Elderberries: Nature's Remedy for the Flu
In this article we are going to discuss some of the key health benefits of elderberries, and also weigh in on its role in COVID-19 and how this medicinal berry plant has become the subject of internet craze in 2020. While we do make some strong recommendations for the use of elderberry products, please understand that this is not medical advice and be sure to consult a physician if you have any specific health concerns.
What are elderberries and why are people suddenly going crazy for them?
Elderberries have been used medicinally for thousands of years in ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Americas. While the berries should never be eaten raw, teas from raw leaves of the plant are perfectly safe and often used to treat many digestive ailments. In fact, Hippocrates, the well-known “father of medicine”, referred to elderberries as his “medicine chest” due to their wide range of uses. The Greeks commonly applied to treat cold, flu, and upper respiratory infections. Ancient Egyptians used the leaves to treat burns, improve skin complexion, and used dried up elderberries for aches and pains. Native Americans used both berries and leaves to treat wounds, tendon injuries, sprains and even fight off parasites. They drank teas made from the leaves and applied the plant directly to the skin. In modern times, elderberry is often paired with echinacea and other vitamins to help with immune support and the treating of common ailments.
Elderberry - the Medicine Chest of Millennia
Elderberry refers to a number of Sambucus trees, which are actually flowering plants in the family of Adoxaceae. The most commonly used is the European variety, which is known as the Sambucus nigra L, or Black Elder. And while this berry has been used in ancient and folk medicines for millennia, they have seen a resurgence in popularity as we are becoming more aware of nature’s own cures and medicines. From the keto diet to the kale craze, we contemporary humans are leaning more and more toward natural remedies for our natural, and unnatural, ailments. And with the knowledge that vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and other vitamins and supplements are vital to our well-being both physically and mentally, naturally more and more people are turning to elderberries as a superfood that packs a punch of good stuff.
Because they are literally like a whole medicine chest in and of themselves, and their great performance in overall immune system support, people have been searching like crazy online for elderberries. Since October of last year, there have been hundreds of thousands of people researching and buying elderberry, and in March and April of 2020, Google was generating nearly 1 million searches on elderberry every single month.
When the coronavirus made its debut in February and March, people all over the world were searching for home remedies and natural methods to combat, if not altogether prevent, contracting COVID-19. One of the most searched for items was elderberry and its supplements due to their high level of antioxidants, vitamin C, and for their general ability to boost the immune system. Soon after, the internet world started screaming “no to elderberry!” as evidence of cytokine storms in coronavirus victims were identified.
In a nutshell, a cytokine storm is when the body produces too many cytokines, or immune system proteins, that then attack the body’s cells instead of the invading virus. These “storms” are often found in people with HIV and other autoimmune syndromes, and can turn potentially deadly. Early studies on patients who used elderberries while healthy did display some increase in cytokine production, but there is very little evidence to support that it occurs regularly enough to be dangerous in someone who is ill with the flu, SARS-type viruses, or COVID-19. Nonetheless, it is always good to consult a physician if you have health concerns.
While internet searches for elderberries and COVID-19 have yielded both positive and negative responses with expert advice oftentimes contradicting each other, it is still worth considering the great number of benefits to incorporating elderberry supplements into your diet. Elderberries have numerous nutritional benefits to take advantage of. They are very high in vitamin C, high in dietary fiber, a great source of phenolic acid, rich in anthocyanins, and a good source of antioxidant-rich flavonoids.Cold & Flu Season, running from December to March each year, is coming soon, and many people are out getting flu shots in preparation right now. So why not stock up on flu treatments as well?
The main question is, if you are not incorporating elderberry into your diet, what’s stopping you when millions and millions of people are stocking up on this super berry right now? That’s what we’re here to help with. Elderberry is full of vitamins and immune boosting components, naturally, and it can help you in many ways. While most people were searching for a cure or preventative natural drug for COVID-19, there are still other health issues we deal with on a day-to-day basis. From cholesterol to headaches, sinus infections and digestive disorders, elderberry might just be a good item to stock up on.
Elderberries are simply packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and can boost your immune system and help with other common ailments. Here are 9 health benefits of elderberries that are backed by science:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: this mystery disease with no clear causes can be treated with elderberry. The flu-like symptoms and overall aches and pains that individuals suffering from CFS experience can be alleviated with elderberry. More studies need to be done to explain why it works, but those who use it often report that it does.
- Constipation: studies find that individuals suffering from constipation have more frequent bowel movements when they drink elderberry tea. The high dietary fiber found in elderberry mean that they are good to use for those suffering from constipation. Furthermore, some minor studies show that ingesting foods high in flavonoids, like elderberry, can reduce the growth of colon cancer cells in the body.
- Hay fever: because elderberry helps boost the immune system, fights symptoms of cold and flu like runny noses and cough, and may be beneficial in fighting off hay fever and allergic responses.
- Headaches, toothaches, and sciatica: while there is insufficient evidence that elderberry fights off evidence, some studies have shown that people who suffer from chronic headaches and toothaches find relief when taking elderberry supplements. Elderberries have also been proven in several studies to reduce simple aches and pains, relieving pressure that builds up in the nerves and causes sciatica.
- High cholesterol: there have been many promising studies linking elderberries to the treatment and prevention of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. The high level of flavonoids in elderberries prevent the growth of many cancers and help keep hearts healthy.
- Sinus infections: the immune system boost you get from elderberries helps reduce inflammation, and can decrease nasal congestion in people suffering from sinus infections.
- Upper respiratory infections like influenza (the flu): For influenza, elderberry syrup is most effective and can reduce symptoms in 2-4 days. The verdict is still out on whether elderberry can prevent the flu virus, but it is and has been commonly used for thousands of years to treat symptoms. While there is no definitive proof that elderberry prevents the flu, studies have shown people who took elderberry supplements before traveling had less severe symptoms if they did get sick, and the symptoms cleared up much quicker. There are many products available in the drug store to treat flu and cold symptoms, but all natural elderberry provides additional boosts of vitamins and minerals.
What elderberry products works best?
Elderberry vitamins and supplements most commonly come in syrups, gummies, tablets, and capsules. There are even great products designed just for kids to help boost their immune systems during this time. One of the most trusted brands is Sambucol.
Developed by an Israeli company that conducted numerous studies on the effects of elderberry in treating influenza A and B, they found that patients who took doses of Sambucol syrup when sick were twice as likely to recover from their
symptoms in just 2-4 days. Influenza, as you may know, usually maintains its symptoms in people for one to two weeks, if not longer. Sambucol makes syrup for treating flu and cold symptoms, as well as syrups just for kids, gummies, and both chewable and effervescent tablets.
Other top brands like Gaia, Doctor’s Best, NOW foods, Honey Gardens and Solaray make a wide variety of elderberry products you can trust. Click on the images below for more information on these products. Stock up now. These products are selling out like never before.
WARNING: DO NOT CONSUME RAW ELDERBERRY. Always purchase elderberry products from brands you trust.
We at Nutricelebrity are not doctors and cannot offer medical advice, so we do recommend first that anyone with underlying health conditions check with your physician to see how using elderberry and elderberry extract could impact your health condition.