Nutrient Spotlight: Elderberry

The ancient Egyptians used Elderberry as a go-to medicinal plant. It's packed with nutrients to give your body's natural defense system added support. This small berry’s vibrant purple color lets you know it’s loaded with potent phytonutrients, like anthocyanin, an antioxidant with anti-microbial properties, known to boost our immune system.1 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Immune Support:

The phenolic phytochemical compounds naturally occurring in Elderberry are of great interest in research investigating nutrition and wellness. Results are considered preliminary when it comes to understanding just how elderberry may play a role in supporting the immune system. While currently there is no evidence that it can cure or prevent colds, the flu, other viruses, or respiratory illnesses, some studies suggest that elderberry extracts may help to reduce the duration of colds and influenza.2,3,4 Though the extent of the black elder plant's antiviral effects are not well established, studies have demonstrated antiviral and antimicrobial properties, and black elder is generally recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration.5

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Compounds:

Beneficial flavonoids like antioxidant & anti-inflammatory compounds, quercetin, rutin and kaempferol, are prevalent in Elderberries and may play a role in modulating inflammatory effects common in autoimmune conditions.6,7  

Heart Health:

Elderberry may support heart health, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds known to support the heart, like quercetin. Elderberry’s phytochemicals also exhibit anti-cytokine mechanisms that help block inflammation-promoting processes effecting blood vessels, which can lead to atherosclerosis.8

 

HOW TO ENJOY ELDERBERRY

Elderberry currently grows in Europe and the US. Altitude impacts potency of elderberry; fruit harvested from the foothills had about half the micrograms of anthocyanins as compared to fruits harvested from the hilltop.10 Before you forage this superfood on your own, note that raw or under-ripe Elderberry can be toxic and you shouldn’t consume the bark, roots or leaves.1 

Typically, elderberry is enjoyed as a tea, syrup or supplement. Doses ranging from 50 mg to 500 mg have been studied in healthy adults and generally deemed to be safe.1

 

 References:

  1. https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/elderberry-supplements-reviewed/elderberry/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11399518/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15080016/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848651/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28198157/
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814608011710
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372600/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26781385/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19793846/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27734518/

 

About Stacy Kennedy

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