Elderberry is the name for the flowering plants, shrubs and trees of the Sambucus plant family. Sambucus nigra, the most popular, is an elderberry plant with black berries and medicinal properties. Elderberries have been used for centuries and have a long history of treating a variety of ailments.
Elderberry is gaining new popularity for its antibiotic compounds and ability to improve immunity. Elderberries are a rich source of vitamins A and C, which help the body maintain optimal health. The bioflavonoids in elderberry boost the body’s immune system by increasing antioxidant levels.
Boost your immunity with elderberry during allergy, cold and flu seasons.
Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that elderberry juice my be effective in treating inflammation of the mucous membranes and therefore reducing nasal congestion, which may make it a beneficial treatment for those suffering with allergies.
Based on another recent study, elderberry extract may help treat colds by reducing congestion and possibly making you sweat more. Besides its antiviral properties, the study also revealed that elderberry inhibits the growth of bacteria associated with upper respiratory tract infections.
The active compound in elderberry extract – Antivirin – is effective in the treatment of flu symptoms. This compound is found bound to proteins in elderberry. Laboratory studies show that elderberry extract exhibits a total antiviral activity against influenza viruses. In addition, elderberry prevents influenza viruses from gaining entry into the respiratory tract and systemic circulation by preventing them from sticking to the soft tissues of the nose and throat.
According to a study in the Journal of International Medical Research, patients given elderberry syrup recovered an average of 4 days faster from the flu than those not taking the supplement. Common flu symptoms like fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue may be significantly reduced by elderberry.