Elderberry is a purple fruit of the Sambucus tree. Over the years, elderberries have become one of the most popular natural remedies for cold and flu symptoms. This is because their antioxidant-rich value helps to fight other viral infections. They also boast a number of additional benefits for the body.

In addition to its antioxidant value, elderberries are both low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals that include vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, folate, as well as calcium, and iron. With such a strong nutritional value, it’s no wonder that the fruit boasts so many health benefits.

6 Health benefits of elderberry

1. High in antioxidants

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As mentioned, elderberries are extremely high in antioxidants. This helps to promote longevity as antioxidants work to reduce the risk of chronic diseases by combating oxidative stress.

Not only do elderberries contain effective antioxidants, but a study published in Food Research International found that antioxidant status improved in people an hour after they had drunk 400 ml of elderberry juice.

2. May improve cold and flu symptoms

There’s a reason why so many cold and flu medications include elderberry extract.

Various studies have highlighted the benefits that elderberries can have on one’s cold and flu symptoms. For instance, one study published in Advances in Traditional Medicine found that elderberry helped to significantly improve cold and flu symptoms.

3. Improve skin health

As mentioned, elderberry is rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins A and C. This can help to improve skin health. It does so by protecting against oxidative stress. This can serve to reduce the appearance of wrinkles as well as improve skin elasticity.

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Additionally, elderberry may be used as an acne remedy as its antimicrobial properties may help to combat breakouts.

4. Boosts immunity

2020 has been the year of immune health, and elderberry may be exactly what we need to further strengthen our immunity.

Various research has shown that elderberry can help to stimulate the production of white blood cells, as well as calm an overactive immune system.

5. May improve blood sugar

Over 400 million people are living with diabetes worldwide. To manage the disease, it’s important that diabetics manage their blood sugar and elderberries may help them do this.

A 2017 animal study found that elderberry extracts helped to prevent insulin spikes as well as insulin resistance in mice that had been fed a high-fat diet. Additionally, a separate study done on diabetic rats found that elderberry helped to improve blood sugar control.

6. May improve heart health

As mentioned, elderberries are rich in antioxidants and as a result, they may help to improve heart health. A study published in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, over a period of 2 weeks, elderberry juice helped to decrease oxidative stress as well as cholesterol levels. 

As we know. high levels of both oxidative stress and cholesterol can greatly increase one’s risk for heart disease.

Are they dangerous?

Not necessarily.

Yes, elderberries can provide some promising health benefits but too much of anything is never good.

If eaten too much, the fruit can cause constipation. Additionally, eating uncooked berries, leaves, bark, or roots of the elderberry can cause nausea, as well as vomiting, and diarrhea.

That said, if collecting the berries yourself, make sure to cook them properly. Remember to remove any branches, bark, or leaves before use as they are not suitable for consumption.


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Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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