Elder (Sambucus nigra), is an indigenous bushy shrub that can grow up to 12 feet high. It is widely grown across all parts of the United States and Canada. It has star-shaped white fragrant flowers and purple-black berries with three or four round seeds.
Elders are known for their satisfying effect of curing colds, fevers, flu and etc. Every part of this plant has its uses on health issues. Elder’s flowers are used as flu remedies and often blended with peppermint and sometimes used for skin products and as cosmetics. The inner bark of elders has a lot of uses too. It is specifically used for cardiac and renal dropsy, spasmodic asthma and epilepsy. Its leaves are used as oils and ointments for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids and even use as a cosmetic. It is also used for headaches.
And for this article, let’s talk about one of the most helpful parts of the elder, its fruit– the elderberries.
What Are Elderberries?
Elderberries are elder’s tree fruit. Their color changes from stark blue to amber or red to complete black. Native Europeans and Europeans herbalists have used it for some health issues for many years. A little scientific research has also proven the effects of elderberries on boosting people’s immune systems to fight flu, colds and other respiratory issues.
Health Benefits of Elderberries
Elderberry has a beneficial effect on health through certain compounds and substances. Its known health benefits are:
- Fighting colds and flu
Through limited studies, some evidence has supported the claim that elderberry can cure colds and flu. It has been concluded that elderberries have antioxidant and antiviral contents.
- Treating Acne
Elderberries have a great number of flavonoids that are used as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These properties guard healthy cells against harmful free radicals that may cause skin problems like acne. Because of its antiseptic effects, the elderberry face wash is famous for treating acne.
- Reducing wrinkles
Elderberries are rich with Vitamin A that helps the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
More Health Benefits:
- It helps respiratory problems such as common asthma, bronchitis, and are also used as a decongestant and best alternative medicine for influenza. Drinking elderberries juice can help to remove the excess mucus in the respiratory passages.
- It is also used as a treatment for rheumatism and erysipelas (a type of skin infection)
Nutrients You Can Get
Elderberries are rich in vitamins and nutrients that are really beneficial to people’s health. A cup of elderberries contains:
- 106 calories
- 26.68 g carbohydrates
- 870 mg Vitamin A
- 406 mg of potassium
- 52.2 mg of vitamin C
- 9 mg of folate
- 55 mg of calcium
- 2.32 mg of iron
Elderberries are also rich in fiber that has the following benefits:
- lower blood cholesterol
- reduce blood pressure
- prevent you from any heart disease and colorectal cancer
- improve bowel function
- prevent constipation
Elderberries, for cold and flu medication, can be used as capsules, lozenges, and syrups that are widely available in some stores.
Note: Never ever eat raw elderberries as they cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Ways Of Preparing Elderberries:
As a syrup:
First, remove the stalks. Then, cook the berries in water with sugar and strain it. Lastly, boil the liquid to reduce it until the consistency becomes syrup-like.
Elderberries syrup can treat winter colds and coughs and commonly combined with other herbs such as thyme. You can add the elderberry syrup on your plain yogurt or smoothie.
Prepare the following:
- 4 L of water
- 1kg elderberries
- 30 g bread (toasted)
- 15 g wine yeast
- 1kg brown sugar
- 5 g allspice
- 5 cloves
- 15g ginger
- 1 glass jar
Crush the berries and put them in the water. Add the spices and boil for 30 minutes in low heat. Pour everything in the glass jar and add the bread and wine yeast. Store for 10 to 20 days at 20 degrees Celsius. Then strain and put it in a container. Store in a cl place for 2 months or more. Drink 25 ml before meals. This is the best stimulant and tonic for your immune system.
In the ground, elderberry bushes grow into dense masses similar to a thicket, and over time they spread to cover a wide area. While they aren’t a good choice for a small balcony or patio, you can grow elderberries as a potted plant if you have a large container and plenty of room. Elderberry shrubs in containers have confined roots so the plants won’t grow as large as they would in the ground, but they will need severe pruning in the spring to help control the size and keep the canes productive.
Elderberries have been helpful in boosting health for many years. It is renowned for curing colds and flu.
Elderberries are rich in fiber, hence, it has numerous health benefits such as protection from heart disease and colorectal cancer.
However, it is a high reminder not to consume raw elderberries as it can be poisonous. Please note that using elderberries as syrup usually contains high levels of sugar.
You can buy products made from elderberries in some stores and online.
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