Elderberries are known for their high amounts of flavonoids, especially anthocyanins which are responsible for their deep purple color and potent antioxidants properties.
These tiny berries are also believed to contain antiviral agents (help the body fight off harmful viruses.) Viruses can't replicate by themselves - they need a heir host's protein synthesis pathways to make new copies.
The Elderflower is packed with bioflavinoids that help to boost the immune system, research has shown that Elderflowers are effective for killing some common pathogens, such as the common cold.
As a result, elderberry has been used medicinally for centuries and has been shown to have a wide range of benefits. The flowers and berries can be made into a syrup or made into wine or vinegar that can be taken in shots or mixed in water, tea, or other beverages.
One of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world, elderberry refers to the fruit of the Sambucus tree. When taken at the onset of symptoms, this powerhouse has been found to reduce the duration of colds, the flu, allergies, sinus pain, inflammation and digestive issues.
Elderberry’s potential health benefits come from the many vitamins and minerals they contain, such as vitamin A and zinc.
Elderberry Medicinal Benefits
Elderberry is a plant that has been used for centuries to fight off the symptoms of colds and flu. It’s a natural option with very few side effects. One study found that Elderberry could reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms by over half.
Elderberries are more effective than Vitamin C
It has been shown that elderberry extract treats colds as well as the flu. In fact, it is more effective than vitamin C and zinc, because the it contains a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
- It can also reduce illness duration by up to 4 days. It’s available in liquid or capsule form, liquid being my favorite.
- Elderberries also have a natural antiviral compound called “elderflower” which has been shown to help with:
- respiratory infections,
- improve immunity,
- and strengthen the immune system.
- As a result of its high antioxidant properties free radicals (known to damage DNA cells) are eliminated in the body. Free radicals are known to damage DNA cells and many diseases like cancer are caused by this type of cell damage.
7 reasons you should include elderberries into your wellness routine.
- High in nutrients– Elderberries are high in vitamins and minerals and can provide a low-calorific intake. They provide a good sources of dietary fiber, antioxidants and are rich in vitamin C, containing between 6 to 35g per 100g of fruit.
- Fights colds and flu- The extracts have been shown to reduce the severity and duration of the flu, decrease pain and sinus inflammation, and reduce symptoms of upper respiratory infections.
- Boost vision health- Given the high vitamin A content in elderberries and the importance of vitamin A with regards to vision health, one may speculate about the importance of elderberry in keeping the eyes healthy.
- Allergy relief- The immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties of this superfood make it a great natural remedy for allergy symptoms. The anti-catarrhals found in this berry make it an effective medicine for clearing up runny noses, congestion, sneezing and itchy watery eyes.
- Gut health- In various studies, elderberry has been seen as a natural way to support the immune system. Elderberries contain polyphenols, an antioxidant found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, known for their ability to combat cell damage. It is thought that the health benefits one would get from combining antioxidant-rich foods with a probiotic would be greater than what could be achieved using each individually.
- Build strong healthy bones- Minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium are important in boosting bone health, and elderberry is a decent source of all of them. Every little bit helps, right?
- Heart health– Limited research has found that elderberry may be beneficial for the heart. Black elderberry contains anthocyanin, which may help reduce cholesterol levels and improve HDL function. It also contains polyphenols which are beneficial for those with high blood pressure.
Studies suggest that elderberry defends us from viruses in three different ways:
- Stimulating the immune system
- Interfering with viruses’ ability to penetrate cells
- Inhibiting viral replication
People who are interested in boosting their immune system can take advantage of the health benefits of elderberries
Elderberries may be tiny, but they pack a healthy punch! Apart from ample amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, elderberries contain minerals like iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, and a variety of other beneficial compounds.