What is Elderberry?
Elderberries are the fruit from the flowering plant known as Sambucus, more commonly referred to as elder or elderflower. It is also known as sweet elder, common elder, elderberry, sambucus, and Sambucol. The full scientific name of the most common variant, from which we get the majority of our elderberries, is Sambucus nigra. Elderberry is actually a small, deciduous tree that grows up to 7 to 10 meters in height. However, under the cultivated orchards, their height intentionally limited for few meters to help lateral spread and increase fruit production. The plant starts flowering during second year of plantation and fruiting in its third year. White or cream flowers in clusters cover the plant during early summer. Small, round, 8 to 10 mm black or purple berries appear subsequently which can be ready for harvesting by June and the season lasts until September. At maturity, the berries in clusters hang upside down as the stem often bent under the weight. A single cluster may hold hundreds of berries. Harvesting is done by hand..
Health Benefits of Elderberry
Respiratory Health: When it comes to clearing up a sore throat, a cough, cold, bronchitis, or any other issue that affects your respiratory system, elderberry juice might be your best choice. Like many cough syrups, elderberries contain active ingredients (bioflavanoids like anthocyanins, to be exact) that can soothe inflammation and irritation and also act as an expectorant and clear out phlegm that can trap foreign agents in your glands. Elderberry juice is even recommended for people with asthma.
Good for digestion: Although most fruits and vegetables can help you hit your fiber goals for the day, few fruits can boast more than 40% of your daily requirements for fiber in a single serving. Elderberries are packed with dietary fiber that can help eliminate constipation, reduce excess gas, and generally increase the health of your gastrointestinal system. Fiber can also help to increase the nutrient uptake efficiency in your gut so you get more out of your food!
Cardiovascular Protection: It seems that heart health and fruits and vegetables go hand in hand, and with good reason. The high fiber levels help to eliminate excess cholesterol from the system and make room for “good” cholesterol that the body needs. This can help eliminate the chances of developing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular issues. The high levels of potassium in elderberries also protects the heart by relaxing the tension of blood vessels and arteries. As a vasodilator, potassium can significantly reduce blood pressure and keep your heart healthy!
Good for Immune System: It seems like people love to discuss elderberries in relation to its effects on the immune system. It does have certain antibacterial and anti-infectious qualities, and it is very commonly used to ward off influenza during bad seasons where it seems that everyone is catching it. Furthermore, elderberries can strengthen the immune system against itself, protecting against the effects of autoimmune disorders, even alleviating certain symptoms and associated pain of AIDS.
Diabetes Aid: Some of the active antioxidant ingredients in elderberries work directly on the pancreas to regulate insulin and glucose levels, either providing stability for people who suffer from diabetes or helping non-diabetics to avoid developing this terrible condition.
Bone Health and Inflammation: While the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in elderberries can help alleviate joint pain and soreness from inflammation, the high levels of essential minerals will help promote bone strength and the development of new bone tissue. Osteoporosis is a condition that millions of people face in the future, but increasing bone density during your younger decades can delay the onset considerably.
Skin Health: Elderberry makes it way into a lot of cosmetic applications, primarily because the bioflavonoids in elderberries plays a very important role for the skin. The antioxidant activity, combined with its significant levels of vitamin A, make elderberries perfect for preventing or lessening wrinkles, helping age spots to fade, and generally improving the glow and tone of your body’s largest and most visible organ!
Weight Loss Booster: Consider the high level of dietary fiber, combined with the metabolism-speeding effects of a solid vitamin and mineral injection, elderberries are great weight loss aids. The fiber keeps you feeling full, the low calorie count doesn’t affect your intake too much, but you also get dozens of other health benefits as well!
Uses of Elderberry
- Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system.
- The pith of 1-year-old branches is used for making plant sections in microscopy.
- It is used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) .
The berries are used to make medicine.
- Elderberry fruit is also used for making wine and as a food flavoring. Elderberry shoots are placed into the soil to fright off mice and moles.
- It is not valued as a timber because of its small dimensions, yet the wood is appropriate for making pegs and other small wooden it
- Elderberry can be used for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating. ems simply because of its whiteness, good cutting, close grain and polishing properties.
- Extracts from elderberry are used in horticulture as a repellent against insects.
- Elderberry has also been grown for erosion control.