Elderberry is a fruit that is one of nature’s most versatile solutions for many of the common health problems and disorders including hair and skin conditions. It is considered to be one of the most effective healing plants in folk and alternative medicine. In addition to food, elderberries have been used as a natural remedy to treat colds and flu, improve cardiovascular health, get rid of certain skin problems, tame inflammation, boost the immune system along with many other benefits.
This amazing superfruit has been used for centuries with great success. In the middle age, it was referred to as the “Holy Tree” and it was said the Hippocrates called elderberry his “medicine chest.”
- Helps Smooth and Soften Skin
Lipids play a vital role in your skin’s health and are crucial for maintaining a protective barrier. This barrier protects your skin from damage along with keeping out dirt and impurities. The three most important lipids for your skin which are natural fats are ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol. Elderberry’s structure is very similar to your skin’s own cholesterol and this is why they support the healthy function of the lipid layer. When the lipid layer is balanced it leads to smoother and softer skin. If you want a powerhouse natural remedy for your skin, elderberry should be at the top of your list to obtain that healthy, radiant glow.
- Helps Fight Wrinkles
The bioflavonoids in elderberry are an astringent and can help prevent wrinkles from developing on your skin. The astringent properties will reduce the size and appearance of your pores for a firmer complexion and tighten the skin.
- Helps Protect Against Acne and Breakouts
Elderberries have antifungal and antimicrobial compounds which help fight acne and reduce swelling to calm the skin. Elderberries balance the excess oils in the skin. Some people are prone to acne due to these excess oils which is one of the main contributors of acne breakouts. Elderberries assist in keeping your skin clear and battle breakouts. Adding this natural remedy to your skincare routine will help you look and feel beautiful.
4. Improves Digestive System
Elderberries are a fantastic source for a natural laxative and can enhance your digestion system. The fiber in elderberry makes it a perfect solution and alternative treatment for people suffering with digestive problems like gas, bloating, an upset stomach or constipation.
5. Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar
Early research shows that elderberries can help lower blood sugar levels and possibly aid in reducing diabetes. Elderberries have a low glycemic index of 40 and reduce the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream to prevent a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. The dietary fiber in elderberries stabilizes the blood sugar by slowing down the rate in which the sugar is absorbed. This is how elderberries can help manage diabetes.
6. Strengthens Bones
The anthocyanins in elderberry may help in preventing bone loss and the calcium, iron, and potassium aid in strengthening bones as well as increase bone mineral density.
As we stated before, elderberries are rich in fiber which keeps you feeling fuller longer. They have a low calorific value of 70 calories per 100 grams. Eating elderberries can help you reach your weight loss goals.
8. Encourages Healthy Vision
The antioxidants in elderberries assist in maintaining vision health by helping to prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma. Elderberries are rich in vitamins A and B6 which are known to improve various problems with vision. Vitamin A helps to prevents eye dryness and reduces the risk of night blindness.
9. Good For Your Brain
The anthocyanins in elderberries may help treat cognitive disorders that result in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Elderberries are also rich in a flavonoid called quercetin and it is critical for brain health. Quercetin activates the mitochondria in your cells and reduces harmful inflammation. Increase your brain cell health by adding elderberries to your diet.
- Promotes A Healthy Heart
Elderberries are rich in potassium and they ensure that your blood vessels relax which can help regulate blood pressure. When you have a potassium rich diet it reduces the strain on your heart. Elderberries also help boost circulation, protect blood vessels from oxidative stress and reduce cholesterol. Improved circulation results in reducing the risk of heart disease. Elderberries also help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls. Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
- Promotes Healthy Hair
Elderberries encourage hair growth, help reduce split ends, dryness, hair fall and premature greying to make your hair healthier. Zinc, potassium, iron, and B vitamins in elderberries nourish the hair follicles and scalp. Most people are not aware that you can get scalp acne which is a common skin problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is usually caused by the accumulation of toxins, pollutants, and other impurities within the skin pores of the head. Elderberries can help you have a healthy scalp and make your hair stronger and lustrous.
- Strengthens Immune System
Antioxidants and vitamins help strengthen the immune system and elderberries are packed with nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Elderberries can strengthen your immune system which is our body’s defense mechanism to help prevent and treat diseases, injuries and infections.
- Helps Prevent Flu and Cold Symptoms
Experts have recommended taking elderberry to help ease and prevent flu and cold symptoms. There was a 2016 study from Australia that reported among 312 long-haul airline passengers that used elderberry extract 10 days before and five days after their flight had 50% fewer sick days resulting from a cold than those who didn’t. The passengers who used elderberry also had less severe colds based on a scoring of upper respiratory tract symptoms. According to a 2019 study, elderberry can substantially reduce upper-airway symptoms in people with a cold or flu.
- Fights Free Radicals
Elderberries contain many antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A that helps protect our white blood cells from free radical damage. The vitamin C in elderberries enhances the production of white blood cells to fight free radicals.
- Helps Reduce Infections
The antimicrobial properties of elderberries reduce the risk of infections whether they are viral, bacterial or fungal infections.
- Promotes Rapid Healing
Elderberries have anti-inflammatory compounds like cytokines and vitamin C that promote rapid healing, reduce pain and inflammation caused by injuries and wounds.
- Promotes a Healthy Respiratory System
Elderberries have an abundance of nutrients and flavonoids as well as anti-inflammatory properties that promotes a healthy respiratory system. They can help reduce lung inflammation and the risk of respiratory problems such as bronchial asthma and asthma. When you combine elderberry syrup in boiling water with herbs like cinnamon, cloves and ginger it helps to clear out phlegm because of its expectorant properties.
- Helps Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Elderberries are comprised of several relevant compounds such as flavonoids and vitamin A. These compounds can help reduce the risk of intestinal, lung, stomach, and pancreatic cancers.
19. Promotes Healthy Organs
Elderberries can keep vital organs like the liver and kidneys healthy because they are a diuretic and increase the frequency and flow of urination. This helps removes unwanted substances like toxins while reducing the burden of the liver detoxification process. The kidneys and liver can focus on the other functions they need to perform.
Elderberry Syrup recipe with honey
- 1/2 liter of water
- 50g dried black elderberries (or 100 grams fresh berries)
- Raw unfiltered honey
- Juice of half a lemon.
Preparation of the recipe
- Put the elderberries in a casserole dish and pour in the water.
- Heat until boiling and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. The juice will reduce by about half.
- Place a colander over a large bowl, and strain the elderberry juice with the berries. Crush the berries to get as much juice as possible. When squeezed, you can throw out the berries.
- Weigh the liquid obtained, and add the same weight of honey.
- Mix everything well to incorporate the honey, and squeeze the lemon into the syrup.
- Pour the resulting elderberry syrup into a glass bottle using a funnel, and use it when needed.
Elderberry syrup is both a cooking product and a natural remedy. It can therefore be used to flavor desserts: cake, muffins, pies, ice cream, cookies, pancakes, fruit salads, muffins, as well as sweet and savory dishes, such as a sauce to accompany good poultry.
As a remedy, elderberry syrup is ideal for colds, flu, coughs, bronchitis, and other inflammations of the respiratory tract. It has antiviral, antioxidant, or anti-inflammatory properties, etc. However, elderberry syrup can be taken preventively, especially in winter.
There is no precise dosage or dosage, but as a general rule, an adult is advised to take one tablespoon (15 mL) 2 to 3 times a day for prevention. For sickness, with flu or cold for instance, take one dose every 2 hours up to 6 doses per day.