If you’ve been reading our blogs for a while, then you know that I’m a big fan of natural remedies. The surprising thing about elderberry is that it was my husband who introduced this one to me many years ago. He swears by all-things elderberries. Also, Lou and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Khadiyah Preciado of Her Healthy Homestead who grows her own elderberries…I wish I could! She Homesteads and is my new hero. By the way be on the lookout for the interview to post in the next few weeks. I digress.
Black elderberries are small deep purple berries. They have been used as a medicinal remedy dating back to the days of Hippocrates. Elderberries can be used in jellies, pies and any baked good where you would use berries. The berries can be dried and made into teas and syrups.
Elderberries help to relieve aches, sinus pain, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, treat constipation, headaches, kidney problems fever and stress. There have been a few studies that show that elderberry syrup taken at the first sign of illness seems to shorten the severity of colds and flu. Elderberries are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral powerhouses that contain high levels of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, and flavonoids. According to WebMD, the berries and flowers of the elderberry also boosts the immune system.
I read online that a review of studies published in May 2022 named elderberry extract as an herbal agent that can reduce the virus titer, a measure of infectivity. This is likely the reason elderberries have gained popularity in recent years. They are being recommended as part of a protocol for treating folks infected with COVID-19.
In conclusion, Elderberries are safe to ingest when processed. When they are raw (or unripe), they contain cyanide-producing compounds that can cause you to feel nauseous, vomit, and diarrhea. However, many herbalists say that dried elderberries don’t cause the same symptoms as fresh berries. Ask your doctor before deciding if elderberries are safe for you.