to bloom for 5 minutes. When its ready, place it in a small saucepan and add the glycetract. Stir and warm to combine. Once fully dissolved, you’re ready to pour into the molds.

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elderberry gummies with ayurvedic spices

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Recipe card

Ayurvedic Spice Infused Elderberry Pastilles

Ayurvedic Spice Infused Elderberry Delights offer a natural and effective remedy for colds and coughs. With the immune-boosting power of elderberry and the healing properties of Ayurvedic spices, these delightful gummies provide relief from cold symptoms while supporting your overall well-being.
Optional: instead of making the Elderberry Glycetract you can use straight glycerine or a cup of herbal tea, however for a stronger therapeutic effect you'll want to make the Glycetract first. It needs a week to infuse before it can be strained and used.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Servings: 30 pastilles
Author: Sulin Sze

Equipment

  • 1 small saucepan
  • 1-3 silicon molds makes around 30 10cent coin sized pastilles/gummies
  • 1 funnel for straining the Elderberry glycetract

Ingredients

To make the Elderberry Glycetract

  • 100 g Elderberries (dried)
  • 20 g Licorice root (dried)
  • 7 g Cinnamon (powder or chips)
  • 10 g dried Orange slices
  • 2 slices fresh Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 180 mL Glycerine must be food grade glycerine
  • 120 mL water

To make the Elderberry Spiced Pastilles

  • 2 Tbsp Peppermint (dried leaf)
  • 1 Tbsp Tulsi [Holy Basil] (dried leaf) can substitute with Peppermint
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom pods
  • 3 slices fresh Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 250 mL Boiled water
  • 3 Tbsp Gelatin powder
  • 50 mL Elderberry glycetract

Instructions

  • First make the Elderberry Glycetract by combining all herbal glycetract ingredients in a glass jar, pour in the glycerine and water mixture and leave to infuse for a week. Each day, press the herbs into the glycerine and water base to make sure they are covered. At the end of the first week, use a funnel to strain it and you will yield around 150mL. Store in the fridge to cover you for three sets of pastilles.
  • To make the pastilles, combine the Peppermint, Tulsi, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Ginger and create a hot tea infusion, pouring in the hot boiled water. Sit for 15 minutes, then strain.
  • Measure out 200mL of the infusion, stir in the gelatin. Put in the fridge for 5 minutes to bloom.
  • Put the gelatin mix, glycetract into a pot and warm until dissolved. Pour into molds using a small beaker and leave in the fridge to set for 2+ hours. It makes around 30 medium to large sized pastilles.
elderberry gummies with ayurvedic spices

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Nice and chewy is the texture you’ll achieve, but if you want them firmer, and a little smaller, pop them in the fridge for a few days sitting on an open tray. They’ll shrink as they naturally dehydrate and firm up so that you can achieve more of a pastille texture (as opposed to wanting to chew them immediately like jelly).ย 

elderberry gummies with ayurvedic spices

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Final Yield = ~ .30 medium sized pastilles.

enjoy

I hope you love this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay tuned for more in the winter 2023 series of recipes. Love and light to you all, stay safe and well,

xo Sulin

Hey there!ย Welcome to my world of totally natural and powerful healing medicines. Medicines from nature. Medicine from Source. I’m a naturopath and herbalist with extensive clinical experience working with a range of health conditions including hormonal, metabolic, mental health, sleep and more.

I’ve brought together years of clinical and teaching experience, academic skill and curiosity to bring you this blog. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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References

  1. Zakay-Rones, Z., Thom, E., Wollan, T., & Wadstein, J. (2004). Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections.ย Journal of International Medical Research,ย 32(2), 132-140.
  2. ย Roschek Jr, B., Fink, R. C., McMichael, M. D., Li, D., & Alberte, R. S. (2009). Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro.ย Phytochemistry,ย 70(10), 1255-1261.
  3. ย Lopez, S., & Arias, C. (2010). How viruses hijack endocytic machinery.ย Nature Education,ย 3(9), 16.
  4. Samji, T. (2009). Influenza A: understanding the viral life cycle.ย The Yale journal of biology and medicine,ย 82(4), 153.
  5. Torabian, G., Valtchev, P., Adil, Q., & Dehghani, F. (2019). Anti-influenza activity of elderberry (Sambucus nigra).ย Journal of functional foods,ย 54, 353-360

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