Elderberry belongs to the Sambucus flowering plants, native to Western Asia, Europe and Northern America. This tree grows between 2 and 10 meters high, has oval leaves with jagged edges, white or yellow flowers, and of course, berries.
The berries are red or black when ripe, depending on the species. This family of shrubs extends to about 20 species, most of which have edible berries.
The Sambucus nigra, known as black elderberry or common elderberry, grows in most temperature climates of Europe and North America. The red elder, or Sambucus racemosa, requires lower temperatures and more humid climates, so it can be found in some areas of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Australian region grows the Sambucus australasica, while in Latin America – the Sambucus australis.
The black elderberry has many beneficial properties for the human health, like antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. These berries are high in vitamin A, the B group vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Also, it has significant amounts of fiber, carbohydrates and water.
You can eat the fruits raw, or use them to prepare jams, jellies, syrups, or wines. But, be careful to eat them only when fully ripe, as the green fruits can be toxic.
Elderberry Beneficial Properties
The berries of this plant have been used for hundreds of years as a natural remedy, while its flowers have been harvested for their flowery fragrance.
Here we show you the amazing health benefits of the elderberry fruits.
Fight Common Colds And Flu
This fruit is one of the best solutions for people who suffer from respiratory problems, such as throat inflammation, cough, common colds, flu, or bronchitis.
With its powerful antibacterial properties, the elderberry extract can help you decrease the irritation and inflammation, and acts as an expectorant, cleaning the phlegm that can trap external agents in your respiratory system.
Boost The Immune System
Many people choose these fruits for their incredible properties to improve the overall functioning of the immune system, which protects us from potential diseases. As we already mentioned, the elderberry has anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects that can fight infections.
Improve Blood Circulation
The high level of fiber and other valuable nutrients present in this fruit, it can help protect the walls of the blood vessels from oxidative stress. This helps improve the blood flow, and reduces the chances of suffering from atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems.
Also, its high levels of potassium help protect the heart by lowering high blood pressure.
Help Control Diabetes
Some of the antioxidants present in the elderberry fruits can help regulate the insulin and blood glucose levels. This is ideal for people suffering from diabetes, and for those who want to prevent the occurrence of this condition, harmful to the overall human health.
However, the World Health Organization says that more research is needed, to fully confirm the aforementioned health benefits of the elderberry fruits.
As only some species are edible, it is important that you only buy elderberry fruits in authorized stores that sell varieties suitable for human consumption. Never eat wild versions, as they can be dangerous. On the other hand, keep in mind that elderberries can generate allergies. Thus, it’s best to test the fruit, before you start to eat it freely.
Elderberries also have diuretic effects. Therefore, if you have kidney problems, you should stay away from them. And, if you’re taking medications that stimulate urination, you should use them with caution.
Our recommendation is to consult your doctor before you start using elderberries as a natural remedy.