Why Elderberry is the Herbal Cure-All
By Dr Dunner January 31, 2018
Elderberry has been said to be “the medicine chest of the country people,” widely known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-influenza, and anticancer properties. The Elder tree, which has a history dating back to ancient times and the beginnings of Christianity, also has been said to the the symbol of “infinite life,” most likely due to this wide range of health benefits. But what exactly is it about the Elderberry that makes it so good for you?
A study by the University of Maryland found some evidence suggesting that the chemicals in Elderflower and Elderberries can help reduce swelling in mucous membranes, providing sinus and nasal congestion relief. Elderberries are also an excellent source of bioflavonoids, which themselves have antioxidant properties. Bioflavonoids help prevent damage to the body’s cells - keeping you feeling stronger and healthier against outside forces (*cough, cough* cold and flu). Blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and blackberries are also great sources of flavonoids, however elderberry outranks them all.
Another study found that using a standardized elderberry extract could shorten the duration of the flu by as much as 3 days. While the extract used contained other ingredients, like Vitamin C, it’s unclear how effective the Elderberry alone would be in a similar test. In another study, it was suggested that even a lozenge with elderberry extract helped reduce flu symptoms when taken within a day of the first symptom.
Many cultures deemed Elderberry sacred, as a sign of protection. Others have viewed it as a representation of sorrow and death, with “sad” branches that seem to wilt and fall. Regardless, the Elderberry and its medicinal properties have stood the test of time, being one of the most widely used herbal remedies still today.