Elderberry is a plant that has been used for thousands of years to treat everything from infections and rashes to heart disease and diabetes. It's also sometimes called Sambucus nigra, which means "black elder."
Elderberries are found throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. They grow in clusters on the shrub or small tree family (Caprifoliaceae) that includes other popular plants like huckleberries and blueberries. The fruit inside this berry is a dark purple color with black seeds inside it (the same way you'd find them in blueberries).
There are two types of elderberry: red and white. Red elderberry contains anthocyanins—a type of pigment found in red fruits—which may help support liver function if consumed regularly over time; however there isn't enough evidence yet to recommend using it therapeutically as an alternative treatment option for certain conditions like high cholesterol levels or inflammation caused by chronic stressors such as physical activity during pregnancy or postpartum recovery period after giving birth
What Is Elderberry, And Is It Safe?
Elderberry is a plant that grows in the wild and can be found in most areas of the world. It is an adaptable plant, which means that it has been able to survive and thrive in many different climates and soil conditions. The first use of elderberry was as a remedy for infections, but today it’s mainly used as a supplement or food additive.
There are many benefits associated with using elderberry products such as:
- improved blood flow
- reduced inflammation
- improved digestion
Uses and Benefits
Sambucus elderberry has been used to treat problems such as:
- Digestive issues (e.g., diarrhea, constipation)
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics or other medications
- Heartburn and indigestion
May Improve Cold Symptoms
Sambucus elderberry may help reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms. In one study, researchers found that elderberry tea was as effective as zinc in reducing the duration of cold symptoms. Another study showed that elderberry extract was more effective than echinacea at reducing the duration and severity of cold symptoms.
May Help With Cough and Sinus Infections
Elderberry is a popular home remedy for treating coughs and colds. It is also known to help with sinus infections, which are common in winter months. It’s safe to take elderberry, but it can cause side effects such as diarrhea if taken too much at once.
To avoid these side effects:
- Take only as much as you need to feel better (up to four tablespoons per day).
- Drink plenty of fluids while taking the herb so that you keep your body hydrated and well-hydrated while taking it.
- May be protective against heart disease and cancer.
- Elderberry may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation, oxidative stress and cholesterol levels. It also has been found to have antioxidant properties that may protect against free radical damage in cells which can lead to cancerous growths.
- Elderberry has been shown to inhibit COX-2 enzymes which cause inflammation throughout your body; this includes arthritis pain or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In one study published in 2010 by researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine & University Hospitals Case Medical Center it was found that drinking elderberry tea regularly could improve symptoms associated with RA such as tender joints, swelling around joints or hands/feet - even if you don't have any joint problems initially!
May Prevent and Treat Influenza
Elderberry is a safe treatment for adults with flu symptoms, but more research is needed to determine its safety for children. It can also be used as a preventative measure or to treat flu symptoms such as fever, coughing, and sore throat.
Elderberry has been shown to lower the risk of getting sick from influenza by one-third in some studies. The herb may help prevent future infections by strengthening your immune system so it's better able to fight off viruses.
May Boost Your Immune System and Reduce Inflammation
Elderberry is a natural herb that has been used for centuries to treat colds, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments. It’s also thought to be an effective natural remedy for acne because it contains salicylic acid, which helps clear up blemishes on your skin.
How does elderberry work?
Elderberry contains polyphenols (vitamins) that help boost your immune system by increasing production of antibodies—special proteins our bodies create in response to germs or foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria. These antibodies fight off harmful microbes by destroying them before they can cause damage inside our bodies. The more antibodies we produce at once during an infection, the better chance we have at keeping it under control!
May Help Lower Cholesterol, Blood Sugar Levels, and Blood Pressure
Elderberry may also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which is important for protecting against heart disease.
Elderberry has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in mice fed a high-fat diet. Elderberry extract also raises HDL (good) cholesterol by increasing production of non-cholesterol building lipoproteins, while reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in their bloodstreams.
Studies have shown that consuming elderberries or their constituents reduces blood pressure in humans with hypertension—a condition characterized by abnormally high blood pressure—and improves endothelial function, an important predictor of cardiovascular disease risk factors such as stroke or heart attack.
Potential Side Effects
If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking the supplement and contact your doctor.
Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and headache. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding consult with your healthcare provider before taking this product.
Studies have shown that elderberry is safe for adults. More research is needed to determine its safety for children.
When it comes to elderberries, there's a lot of information out there. As with any herb or supplement, it's important to understand how the product works and what side effects may occur before taking larger doses or for long periods of time.
The most important thing you should know about the safety of elderberry extract is that it hasn't been studied enough for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. If you're pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, skip this one. It may also interact with certain medications; talk with your doctor before taking it if you're on any prescription drugs such as birth control pills or cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins (elevated triglycerides can lead to increased risk for heart disease). Elderberry also interacts with some antibiotics such as amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (Clavamox) which can cause side effects such as diarrhea
As we saw in the summary above, there are many studies that show the effectiveness of elderberry. It’s a safe and natural way to help fight cold and flu symptoms, lower cholesterol levels, boost immune system function, and reduce inflammation. The most exciting thing about this plant is that it's been used by humans for centuries as a medicine—can you really go wrong with something that has been shown time after time to work?