Elderberries have been known for a long time to have great health benefits. They come from a plant known as the Sambucus which is commonly referred to as elderflower or as “the elder”. They are mainly found in the Northern hemisphere specifically in North America and Europe although some Southern species are found in Australia. These berries are dark blue or black in color and have a sweet flavor which makes them good for deserts, jams, syrups, spreads and jellies. They can also be used as a base for various beverages and cocktails.
Most of the berries that fall under the same category as these berries are toxic but elderberries are an exception. A substance known as cyanide is found on the branches, leaves and twigs of the Sambucus niagra plant and is the substance that is poisonous. It is therefore advisable to always cook the berries before consuming them.
Immune System Benefits of Elderberry
As mentioned before these berries have a lot of benefits. Some of the benefits associated with the intake of these berries include;
- Cardiovascular Protection
Elderberries are rich in fiber which is good for the heart. Fiber helps in eliminating any excess cholesterol from the body and prepares it for good cholesterol. This process helps in reducing the chances of cardiovascular issues.
- Digestive Health
Due to the fact that these berries are rich in fiber just like fruits and vegetables, they help in eliminating constipation, improve the health of your gastrointestinal and reduce excess gas.
- Respiratory health
Elderberries have been used for a long time now to clear sore throats, bronchitis, coughs or colds and issues that deal with the respiratory system. Just like most cough syrups, these berries contain an active ingredient called bioflavanoids which are capable of soothing irritations and inflammations. This ingredient also acts as an expectorant.
- Immune system Health
Most of the time elderberries are associated with the immune system. It is believed to have certain antibacterial qualities and can be used to treat influenza. They are also believed to strengthen a person’s immune system.
- Diabetes Aid
There are antioxidant ingredients which are present in elderberries that help in regulating glucose and insulin levels in the body. This helps in providing stability for individuals who are diabetic and help people without diabetes avoid this terrible condition.
- Helps in weight loss
Because of the fiber present in elderberries, their consumption keeps you full and you will not need to eat every now and then.
What do elderberries do to the body and how do they do it?
Elderberry helps the body in more than one way. It boosts the immune system, helps in weight loss, aids diabetics keep the disease under control, helps in clearing the respiratory system from any infections and helps indigestion.
Extracts from elderberries such as Sambucol help in reducing the duration of certain illnesses. Regular intake of these berries leads to improved health if not a complete recovery from the illness. They are beneficial berries that help regulate a number of health issues.