Elderberry has many benefits it’s the most used medicinal plant in the world, but one major benefit that I want to stress is the benefits elderberry has on the immune system. With all this going on in the world and the second wave of the virus coming, I want to protect and prepare my family! I also created other versions to consume this content.
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What is Elderberry?
Elderberry dates back to as far as 400 BC, Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” called the elder tree his medicine chest. Elderberry is one of the most versatile medicinal plants, it can be used for a variety of ailments, it’s one you want to have in your medicinal medicine chest.
There are several species of elderberry the most commonly researched is Sambucus Nigra primarily found in Europe and North America. Elderberry is a shrub that has been used medicinally for centuries.
Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world.
Traditionally, Native Americans used it to treat infections, while the ancient Egyptians used it to improve their complexions and heal burns. Today, elderberry is most often used as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms.
Although there has been some research done to show some of the benefits of elderberry, there hasn’t been enough to really see the wide spectrum of health benefits.
How is Elderberry Used?
Although it’s usually used in the fall and winter to prevent colds and flus, I believe in this time right now during Covid-19 and with the increase of Covid-19 cases, it should be taken now to help boost the immune system. It can be taken as a supplement, tea, tincture and syrup. Make sure if you use a syrup it’s not ladened with sugar or other additives.
I make my organic elderberry syrup with raw local honey, clove and ginger as to add additional antibacterial and healing benefits. Also make sure your supplements don’t have additional additives that are used to water down the elderberry, making it less effective. An alcohol tincture would pull more of the beneficial properties out to the herb. I am in the process of making elderberry tinctures so let me know if you are interested learning more.
What are the nutritional benefits of Elderberry?
They have many nutritional benefits. Elderberries are:
- High in vitamin C: There are 6–35 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, which accounts for up to 60% of the recommended daily intake.
- High in dietary fiber: Elderberries contain 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams of fresh berries, which is over one-quarter of the recommended daily intake.
- A good source of phenolic acids: These compounds are powerful antioxidants that can help reduce damage from oxidative stress in the body.
- A good source of flavonols: Elderberry contains the antioxidant flavonols quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin. The flowers contain up to 10 times more flavonols than the berries.
- Rich in anthocyanins: These compounds give the fruit its characteristic dark black-purple color and are a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects.
What are the medicinal benefits of Elderberry?
Elderberry is used for the common cold, “the flu” (influenza), and H1N1 “swine” flu. It is also used for HIV/AIDS and boosting the immune system. Elderberry is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating. It is used for heart disease, high cholesterol, headache, toothache, and weight loss. Elderberry is applied inside the mouth for gum inflammation. Elderberry fruit is also used for making wine and as a food flavoring.
Elderberries have one of the highest percentages of antioxidant flavonoids, which help to prevent oxidative damage to the body cells, including the DNA. The ripe berries have high Vitamin A and C content. Moreover, they contain large amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and sterols, as well as essential oils.
The wide array of polyphenols in elderberry includes flavonoids such as flavonols and flavones, anthocyanins such as cyanidin, and phenolic compounds.
Elderberry can help reduce the length of a cold or the flu.
First and foremost, elderberry is known for its ability to help fight colds and the flu. Virus’s supposedly have no known cure but studies suggest that taking elderberry can reduce the duration of your symptoms by up to 80% or more.
Elderberry has a respiratory impact, mainly—it slows the replication of the virus, and because of that people recover at a much faster rate, there have been good results with colds, as well. Another recent study discovered that, for people who frequently travel by plane, elderberry could be helpful in fighting off colds.
Elderberry has anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to assisting with immune health, there are other potential anti-inflammatory benefits of elderberry. The high antioxidant levels of the elderberry may decrease inflammation in the body when taken daily (the amount will depend on the form you’re taking), which is especially helpful when your body is fighting off a virus or bacterial infection. These anti-inflammatory properties also help to build your immune system!
Elderberry helps to improve circulation.
Due to the high antioxidant levels, taking elderberry could potentially increase buoyancy in the blood vessels and capillaries over time, helping blood move through the body and possibly even stabilizing blood pressure.
Elderberry can help regulate your blood sugar levels:
Animal research has suggested that elderberry might aid in keeping blood glucose levels normal. “This can be especially helpful if someone has a bacterial infection, since bacteria feed on sugar in the body,
Are there any side effects?
The raw berries, bark and leaves of the plant are also known to be poisonous and cause stomach problems.
Elderberry benefits are numerous, however, the remedy may interact with certain prescription medications. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to adding any new remedy to your regimen. Elderberry may interact with the following medications.
- Diuretics: Elderberry is a diuretic so taking it with a prescription diuretic will increase the effects.
- Laxatives: Elderberry has laxative effects, so it should not be taking with other laxative medications.
- Steroids: Elderberry stimulates the immune system so it should not be taken with steroids and other medications designed to suppress the immune system. People who are on immunosuppressive drugs after having undergone organ transplantation should not take elderberry.
- Chemotherapy: Elderberry may interfere with chemotherapy and should not be taken with it.
- Diabetes medications: Elderberry lowers blood sugar so it should not be taken with medications that treat diabetes.
- Theophylline: Elderberry may reduce blood levels of this medication prescribed to treat asthma and respiratory conditions.
Studies (antiviral and HIV treatment) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28198157/
Studies (treatment of flu Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15080016/
I don’t know about you but I’m more interested in preventative health, than waiting till I’m sick to do something about it. You miss time from work, time from your loved ones and time to enjoy the life God gave you. I’m personally not an advocate of vaccinations, being a RN for over 26 years in the medical field for over 30 years.
I believe that it’s up to us to build up our own immune systems by making sure we are eating more raw fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, taking vitamins and supplements, getting enough rest, properly managing stress and getting a proper amount of physical activity.
If you are interested in ordering my Organic Elderberry Syrup or Tincture when it becomes available visit my online store www.RILStore.com or click the links in the description of where ever you are consuming this content. Thank you so much for reading and stay Reigning!
Ingredients: Grain Alcohol, organic elderberry, Sambucus nigra L.
Suggested Dosage: Shake well before using (expires in 5 years)
Adults : ½ -1 dropper full (20 - 40 drops) 2 - 4 times a day in 2-4 oz. of water
For prevention I would use the smaller dose, if symptoms present use the larger dose
Want to learn more about elderberry read my article I wrote.