Last Modified on Mar 05, 2014
Most well-known as a safe, natural flu treatment, elderberry has a variety of other purposes as well. The berry is known as an active antioxidant, so it functions to protect the body from damage as well as to reverse current illness. With a variety of applications, including immune support and inflammation reduction, elderberry can be considered one of today’s most important superfoods.
What is Elderberry?
A plant, elderberry is from the genus of flowering vegetation known as Adoxaceae. While different parts of the plant can be used, the berries are the most commonly sourced part of the plant. Typically appearing as a small, dark, and shiny berry, elderberries somewhat resemble blueberries in shape and size. While certain varieties of elderberries may be eaten raw, it is typically suggested that the fruit be cooked to eliminate any adverse effects.
Health Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberry is a known antioxidant; however, the berry has other medicinal applications as well. The juice of the berry contains a high concentration of bioflavonoids and proteins that give it the ability to fight infection. Likewise, elderberries contain an array of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, amino acids, carotenoids and others. Its natural composition also makes elderberries an effective laxative, diuretic, and diaphoretic.
With this wide range of health benefits, elderberry can be used to treat an array of health conditions. Most commonly, elderberry is known as a treatment for the flu and H1N1; however, the fruit is also effective for treating HIV, sinus pressure and pain, sciatica, neuralgia and chronic fatigue.
As the berry causes the release of fluid, it is also an effective treatment to increase urine flow, reduce symptoms of hay fever and mediate constipation. It has also been used to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and others.
While often viewed as a singular treatment option, elderberry is effective for relieving more than just the flu or infection. An active antioxidant with a variety of other nutrients, the berry is capable of treating a variety of conditions. Regular consumption of the fruit may even ward off certain diseases and illnesses.
12/06/2010: Mitch6114 from Gatineau, Quebec: "When I feel a cold or the flu starting, I take my Elderberry extract or tincture which is a natural home remedy that is much cheaper than Tamiflu to prevent and cure the flu and the common cold. You can make it easily at home (recipe follows). Elderberries are a good source of Vitamins A, B and C. Have antiviral properties, are rich in anthocyanins (which is good for the heart) have high antioxydant properties.. This tincture will help prevent and heal fever and pain due to the flu, a cold, a sore throat, chills, a cough.
How to make your own Elderberry Tincture or Extract:
First : Dehydrate approximately 2 to 3 lbs of freshly picked eldeberries in an electrical dehydrator or buy already dried elderberries, if available in your area. Place 1/4 to Â½ lb of dried elderberries in a clean quart size mason jar, add 1 full bottle of vodka. Put lid on and store in a dark, dry place for at least 30 days. Shake the jar every few days. Then, strain it immediately OR leave the berries in the tincture and strain them when you use the tincture (it will continue to get stronger). Take 4 tbsps of the tincture at the first signs of a cold or the flu, two to three times a day OR take 1 tsp twice a day (morning and night) to prevent you and your family from getting a cold or the flu."
[YEA] 04/18/2010: Carynllewellyn from Edgewater, Maryland: "Please add Elderberry to your list of Remedies for Viral control...I use it to keep from having any Herpes outbreaks. I see my story is posted, but it took some real looking to find it...so I thought if you added Elderberry to your Remedy list it would be more easily found as a valuable herb which evacuates (I believe the atual term is Encapsulates) the nasty virus(es) thus enabling the body to evacuate it without negatively affecting the body. thanks a bunch, Caryn"