I've been hearing about elderberry so much recently about it's benefits when it comes to fighting off the fly, colds, and just simply boosting your immune system. Even though this fruit has been around for ages, why is becoming more popular now? Of course, more research is needed to make the appropriate confirmation that it does indeed have these traits, but I looked into the research that is already out there to see what is so interesting about this particular fruit.
Elderberries are a fruit of the sambucus tree. They come in blue and black small clusters. It is said they have natural immune boosting powers to fight off the flu, common colds, respiratory infections, and much more.
One study from 2010 concluded that indeed they hold antioxidant and antiviral effects, but further research is needed. In another study, 60 participants with flu-like symptoms were given 15 ml of elderberry syrup 4x a day. Their symptoms improved 4 days before those given a placebo, In another study, 32 participants with flu-like symptoms took lozenges of 175 mg of elderberry extract 4x a day for 2 days. After 24 hours, they reported an improvement of their symptoms such as fever, headache, aches, and congestion.
Elderberry is not just good for the common cold, but helps to fight acne as well. Elderberry contains high levels of flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These help protect healthy cells from harmful free radicals that play a role in skin problems. The American Nutrition Association suggests using an elderberry face wash to help fight acne. It also contains high levels of vitamin A which may help soothe skin, ease the appearance of age spots, and prevent/lessen wrinkles.
How to use Elderberries:
For one, eating them raw is no recommended as they contain a toxic substance which can lead to nausea, vomitting, or diarrhea. However, there are many ways in which they can be prepared. The most common way is in a syrup, cooking them in water and syrup, strained, and boiled into a syrup-like consistency.