People have used elderberry for its health benefits for hundreds of years. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is the dark purple berry from the European elder tree. This tree is native to Europe, though it is widely grown in many other parts of the world as well. The berries and flowers of these trees are edible, however, elderberries have to be cooked before they’re consumed. Elderberry has been used in medicine for centuries to treat infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain and nerve pain, as well as a laxative and diuretic.
Elderberry is High in Nutrients
Elderberries contain many vitamins and antioxidants. One cup (145 grams) of fresh berries contains 106 calories and 26.7 grams of carbs and a lot of nutrients, such as:
44 mg of vitamin A
52.2 mg of vitamin C
55 mg of calcium
406 mg of potassium
2.32 mg of iron
Elderberries are a good source of phenolic acids. These compounds are potent antioxidants that reduce damage from oxidative stress in the body.
Elderberries contain very important flavonoids: anthocyanins, quercetin, and rutin. Anthocyanins can boost the immune system and help reduce inflammation, treat heart disease and even cancer. Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and can treat allergy symptoms. And rutin helps to strengthen and increase flexibility in blood vessels, such as your arteries and capillaries.
Elderberry for Immune Support
Black elderberry has been shown to help reduce the severity and length of influenza. In the last few years more and more studies are being published about benefits of elderberry.
One study of three different elderberry extracts resulted in the activation of a healthy immune system by increasing anti-inflammatory cytokine production. Cytokines are one of the main components of the immune system.
Another study of 60 people with flu symptoms found that those who took elderberry syrup showed symptom improvement in 2 to 4 days, while the control group took 7 to 8 days to improve.
A two-day study of 64 sick people found that those who took elderberry extract had fast major improvements. In just 24 hours, they felt relief in such symptoms like headache, fever, and nasal congestion.
Now you can see how helpful elderberry is for your immune system. But don’t consume it if you have any autoimmune disease, in this case stimulating immunity can be harmful.
Nowadays elderberry supplements are available in many forms: syrups, capsules, gummies. We recommend Family Elderberry gummies by Dr. Moritz or Kids Elderberry gummies. The are delicious and easy to take.