|In this article, you will discover 25 amazing elderberry benefits plus 2 simple recipes, including an easy elderberry syrup recipe. You will discover not only the berries but how the entire plant is beneficially used all over the world.
Elderberries, including the plants, have medicinal properties known since Antiquity: the Hippocratic medicine prescribed elderberry syrup for its diuretic virtues; Dioscorides, an ancient Greek physician, pharmacologist, botanist, and author, recommended the ingestion of the berries to his patients to help stimulate the flow of bile from their liver as well as fluidifying of bronchial secretions. Elderberries have remained in use throughout historical times, and until today.
Bark, leaves, flowers, seeds and fruits have distinct medicinal uses throughout the world. For instance, the inner bark of the twigs contains purging resin, tannin, traces of essential oil, valerianic acid, and alkaloids. The berries are diuretic, laxative, analgesic, sedative and used to treat a variety of medical conditions: abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen, hydrops, edema, rheumatism, inflammation of the kidneys, and others.
Here are 25 Elderberry Benefits plus 2 simple recipes to help you prepare your own elderberry syrup:
Sinusitis and Bronchitis
A meta-analysis was done on a preparation of a supplement called Sinupret® which contains elderflower, gentian, verbena, primrose and sorrel. The research was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of the supplement on sinus infections. The results show it reduces swelling of the nasal mucosa and congestion when combined with an antibiotic. In addition, Sinupret® decreases the symptoms of bronchitis after 10 days of treatment.
Elderberry, comprising about 1 mg of anthocyanins and 370 mg of flavonoids, when combined with Asparagus officinalis, decreases weight in obese patients, according to a meta-analysis. This result could be explained by the fact that Sambucus nigra (5 g of leaf), combined with other plants, facilitates intestinal transit and improve overall health of the digestive tract.
But more studies are needed to confirm these results.
As already stated, elderberries help reduce the level of fat in the blood and decrease bad cholesterol. In addition, they are very rich in anthocyanins. Numerous studies show a diet high in flavonoids, like anthocyanins, helps reduce the risk of heart disease, and levels of uric acid in the blood. High concentration of uric acid is linked to increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Elderberries also have disinfectant benefits. In fact, The American Nutrition Association (ANA) recommends using Elderberry face wash to help fight acne due to its antiseptic effects. This only can prevent acne flare-ups considering acne is often an allergic reaction of the skin to some extent.
Elderberry fruits contains high levels of a diverse group of phytonutrients called flavonoids, which are known as plant chemicals. They are found in almost all fruits and vegetables. These powerful antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties and immune enhancement benefits. They also have antioxidant and anti-allergic properties capable of protecting the skin from acne and other infection preventing harmful free radicals from damaging healthy cells in the body.
Thanks to its high levels of vitamin A, elderberry may soothe the skin, help decrease development and appearance of age spots, and prevent formation of wrinkles. Scientists believe elderberries help restore the skin and regenerate new healthy skin cells, thus forming new skin tissue which in return reduces or prevents premature wrinkles.
This is thanks to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the berries. In addition, it is known that vitamin A is a crucial nutrient to promote healthy functions of the skin, eyes, as well as the reproductive tract and immune system.
The immune system protects the body from infections and pathogenic attacks. A strong immune system is key to stay healthy. Elderberries can help you strengthen your immune system.
Elderberries are loaded with flavonoids, especially anthocyanins. They are powerful antioxidants that support the immune system to stay strong and resilient. In fact, a study has found the anthocyanins in Elderberries enhance the immune response by improving the production of cytokines – signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation and production of all of the cellular components of our blood and blood plasma.
Elderberry benefits people with viral infection thanks to its antiviral compounds. Research shows they are so potent that they can deactivate viruses. Viral infections kill millions of people throughout history, and there is no sign the conventional medicine is winning the war.
Viruses cannot reproduce on their own; they need healthy cells as host to do so. Elderberries have high concentrations of bioflavonoids which hinder the action of the enzyme responsible of the hosting transition, thus making it difficult for the viruses to pierce the cell wall of healthy cells and replicate. The flowers are also effective in neutralizing common pathogens.
- Cystitis/Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infection (UTI) most commonly affects women, and can cause serious problem. UTI can develop in any part of the urinary system: kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. But the lower urinary tract, the bladder and the urethra, is the most common affected. Cystitis, for instance, is an inflammation of the bladder characterized by red, irritated and swollen tissue. Cystitis and bladder infection tend to cause severe pain.
Elderberry tea may help you get rid of UTIs, given it is a powerful diuretic and immune booster. The diuretic property causes the kidneys to regularly flush out toxins from the body through urination. This in turn helps to get rid of the bacteria causing cystitis, and reduce the risk of the infection to spread to the bladder and/or kidneys.
- Allergic Reactions
30% of adults and 40% of children in the US have allergies. About 50 million Americans experience allergies each year. Elderberries are rich in immune boosters Vitamin C and flavonoids. The whole plant has immune enhancing and anti-inflammatory properties. Sinusitis, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, swelling and runny or stuffy nose can all benefit from the plant.
The berries are particularly good to relieve hay fever and infection of the upper respiratory tract. The flowers have anti-catarrhal action which helps the body remove excess mucous from the body.
- Digestive Problem
Elderberry benefits the digestive system in many ways. First, it supports healthy bowel movements, thus indirectly prevents constipation. Due to its rich fiber content, Elderberries help get rid of constipation, reduce excess gas, and overall improve the health of the gastrointestinal system. It also believed that the berries can improve assimilation resulting in an increased nutrient intake, especially in the gut.
By improving the functions of the digestive tract, elderberry also helps lowers the risk of gastro-intestinal cancers, aids maintaining healthy weight, supports kidney and liver functions, improves youthful complexion, moderate blood sugar levels, and helps live longer.
- Oxidative Stress
Naturally, the body constantly produces free radicals during normal metabolic processes and under some other circumstances. To counteract their effects, special cells also produce antioxidants in order to neutralize these free radicals. Unfortunately, sometimes production is not enough, leading to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body that lead to cell and tissue damage. Oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. Common causative factors of the condition include radiation exposure; alcohol consumptions; certain medications; polluted environment, smoking cigarettes or tobacco; obesity; diet in high in unhealthy fat, refined sugar and processed foods; and exposure to pesticides and other industrial chemicals.
You can beat your oxidative stresses by avoiding those factors and eating a diet rich in antioxidants, particularly elderberries.
Like apricot pits, Elderberry seeds contain amygdalin commonly known as vitamin B17, a naturally occurring chemical compound claimed to cure cancer. In fact, a man called Jason Vale confirms before judge he cures his terminal cancer with apricot seeds.
“Vale was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1986 and suffered from the disease for eight years, enduring chemotherapy, radiation treatments and an operation to remove a tumor. But in 1994, Vale saw a video touting apricot seeds as a cure for cancer and began taking the seeds, which release organic cyanide into the system to kills the cancer cells. Vale states his use of the seeds along with his faith in God eliminated the tumor and saved his life.”
He was jailed for that.
- Mild Cognitive Impairment
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) occurs when decline in mental abilities lead to problems with memory, language, thinking or judgment. If you have MCI you are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease or another dementia.
Sambuci fructus variant, a verity of elderberries, has been shown in many studies to have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound which may reduce the risk of developing cognitive impairment or reduce its complications. Studies on both human and animals have reported the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the berries. They have been used in natural medicine for hundreds of years.
Studies have also revealed that drinking Elderberry juice, or juices with similar properties, is one of the most natural ways to prevent Mild cognitive impairment.
Elderberries, combined with other herbs, reduces gingivitis, according to a randomized clinical study involving 53 participants. This beneficial effect was also reported with HM-302, a mouthwash containing elderberry extract and Echinacea purpurea, used on 62 individuals for two weeks. The anti-gingivitis properties can be due to the high content of flavonoids and Vitamin C elderberries contain.
- High Blood Cholesterol
Regular drinking of elderberry juice appears to lower blood cholesterol levels after 3 weeks of consumption, according to a pilot study involving a small sample. 1 Cup of the fresh juice contains an equivalent of 4 g of anthocyanins, plant compounds with powerful antioxidant effects. Some other foods that are rich in Anthocyanins include blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, as well as red cabbage and the skin of eggplant.
- Cold & Flu
Elderberry fruits and flowers are used as dietary supplements to prevent or provide relief from minor diseases, such as flu, colds, and other conditions. It is often taken in the form of tea, extract, or capsule. But there is insufficient research to establish or those claims.
In 1993, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted with 27 subjects in an Israeli kibbutz during an influenza epidemic. The results indicate that an elderberry extract (Sambucol® syrup) was significantly superior to placebo in rapidly relieving flu symptoms. After two days, 93.3% of subjects treated with elderberry already saw significant relief of their symptoms, while it took six days for 91.7% of people in the placebo group to show a similar improvement.
In another study conducted during the 1999-2000 influenza season, Israeli researchers found that elderberry syrup had the effect of reducing flu symptoms four days earlier and significantly reducing the need for rescue medication compared to subjects taking the placebo. Another study done in 2009 showed that consuming an elderberry extract (175 mg) for 48 hours reduced flu symptoms (fever, headache, nasal congestion, body aches), compared to a placebo. However, no beneficial effects have been reported on coughing. More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of elderberry in relieving flu symptoms.
- Viper Bites and Contusions
The leaves and young leafy shoots, fresh, are used in decoction and external use. Young leaves are crushed and applied, by friction or decoction, on the affected area to sooth bites of certain venomous snakes and hymenoptera: sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants. In certain countries, traditional medicine practitioners apply the fresh leaves as a cataplasm against sprains and contusions.
- Traditional Drinks & Cooking
Black elderberries are also used in elderberry wine, elderberry syrup, elderberry jelly, elderberry kefir, lemonade. Fruits macerated in alcohol can be distilled to produce brandy, a liquor produced by distilling wine.
The syrup can be added to white wine, sparkling wine, cider or beer. It can also be used in cooking, with pancakes, fruit salads, sauce, vinaigrette or in bread or muffin recipes. Elderberries are also in the composition of Grenadine, a commonly used, non-alcoholic, syrup, characterized by a flavor between tart and sweet, and a deep red color.
Elderberry plants also used in traditional medicine to treat these conditions:
- Ascites, accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, causing abdominal swelling
- Hydrops, severe swelling in an unborn baby or a newborn baby
- Edema, swelling caused by fluid retention
- Nephritis, sudden inflammation of the kidneys
- Rheumatism, painful inflammation of the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.
- Abdominal obesity, excessive amount of body fat in the abdomen.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe for up to 20 People
- 3 kg of black elderberry
- 1 kg of caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/4 liter of dark rum
- Sort, peel and wash the fruit. Crush the berries and squeeze them through cheesecloth to extract the juice.
- For a liter of juice, add a kilo of caster sugar, 1 stick of cinnamon and 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise.
- Place the pot on high heat and wait for it to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- After cooling, add 1/4 l of dark rum.
- To finish Put in bottle, which you will close hermetically.
The syrup can be kept for several months. Please share your opinion below on this recipe.
Elderberry Ink Recipe
- 1 Lb. of black elderberry
- 2 tea bags
- 1 tsp of alum powder
- 1 tsp of gum Arabic ground
- 1/2 liter of water
Berries can provide ink that varies in color from blue to purple depending on its composition. Here is a simple recipe:
- Crush 1 lb. of berries in water, then let them macerate for a day to allow the berries to disgorge.
- During maceration, add two tea bags. The tea is rich in tannin, which fixes colors very well.
- Filter the macerate and reduce it by bringing it to the boil.
- Add alum powder alum and finely grounded gum Arabic.
- Mix and continue reducing until the correct concentration is obtained.
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