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Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Elderberries

Nov 25, 2021

Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Elderberries

Elderberry is not some recent discovery, fad or gimmick. It has been in use for centuries as a medical remedy for a wide variety of symptoms. The National Institute of Health explains that elderberry flowers and leaves have been used for pain relief and to treat inflammation, swelling and stimulate urine production. The bark of the plant can also be used as a laxative. According to the European Medicines Agency, the berries have also been used in folk medicine to treat infection, influenza, chest pain, headaches and several other symptoms. While the berry has found use throughout history, the question is whether evidence is supportive or purely anecdotal and if the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Benefits of the Berry

There are several benefits to taking elderberry or supplements that use elderberry. They are nutritious, vitamin-rich and packed with antioxidants, and the edible parts of the plant are low in calories. According to NIH studies, antioxidant-rich foods and diets can help prevent the development of chronic diseases. The over-processing of elderberries can potentially reduce the potency and effectiveness of the fruit, but there still may be supplemental benefits.

Treatment Options

The berries and flowers of the elderberry plant help to boost the immune system, which makes them useful in promoting your immune response, quelling inflammation and protecting your heart. Some specialists suggest consuming elderberry to reduce flu and cold symptoms, but that is not all. Elderberry has also been used successfully to treat several conditions.

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Chest infections
  • Fever
  • Skin conditions
  • Kidney problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Stress
  • HIV and AIDS

Best in Combination

While elderberry performs well under lab conditions, more research is needed to substantiate every claim. However, the plant is effective as a health boost. Granted, elderberry alone will not cure your flu or other infection, but it can help limit the severity. Most physicians agree that elderberry is a safe addition to a healthy diet, but that for overall health and well-being, it should be used in combination with routine medical visits.

Potential Risks

While elderberry has many benefits, it is not something you want to pick wild without having prior knowledge. The European Medicines Agency explains that consumption of the bark, seeds or unripe berries can cause stomach problems because of the presence of lectins. Also, the NIH warns of the presence of cyanogenic glycosides, which may produce cyanide. However, commercial preparations and government regulations eliminate these potential risks, meaning the danger only comes from consuming wild berries.

Adding Elderberry To Your Diet

If you are not currently taking an elderberry supplement, what are you waiting for? The benefits to your immune system and potential advantages to your heart health make the addition of this berry nearly essential to a healthy diet. You can find elderberry in a wide range of products.

  • Pills
  • Teas
  • Lozenges
  • Jams
  • Wine
  • Supplements

While elderberry is a tremendous addition to any healthy diet, you should also look to nutrient supplements. Science Natural Supplements offers a variety of nutritional supplements to suit your specific needs.

Category: Reducing Inflammation