All About Elderberry
Often we are asked, “So what is elderberry and what are the benefits?”
First, Elderberry is the dark purple berry from the European Elder tree. The Elder tree has a long and rich history of use throughout the world and throughout the centuries. In 400 BC, Hippocrates, one of the most important figures in the history of modern medicine, referred to the Elder tree as his “medicine chest.”(1) Elderberries (genus name, Sambucus) have been used in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa since the fifth century to treat influenza, infections, and upper respiratory illnesses.
Put simply, the list of the amazing benefits of Elderberry is quite extensive! Here are just a few:
- May act as an anti-inflammatory - reducing pain and inflammation throughout the body
- Full of antioxidants and rich in Vitamins A, B, & C
- Natural Source of Iron & Potassium
- Contains anthocyanidins - the components that boost your immune system
- Proven antiviral effects to help combat Influenza and the common cold
- May aid in reduced nasal congestion, easing allergy symptoms
- Is a natural diuretic and can improve digestive issues, promoting regularity
- Anti-aging benefits - supports healthy skin with bioflavonoids and high vitamin A content
- May reduce blood sugar and have anti-diabetic properties resulting in increased heart health
Don’t just take Hippocrates' words, here’s recent elderberry research.
Specific research has shown the immune supporting benefits of elderberry in various studies over the last several years. Its antioxidant and antiviral properties have been found to be effective in fighting the influenza virus and lessening the duration and severity of upper respiratory viruses.
Read more about these studies here:
Nutrients Article (2016): Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial By Evelin Tiralongo, Shirley S. Wee, and Rodney A. Lea
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Article (2011): Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses By Christian Krawitz, Mobarak Abu Mraheil
Journal for International Medical Research Article (2004): Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. By Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J