When it comes to cold and flu season, there is no one size fits all for immune support. In recent years, however, one tiny little berry has gained popularity and is championed as a superfood to be added to your diet, especially during this time of year. You may likely already know that we are talking about the Elderberry.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is the dark purple berry from the European elder tree. Approximately 30 different kinds of elder trees and plants exist around the world – but Sambucus nigra is the one that is most closely linked to healing and health. Elderberry can grow up to 30 feet and has clusters of flowers, known as elderflowers. The berries are found in blue and black bunches. The flowers can be added into certain meals, but the berries are the most common part of the elderberry that’s consumed.
Even though it may seem that way, elderberries didn’t become popular overnight.
Elderberry extract has been used medicinally for centuries to fight infections, clear up complexions and boost immunity. The history of this elder plant dates back as far as 400 BC. In fact, Hippocrates – known as the “Father of Medicine” – called the elder tree his “medicine chest.” In the Middle Ages, elderberry was called a Holy Tree, believed to have the ability to preserve health and lengthen one’s life.
What are the benefits of elderberry?
The flowers and berries of elderberry are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can give your immune system a boost. This could help in terms of protecting your heart, lowering stress
levels, and taming inflammation.
Can elderberry boost your immune system?
Elderberry is one of the most beneficial ingredients in terms of your immune system. This is because it contains several different antioxidants that will give your immune system a boost, for example, vitamins A, B, and C. These vitamins and antioxidants can assist in keeping your immune system as strong as possible.
Nutrients and Immune Support
Consuming one cup of elderberry provides vitamins and minerals that are significant to our health and need to be consumed each day. Here are some of the nutrients that elderberry offers:
- Vitamin C – One cup of elderberry contains around 50 milligrams of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to our health for many reasons, including lowering blood pressure and preventing iron deficiency.
- Calcium – One cup of elderberry contains around 50 milligrams of calcium. Calcium is a mineral that keeps bones strong and supports muscles and nerves.
- Fiber – Elderberry contains about 10 grams of fiber in each cup. Fiber is necessary for improving bowel function and reducing blood pressure.
- Flavonols – Flavonol helps to reduce inflammation, as well as aiding in disease prevention.
- Anthocyanins – This is what gives elderberries its blue and black coloring. Because Anthocyanins act as antioxidants, they may have a positive effect on blood vessels and help fight off infection and diseases.
Research on the effectiveness of elderberry
As is the case with a lot of natural remedies, people will tell you that elderberry has the power to cure virtually anything. We’re not claiming that elderberry is a magical ingredient. However, it does have a lot of highly beneficial properties, which have been proven in a number of different studies.
While studies on elderberry have been largely inconclusive on the true impact of elderberry on the duration of a cold or flu, what we do know is this: elderberries are rich in powerful antioxidants like flavonoids and vitamin C. And a diet filled with antioxidant-rich foods is one of the best strategies for maintaining a strong immune system.
Furthermore, elderberries have been proven to have an antiviral impact in mice. We still need to see more clinical trials, yet there have been promising results from the few human studies that have been conducted. In fact, in one study that involved 60 people with flu symptoms, participants who consumed 15 ml of elderberry syrup four times every day ended up experiencing relief from their symptoms four days earlier when compared with those who did not consume elderberry syrup.
Other important health benefits to consider
Aside from the advantages that we have discussed so far, elderberries could help to lower your risk of chronic disease. As elderberry has a naturally high amount of vitamin C, which is the most abundant antioxidant in the body, it will help to lower your risk of chronic disease. Furthermore, it could be beneficial for people in terms of preventing iron deficiency anemia, as well as assisting those with high blood pressure.
Aside from this, elderberry has been shown to help exercise performance, helping you maintain a healthy weight. Elderberry could also provide you with some neuroprotective benefits. The dark purple/black color of elderberry means that it is an excellent source of anthocyanins, which is a compound that has been proven to protect the brain.
How to get elderberry into your diet
While ingesting elderberry extract or syrup is totally safe, eating berries picked straight from an elderberry tree is not. Never pick the berries and eat them raw — they need to be cooked. The unripe fruit and other parts of the plant can cause cyanide poisoning, with effects like nausea or vomiting.
Most likely, you’ll take elderberry as a supplement. An easy and effective way to introduce elderberry into your diet is with our Respiratory Detox Supplement. Dejia Harmony’s RDS is perfect all year-long – or when you need to deliver an extra boost for your wellness. RDS is our immune-boosting liquid herbal supplement, featuring 10 Natural Powerful ingredients (including elderberry) to support respiratory, immune health, and overall wellness. RDS supports the lung’s ability to detoxify naturally – and is perfect for immune and respiratory support. You can order online today with ease.
If elderberry and its benefits sound appealing to you, we encourage you to incorporate it into your diet to help you feel best on your wellness journey!