As we ease our way into November and the holiday season, you may be wondering what the deal is with our newly re-launched Elderberry immune tonic blend. So we decided to go straight to the source and ask Lopa (our Founder and CEO) and Ben (our co-founder and Chief Herbalist) to hear their thoughts on the blend, why it was developed, and how they love to enjoy it.
What was the inspiration behind making this blend? Why these herbs?
The inspiration was my own desire for a daily immune tonic. I asked myself: If I only take one herbal supplement this winter, what would be essential? Which herbs support me and my immune system comprehensively from the most angles? I started with elderberry, an immune-boosting deep purple superstar full of antioxidants. But I didn’t stop there. Immunity is complex and there are many pathways through which we can support it.
So I blended in some more of my favorites. From medicinal mushrooms like turkey tail to circulatory stimulants like ginger, from astragalus root with it's immune-regulating polysaccharides to echinacea and it's tingly alkalamides, Elderberry is truly a one stop immune shop.
How do you see Elderberry fitting into our daily Rasa routine? Is it something you drink daily in the winter?
Ben: This blend was formulated with daily use in mind. Some immune products are intended for acute use here and there, but because of the beautiful ritual of Rasa (and the taste, of course) we wanted a blend that leaned more towards longer-term immune building. I'm starting to drink this most mornings, and I mix in Bold (Bolderberry!) when I want an extra adaptogen boost. Find a deeper dive on why the complex phytochemistry of these immune herbs is best enjoyed daily over months here.
Lopa: Since we launched Elderberry in March 2020, I have kept a bag on hand and any time I have unusual exposure, my kids start sniffling, or I just have an extra stressful week or bad sleep, I notice the first place I turn is Elderberry. I'll drink 2-4 cups a day as a key part of my immune-strengthening regimen.
And then once the weather started to turn, I start cycling one cup into my Rasa ritual probably 4-6 times a week, sometimes in the mornings, sometimes as my afternoon cup.
I also love brewing Elderberry with other Rasas! My favorite combos are:
- Elderberry + Bold = Bolderberry, which is great for when I feel stress compromising my immune system
- Elderberry + Dirty = Dirtyberry, which sounds funny but I like it 😁 and it gives me that slight caffeine boost + delicious coffee taste
- Elderberry + Cacao = Just freaking delicious and needs no name or explaining 😛
- Elderberry + Calm = ElderCalm, it’s such a delicious & supportive nightcap!
How is Elderberry different from other Rasa blends?
Lopa: Elderberry is the first Rasa product that we made a supplement. It was a huge process for us—the documentation and the legal considerations are significant (not to mention the tax implications! 😱).
But it also means we can actually talk about what it does (support immune health), which is surprisingly tricky with our other blends, and sometimes we have to be pretty clever with language to not piss off the FDA overlords. 😬
My favorite thing about Elderberry, though, is that it saves me time. I used to have a really elaborate concoction I'd make every time my throat got a little scratchy or my glands a little swollen: simmering herbs on the stove for hours and drinking cups of utterly non-delicious concoctions all day.
I remember one day last year, feeling that itch in my throat during an exceptionally busy time (when I also wanted something tasty because life was being kind of a jerkwad at that time).
But I momentarily forgot about Elderberry and somewhat begrudgingly started pulling herb jars off the shelf...and then was like "Wait a minute..." I pulled out a bag of Elderberry, and realized it has everything I needed.
All the immune-supporting actions I sought in my potent decoction...but in a delicious and easy format. I instead brewed myself an extra-strong, extra-big cup, and Elderberry has been an immune staple in my house ever since.
I also love gifting it to friends during cold months. 🌲❄️
Describe Elderberry in one sentence!
Ben: Ooooh, Elderberry is a Turkish-coffee inspired sweet, rich and cardamomm-y blend designed to build & maintain a resilient, adaptive immune system. Liquid comfort & confidence.
Lopa: It tastes like soothing purple heaven and feels like it fortifies my cells and strengthens the healthful boundary between my body and the world.
What’s your favorite way to drink Elderberry?
Ben: I love when our co-working space has a big percolator of it going all day and it's extra strong. I just add a bit of oat milk and find myself going back for more cups throughout the day. Simple, comforting, delicious.
Lopa: I’ve really gotten into making it with a Moka pot lately—it’s both extra potent, and extra fast! And then my go-to with Elderberry is to add Créme de la Creamer, a li’l honey, and a dash of vanilla extract.