So we thought it would be fun to share a bunch of health benefits elderberries offer–they contain a host of medicinal properties and are a fantastically delicious food. Elderberries possess rutin, antioxidants (flavonoids and carotenoids), and vitamins A, B, and C. They are also quite popular as an immunity booster.
The Health Benefits of Elderberries
Elderberries are full of amazing health benefits for the body.
Improve Skin and Hair Health
With its anti-aging properties, elderberries can improve the appearance of the skin for long. Additionally, they act as a natural detoxifying agent and inhibit skin problems such as boils, breakouts, and scars.
As a matter of fact, the anthocyanins contained in elderberries give a natural boost to the skin and protects it from damage. Some sources believe that elderberries extract can treat herpes and provide relief.
Also, elderflower oil, when mixed with some other skin-friendly oils and applied on the problem spot of the scalp can treat receding hairlines, split ends, and might even facilitate hair growth.
Improve Digestive Health
Although more research is needed here, like most fruits, elderberries, are great fiber sources and can improve digestion. As you must already know, fruit fiber is effective in treating digestive problems such as stomach upset, constipation, bloating, and gas.
Can Help Prevent Cancer
Some studies have used elderberries to conduct research on cancer treatments and recorded considerable success. This is because the quercetin found in elderberries has therapeutic effects that can stimulate the immune system. Findings indicate that elderberries can also help in treating prostate cancer. The fruit is known to prevent hedgehog signaling, a biochemical process linked to cancer.
Several studies boast of how effective elderberries are in boosting the immune system. In fact, according to a report published by the University of Maryland Medical Center, elderberries have powerful immune-boosting effects.
For instance, elderberry syrup raises the body’s antioxidant levels as well as helps combat diseases. The vitamins A and C found in the fruit help in maintaining overall health, protect the body against viruses that could destroy cell walls.
Additionally, elderberries are known to reduce the production of mucus during flu or cold and an amazing remedy for serious influenza symptoms.
Can Help Treat Diabetes
Elderberries can help support the treatment of diabetes and reduce blood sugar levels. However, more studies are needed in this regard, and so it is advisable to consult your doctor first.
The berries contain iron, potassium, and calcium which are effective in strengthening bones, increasing the mineral density of bones, and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Can Boost Vision Health
Elderberries are rich in vitamins A and B6, and so can prevent vision ailments like and glaucoma. Its antioxidant properties also help improve vision health in the long runs.
Improve Brain Health
The anthocyanins found in berries are helpful in treating cognitive impairment and health conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Enhance Heart Health
Elderberries are high in potassium and so can help in regulating blood pressure. The berries relax the blood vessels and reduce the pressure on the heart. Some studies have suggested that people who consume food high in potassium (no excess) are less likely to die by ischemic heart disease.
The fruit can also help control cholesterol levels, boost blood circulation, protects the body’s cells from inflammation, and ultimately lessen the risk of heart disease.
Can Aid Weight Loss
Similar to most fruits, the fiber in elderberries improves satiety and so can facilitate weight loss.
Help Treat Urinary Tract Infections
Although more studies are needed on this, elderberry juice can encourage the reduction of inflammation in the urinary tract and treat infections in the urinary tract.
Several studies rave about the amazing anti-inflammatory properties of elderberries. The berries are used for treating eye inflammation by combating oxidative stress.
The Other Uses of Elderberries
- Elderberries can be used to make wines, teas, jams, syrups, and tinctures.
- The flowers can be used to make jelly and in baking. It can also be used for treating skin irritation and influenza.
How to Select and Store Elderberries
Elderberries can be eaten whole or incorporated into your diet by either adding them to pancakes honey, and salad. Elderberry smoothie and juice are also fantastic.
If you are wondering how to pick the right berries and properly store them, it’s quite simple.
- Only pick berries that have a deep color and are firm. Avoid those that are bruised or mushy.
- Store the berries in the refrigerator for about one week. Also, wash them before use.
- We have something that’s getting popular by the day.
Precautions and Side Effects of Elderberries
Elderberries might make the immune system so active that it might even lead to autoimmune diseases. This is a situation where the immune system attacks the body. The autoimmune diseases may include rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Nausea and Vomiting
Raw and unripe elderberries, when consumed, might result in nausea and vomiting. In fact, in some cases, it might also cause serious diarrhea.
Issues with Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There isn’t much information on how safe elderberries are during breastfeeding and pregnancy. It is best to stay safe by avoiding use.
The Bottom Line
Of course, elderberries have amazing health benefits but elder trees are poisonous! Yes, the leaves, bark, and stems should never be consumed as they contain cyanide. Also, the flowers are medicinal and edible but not the unripe berries. So steer clear of the green berries and go for those completely black or purple.
You might also want to try elderberry supplements. But to ensure that no chemicals are used in the production of this supplement, please talk to your doctor for medical advice.
Have you ever tried elderberries? What are some of the health benefits you enjoyed? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.