Berries are deemed little superfoods because they are loaded with antioxidants and micronutrients that fight free radicals. They’re also juicy, delicious and sweet. One berry that gets a lot of praise is the Elderberry, and for good reason. It’s been in used for medicinal purposes around the globe for many centuries.
Benefits of Elderberries
The ancient Greeks and Egyptians referred to this plant as the ‘people’s medicine chest’ because of its vast benefits and the health conditions it seemed to resolve. Today, it’s recognized as one of the top antiviral herbs. You may have noticed that elderberry is used a lot in cough syrups, cough drops, and teas. It’s great for colds, the flu, sinus issues, inflammation and so much more. Let’s dig a little deeper into the elderberry benefits.
The leaves, stems and bark are used only for medicinal formulas. The juicy dark berries in raw form are not that palatable, they have more of a tart or sour flavor. They can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and nausea if eaten raw. But, the cooked berries have been successfully made into syrups, jams, jellies, marmalades, wine, juices, infusions, ointments and more.
Elderberries contain vitamins A, B6, B12, and loads of vitamin C. They also contain minerals like copper, phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and folate. They’re also a good source of protein, amino acids and fiber with 7 grams per 100 gram of berries.
Flu and Cold Relief
Elderberries amp up our immune system so we can battle cold and flu symptoms. They contain anthocyanidins which are found naturally in purple-colored foods. It’s found in all tissues of its leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits, which play a major role in protecting our bodies.
As a natural diuretic and a good laxative, elderberries are useful for both urination and bowel movements. Its high fiber content is a great remedy for constipation, reducing gas and improving gastrointestinal health.
The potassium in elderberries is good for cardiovascular protection. It allows tightness or tension in the veins and arteries to relax and reduces blood pressure. Its fiber content is also good for lowering cholesterol and digestion.
Lowers Blood Sugar
The berries and stems of the elderberry plant have been used to treat diabetes. Its antioxidant anthocyanins and procyanidins work on the pancreas and help regulate insulin and glucose levels.
Gorgeous Skin & Longevity
Elderberries vitamin A, bioflavonoids and antioxidants make a good combination for a youthful complexion. Its high vitamin C content can assist the body in creating collagen which is an essential protein for healthy skin, nails and hair.
The high mineral content of potassium, calcium and iron in elderberries can increase bone mineral density, build stronger bones and reduce the signs of osteoporosis.
One cup of elderberries offers about 13 percent of our daily iron intake which is essential for building new red blood cells. Its vitamin C levels ensure it will be assimilated easily. So, it’s great to those dealing with anemia or a low hemoglobin.
May Prevent Cancer
Studies have shown that the anthocyanins, flavonoids and other polyphenolics collective contribute to the high antioxidant levels and anti-cancer properties in the elderberries.