Local Valrico resident and mom of two little girls Laura DiSalvo created a line of organic elderberry syrups and gummies.

During this time of year, we get our flu shots, but we also look for ways to improve our immune system. A healthy, natural option to improve your immune system are elderberries.

Valrico resident and mom of two little girls Laura DiSalvo believes in the health benefits of elderberries so much that she created a line of organic elderberry syrups and gummies.

“I have a degree in biology and a Master in Biotechnology Business Management,” DiSalvo said. “In the beginning of my working years, before I stopped to stay at home with my girls, I worked in a military lab, working on various contracts. I’ve been making elderberry syrup and gummies for over four years now after trying the store-made ones from different stores. We were hooked on elderberries, but the price for such a small bottle for all of us and how thick it was, I found myself looking for other options. I found a few people who sold it homemade, but I was not impressed. One was either too watery or another didn’t taste right, so I decided I was going to make my own, and here we are.”

And so, Laura’s Organic Elderberry and Gummies was born.

According to WebMD, “The berries and flowers of elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They can help tame inflammation, lessen stress and help protect your heart too. They can also be a treatment for constipation, joint and muscle aches, headaches, kidney problems, minor skin conditions, stress and fevers.”

What makes DiSalvo’s elderberry syrup and gummies different from store-bought versions is that she makes each batch small enough that she can monitor the temperature so she never overcooks or de-natures her berries.

“The inside of the berries is the true medicine,” DiSalvo said. “If you’re getting elderberry from someone and they are not squishing the berries after cooking, you’re not getting the true benefit. It’s a long process, time-consuming and messy, so most other makers may skip this part. I love it, though. I strain two times with cheesecloths to ensure it is smooth. I add local raw honey only when it is cooled down to ensure I will not denature my honey. I also only use organic, pesticide-free elderberry.”

Her local raw honey comes from Andersen’s Apiary in Riverview.

To learn more about Laura’s Organic Elderberry and Gummies, visit www.facebook.com/LaurasElderberry or email lauraselderberry@yahoo.com. Her elderberry syrup costs $20 for a 12 oz. jar and her gummies cost $20 for 120 gummies.