Health Benefits of Elderberry

Elderberry has a long history of medicinal use, recipes for elderberry based medications date all the way back to prehistoric man, the ancient Egyptians and even the “father of medicine” himself, Hippocrates.

Hippocrates referred to the tree-like shrub as his “medicine chest” for its versatility in treating many common ailments.

Elderberry is the fruit of Sambucus often referred to as just Elder or Elderflower, a native plant in the Northern Hemisphere. Traditionally used to fight cold, flu and other viral infections. Growing evidence supports elderberrys ability to boost our immune systems and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Important health benefits include:

  • Strengthening the immune system, to protect against bacteria and infections
  • Aid Digestion
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Slows the growth of cancer cells
  • Alleviates allergies

Influenza, Cough and Cold

Historical medicinal practices used the berries or syrup to treat the flu, and all flu-like symptoms. Elderberry syrups have been around for centuries, and are still on the market today as a popular immune boosting supplement.

Studies are now confirming that taking elderberry syrup or supplements when you are experiencing symptoms will likely improve your uncomfortable symptoms within days and the length of your illness will be significantly shorter, had you not taken elderberry.

Kidney and Urinary Health

The elderberries ability to prevent bacteria from sticking to cell found within the urinary tract helps avoid kidney infection and will reduce symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Cardiovascular Protection & Heart Health

The high fiber content in elderberries helps cut down excess cholesterol from your system and prevents bad cholesterol and fatty deposits from attaching to your cells. This allows your body to accommodate the good cholesterol your body needs, which can significantly lower your risk of developing cardiovascular problems.

Anti-Cancer properties

Elderberry extracts contain high levels of anthocyanins, flavonoids and other polyphenols that contribute to its wide range of medicinal properties and high antioxidant capacity. High antioxidant levels are known to lower oxidative stress, which inhibits the growth of cancer cells within the body.

Elderberry also is being studied as it is believed to stimulate the immune cells to attack cancer cells.

Digestion

Elderberries are rich in dietary fiber, which is known to help improve your gastrointestinal health, eliminate constipation and excess gas. The high amount of fibre is also helpful in increasing your nutrient uptake efficiency, allowing you to receive all the nutritional benefits from this little powerhouse.

Packed with Nutrients such as;

  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B12

Lower Blood Glucose

Elderberry has been shown in studies to help reduce insulin resistance, a key component leading to diabete. Elderberry has also been observed to slow the breakdown of sugar in your digestive system, helping lower blood glucose levels.

Conclusion

We are in an age where we have never been so aware of our immune systems, and the nutrient dense foods it requires to remain healthy, as we have during the current global climate.

Elderberry syrup and supplements are a proven way to help boost your immune system, lessen symptoms of your everyday cough and cold, all while helping your body function and heal its many intricate systems.

References and Additional Reading:

Elderberry as a Medicinal Plant 2007. J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.). ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

The Efficacy of Administering Fruit-Derived Polyphenols to Improve Health Biomarkers, Exercise Performance and Related Physiological Responses

A comparative evaluation of the anticancer properties of European and American elderberry fruits

Effect of Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) Extract Supplementation in STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats Fed with a High-Fat Diet

“Elderberry: Health Benefits, Uses, and Risks.”


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