Elderberry also popularly known as Sambucus belongs to the family of flowering plants. A number of species are cultivated in different parts of the world. Different types of Elderberry species are also used to beautify gardens in backyards. Large clusters of small cream-white flowers bloom in late spring followed by clusters of berries which are black, purple-blue or red in color. Elderberry juice or syrup is used in exotic cuisine from around the world.
Wines and syrups from elderberry are popular and available in supermarkets. Jams, marmalades, syrups, wines, tonics and liqueurs made from elderberries or elderflowers can be expensive dependingon the purity content of its organic form. Aside from being used in cuisine, elderberries are also used as a medicinal herb to cure illnesses such as common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and asthma. These berries have a treasure of health benefits. Elderberry juice is used as a home remedy for respiratory illnesses and fatigue. Extracts of ripe cooked elderberries are used in traditional medicine is many Asian cultures. Ale made from these berries is a popular folk medicine in Europe. Relatively high quantities of Elderberry ale are consumed in European countries to ward off extreme cold keep illnesses away.
Nutritional value of Elderberries
Elderberries have a diverse range of nutrients essential for good health. The complex composition minerals and vitamins necessary for everyday health present in elderberry juice make it the perfect medicinal health drink. Also, ripe berries of the Elder tree have a high amount of dietary fiber. Antioxidants and flavonoids found in elderberries play a huge role in minimizing the risk of life threatening diseases. Elderberries contain viburnic acids, organic pigments, carotenoids, amino acids, flavonoids, tannin, vitamin A and B and a significant amount of vitamin C. This berry is also diaphoretic, diuretic and acts as a mild laxative. Quercetin amongst other flavoinoids present in elderberries is known to have therapeutic properties.
Health benefits of Elderberry juice
1 Effective in treating viral and bacterial infections
Elderberry juice is used as a treatment for viral infections or bacterial infections. These berries have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The diverse minerals and vitamins present in elderberry extracts provide relief from ailments that arise from a bacterial or viral infection. Respiratory illnesses such and bronchitis and asthma can be effectively treated with a three-week course of diluted elderberry administered twice a day.
2. Elderberry juice for UTI
Juice of elderberry is used as a home remedy for UTI. Diluted elderberry is recommended for persons with urinary tract infections. When you have a urinary tract infection you feel a tickling sensation or a burning sensation while you urinate. Elderberry juice does a flush-out job by clearing harmful toxins that accumulate around the urinary tract. Keep in mind elderberry juice for urinary tract infections should be had in consultation with your doctor treating you for a UTI.
3. Elderberry juice for anti aging
You don’t have to spend a fortune on anti aging products. Small quantities of elderberry juice are essential if you want healthy glowing skin. Elderberries are a rich source of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, phytochemicals, carotenoids, and flavonoids. These act as building blocks for glowing skin. Daily consumption of elderberry juice in accordance with a balanced diet helps protect skin cells from degeneration thereby keeping skin soft and giving it a youthful glow. Daily consumption of this juice helps nourish skin and make it firmer thereby preventing skin from sagging. If you want to slow down skin aging, elderberry juice is your elixir.
4. Elderberry juice for immune system
Elderberry juice is excellent for the immune system. Individuals with a suppressed immune system should include diluted elderberry juice as part of their diet. Extracts of elderberry boost immunity and in the process help keep secondary infections at bay. Persons that are undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer or persons taking antiretroviral drugs for treatment of HIV/AIDS should consider including elderberry juice in consultation with their doctors. Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C known
5. Elderberry juice for diabetes
Elderberry juice is used as a treatment for diabetes. Like blueberries and blackberries, elderberries too have an abundance of bioactive compounds and carb-degrading enzymes that play a vital role in absorption of carbohydrates. Elderberry juice helps control blood sugar levels. If you are a diabetic worried about a sudden surge in blood glucose, you should consider elderberries as an alternative treatment.
6. Elderberry juice for cancer
It’s a known fact that berries are loaded with antioxidants that have the ability to fight free radicals thereby minimizing the risk of life threatening diseases. The presence of biofalvonoids in elderberry juice is known to prevent cell damage and minimize the risk of cancer.
7. Elderberry juice for constipation
Elderberry juice has a high quality fiber essential for good health. Berry fiber is an excellent home remedy for constipation. Ripe berries of Elder tree have diuretic properties. Also, this berry juice acts as a laxative. Berry juice is known to facilitate natural bowel movement. In many Asian cultures this juice is consumed to maintain a healthy digestive system.
8. Elderberry juice for cholesterol and cardiovascular health
Consumption of elderberry juice over a period of time is known reduce levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). Also, balanced consumption of this juice improves cardiovascular health significantly. Antioxidants and flavonoids present in elderberry play an active role in keeping heart-related diseases at bay.
9. Elderberry juice for protection against Flu
Extracts of elderberry is known to protect against flu. Studies indicate that elderberry juice protects from different strains of influenza. Elderberries are known to improve immunity levels and offer resistance against viruses. Active ingredients found in elderberries prevent the spread of influenza virus; this is done by disarming enzymes that frequently penetrate cell walls.
10. Elderberry juice for skin
Consumption of elderberry juice does wonders in regard with skin. A regular dosage of this juice in accordance with a healthy diet rejuvenates skin. Elderberry juice acts as a natural blood cleanser which leads to improved skin condition. Blemishes, age spots, dark circles, acne conditions and fine lines can be considerably reduced by regular consumption of elderberry juice.
What should be the daily dosage of elderberry juice?
Elderberry syrups should be ideally diluted in water if consumed. For colds, cough and flu two teaspoons of fresh elderberry juice can be had once in the morning and once at night. If your symptoms are severe you can include a teaspoon of the juice in the afternoon. Do not exceed 4 teaspoons of elderberry juice in a day. Also, herbal tonics that contain elderberry extracts can be consumed as prescribed to strengthen immunity and keep influenza strains away. Discontinue immediately if you experience harsh side effects due to consumption, and make sure you consult a doctor. When consumed in excess, a person may encounter symptoms such as giddiness, vomiting and diarrhea. For optimum medicinal benefits its best you stick to the dosage recommended by a doctor, nutritionist or dietician. Dosage of elderberry juice varies depending on ailment or treatment. If you have had a medical condition or have a prevailing medical condition, make sure consult your doctor before consuming elderberry juice for medicinal purposes.