3 Elderberry Benefits to Boost Your Wellness

Elderberry, scientific nameSambucus nigra, comes from the elder tree, which is native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. It also grows across the United States and Canada. Many cultures have appreciated and relied on the elder tree for everything from musical instruments to food and medicine. In medieval Europe, the elder tree was revered as holy and reputed to have health-preserving and restorative properties.[1] For centuries, folk remedies in the form of teas, poultices, creams, and salves have all been produced from the elderberry and used to encourage good health, alleviate respiratory distress, and soothe irritated skin.

Alternatively called the “tree of music,” the wood from the elder tree is hard and well-suited for making instruments. The genus name, Sambucus, actually comes from the flutes the ancient Greeks carved from hollowed elder tree stems. The Sambuca, a large triangular harp from Europe, was also named after the tree from which it came.[2] Woven baskets are another common use for elder wood; twigs are soaked in elderberry dye, dried, and then woven into designs with other twigs of contrasting colors. Other uses for elderberry wood include blowguns, combs, pegs, arrow shafts, and spindles for spinning yarn.[1] Nature’s Way Sam... Buy New $16.49 ($4.12 / Fl Oz) (as of 07:35 UTC - Details)

Elderberry in Folk Medicine

Believed to help everything from arthritis to livestock ailments, the elder tree and its products have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.[1, 7] Elderberries and elderflowers have traditionally been consumed or applied topically to remedy pain, swelling, infections, respiratory ailments, and skin conditions.[8] From Europe to the United States, poultices and preparations have been used to expedite wound healing and prevent infection.[9] Although recent science isn’t in complete agreement, traditional mindsets have believed that elderberry helps ward off a cold or flu and elderflower tea can break a fever.[1]

Health Benefits of Elderberry

Although scientific interest in traditional medicine has surged in recent years, Traditional European Medicine is largely unexplored when compared to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Fortunately, Eastern European folk remedies (which include elderberry) have been preserved and passed down.[10] Ongoing studies are evaluating and better establishing the benefits of elderberry.[11] Nature’s Way Org... Buy New $4.99 ($0.21 / Count) (as of 12:55 UTC - Details)

1. Promotes General Health and Wellness

One of the elder’s greatest strengths is the nutritional content of elderberries. Elderberries contain flavonoids that are rich in antioxidants that help protect cells from free radical damage. A diet high in flavonoids can help lower the risk of developing chronic diseases.[12] Elderberries actually rank higher than blueberries, blackberries, and even goji berries in both flavonoids[13] and vitamin C content.[2]

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Like the berries, elderflowers are a good source of vitamin C but also have immune-strengthening compounds.[2] Elderflower tea can be used to aid indigestion, edema, or a headache. The leaves may ease discomfort associated with constipation as it has a slight laxative effect.[1]

2. May Alleviate Some Flu and Cold Symptoms

Preliminary research suggests elderberry may help offer a positive influence to some symptoms associated with cold or flu, but more Natureu2019s Way Sambu... Buy New $11.19 (as of 02:10 UTC - Details) rigorous research is necessary to verify these claims. Scientists have noticed a decrease in congestion and symptom duration when conventional therapies are supplemented with elderberry. The compounds in elderberries and elderflowers may reduce mucosal membrane inflammation and help alleviate congestion.[9]

In one study, subjects suffering from influenza-like symptoms were given elderberry syrup. Those who consumed the elderberry noticed significant symptom relief about 4 days earlier than the subjects given a placebo.[7] A similar study found that subjects given elderberry extract improved within a 48-hour period. More than a quarter of all subject were completely void of symptoms, and over half showed significant improvement. Only 16% of the placebo group reported improvements and none experienced a complete recovery.[14]

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