Elderberry is one of the most well-known immune boosters around. Why? Because it is one badass virus fighter! It’s reported to help prevent illness and shorten the severity and duration of active infections like colds and flu. And the beauty is, it’s gentle enough for everyday use.
- Immune Strengthening
- Protects against viral infection
Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a beautiful medicine tree native to Europe but is commonly found in many places around the world. For centuries herbalists have used these flowers and berries to treat a wide variety of acute viral illnesses and other health complications. The flowers are a wonderful remedy for easing feverish states as well as treating a variety of skin conditions. These days the berries of the Elder tree have won a central place in the natural prevention and treatment of viral infections such as colds and cases of flu.
May Prevent Infections
Although it’s difficult to measure the effectiveness of using Elderberry as a preventative measure to protect against viral onslaughts, herbalists (and mamas!), the world over have sung the praises of regular consumption of elderberry extracts to keep immunity strong. Elderberry syrups, tinctures, and elixirs are regularly consumed as a way to stay healthy through cold and flu season. Furthermore, some research suggests that when elderberry is taken daily it can help shorten the length and severity of viral infections if they do occur.
Could Shorten the Length of Colds and Flu
One research study revealed that elderberry extracts were extremely effective for speeding up the healing time from viral infections like the flu. The study looked at sixty people with influenza and compared a placebo group to one taking regular, daily doses of elderberry extract. In the group, 90% of people taking elderberry extracts were better within 2-3 days compared to the placebo group, in which 90% of participants took up to 6 days to recover. That’s a significant reduction in the amount of time spent with fevers, coughs, and runny noses… not to mention the significant reduction in the number of tissue boxes you’ll need to stock!
Additionally, these small, deep-purple berries are packed with a wide variety of potent antioxidants like flavonols, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins, which are reported to have an antioxidant power that is 3.5x greater than Vit E. This incredible lineup of antioxidants helps Elderberries provide protection from oxidative damage in the body and offer anti-inflammatory benefits. This means that things in your body like the nervous system, cells, heart, and blood vessels are greatly benefited. As an added bonus, elderberry extracts are a great natural source of vitamin C. Not too bad for a day’s work!