Elderberry’s botanical name is Sambucus Canadensis. These purplish dark blue berries are rich sources of an antioxidant called anthocyanin which acts as an anti-carcinogenic element. Elderberries are rich in Vitamin C and trace minerals which are good for brain health, blood vessels and improved immune system.
Elderberries: The Tiny Wonder Berry
Elderberries grow from a small tree that belongs under the honeysuckle family. They are ready for harvest during the months of August to October particularly in countries with cool-to-warm climate.
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ELDERBERRY EXTRACT: NATURE’S “TAMIFLU”
The most important weapon against influenza that you can add to your herbal arsenal is elderberry extract.
Whether you are concerned with the seasonal flu or the potential of a deadly strain of influenza becoming pandemic, elderberry extract is a vital addition to your vault of flu remedies.
Unlike the highly touted flu shot, black elderberry has actually been conclusively proven to be effective. It is one of the few natural remedies that has been written up in the medical journals. The studies I’m listing here are based on black elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L) – name brand Sambucol.
According to PubMed:
Sambucus nigra L. products – Sambucol – are based on a standardized black elderberry extract. They are natural remedies with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus. Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days.
The Journal of International Medical Research concurs that elderberry extract is a proven treatment, referencing a different study:
Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18 – 54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999 – 2000 in Norway. 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.
A number of experiments have been conducted on the use of elderberries. Since these food product have been popular to the first inhabitants in America, elderberries were used in a number of ways apart from an ordinary sweet fruit being eaten. The fruit was processed into juice and transferred into jars which became wine. It was then that elderberries were discovered to obtain a number of healing properties. Apart from its anti-cancer characteristic, elderberries contain antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits which are helpful to individuals suffering from arthritis.
Elderberries also contain ‘Sambucol’ extract which is a helpful substance in fighting flu. Herbalists report that elderberries relieve upset stomach, gas problems and nasal congestion. Elderberries are beneficial to overweight people because they function as detoxifying and diuretic agents. Therefore, they are beneficial for weight loss management.
In terms of traditional uses, processed elderberry flowers offer the following benefits: poultices to treat wounds, external antiseptic washes, eye inflammation and eye inflammation. Elderberry flowers which are turned into cosmetic products are reputed to lighten freckles, restore and soften the skin. When transformed into oil, it is great for soothing rashes and burns and a relaxant to tired muscles. During the earlier times, its branches were constructed into pipes and arrow shafts used for traditional hunting methods.
As you can see, elderberries are not just ordinary attractive plants. They actually work wonders on a number of health issues and ailments.
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