Many advertised the elderberry due to its immune-boosting effects during the pandemic. Elderberry has been sold to benefit colds and flu. Some exponents even asserted they benefit against COVID-19. You also may have heard that they can help with other ailments, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Still, no one-size-fits-all remedy for sickness like turmeric exists. Exponents of the elderberry say it is a versatile fruit of nature and is a solution to what ails you. About 30 types of elderberry plants exist worldwide. In the European version, it is Sambucus nigra, which means closely affixed to your health and healing. It dates back to 400 BC. Hippocrates (Father of Medicine) called the elderberry his “medicine chest.” Now elderberry is viewed as one of the world’s most healing plants in folk medicine. So what’s the deal? Is the elderberry plant a godsend fruit that can give you super immunity?
What are Elderberries?
You’re probably familiar with elderberries, which look like any other dark blueberry. But there are many plant species, and they all have unique characteristics that might surprise you. Sambucus contains over 30 species of shrubs in the Adoxaceae family, including honeysuckle and snowberry (Symphoricarpos). The elderberry grows throughout Europe, Asia, and North America—and even as far north as Alaska! It thrives in moist areas such as river banks, fields, and forest margins, where it can grow up to 8 feet tall (2.4 meters). Elderberry flowers from May through July, depending on region; clusters of white flowers grow on cymes at the ends of branches before turning into red berries by late summer or early fall.
Historical and Regional Uses
People have used Elderberries for decades since the fifth century AD. Still, if you see the plant’s name, you’ll notice that the Elder shrub was so revered that its very name shows the respect it was given. Being grown by Native American and European herbalists throughout history, Native Americans used the branches of Black Elderberry to create flutes, so it is often anointed “the tree of music.” Also, black elderberry tarts were seasonal dining for early American emigrants. It was usually produced into wine, too (and to date).
It is common enough to see berries used in herbal practices, and the flowers and leaves of the Elder plant have even historically been used. Different parts of the plant were used to promote healthy perspiration, beneficial fluid levels, restorative bowel movements during infrequent diarrhea, and healthy blood sugar levels. Later, the berries became famous for their immune-supportive features. That’s one of the significant reasons people continue to adore and use Elderberry today.
Modern Usages and Research
Owing to its immune-modulating and antioxidant traits, elderberry can perform at the cellular level and sustain overall immune health. B regularizing and stimulating the production of cytokines (essential for overall health), the immune system can preserve balance, which is incredibly important during winter when your body requires all the plant power it can get.
The contents in the berry mainly boost the health of the upper respiratory system by helping a healthy inflammatory reaction and reta ning the integrity of the mucous membranes. Quercetin, a flavonoid, is accountable for these charact rustics. It also endorses a healthy response to occasional joint and muscle pain in healthy individuals. Rutin, another flavonoid, keeps the goodness of blood vessels, enabling them to be strong.
Vitamins A and C; flavonoids such as quercetin and rutin; and anthocyanins.
High in phenolic acids, sterols, flavonoids, mucilage, tannins, and a volatile oil containing triterpenes.
Are elderberries nutritious?
Elderberries are an eminent source of multiple nutrients, such as:
- Anthocyanins, flavonols, and phenolic acids are disease-combating blends that protect your body from damage.
- Fiber retains stomach and intestinal health and prevents infection.
- Potassium performs many necessary functions in the body.
- Vitamin A is essential for eyesight, immunity, and development.
- Vitamin C boosts immunity and is vital for producing proteins.
Elderberry Health Benefits
Black Elderberry is an everyday staple plant for an immunity boost. In the UK, one can easily find Elderberry jam in corner stores and cordials and sodas made from Elderflower. They are high in flavonoids called anthocyanins, which entrust berries bluish-purple color, and another group called anthocyanidins. These flavonoids have antioxidant effects, and they’ve also been documented to have a high oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC). They help with the body’s natural defenses and cell communication.
Some proficients suggest elderberry to help control and ease cold and flu symptoms. Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, it may benefit your immune system. They could help tame inflammation, lessen anxiety, and help defend your heart, too.
According to data published on WebMD, it’s also been used as a treatment for:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Respiratory Infections
- Kidney issues
- Mild skin conditions
- Depression & Anxiety
- HIV and AIDS
Elderberry Benefits Colds
Elderberries are just as effective as antibiotics when it comes to fighting bacteria that causes the common cold! It is an immune booster, rich in antioxidants. It has flavonoids that help keep your immune system strong while giving your body a healthy dose of vitamin C to fend off colds. It’s also packed with vitamins A, B, and C and minerals like iron and zinc.
A host of studies claims that the elderberry retains anti-viral compounds, which prevent you from infection in the first place – and crop the illness’s period and severity when you are sick.
Elderberry Benefits Joint & Muscle Pain
It can treat joint and muscle pain by alleviating inflammation and helping the body recover from injuries because it contains antioxidants, essential for reducing inflammation.
A study found that consuming elderberry extract improves inflammation levels without causing a similar increase in pain levels.
This suggests that elderberry may work well for people with chronic pain who want to reduce their reliance on medications without experiencing side effects like drowsiness or dizziness from prescription drugs. As with any herbal remedy, it’s always best to consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Elderberry Treats Flu Symptoms
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) considers that more research can say how helpful elderberries are in combating colds and flu. A 2018 study located some evidence that elderberry supplementation can benefit you recover faster from colds or flu and also reduce the severity of symptoms. However, this study examined only a few research papers on a small number of people. Most studies on elderberries were performed in a test tube or on animals. There is also insufficient proof to support using elderberries to handle heart ailments, diabetes, or other health problems. And there is no evidence reports that they protect you against COVID-19. Apart from this, turmeric milk can help fight colds and flu effectively.
- It is essential to cook elderberry before eating them because berries and other parts of the plant have cyanide and lectins, which are toxic when eaten uncooked. Cooking destroys toxic materials while making them safe to ingest.
- Children, pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t consume elderberry.
- Elderberry supplements can interact with diabetic medications, laxatives, and diuretics, so you shouldn’t eat elderberry supplements if you are on any of these medicines.
Grow Your Own
Order an elderberry bush from a reputed greenhouse, and be sure you are gettingSambucus nigra. One of the great things about elderberry bushes is that they are effortless to grow. They endure poor soil and very wet soil. However, one thing that elderberry bushes like is water. You must give these short cuties water weekly if you have hot, dry summers.
If you want to grow more than one:
- Place them almost 3 feet separated, in rows about 12 feet apart. You should plant at least two bushes (for cross-pollination purposes).
- For optimal results, do nothing to the plants for the first two years.
- Do not trim them, and do not terminate the berries.
- Let them be their wild selves temporarily, and then you can trim them and use the berries as you like.
- Neaten in the early spring days and dismiss dead branches of the plant.
They will give a few berries in the first year, but you will have a bunch by the second. Berries ripen between the middle of August and September, giving you much time to mix up some elderberry syrup!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ELDERBERRY SYRUP?
People are using elderberries for things other than cold therapy. There are formulae for elderberry wine, “marshmallows,” and even elderberry pie (tarts). Today, we will discover an easy way to make elderberry syrup. There are likely as many recipes for this syrup as for meat. Tastes pretty delicious, too! This one is fundamental and simple but gets the job done.
Grab these Ingredients:
- 1 cup of dried elderberries / 1.5 cups of fresh berries
- Water ^ cups
- Two tablespoons of ginger
- One teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon of clove powder
- 1 cup of honey
- 20-ounce glass container with lid (Mason jars are a good pick)
- In a medium-sized skillet pot, add all ingredients except honey.
- Please bring it to a boil and then cover it with a lid.
- Reduce flame to simmer.
- Allow to simmer for about 45 minutes or until the liquid thickens to half.
- Remove the heat and allow it to cool until lukewarm.
- Smash the berries for a while, and then strain them from the pot into a deep bowl.
- Add honey and blend well.
- Pour into the glass container if you want.
A usual dose is one teaspoon for children aged 12 and every 3 to 4 hours. Adults can ingest one tablespoon every 3 to 4 hours.
Some people suggest giving children one teaspoon per day (and adults one tablespoon) during the flu season for preventive measures, but this is a case of choice, as no evidence shows this elderberry syrup benefits you from seizing a cold or flu. They said it certainly won’t hurt anything if you’ve tested it!
This syrup is most profitable when stored in the refrigerator and lasts several months. You can also freeze it in an ice cube and lock it in plastic bags for subsequent use.
What form of elderberry is best?
It is important to note that elderberry is not the same as blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries. It’s also not a cherry, despite its red color.
Elderberry extract – You can buy elderberry extract from most health food stores in capsule form or as a liquid supplement. The general recommended dose for adults is one capsule per day, which may help prevent or reduce symptoms of colds and flu.
Elderberry syrup – Elderberry syrup has been shown to be effective against common childhood illnesses such as strep throat and tonsillitis by reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes lining your mouth and throat.
Since drinking a lot of fruit juice can cause diarrhea in some people due to high levels of fructose. It’s best to stick with plain water if you’re trying out this beverage method to treat cold/flu symptoms rather than make yourself sicker! If you do decide on adding some flavorings, though (such as lemonade), make sure they’re unsweetened so they won’t increase blood sugar levels significantly enough that could lead toward dehydration symptoms later on down the line when combined with dehydration due to already being present due having had flu strains before taking action – especially since we often eat carbs when trying recover from those things too quickly afterward without giving ourselves time break anything down properly first.”
THE FINAL REMARKS (BENEFITS ELDERBERRY)
Research shows benefits of elderberry supplements are treating cold and flu symptoms, but we still require more examination. If you want to take one, always seek advice from your doctor first. However, as a portion of food, elderberries are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals and an antioxidant pack. Always ensure you cook the berries first, but you can enjoy them in moderation in jams, sauces, tarts, or pies.