The Benefits of Elderberry

The Benefits of Elderberry

Nature has an entire medicine chest of botanicals that when used correctly can compete with some of the best conventional medications. Elderberry is one such botanical full of powerful healing properties linked to relieving and/or preventing some of the most stubborn cold and flu viruses.

Below are a few of the benefits of elderberry which may make you think about adding this to your natural healing arsenal.

The Mechanism 

Elderberries come from a large shrub or tree native to parts of Africa, Asia and Europe but has been adapted by several United States farming practices as well. The berries spawn as green and eventually ripen to a deep black purplish color giving it its genus name Sambucus nigra.

It is believed that elderberry compounds act as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer mechanisms making it a highly effective remedy for such. Elderberry surpasses the healing capabilities of blueberries and cranberries scoring very high on the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale. This means that it also contains powerful antioxidant properties protecting cells from damaging free radicals. Also, a combined handful holds more vitamin C than an orange.

It Stops Virus Cell Spikes

Elderberry compounds are very unique in how they are able to inactivate virus cells. The way a virus cell attacks a healthy cell is by puncturing into it with tiny spikes. The elderberry chemical ingredients act upon these spikes by binding to and covering each prong rendering the virus cell unable to puncture the healthy cell.

In the Lab

Various studies show the benefits of elderberry.

The Immunology Laboratory for Tumor Diagnosis, Department of Oncology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel presented their 2001 study of the effects of black elderberry stating,

“We conclude from this study that, in addition to its antiviral properties, Sambucol Elderberry Extract and its formulations activate the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production. Sambucol might therefore be beneficial to the immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases.”

Another Israeli study by the Department of Virology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, and published in the Journal of International Medical Research cited that,

“Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”

Taking Elderberry

Before taking any natural remedy it is highly recommended that you consult with your medical doctor beforehand.

Elderberry can be taken as a liquid, syrup, tincture, capsule or lozenge depending on how quickly you want the compounds to be delivered.

Often, an alcohol based tincture placed under the tongue (sublingual) offers a more rapid delivery into the bloodstream via the permeation of tiny capillaries. It is best to take elderberry when you begin feeling cold or flu symptoms.

Take 3 to 4 times per day for one week. If symptoms decrease keep taking until you no longer feel ill. If nothing changes discontinue use and see your doctor.

There is also elderberry tea as well as the raw berries themselves which can be made into jams and syrups or added to smoothies or breakfast cereal.

The Natural OTC Remedy

Elderberry is easy to find in any health food store making it another natural over-the-counter remedy. Although an elderberry, or any natural protocol, often requires multiple doses, the healing result may be more beneficial.

Conventional medicine is good at offering fast results but what most don’t realize is that a natural remedy often taxes the body much less. Therefore, side effects and re-infection are minimal, if at all. In turn, the immune system can get back in full gear without having to deal with peripheral problems due to a synthetic remedy.

Talk to your doctor about the benefits of elderberry and see if you can naturally stave off illness.