Care for a deliciously sweet and refreshing herbal treat that you can use to soothe a sore throat, improve sinus health, fight colds, improve skin elasticity, strengthen your hair and nails, support your stress system, joints and bone health? I’ll assume that’s a YES! So read on, I’ve got a treat for you: Elderflower, Apple and Cinnamon gummies. Come make them with me….
I’ve been making herbal medicines for over a decade now, and one of my favourite ways to make delicious herbal treats is gummies. We call them ‘pastilles’ in herbalism, but essentially they’re the same as the gummies you grew up loving as a child. And there’s nothing wrong with turning your herbal medicines into something your inner child can enjoy. In fact, that’s the whole idea here. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with gummies and yes, there’s a longer article in the making with even more recipes, but for now, I wanted to get something out so that you can start making your own.
I’ve used gelatin in these gummies because it offers so many benefits health-wise and aligns with my values of the ‘medicinal diet’. What we eat can be our medicine just as much as our prescribed medicines. One of the first gummies I made were Licorice gummies to curb sugar cravings. I made them with a strong fluid extract of Licorice and gelatin, glycerine and water. And oh my, were they good! And very effective too…..that was back in 2005.
Elderflower for sore throats, colds and cough
The elder tree (Sambucus nigra) gives us both flowers and berries that assist with colds and immune function. We’re using the flowers (before they turn into the berries) to calm down a dry, sore, raspy throat. You know, the type you get when the weather suddenly changes and your head feels cold, and your eyes get itchy. All those signs of a cold coming on. It’s so important to stay hydrated and to keep our first line of defence against colds (i.e our mucous membranes) strong and resilient.
The mucous membranes of your respiratory tract are the interface between the outer world and your inner world. They filter what gets in, and what gets eliminated. They provide a barrier to bugs and pathogens and secrete mucous to help capture and remove these infective agents and their debris.
Once the passageways of your upper respiratory tract become dry and dehydrated, they’re vulnerable to infection. Use these gummies to keep them nourished at the first sign of a cold. The apple juice in this recipe complements the flavour of the elderflowers, but it also helps with the absorption of the herbs into these mucous membranes.
Elderflowers getting ready to infuse.
Like elder berries, elder flowers have a long history of use in respiratory illnesses. Bear in mind, this recipe is a light dose. If you’re wanting a more potent dose you’ll want to use an alcohol fluid extract of elderflower. And you can do that if you have access to one. Just substitute it for the elderflower infusion here. Now what about the other healthy ingredient in this herbal pastille…
Health benefits of gelatin
I’ll preface this part by saying that if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can still make these gummies. You just need to find a vegetarian gelatin like ‘Gel-it-in’ or Agar Agar for example. For everybody else, head to your local health store or supermarket and you’ll find gelatin in the baking and cake making aisle. It’ll be in a powder form and you’ll need one small tub.
Gelatin’s an animal-sourced product and its derived from collagen. Collagen plays an important role in skin elasticity strength, so having a source of collagen each day improves skin health. It’s also important for joint and bone health, being such an integral component of these tissues. Lots of people take collagen for joint pain, and if that’s you, you’ll benefit from these collagen rich gummies.
Key benefits of gelatin are:
- Improves skin elasticity and strength
- Alleviates joint pain
- Provides amino acids that your body uses to manufacture neurochemicals and studies show its useful in neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease
- Reduces inflammation in the digestive system
- It settles stomach digestion, assisting with the emulsification of milk and protein foods in the gut.
- Fat and cholesterol free. Yippeeee!
- Not only that but being nearly a total protein, gelatin makes you feel fuller for longer which keeps your appetite in check.
Now it’s recipe time! I’ll show you how to make these delicious herbal gummies in 4 easy steps.
Throat soothing Elderflower Gummies
Yes these herbal healing gummies ARE as delicious as they look!
Throat Soothing Elderflower Gummies
- 1 tbsp Elder flowers (dried) or 3.5 grams
- 1 g (sprinkle) cinnamon powder
- 200 mL clear apple juice
- 2 tbsp gelatin
- 40 mL glycerine
- 20 mL maple syrup
- Put the apple juice in the fridge until chilled. Then sprinkle the gelatin powder over the juice and leave to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Put the Elderflower into a small saucepan with 100mL water, warm on gentle heat until hot (but not boiling). Once hot, take off the heat and strain out the elderflower infusion. Discard the leftover plant material (throw it into garden soil best).
- Take the hot elderflower infusion and stir in the gelatin and apple juice mixture, the cinnamon, maple syrup and glycerine until all are combined as liquid. If necessary, continue the heat until all are dissolved.
- Pour into molds and cool in the fridge. They’ll be ready to pop out of the molds and into your mouth in a couple of hours!
Ready to set now. Behind every great gummy is a great mold!
Tip: if you want these extra strong, infuse the elderflowers in the water overnight in the fridge. Then strain the next morning, and warm up on the stove as usual. This gives the water more time to extract the medicinal constituents from the plant material. See the pic above of my elderflowers getting ready to go into a press with hot water, and then spending the night quietly infusing in the fridge.
These healing herbal gummies are perfect to soothe the sore throat of a cold. They’re also specific for anyone with runny nose syndrome (meaning, lots of small humans). 1-3 gummies daily will provide some support there. If you have a cold, suck on a gummy whenever you need some throat relief. It’ll take the inflammation and dryness out of your throat mucous membranes. Make sure you drink lots of water too to stay hydrated so you can absorb the gummies well. You could also just have a gummy when you like as a healing treat too!
Refreshing and sweet and soooooo nice on a dry, sore throat!
Every gummy is a celebration of the immune supporting, cold fighting qualities of the pretty elder flower. So enjoy these tasty treats and come back for more ideas soon. I’d love to hear from you if you made these too so pop a comment below and tell me about your Elderflower gummy experience.
Love and Light,
Hey there! 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!