The statistic shows that elderberry has been known to humanity since the prehistoric era. There is evidence that elderberry recipes were commonly used as natural medicines in ancient Egypt. Because of its numerous health benefits, Hippocrates (the “father of medicine”) from ancient Greece called it his “medicine chest”.
Elderberry is native to Africa, Europe, and Asia. This powerful plant has deciduous leaves, white flowers, and berries that change their colors from green to red to black as they ripen.
Nutritional facts of the elderberry
– The flowers contain 0.3 percent of an essential oil, which contains free fatty acids and alkanes
– The fruit contains rutin, quercetin, phenolic acids, kaempferol, and anthocyanins.
– High in flavonoids (powerful antioxidants) as well as anthocyanidins (which have immunostimulant effects)
– Rich in iron and potassium, vitamins A, C, B6, and other nutrients
– Raw berries contain 80 percent water, 18 percent carbohydrates, and less than 1 percent each of protein and fat.
Health benefits of elderberries:
– Fights inflammation in the body
– Relieves nerve pain
– Treats the flu and colds
– Cures sinus issues
– Soothes allergies
– Treats constipation.
Every part of the elderberry can be used for healing purposes. The flowers, bark, roots, and leaves are often used for their amazing health benefits, including:
1. Cold and Flu Relief
As they boost the immune system, due to the presence of chemical compounds (anthocyanidins) they have potent immunostimulant effects, and their extract is one of the safest and most powerful treatments for cold and flu symptoms.
2. Sinus Infection Aid
Having strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties elderberries help with sinus issues in a natural way.
According to Swiss scientists the effects of a proprietary product, Sinupret, which contains elderberry flowers, successfully treats the bacterial sinusitis in a combination with an antibiotic and a decongestant, boosting the effects of the medications.
3. Lowers Blood Sugar
Both, the berry and the flower have been used for fighting diabetes for centuries. In addition, the extract of the elderflower has been found to stimulate glucose metabolism and the secretion of insulin, which helps in decreasing blood sugar levels.
4. Eases Allergies
The abilities of the flowers of the elder plant to fortify the immune system, and to soothe inflammation make it a powerful herbal allergy remedy. It is a powerful cleaner of the liver and eliminates toxins. In addition, herbalists claim that it treats hay fever-like symptoms.
5. Natural Diuretic
Due to its powerful diuretic properties, this plant effectively fights water retention.
6. Natural Laxative
Elderberry is a natural laxative, so it successfully fights constipation and stimulates healthy bowel movements.
7. Encourages Healthy Skin
Elderberry is used as an addition to numerous cosmetic products thanks to its containment of the antioxidants, vitamin A, and bioflavonoids. Those compounds are well known for improving the healthy appearance of the skin, preventing premature aging and providing a healthy skin glow.
Consumption of the elderberry :
You can consume it in the form of juice, tea, jelly, and jams, in ointments, wine, as powder, lozenges, syrups, pills, sprays, and capsules.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
The elderberry syrup is the best way to treat the upper respiratory issues (flu, colds), so here is how to prepare it:
– 2 cups organic dried elderberries
– 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon powder
– 1 tablespoon dried organic ginger root or fresh
– 1 cup raw honey
– 3.5 cups cold water
1) Pour the water in a saucepan
2) Add the elderberries, cinnamon, and ginger
3) On a lower heat boil the syrup, leaving it to simmer for 45 minutes, covered
4) Remove the saucepan from the heat, mash the berries, and strain through a strainer or cheesecloth into a glass bowl
5) Sweeten mixture with honey, and
6) Pour the syrup in a sterilized glass container.
– The ripe, cooked berries contain a cyanide-inducing chemical, so do not consume them raw
– Sometimes, the elderberries and elderflowers can cause allergic reactions, so stop using them if you notice a mild reaction
– You should not use them if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
– People suffering from an autoimmune disease, or individuals taking diuretics, diabetes medications and laxatives, those with organ transplants, should not take elderberry.