What to Know About Elderberry

In the search for healthy natural remedies and immune-boosting foods, you may have stumbled upon elderberries. But what exactly are these adorable-looking purple berries? You might see elderberries coming in many different forms, yet many people don’t quite know what they’re used for. Today we’re breaking down what you need to know about the fruit and how to use them for the health benefits they offer.

What Is an Elderberry?

An elderberry is a flowering plant that has several varieties grown in many regions around the world. It produces clusters of small dark purple berries that have historically been used to treat many health issues in humans.

How Can I Use Elderberry?

The berries and leaves are used in either cooked or dried form to help treat several different ailments. These range from the common cold to diabetes, and even high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In more recent years, there is also some data to suggest that elderberries might help fight certain types of cancers, HIV, and bacterial infections. Pretty powerful stuff!

Common Ways to Take Elderberry

  • Tea
  • Syrup
  • Lozenge
  • Capsule
  • Powder

As most of the above are naturally made and have smaller concentrations of the berries, they can be taken every day. That said, pregnant women, young children, and anyone who is currently taking any medications should consult with a physician before trying it.

Cooking with Elderberry

Yes, you can! Although raw elderberries are poisonous to humans when eaten raw, they are a very common ingredient in many cooked dishes, from jams to pie filling to chutney, and even wine. Ready to get cookin’?

Health Benefits

Full of antioxidants, elderberries have a wide range of nutritional benefits that make them popular among those who prefer natural remedies. Even a small dose of elderberry contains:

  • 60% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C (per 100g)
  • A high source of flavonoids to reduce inflammation
  • A great source of antioxidants to reduce stress and anxiety

While there are limited studies to the positive effects of the berries on the human body, there is evidence to suggest that they also help ease cold and flu symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue, and aches.

Side Effects

When ingested raw, the poisonous berries may cause an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. They can also negatively interact with certain medications, which is why it’s important to consult with a physician first.

Other side effects from ingesting elderberries could include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness

For hundreds of years, elderberries have been a popular ingredient for delicious recipes, but also as a natural remedy for many common symptoms of colds and flu. In recent years, it has become a popular choice for treating symptoms associated with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

As more studies are done to find out how effective it is to help treat common illnesses, it may become clear just how important it is to boost human bodies and their immune system. In the meantime, enjoy a hot cup of tea every day to improve overall health and wellness.

 

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