Elderberry: A Cure All or Not ?
Sure, there’s no one medicine that can be the solution to all medical problems. However, elderberry is a versatile plant that has high medicinal value and has been used for centuries for treating various diseases like cold and flu.
In ancient times, a plethora of remedies have been developed using the elderberry plant. With time and technology its use has become more efficient, and now you can treat numerous kidney, skin, and infectious diseases with elderberry.
However, some berries, when consumed in raw form, can become poisonous or can cause disruption in the stomach. So, let’s explore the many benefits of consuming elderberry along with what dangers it may also possess.
Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberry originates from the family of Sambucus tree and is one of the most demanded plants that carry high medicinal value. Elderberry has a high nutrient value and is also supportive in enhancing the immunity of a person. Let’s look at some of the significant benefits of consuming elderberry.
Elderberry consists of a high amount of nutrients and vitamins that can be beneficial for your health in multiple ways. You will be amazed to know that a mere 100 grams of fresh berries consist of over 73 calories, 18.4 grams carbs, and 1 gram of both fat and protein.
Therefore, the consumption of elderberry can provide you with good health with fewer efforts.
- A fine source of phenolic acids
Elderberry contains powerful antioxidants that are beneficial in reducing damage from oxidative stress.
- A good source of flavonoids
Flavonoids have several anti-inflammatory properties, and the elderberry plants consist of flavonols such as kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin that have ten times more flavonols than regular berries.
- High in Vitamin C
Elderberry has 6 – 35 mg of vitamin C in every 100 grams that accounts for over 60% of your regular recommended intake.
- High in Dietary Fiber
There is a high content of dietary fiber in elderberries and is useful for boosting your immune system.
- Rich in anthocyanins
The dark black-purplish color of the berries are seen because of the presence of anthocyanins. It also provides many anti-inflammatory properties to the elderberries.
- Good for a Healthy Heart
There are many experiments and researches to prove that consuming elderberry can be good for the health of your heart and blood vessels. Elderberry is helpful in reducing the thickness of fat present in our blood. It also works effectively in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood. So consuming elderberries can make your heart stronger and healthier.
- Fighting Cold and Flu
One of the most common uses of elderberry that has been used for hundreds of years is for treating cold and flu. The extracts of black elderberry and flower infusions boost the immune system.
The raised immunity further helps in curing flu and the common cold. The elderberry medicines for the treatment of cold are available in the form of liquids, lozenges, capsules, and gummies.
- Reducing Wrinkles and Acne
There is a presence of high amounts of vitamin A in elderberries. Also, elderberries are extremely useful in soothing the skin texture and reducing age spots. Regular consumption of them can help prevent and lessen the wrinkles on your face. Also, due to the presence of many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, make the skin cells healthier and reduce acne on the skin.
- Treating Other Miscellaneous Problems
The medical benefits of elderberry aren’t limited to cold, fever, and other kinds of flu. There are many other diseases and problems that can be treated by its use. Common diseases that can be treated using elderberry are constipation, joint and muscle pains, headaches, infections, kidney issues, epilepsy, and other skin diseases.
Risks of Consuming Elderberry
Although there are several benefits of consuming elderberry, many negative impacts can also be linked with its use. Elderberry comes from the Adoxaceae family, which is known for producing nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting if taken in large quantities.
Also, many negative implications may occur if the elderberry and its supplements are made from the unripe or uncooked berries. The seeds and the unripe berries consist of a substance known as lectins.
Lectins upset the stomach and causes unpleasant reactions in the stomach bag if taken in large quantities. Therefore, you need to always make sure to consume the products made of elderberry in small quantities.
The elderberry plant consists of a substance known as cyanogenic glycosides, which has the potential to release cyanide in certain situations. This substance can also be found in almonds and apricot seeds.
Fresh berries usually contain 3 mg of cyanide per hundred grams. Though it is not much and is labeled safe to use, consuming it extensively can have fatal effects. However, there is no need for you to worry since the commercially prepared berries do not have any cyanide content in it.
Consuming fresh berries and its juice can have some positive or negative effects on your body. So, you should be careful while eating it in raw form. But commercially made elderberry dietary supplements are safe to consume and provide plenty of health benefits.
Some other things that you should consider before consuming elderberry are:
- You should avoid its consumption if pregnant.
- People who have low immunity and other immune-related problems must use it only after the doctor’s prescription.
- You might be allergic to elderberries if your body triggers some breathing reaction after its consumption.
- It may increase your urination frequency if you are consuming any other medicines.
Elderberry is a wonderful substance that is full of nutrients and vitamins and can help increase the function of your immune system. It is available in different forms in the market, from pills to juices to other food items. Consuming it on a regular basis is recommended for enhancing the level of your immune system. You should make a habit of consuming it on a regular basis, but make sure to consult a doctor first in case you have any kind of allergies.
We hope that you enjoyed reading about the pros and cons of Elderberry! Hopefully you’ll take the plunge and enjoy the delicious teas we offer that have elderberry: