10 Medicinal Benefits of Elderberry
What Are the Medicinal Benefits of Elderberry?
What the heck are they, and what are the health benefits of elderberry? Let’s find out what exactly they are, and what the medicinal benefits of elderberry are.
To me elderberries sounds like they should be old, wrinkled, and shriveled up but I recently discovered just the opposite. They are actually quite attractive, vividly colored, plump, and packed with nutrients.
Uses and Health Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberry plants are commonly used medicinal plants and have been used for years by indigenous peoples for fevers and rheumatism and by ancient Egyptians to heal burns. As well, they have been used for pain relief, swelling, inflammation, to stimulate the urine flow, and to induce sweating. The bark was used to induce vomiting. Today they are used in supplements, in healing tinctures, and for delicious drinks, pies, and other edibles. The dried berries or juice are used for the treatment of influenza, infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, and laxatives.
The most common type is the European Elderberry tree which can grow to a height of thirty feet. They produce lovely clusters of white or cream flowers which have a delicate aroma and can be eaten raw or cooked (think salad ingredient). When the berries appear they are in bluish black bunches. As to nutritional composition that depends on the tree variety, the environmental conditions, and the ripeness of the berries.
Elderberry Is an Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant
These berries are that lovely combination of low in calories but packed with antioxidants. They are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, phenolic acids, flavonols, (one being quercetin which is very popular at this time) and anthocyanins which are strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. One of the anthocyanins has 3.5 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E.
With all the flus going around, it is good to know that elderberry extracts and infusions made with the flowers help reduce the severity and duration of flu like symptoms. In order to aid in the treatment of colds you can purchase capsules, lozenges, and gummies manufactured from elderberries.
Elderberry Juice Health Benefits and Precautions
A benefit of elderberry juice is to reduce the level of fat in the blood and decrease cholesterol in the liver. As well, these berries are known to increase insulin secretion and improve blood sugar levels.
Although more scientific studies are needed, there is some evidence that these guys have some cancer inhibiting properties, improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis, and act as a diuretic.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not explain the side effects and risks so I will go through that prior to getting into the delicious recipes.
Do not eat too much of the unripe berries, seeds, or bark (although I don’t know why anyone would want to chomp on a chunk of bark). This could cause a stomach ache. Similarly, the branches, bark, or leaves should not be used in cooking
What Do Elderberries Taste Like?
Now that is out of the way and I can get into the good stuff, as in delicious. Pick the clusters of voluptuous berries by breaking off the large stems. The prongs of a fork provide an easy way to separate the berries from the stems. If not used immediately they can be frozen for later use.
Here are a few ideas just to get you started:
Make Fresh Elderberry Syrup
Make this flavorful delight by the quart. It can live in the fridge for a long period of time and then used in recipes or for candies or lollipops. Or it can be frozen. Other uses include ice pops, as a sauce for ice cream or cake, or as a flavoring for teas.
Here is a great medicinal elderberry syrup recipe: Classic Fresh Elderberry Syrup Recipe
This is delightful and a variety of recipes are available online.
Fermentation usually takes about six months but it is well worth the wait. Tart, yet dry and delicious. I can imagine that “the sisters” in The Waltons probably made elderberry wine. Remember “the recipe?”
Elderberries can be used for pies, muffins, or other baked goods, as well as made into jam or jelly.
Short and Sweet!
So there you have it. A short and sweet article, but containing all the information you will need to reap the benefits of these healthy berries and flowers. Or make elderberry wine!
The medicinal benefits of elderberry shouldn’t be overlooked. We hope that in addition to the many other things we talk about at Un-Pharma True Health and Wellness, you will harness the health benefits of elderberry, as well.
We will leave you with the best elderberry supplement we could find, from the ever-integral EnerHealth Store:
Elderberry Extract is a fruity, delicious-tasting tincture that has positive therapeutic effects on our immune systems. For a natural immune boost, take this extract when you start to feel unbalanced!
Elderberry Extract uses elderberries to create a delicious tincture that can provide a boost to your immune system. This all-natural health supplement can also offer positive therapeutic effects.
Our elderberry is sourced from Albania and is native to Northern Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia. We receive this herb dry and activate the many beneficial properties within the plant through our extraction process. Our extraction process has been used consistently over the past two decades to produce only the best elderberry supplement, as well as the highest quality therapeutic herbal extracts, period.