Natural remedies used by the prehistoric people laid the foundation of today’s therapeutic advancement. Unsurprisingly, many remedial measures that started centuries ago are still widely accepted among the masses. Using elderberry extract for viral infections is one of them!
Taking tablets, vitamin C supplements, and herbal teas summarize our home remedies for cold and flu. However, elderberry has more comprehensive applications in treating various conditions from cold, flu, and allergies to sinus issues, constipation, fatigue, inflammation, and toothache.
In some cases, it has also been proved effective against hay fever and reducing the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Let’s get to what elderberry is and how it is going to soothe your runny nose and pricking throat.
What Is Elderberry?
Sambucus nigra, commonly known as black elderberry, or The European elder, comes from a tree family known as Sambucus.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, called this tree “a medicine chest.” Over time many studies revealed that he was right to name it so. Sambucus nigra is the most common species of the Sambucus genus. Both its flowers and berries are edible and have been typically used for medicinal purposes.
Elderberry is a dark purple, mildly sweet fruit. It makes many supplements, including syrups, tablets, capsules, gummies, and teas. As a rich source of antioxidants, elderberry is a natural cure for many microbial infections.
How Does It Cure?
For a long time, elderberry has remained a focal point of interest for scientists curious to discover the secrets of natural remedial sources. Through different small studies and experiments, they found that elderberry indeed possesses some antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
There are countless benefits of elderberry that can help us with varying health conditions. Here, we will talk about flu and allergies.
Cold and Flu
In research conducted in 2016, 312 airline travelers were given elderberries extract. They were asked to take the supplementation from 10 days before their flight to 5 days after arriving at their destination.
In this research, they observed that passengers who consumed the extract as advised experienced a four days shorter duration of flu.
Similarly, other studies also concluded that elderberry supplementation could significantly reduce cold and flu symptoms. The experts further demonstrated the actual reason or mechanism that follows the mitigation of flu symptoms.
They claimed that the flavonoids from elderberry tend to bind with both H1N1 (Human flu virus) and H5N1 (avian influenza virus), which lessens the days of infection.
While elderberry does not remove the risk of getting a cold or flu, it sure does reduce the severity and duration of the disease. Thus, it is safe to say that you can use elderberry supplements, such as black elderberry gummies, as medicine for flu and cold.
Do you know what causes allergies?
When our immune system becomes overactive (or hyperactive), it causes the release of certain chemicals that induce inflammation either locally or throughout the body. This inflammation triggers allergic symptoms, such as a stuffy nose, sneezing, etc.
Now the question arises how does elderberry help relieve different types of allergies?
Elderberry is packed with a rich amount of anthocyanins, which block the production of inflammation-inducing molecules. Ultimately, there will be a slower immune system response due to the lack of trigger molecules.
Fewer studies have been made to investigate whether elderberry helps relieve allergies. One of the published studies in 2016 found that elderberries extract helped reduce respiratory distress symptoms. Airline passengers face physical and mental stress. This research provided them with a viable solution to cope with their stress.
What Are The Possible Side Effects?
Experts have recommended not to use uncooked elderberries. Despite having numerous benefits, using too much or raw berries may result in unwanted health consequences, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
Children shouldn’t be given berries unless they have consulted a pediatrician. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding moms should be cautious and avoid consuming berries.
Elderberry isn’t only effective against flu and cold anymore. You can also find it as a significant component of immunity booster shots. Because of its high Vitamin C content (compared to other berries), elderberry is now recognized as a potent immunity modulator.
In a nutshell, elderberries have shown impressive results in many studies. For the safe side, it’s better to conduct more research on a larger scale to develop a more confident statement.