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By NBF News
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Elderberry drink is usually referred to as blood booster due to its colour and nutritious content. It is loaded with Vitamin C and other essential vitamins needed for a healthy growth. This dark purple-coloured juice was native to Europe before it spread to other parts of the world.

Elderberry is mostly used by beverage industries in the preparation of non-alcoholic wine, jams, juice and even fruit yoghurts. It is also used in the preparation of medicinal herbs since it prevents many illnesses. Enjoy elderberry drink with baked Irish potatoes.

1½ cups elderberries
3 tbs vinegar
½ cup sugar
4 cups water
Wash the elderberries carefully in salted water and put in a stainless pot (because it stains aluminum pot easily), then add 3 cups of water. Boil for 30 minutes until it is very tender.

Allow cooling for 3 minutes. Tie cheesecloth to a stainless bowl and pour the content inside.

Hold the cheesecloth with both hands and squeeze well to enable the fluid flow out easily. Make sure that the seeds are not broken because it's very bitter. Then set aside.

Heat 1 cup of water in a pot and add sugar. Boil until the sugar dissolves completely.Mix the sweetened water with elderberry juice, vinegar and boil for additional 2 minutes. Allow cooling and pour in a colander to remove the chaff.

Add little potassium meta-bisulphate to act as a preservative and pour in a mug.

If using preservative, let the elderberry juice sit for one week in the refrigerator before drinking it. If not, drink within few days so that it doesn't have sour taste. Refrigerate and serve with baked Irish potatoes.

Health benefits of elderberry drink
Elderberry drink prevents and cures illnesses related to the respiratory system like asthma, bronchitis, common cold, sore throat, cough and influenza.

It reduces mucus secretions, inflammation of the sinus and mucous membranes, thereby reducing nasal congestion caused due to sinusitis.

Elderberry drink contains large quantity of vitamins especially Vitamin C, that is very beneficial in the treatment of ailments caused due to viral and bacterial infections.

It can prevent and aid the treatment of cancer due to the antioxidants present in it. The antioxidant is effective for the prevention of human cell damage. It boosts the immune system that can be quite helpful in treating diseases like AIDS and cancer, and  lowers cholesterol levels. This is highly beneficial in preventing various heart- related disorders.

It also protects the body against viral infection, chest congestion, hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea as well as in the treatment of diabetes.