The elderberry plant is a staple of many traditional medicines. Historically, elderberry has been used to alleviate fever and combat the effects of cold and flu viruses. It’s also remained a popular ingredient in remedies for burns and wounds. Today, elderberry is still regularly used as a key ingredient of home remedies and is a core element of many over-the-counter supplements.
When we talk about elderberry, we’re referring to several different varieties of the Sambucus plant. The variety most commonly used to produce medicine is the Sambucus nigra. Although native to Europe, this elderberry plant is today cultivated across the globe. Just about every part of the plant can be used to produce medicine.
The flowers are the most versatile part of the plant and can be consumed in raw form. The berries of the plant are also regularly used, although care needs to be taken when preparing them. Some medicines use dried berries to produce juices and tinctures to relieve influenza symptoms, as well as provide effective pain relief for things like nerve and dental pain. When cooked, the berries can also be used as a staple ingredient in all manner of foodstuffs.
Is elderberry good for you? The answer is yes. For starters, elderberry is very nutritious, with high levels of natural antioxidants and relatively few calories. It’s particularly low in fat and only contains a moderate amount of carbohydrates.
Elderberries are a rich source of vitamin C and fiber. A single serving of elderberries provides more than half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and around a third of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. Elderberry also contains high volumes of anthocyanins.
These antioxidants give the berries their signature color and are known to provide potent anti-inflammatory responses. This is what makes elderberry so effective as a pain reliever and go-to remedy for combating the symptoms of cold and flu viruses.
Some research also indicates that consuming elderberries regularly improves heart health. When consumed in juice form, elderberry can help lower cholesterol and fat levels in the bloodstream. This, combined with inherent anti-inflammatory properties, makes elderberry particularly effective at combating things like heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.