Everything You Need to Know About Elderberry
What is Elderberry?
re you looking for a natural supplement to support your body's defenses and protect you from respiratory infections? If so, look no further than the immune-boosting superfood, elderberry.
In this article, we'll dive into the benefits of supplementing with elderberry extract for overall health.
Elderberry – produced by the flowering Sambucus nigra tree native to Europe and North America – is a tart fruit packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds for optimal health and wellness (1).
It has a long history of use in traditional medicine for managing pain, soothing the skin, and supporting immunity. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, is said to have used the leaves, flowers, fruit, and bark of the Elderberry plant to relieve a wide range of health issues.
At VitaRx, we offer elderberry in convenient capsules that’s popular for treating respiratory infections and supporting digestion. Each capsule provides 500mg of elderberry extract!
How Elderberry Works
Many of elderberry's health-giving benefits are due to the rich content of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, folate, calcium, and iron. It's also high in powerful antioxidant compounds like carotenoids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids. A group of polyphenols called anthocyanins are responsible for elderberry's vibrant color and have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-stimulating properties (2).
Its antioxidant content helps elderberry protect your cells from unstable free radical molecules encountered daily from cellular metabolism, UV exposure, pollution, stress, intense exercise, illness, smoking, and poor diet. By neutralizing these compounds, elderberry extract can prevent oxidative damage and chronic inflammation, regulate immune function, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. A study on healthy volunteers looked at the impact of elderberry anthocyanins on antioxidant status. A 400ml dose of elderberry juice significantly improved blood antioxidant levels after just one hour (3).
Research has also shown that flavonoid compounds in elderberry extract may reduce infections by binding to influenza viruses and preventing them from invading cells and replicating (4). For this reason, elderberry extract is a favorite during cold and flu season!
Health Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberry extract is one of the most popular natural supplements on the market. Let's explore some of its health benefits..
Rich in immune-boosting vitamin C and flavonoid compounds, elderberry helps to keep your defenses strong. It's a must-have supplement during the winter months.
During flu season, adults who were exhibiting flu-like symptoms for 48 hours or less took 60 ml of elderberry syrup daily for 5 days. Promisingly, this resulted in flu symptoms resolving 4 days earlier and requiring less conventional medication when compared to those who took a placebo (5).
Elderberry also makes a great companion when traveling by airplane. The stress of traveling, being in close contact with strangers, dry air, and re-circulating air in the cabin take a toll on the immune system. A 2016 study found that those who took elderberry extract for 10 days before and 5 days after a long-haul flight contracted fewer colds than the placebo group. It also reduced symptom duration and severity in people who did come down with a cold (6).
Naturally Relieves Allergies
Elderberry's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a fantastic natural remedy for calming irritating allergies and painful sinusitis.
Research on herbal remedies containing elderberry extract shows it may relieve symptoms of bacterial sinusitis, providing extra support when taken with conventional treatment (7).
Supports Digestive Function
Elderberry is a great source of fiber, necessary to support digestive function and promote healthy elimination.
A 2010 study on people with chronic constipation found drinking herbal tea that included elderberry for 5 days resulted in improved bowel function (8). The frequency of bowel movements increased by the second day of treatment!
Consuming powerful antioxidant compounds, such as those found in elderberry extract, could slow down the effects of aging on your skin, brain, and eyes. These antioxidant compounds are needed to scavenge unstable free radicals from pollution and UV rays, preventing them from damaging healthy cells and causing premature signs of aging.
In addition, certain nutrients found in elderberry – like vitamin C, zinc, and carotenoids – also play a key role in promoting youthful, glowing skin.
Make Elderberry Part of Your Daily Diet
Okay you knew it was coming... time for a shameless plug. Do you think the benefits of adding elderberry to your daily diet could help? Create a personalized daily vitamin pack that includes and any other vitamins, minerals or supplements you think could help. Start by adding elderberry to your Kit here!