Elderberry Health Benefits: Pros, Cons, Uses, and Effectiveness

Elderberry (sambucus nigra) is a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. People have long known about the health benefits of elderberry, and now more and more people are choosing to take elderberry supplements in order to enjoy these benefits.

In this article, we will discuss some of the key benefits of elderberries, the nutritional value of elderberry, and cover some frequently asked questions. We will also explore why people choose to take elderberry supplements and what makes them such a popular choice!

Health Benefits of Elderberry

Elderberry has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. Elderberry is rich in nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium and flavonoids. Elderberry also contains anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. These nutrients work together to boost the immune system, fight inflammation, and protect the body from free radical damage.

Sambucus Nigra raw berries

Cold and Flu Symptoms

Elderberry has been shown to be effective in reducing cold duration and symptoms. A randomized double blind placebo study published in 2016 found that elderberry extract was effective in reducing the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. Elderberry has also been shown to be effective in treating other respiratory infections, such as sinusitis and bronchitis.

Digestive Health

Another one of the health benefits of elderberry is that it is also a good source of fiber, which is important for digestive health. Elderberry can help to regulate digestion and prevent constipation. Elderberry is also a good source of pectin, which is a soluble fiber that can help to lower cholesterol levels.

Anti-Tumor Properties

Elderberry has also been shown to have anti-tumor properties. The following study found that elderberry was able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in vitro (in the lab). Disclaimer – We are not stating that elderberry can cure cancer, more research is needed on this topic.

High Nutrient Value

Elderberry is nutrient rich and contains many essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, and Dietary Fiber. It also contains flavanols and anthocyanins which are potent anti-inflammatory compounds.

Powerful Antioxidant Effects

A study from 2003 showed that elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a powerful antioxidant. This is due to the elderberry’s high flavonoid and anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid that gives elderberries their dark color. These compounds are known to scavenge free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage cells and lead to disease.

Blood Sugar Management

A 2016 study found that diabetic rats who were fed elderberry extract had significant improvement in their blood sugar levels, as well as lowered insulin resistance.

Elderberry Medicinal Properties and Scientific Data

Elderberry has long been used as a medicinal herb. Elderberry is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a powerful tool for boosting the immune system.

Virus Cell

Elderberry upregulates cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8, and TNF, which leads to an indirect stimulation of the immune system via short term inflammation. Inflammation is the bodies response to something (in this case, a virus), and a natural reaction that helps release immune cells. Elderberry can potentiate this natural reaction and help your body form an immune response more quickly.

It has also been shown that elderberry can bind directly to virions from certain virus strains, such as H1N1, and even infectious bronchitis. Elderberry can also inhibit the propagation of the flu

Elderberry is also a potent antimicrobial, and was shown in research to be effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

 

Elderberry Extract Benefits

Elderberry extract is a common form people use to supplement elderberry with. It generally has a more potent effect, since the berries are isolated and extracted without any other parts of the plant.

Elderberry extract contains all the same benefits that eating regular cooked elderberries do, such as reducing the duration of colds and flu, improving digestive health, powerful antioxidant effects, and boosting immune response.

Another one of the health benefits of elderberry is that it can also protect the skin from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

european elderberry plant

Elderberry Juice Benefits

Elderberry juice is another popular way to consume this berry. It’s a convenient way to take elderberry, and provides all of the same benefits as any other method of consuming elderberry. It’s extremely important to cook the berries before making them into a juice, since raw elderberries are toxic.

Elderberry Nutrition Facts

Elderberry is a nutrient dense food and contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.

100 grams of elderberries contain:

– 73 calories

– 0.5 grams of fat

– 18.4 grams of carbs

– 7 grams dietary fiber

The high vitamin C content in elderberry makes it a great food for boosting the immune system. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body. It’s also involved in the production of collagen, which is important for healthy skin and connective tissue.

Elderberry also contains Vitamin A, which is important for vision, immune, and skin health. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver.

Folate, or Vitamin B9, is important for pregnant women since it helps prevent birth defects. Elderberry is a good source of folate and provides 22% of the Daily Value in just 100 grams.

Elderberry also contains a good amount of minerals, such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Calcium is important for bone health, and phosphorus is involved in the production of DNA and cell membranes. Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is involved in energy metabolism, muscle contraction, and nerve function.

elderberry syrup

Why Take Elderberry?

There are many reasons people choose to take elderberry, whether in supplement form or as elderberry juice, elderberry syrup, or extract.

Elderberry can help reduce the duration and severity of colds and flu, improve digestive health, relieve constipation and gas, and act as a diuretic.

Elderberry is also a potent antioxidant and can help protect the skin from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Elderberry can also help improve cognitive function and memory, and increase energy levels.

People also take elderberry for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been shown to be effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

FAQ

Is Elderberry Good For You?

Yes, elderberry is good for you and has many health benefits such as reducing the duration of colds and flu, improving digestive health, powerful antioxidant effects, antimicrobial activity and boosting immune response.

Does Elderberry Have Any Non Medical Uses?

Yes, elderberry has many non medical uses. Elderberry can be used in elderberry pies or elderberry jam. Elderberry can also be used as a natural dye for fabric or elderberry wine.

Is It OK to Take Elderberry Everyday?

Yes, it is OK to take elderberry every day. Elderberry is a safe and effective natural remedy for many common ailments.

Who Should Not Take Elderberry?

Elderberry is generally safe for most people. However, elderberry can interact with certain medications such as blood thinners and diabetes medication. Elderberry should also be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you have any concerns, please speak to your healthcare provider before taking elderberry.

Does Elderberry Strengthen The Immune System

Yes, elderberry can strengthen the immune system by upregulating cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8, and TNF.

Does Elderberry Actually Work?

Yes, there are decades worth of research showing the clinical efficacy of elderberry at reducing cold and flu duration.

Can You Take Elderberry and Vitamin C Together?

Yes, there are no interactions between elderberry and vitamin C.

Can You Take Elderberry and Zinc Together?

Yes, elderberry and zinc can be taken together. Zinc is often added to elderberry supplements in order to boost its efficacy.

Does Elderberry Have Side Effects or Risks?

Elderberry is generally safe and well tolerated. However, some people may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Elderberry may also interact with certain medications, so please speak to your healthcare provider before taking elderberry if you are on any medication.

Is Elderberry an Antiviral?

Yes, elderberry has antiviral properties and can help reduce the duration of colds and flu.

Is Elderberry an Anti-Inflammatory?

Yes, although elderberry can raise levels of some inflammatory cytokines, it is an overall anti-inflammatory agent and can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.