Want to keep your body, skin, and even internal organs healthier for longer? It’s time to learn about the many amazing health benefits of elderberry.
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In history, the elder plant is awash with folklore, romance, and superstition.
Shakespeare used the plant as a symbol of grief and referred to it as “the stinking Elder” in Cymbeline. And in another one of his works, Love’s Labour Lost, he propagated the medieval belief that “Judas was hanged on an Elder.”
Why people should identify the Elder with the traitor Apostle is puzzling but its constant reference in literature as Judas’ gallows subsequently caused superstition, magic, and fancies to hover over it.
Elderberry is an amazing plant – the berries, leaves, and the flowers are all used. Everything except the roots (which are poisonous) can be used. But if you’re picking them wild, you’re going to have to plan carefully. The birds know the value of this reddish-blue berry and will gobble them up before you get a chance to harvest them.
Elderberry syrup is the most popular form of elderberry for natural treatments, but it is definitely not the only way to get these berries. You can also get fresh and dried forms, powder liquid, and even supplements.
The general dosage for children is 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of black elderberry extract syrup no more than once daily.
For adults, 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons can be taken twice daily. Taken as a tea, use 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dried flowers steeped in 1 cup boiling water for ten to fifteen minutes. This can be drunk three times per day.
9 Main Benefits of Elderberry
1. It Works as a Diuretic
Let’s face it, sometimes we “retain fluids” and need something to get things moving along. Our digestive system doesn’t always work the way it should. Instead of reaching for an over-the-counter diuretic, look for a natural diuretic like elderberry.
The fruit itself, the popular elderberry syrup, or even a supplement will all have a diuretic affect on your body.
Keep in mind that you do not eat these berries like you would blueberries or strawberries. Instead, use elderberry to flavour your food, or use the medicinal syrup.
By using elderberry on a regular basis, you can promote good digestive health and have a diuretic that isn’t as harsh on your body as many of the over-the-counter alternatives out there. Give this a try if you are having trouble with your digestive system.
Ways to Use Elderberry as a Diuretic
If you are interested in consuming elderberry, as opposed to trying out the supplement or topical applications, then the following list will be very useful for you. Keep in mind it is not a complete list – there are many different ways to use these berries.
- Make your own elderberry syrup
- Try making a homemade elderberry jelly to put on toast or muffins
- Create fruity baked goods with elderberry and other berries
- Add some elderberries to juice or smoothies for a sweet and nutritious kick
- Make an elderberry tart
2. You Can Lower Your Blood Sugar
Elderberries are also amazing for lowering your blood sugar. This is what is going to be beneficial at helping to prevent or treat diabetes. There have been many research studies performed on the effects of certain foods and herbs on the blood sugar levels, looking at what does or does not stimulate glucose.
The most recent study was published in the Journal of Nutrition, which found that elderberry can lower the blood sugar levels in your body by stimulating glucose metabolism.
While type 1 diabetes is often genetic, type 2 diabetes can happen at any time in your life. Many people think it is only for people who consume high amounts of sugar or who are overweight, but that is not the case. Anyone can get type 2 diabetes, whether you are considered high risk or not. The best thing you can do is lower your blood sugar,
which is why fruits like elderberry are so amazing.
It can also help treat the diabetes you already have by naturally helping to lower your current blood sugar levels. With the right diet, you might even be able to get rid of your diabetes altogether, but you will need to talk to a doctor about that.
3. It Helps with Cold and Flu Symptoms
There are many natural remedies for illnesses like the common cold, chest cold, and flu, including garlic, various herbs, turmeric, and yes – elderberry. When you are trying to get help for the cold and flu, that handy medicinal elderberry syrup is to the rescue.
Research has shown that elderberry syrup works wonders for various symptoms related to these illnesses, including congestion and headaches from both the cold and flu, inflammation, and digestive issues as the result of the influenza (flu). You can try a little elderberry syrup alternating with traditional cold medicine, or try just the elderberry with other natural remedies for a day or two to see if you notice any changes.
As always, consult your doctor before trying any natural remedies. With a flu, if you have a high fever or dehydration, get medical attention right away.
4. Elderberry is Loaded with Antioxidants
Everyone wants more antioxidants in their body, and now is the time to get them. Elderberry, like many other fruits and herbs, provides an exceptional amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants work to keep you from getting illnesses and fight off infections since they protect your cells from free radicals. These free radicals can do a lot of damage to your body, lowering your immune system, and making you susceptible to illness.
Elderberry also has vitamin C, which is another great way to raise your immunity and keep you from getting illnesses and chronic diseases. Elderberry has about the same amount of antioxidants as other berries, including goji berries, blackberries, and blueberries, also with a high amount of flavonoids. Additional immune-strengthening compounds also exist in elderberry, which is another great bonus.
If you want to use the berries alone, try adding them to a cup of hot tea for added flavor, or using them to flavor a fruit smoothie along with other immune-boosting fruits and veggies. If you want to try a smoothie, elderberry is great with the following ingredients for antioxidants and to boost your immunity:
- Blueberries and blackberries
- Oranges or grapefruit
Get creative when making your fruit smoothies to help boost your immunity and get all those antioxidants.
5. It Improves Your Digestion
This is a big benefit and one of the main reasons people use elderberry, aside from helping with immunity and as a natural treatment for the cold and flu.
So many people have digestive problems, and even though they try elimination diets and allergy tests, can never really figure out what the issue is. In some people, it is not getting enough fiber, while others just have an overly sensitive stomach.
Regardless of the reason for your digestive problems, elderberry can help a lot.
This handy little fruit (or syrup) provides a decent amount of dietary fiber, which is going to help tremendously with your digestive problems. This includes helping to relieve your gas, get your bowels moving in the morning, getting rid of chronic constipation and diarrhea, and improving your digestive and gastrointestinal system as a whole.
Don’t forget that when you get more fiber into your diet, it doesn’t just help with your digestive system, but it can also help with general gut health.
If you don’t like the taste of elderberries, you can always get gummies, which are soft to chew and don’t require swallowing pills either.
6. Boost Your Cardiovascular Health
Elderberry have also been effective at helping with cardiovascular health. This is related to your heart, which is how it can help reduce your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. It is essential that you take your cardiovascular health very seriously, or detrimental consequences could follow.
Like many other fruits and vegetables, elderberries are great for your heart health.
The fiber and other nutrients in the elderberry can help reduce your blood pressure and help with your cholesterol levels.
It helps to promote the good cholesterol while reducing the bad cholesterol.
Elderberry is also effective at protecting your arteries and blood vessels, both of which can lead to heart disease. It is the potassium in elderberry that helps reduce your blood pressure.
Just look at all these different forms this bright purple fruit comes in:
- Fresh berries
- Dried berries
- Elderberry syrup
- Capsules and supplements
- Elderberry tablets
- Pure elderberry liquid
There are a lot of options available for using elderberry more often and getting all these heart-healthy benefits from it.
7. Promotes Healthy Skin
Who doesn’t want to have healthier skin?
Elderberry works similar to many other fruits and herbs, where it can really improve your skin rejuvenation and give you a more youthful, glowing complexion.
Elderberry will help your skin in the following ways:
- Make it softer and more supple
- Give you a naturally glowing complexion without highlighters
- Help with acne and blemishes when combined with other acne-fighting ingredients
You can try making your own mask or scrub with elderberry, or check out stores and online shops with natural beauty products, and you might just find what you’re looking for.
8. Get Help with Your Allergies
Don’t go anywhere yet – there are more health benefits to check out!
Elderberry is also great at helping with various types of allergies, including fighting off the allergens and helping out with your allergy symptoms. Elderberry plants are often used for medicinal and herbal remedies, and helping with allergies is definitely no exception.
The way elderberry helps with allergies has to do with how your body reacts to inflammation.
Allergens tend to increase inflammation in your body, thanks to a reaction in your immune system. This inflammation can lead to allergy symptoms like swelling, redness, itching, coughing, and congestion. The elder plant and elderberries not only boost your immune system, but it can help to reduce the inflammation as well.
There are some different ways to use elderberry for allergies, from creating a topical product with elderberry and other herbs, to taking a supplement of elderberry.
9. It Improve Your Bone Health
The last health benefit you should know about with elderberry is that it can improve your bone health.
This is thanks to various natural properties of this plant, including the anti-inflammatory properties and the antioxidants.
As you know from the previous section about allergies, elderberries are great at reducing inflammation in the body. This not only helps with allergy symptoms, but can help with your joints and bones as well. It is particularly useful for people who have osteoporosis at an older age, as that often accompanies arthritis at the same time.
Now that you know the top health benefits of elderberry, you can get started using it. Remember that there are a wide range of ways to use or consume elderberries. From making a tincture or topical application to help with your skin and various bacterial infections, to consuming it for flavor and getting all the added antioxidants.0