Elderberry comes from sambucus trees (a genus of flowering plant) which belongs to the family of Adoxaceae. There are about 30 different varieties of elder plants across the globe. These trees are mostly found in the Northern Hemisphere and in parts of South America.
Elderberries have been used for centuries because of its medicinal benefits. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, called elderberries as “medicine chest” back in 400 B.C. Native Americans believe elderberries are the best to treat infections. Egyptians used it to heal burns for nearly a thousand years. In Europe, people still take elderberries to treat flu viruses.
Elderberries are also rich in nutrition values. 100 gm of these berries provides more than 300 kJ of energy with negligible amounts of fats. Besides, it is also a very good source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, C, and almost all variants of vitamin B.
How do we consume elderberries for health benefits? Well, you can make elderberry syrups or add Freeze Dried Elderberry Powder to your diet mostly in tea or coffee. Make sure not to take raw elderberries as these can be poisonous. Also, other parts of elderberry trees like bark and leaves have toxic effects too.
Elderberries have a good number of benefits to count. Because of its rich antioxidants it prevents cancer, protects the heart, and boosts the immune system. To get a better insight, let’s dive deep to know more about elderberries’ health benefits.
- Elderberries to Boost Body Immunities
Elderberries are rich with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Phenolic acid, and flavonoids which helps the body fight against flu viruses. To increase antioxidant levels in the body you can try either syrup or powdered elderberry which will help you to fight disease more effectively.
In Japan a study on 64 people was conducted with influenza symptoms. They were treated with elderberry extract lozenges, which helped to decrease their excessive mucus production and almost all patients improved from symptoms like headache, fever, muscle aches, nasal congestion within 24 hours of elderberry consumption.
In another study researchers found elderberries to increase inflammatory cytokines. So, it helps in better activation of the immune system to fight a wide range of diseases. The University of Maryland Medical Center found promising results in treatment related to disorders mostly of upper respiratory tract infection.
- Elderberries Prevents Cancer
The quercetin in elderberries does not only boost the immune system but also aid in the treatment of cancer. Researchers have found elderberries to treat prostate cancers. Elderberries with high concentrations can inhibit biochemical processes like hedgehog signaling to prevent cancer cell growth.
In another study elderberries inhibited an enzyme named ornithine decarboxylase which acts in the initial stage of carcinogenesis. Also, these berries can strongly induce quinone reductase and cyclooxygenase-2. These have clear impacts as anti-initiation properties against cancer cell proliferation.
- Good For Cardiac Health
Every 100g of elderberries contains almost 280mg of potassium. The rich potassium content helps to reduce blood pressure and lowers excessive strain on the heart. Studies found people have 49 percent less risk of death by ischemic heart disease if they add an adequate amount of phosphorus into their diet.
Studies also found elderberries to boost circulation and regulate cholesterol levels with regular consumption. Other than flavonoids and antioxidants, these berries contain anthocyanins. These compounds prevent oxidative stress and protect the inner layer of the blood vessels. Not only elderberries but all berries have powerful protective effects on our cardiovascular system.
- Improves Skin and Hair
Elderberry fights free-radicals to keep skin glowing for long periods. Other than that it can alleviate skin distress such as scars, boils, and breakouts because of its detoxifying properties.
Elderberry fruits and flowers both play a vital role in skincare. You can try distilled elderberry flower water to lighten freckles and scars. Besides, brushing the fruit extract on the skin helps to detoxify and clean skin debris. It works great in inhibiting skin inflammation. The antioxidants in elderberries have profound effects on treating herpes.
Elderberry’s products are used extensively for hair care. People often try elderflower oils on the scalp to treat split ends of hair, prevent hair fall, and most importantly stimulate the scalp to generate new hairs.
- Bone Strengthening
As elderberries are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and more so it helps to increase bone density and reduces the chance of getting osteoporosis. Regular consumption of elderberries prevents bone losses because of the presence of anthocyanins in its contents.
- Treats Diabetes
Studies found that elderberry flowers inhibit an enzyme named α-glucosidase which reduces blood sugar levels. It improves insulin secretion to keep blood sugar levels under control. Furthermore, it lowers uric acid in the blood to maintain optimum blood pressure. Regular consumption of elderberries in the diet can improve diabetic conditions.
- Improves Ocular vision
These berries are deeply enriched with vitamin A and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)which helps to improve visionary ailments like macular degeneration and glaucoma. Its antioxidant properties also nurture vision health in good condition for a long time.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties
Anthocyanins in elderberries act to inhibit the production of nitric oxide by immune cells. Whenever the body gets any injury or stress, the nitric oxide works as a signaling molecule to trigger inflammation.
Infusions of elderberry juice have proven good in treating urinary tract infections and inflammation of eyes. Elderberries not only prevent inflammation but also treat cuts, burns, and bruises. Elderberry syrups are effective to treat sciatica and other neuropathic conditions.
- Elderberries for Weight Loss
It’s not only green tea that works great to shred body fats. Elderberries can also help to lose some pounds. Just like all other fruits it is also rich in fibers and one serving of elderberry can meet 40% of your daily fiber needs.
Furthermore, these berries flush out toxins and minimize bloat and gas formation. This has all the nutrients and only 0.5g of fats per 100g of serving. Meeting all your nutrient demand, it can help lose weight in regular consumption.
Elderberries are a natural blessing that can change your lifestyle with better health and fitness. There is enough evidence of its therapeutics benefits. Anyone can take it for good health by adding its freeze-dried powder or syrup to his diet. Let’s develop the culture of natural remedies over artificial goods.