Discover the immune system magic of elderberry and the complete guide to growing, preserving, and harvesting this amazing plant.

It’s Elderberry Harvest Season!

For many of you, this time of year is when you’ll harvest your elderberries. Just in time to harvest and process your elderberries for this upcoming cold & flu season.

We could go into all the scientific studies showing the ‘potential’ benefits and uses of elderberries that use the words ‘may’ or ‘could’. For example: “Elderberry may be a safe option for treating viral respiratory illness…” ¹

We could also go into depth on the recent myths being dispelled by science that elderberry may increase risk of a ‘cytokine storm’ and quote studies that illuminate this myth. For example: “…there is no evidence that it over-stimulates the immune system.” ¹

Or maybe we highlight why elderberry is considered a superfruit and how it scores twice as high as blueberries on the antioxidant scale.

But this is a garden blog, so we’ll keep it brief and move on. In general, elderberries are traditionally used to boost the immune system and show promising results in regard to inflammation as well as diabetes.

EXCEPT here’s the deal: if you harvest too early, elderberries can actually have a toxic effect on the body. So you really need to know what you’re doing when you harvest elderberries.

The Dangers of Unripe Berry Harvests

Underripe berries—including their leaves, branches, and roots—all contain cyanide-forming compounds. Please be sure that you consult good and accurate references when working with this plant. It contains tremendous medicinal value, but it does command your respect and understanding.

Luckily, we have expert growers who can help! And our favorite elderberry expert? John Moody.

Founder of Whole Life Services and Whole Life Buying Club, John is the director of Steader and served as the director of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. He’s a well known speaker and has lectured at Mother Earth News Fairs and the Grow Your Own Vegetables Superfood Garden Summit. He’s authored five books including ‘The Elderberry Book’.

The Elderberry Book

The Elderberry Book is a comprehensive all inclusive book that covers everything from the history of the amazing plant and how to identify it from other similar poisonous plants to cultivation and proper safe harvest.

John takes this book even further with preparation methods to help ensure you process your elderberries safely and maximizing the benefits. Learn to make jams and jellies, kombucha and tinctures, and even elderberry wine!

Despite how comprehensive this book is, it’s user friendly and succinct so you don’t have to sort through the important facts to get the information you need for successful growing and preserving your elderberries.

And this isn’t your typical review. Because this elderberry book isn’t just a book we read, liked, and decided to write a review on. It’s a staff favorite we use as our elderberry bible. So if you’re looking for support on your elderberry journey, this book is at the top of our list of elderberry resources. While the name of this book is The Elderberry Book, it may as well be The Immune System Magic of Elderberry: The Complete Guide. It has everything you need to grow and enjoy your elderberry.

Download John’s free Elderberry Cheat Sheet Here

You can get this amazing book here.

Elderberry Book Image
  1. Wieland LS;Piechotta V;Feinberg T;Ludeman E;Hutton B;Kanji S;Seely D;Garritty C; (n.d.). Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: A systematic review. BMC complementary medicine and therapies. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33827515/
  2. Moody, J. (2019). The elderberry book: Forage, cultivate, prepare, preserve. New Society Publishers.

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