Looking for natural remedies for this cold and flu season? There is evidence that the elderberry plant is used for medicinal purposes dating back to ancient Egyptian times. However, most historians trace its healing properties back to Hippocrates, AKA “the father of medicine”.
The most commonly used elderberry for medicinal purposes is Black elderberry. Elderberry is botanically known as Sambucus nigra and is a native tree to the European continent. The tree bears cream-colored flowers that are followed by dark purple berries in the autumn season.
Elderberry is one of the top antiviral herbs that aids in boosting Immunity, beneficial for the respiratory system and helps to reduce inflammation. Elderberry has been traditionally used for improving sinus issues such as congestion, relieving pain and inflammation, water retention, constipation and even cancer.
So how does elderberry work? Here’s what you need to know……
Elderberries are rich in nutrients such as organic pigments, amino acids, tannin, carotenoids, and vitamins like A, B and C, iron and potassium. It also contains flavonoids which have antioxidant properties that help boost immunity by removing free radicals. It also contains a chemical, that helps stimulate the immunity.
- Provides cold and flu relief by shortening the duration of symptoms if used within the first 48hours.
- Reduces sinus infection symptoms and eases allergies through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Provides allergy relief
- Lowers blood sugar by glucose metabolism and the secretion of insulin stimulating glycogenesis which helps clear excess sugar in the bloodstream into your muscles and liver to aid in blood sugar maintenance
- Acts as a natural diuretic by promoting the production of urine
- Promotes regularity and supports digestive health
- Supports skin health via bioflavonoids, antioxidants and vitamin A properties
How to Use Elderberry
The easiest way for a child to consume elderberry is to purchase a liquid or gummy. However, there are other ways to consume elderberry including…
- jelly/ jam
- liquid: tea, juice, syrup, wine, infusion water
- pills, lozenge, powder, capsule
When you purchase elderberry, be careful of the extra additives such as sugars.
Like many medications on the market, supplements can be a cause for concern depending on your health history and your sensitivity tolerance. Elderberry has few side effects when used properly. It is a flower so an allergic reaction can occur.
This is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding because there is not enough research on fetal health and development.
Elderberry is generally safe to consume. However, due to the actions of the supplement, elderberry could potentially interact with the following medication.
- Immunosuppressants/ autoimmune medications
- Diabetes medication
*Disclaimer- Elderberry does not cure. Please seek advice from your child’s health care provider before introducing anything new. Only their provider knows their health history.
How do you prepare elderberry for your child (i.e gummy, liquid)?