The plant known as Sambucus produces the elderberry, also called elderflower or simply elder. This berry has many medicinal purposes. The raw berry is made up of 80 percent water and can be found mostly in Europe, North America, and Australia. Because the berries are sharp and sweet, they are popular for syrups, jellies, desserts and more. One of the things people should be careful about is the toxicity in elderberries. It is essential to cook them before eating them to avoid ingesting cyanide, which can build over a long time of consumption and become deadly. Despite this, elderberries are also full of benefits. They are naturally high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, vitamin A, potassium and other nutrients. Over time, they have come to be known as a cure-all and are nicknamed “the medicine chest of country people.” Elderberry can be consumed in many forms such as juice, syrup, jelly, or spray. Outside of its natural form, it can be purchased as a powder, liquid or capsule.
Elderberry has a profound advantage over other fruits and vegetables when it is being used for fiber: You can receive more than 40 percent of the daily requirement in one serving. People have used it to assist with constipation, relieve gas and improve gastrointestinal health. Another important benefit is the efficiency elderberry creates in the gut. When you consume it, you can receive more nutrients from your food.
Relief for Allergies
Those who have allergies have long turned to the elder plant to counter their nightmarish symptoms. Once allergy symptoms become apparent, elderberry becomes an effective relief agent. Although elderberry is adequate on its own, some healers and professional health practitioners combine it with other herbs to increase its effect. Not only does it help with allergies, but it detoxifies the liver and helps it function better. A warning for highly sensitive elderberry users: you may trigger an allergic reaction when you use it for the first time.
People who are having trouble urinating have found elderberry’s natural diuretic properties comforting. Physicians also prescribe diuretics when a patient is retaining too much fluid, a common issue among the senior population. In most cases, people drink it as a syrup, juice or teach to flush the body of excess fluids.
Assists with Healthy Skin
Reading the labels of cosmetics products will reveal that elderberry is often included as an ingredient. The bioflavonoids that are present help encourage radiant, healthy skin, the body’s largest organ. Those are fighting against wrinkles are enjoying the antioxidant properties of elderberry and the presence of vitamin A each time they use it for that purpose. This combination of nutrients also fades age spots.
Lowers Blood Sugar
People with diabetes have benefited from the antioxidants in elderberry because they regulate insulin and glucose levels in the pancreas. As a natural remedy elderberry helps stabilize those who have been diagnosed with diabetes and helps prevent the full-blown disease in others. Based on research using both the flower and the berry of elderberry for diabetes, extracts can stimulate glucose metabolism. This helps to lower blood sugar levels. The pancreas moves towards an optimal function in diabetics. During this process, called glycogenesis, excess sugar is removed from the bloodstream and into the muscles and liver.
Cold and Flu Relief
All the symptoms of cold and flu, including a sore throat, cough, fever, bronchitis and other respiratory issues can be minimized with elderberry juice. Typically, this juice contains bioflavonoids that fight inflammation and act as an expectorant to help the body get rid of phlegm. People with asthma also find this juice helpful for improved breathing. Those who have the flu also love elderberry syrup. Some make their own with cold water, elderberries, dried organic ginger root, cinnamon powder or a cinnamon stick and raw honey. Simply bring all the ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, until half the liquid is gone. Then remove the mixture from heat and mash the berries, straining the liquid from them into a glass bowl through cheesecloth. Honey sweetens the juice, which can be stored in a sterilized glass container.
May Assist in Fighting Cancer
The anthocyanins in elderberry make them anti-carcinogenic and give them the properties to help fight cancer. In fact, some studies have shown that elderberry can inhibit, delay or reverse cancer. In most cases, the European elderberry plant is the one used for fighting cancer. American elderberry has not grown in a way that makes it chemopreventive. However, the success of European studies points to elderberry as a potential natural cure for the disease.
Improve Heart Health
The high fiber levels in elderberry that aid in digestion also seems to have some meaningful heart health benefits. It helps remove excess cholesterol and enables a higher production of the HDL cholesterol that the body needs for good health. Elderberry has been effective in reducing the occurrence of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular illnesses. There is also a high amount of potassium in elderberries that works to relax the tension of blood vessels and arteries that could lead to a heart attack. Potassium lowers blood pressure as well, eliminating yet another trigger factor that could create a perfect storm for serious heart issues.
Improve Bone Health
Younger people do not tend to think about the health of their bones unless they have had a disease or illness that involves them. Elders, however, have more at stake, as a general rule of thumb. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in elderberries alleviate joint pain and soreness. Amazingly they could also help people with autoimmune diseases like lupus. Often, the use of elderberry is a measure to counter the effects of osteoporosis, which causes a loss of bone density. Elderberry helps promote bone strength and develops new bone tissue, so it is best to use it earlier rather than later in life. It could give osteoporosis a considerable delay.
Assist With Weight Loss
Elderberry’s fiber addresses many health issues. Interestingly the one that seems to be most powerful is the connection to weight loss. Because it speeds up metabolism, many people choose to drink teas or juices with elderberry. It has the effect of making you feel full so that you are not fighting hunger pangs, and it has a low-calorie count.