All about elderberry – The berry that’s been around the block
We all know that there’s no single cure to solve all our health problems. But something that comes pretty close to it is elderberry. This ancient berry has been around since 2000 B.C.E and is one of the most versatile supplements you can take!
Elderberry is commonly used in traditional medicine as an anti-inflammatory, for healing burns, treating fevers, and soothing skin irritation. But it can be useful for so much more.
Let’s dive a little deeper into what this diverse berry has to offer.
Elderberries are rich in nutrients
Elderberries have a variety of nutritional benefits including being high in antioxidants. These berries are a good source of:
- Phenolic acid – a potent antioxidant that helps reduce damage from oxidative stress
- Flavonols (quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin) – quercetin and kaempferol have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, while isorhamnetin is thought to reduce the effects of diabetes
- Anthocyanin – an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that gives the berries their characteristic dark black-purple colour
Moreover, elderberries are high in vitamin C (52mg per cup) and dietary fibre (10g per cup). Making sure you’re getting enough fibre can prevent constipation, improve bowel function, protect against colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
They can boost your immunity
Elderberries are known for their strong immune-boosting capabilities. They can help fight off colds and flus by acting as a diaphoretic and promoting sweating. These berries also help to remove accumulated waste products and toxins through the kidneys, skin, and mucus membranes. Moreover, since the immune system and overall health can be compromised during long-distance air travel, elderberries can also help improve these conditions.
Around 20% of air travellers suffer from upper respiratory health problems after a long-distance flight. One study was conducted to test the efficacy of European black elderberry extract on the physical and respiratory health of long-distance air travellers. The results showed that supplementation of elderberry was significantly effective at reducing the total duration and severity of upper respiratory symptoms. The study also linked the use of elderberry supplements to 50% fewer cold episodes and 50% fewer symptoms.
Elderberries can treat acne and reduce wrinkles
Since elderberry is rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids, it has high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This means that it can help protect your cells from free radicals that contribute to skin problems such as acne, irritation, and photo-aging (freckles, liver spots, uneven skin texture, etc.)
According to the American Nutrition Association, a face wash containing elderberry can help fight off acne due to its antiseptic properties. Additionally, elderberries contain vitamin A. This helps to soothe your skin, reduces wrinkles, and eases the appearance of age spots.
They’re good for your heart
Some studies have shown that elderberries can also positively affect your heart and blood vessel health. For example, one study found that elderberry juice may decrease levels of cholesterol and reduce the amount of fat in the blood, which can both lead to cardiovascular problems. And diets that are high in flavonoids like anthocyanins have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Elderberries improve blood sugar levels
Additionally, elderberries can increase the secretion of insulin in the body and ultimately improve blood sugar levels. Since high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes increase the risk of heart disease, maintaining your blood sugar levels is important for overall heart health.
They can help tame inflammation
These berries are also known to help with taming inflammation and relieving arthritis-related joint and muscle pain. Research has found that elderberries increase the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body, which helps to treat inflammation and joint pain.
Where do I find elderberry?
Elderberries are native to Europe and while the fruit needs to be cooked to be consumed, the elderberry flower can be eaten raw or cooked. You can also find elderberries throughout most of Canada. Elderberries can be found along the sides of walking and hiking trails and fence lines along country roads. But it’s important to know how to identify them. These berries grow on bushes or small trees and can be mistaken for the highly toxic Giant Hogweed or Cow Parsley. Elderberry bushes are different from Giant Hogweed because they have an opposite leaf structure and their berry clusters and stems are a deep reddish-purple colour when they ripe.
However, opting for an elderberry supplement may boost your chances of absorbing all the right nutrients from the berry. Innovite’s Elderberry uses ElderCraft®, a clinically studied standardized extract of European black elderberries. This formula can be used to help relieve joint pain and promote efficient detox pathways through the skin, kidneys, and mucus membranes. Each capsule contains 14% anthocyanins.
From enhancing your immune response to improving skin health, elderberry is definitely a multifunctional supplement that can enrich your health in more than one way.
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