Elderberry: Benefits and Dangers
Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world.
Traditionally, Indigenous people used it to treat fever and rheumatism, while the ancient Egyptians used it to improve their complexions and heal burns.
It’s still gathered and used in folk medicine across many parts of Europe.
Today, elderberry is most often taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms.
However, the raw berries, bark, and leaves of the plant are also known to be poisonous and cause stomach problems.
This article takes a closer look at:
- the evidence supporting its health claims
- the dangers associated with eating it
Elderberry refers to several varieties of the Sambucus tree, which has clusters of white flowers and black or blue-black berries. The most common type is Sambucus nigra, also known as European elderberry or black elderberry.
Elderberries are a low calorie food packed with vitamin C, dietary fiber and antioxidants in the form phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. The flowers are particularly rich in flavonols.
Elderberry extract has been found to help reduce the length and severity of symptoms caused by the influenza virus. While these results are promising, further large-scale human studies are needed.
Elderberry fruits, leaves, and flowers are strong antioxidants. However, their protective effects on humans appear to be insignificant. Additionally, the processing of the berries and flowers can reduce their antioxidant activity.
More information in the original article from Healthline here.