Elderberries are an ancient remedy for colds, flu, and more – and they still work just as well today. Here are 5 powerful health benefits of this unique plant that are supported by modern science…
Elderberries have been used as a natural remedy for a number of human illnesses for thousands of years – and modern science has found that there are good reasons for that. A number of studies have found that elderberry extract helps to reduce the severity and duration of both the common cold and influenza viruses. Elderberry also shows promise in strengthening the immune system to help prevent you from catching a cold in the first place.
Elderberry is used in a wide range of different forms in home remedies, from the popular elderberry syrup, to teas, wines, lozenges, juices, sprays, powders, tinctures, gummies, pills, and more. Both the berries and the flowers can be used for medicinal purposes. The flowers are generally considered to have a milder and gentler effect, so are often used in preparations for children.
If you are looking for a safe* and natural home remedy to help boost your immunity and protect your family during this cold and flu season, you can’t go wrong with elderberry.
* Note: Some parts of elderberry plants contain a chemical that breaks down into cyanide in the human body. The flowers are totally safe, but the ripe berries do contain small amounts of this chemical in their seeds, so should not be eaten raw in large quantities (which you wouldn’t want to anyway, as they don’t taste great). However, cooking or drying the berries renders this chemical harmless, so you are generally safe to consume elderberry syrup, either homemade or the purchased stuff. For young children, or those who have autoimmune diseases, organ transplants, or immune system issues, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with a medical professional before using elderberries.
Here are just a few of the unique health benefits of this potent plant:
1.) Anti-Microbial Action
Elderberry is a traditional remedy for colds, flus, and other infections. Modern research is validating what herbalists have long known. Whether you’re dealing with a bacteria or a virus, elderberry can help due to its antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties. But The Elder Mother is especially helpful when it comes to the flu. In laboratory tests, elderberry flavonoids were comparable to commercial antivirals like Tamiflu. Researchers suspect that elderberry does this by binding to viruses, preventing them from infecting your cells.
2.) Anti-Inflammatory Power
Chronic inflammation could be the source of much discomfort and dis-ease. Elderberries contain strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power to help relieve rheumatism and other inflammation-linked conditions.
3.) Cancer Fighter
Yes, elderberries are a potent cancer fighter, as well. Researchers have suggested that elderberries may become a part of future treatment protocols for advanced tumors. They have also shown promise as a topical treatment for skin cancers. This might be due to their strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
4.) Cardiovascular Health
Elderberries have the ability to influence cholesterol levels and heart health. This could be another benefit of their anti-inflammatory power and antioxidant abilities. But researchers also suggest that elderberries have the ability to influence how the genes in our liver cells express themselves, resulting in more efficient cholesterol processing.
5.) Diuretic Action
Herbalists use diuretics to flush excess water from the body. This can be done for many reasons, but the idea is usually to flush out toxins or infectious agents along with the water. Though relatively few studies have examined the efficacy of this practice, those that are available seem to support the traditional use of elderberry as a diuretic.
Please note that the contents of this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.