Over the past few years, many people took a great interest in elderberry benefits and how it helps with a variety of conditions.
It is a superfood that promotes the immune system to help with infections, diseases, and other ailments.
In this article, we will cover 20 elderberry benefits to see how consuming this food can promote your physical health and mental wellbeing.
20 benefits of elderberry
Discussing what is elderberry good for is a difficult topic to cover due to the high number of clinical studies out there.
However, we opted for 20 elderberry benefits that focus on physical and mental health:
1. Fights off the flu
There is some solid evidence that supports the use of elderberry for flu.
In one systematic review, researchers concluded that the potent antioxidative and antiviral properties of elderberry might help with the flu and the common cold.
Another study inspected the effects of taking 15 milliliters (ml) of elderberry syrup four times a day. The 60 participants with flu-like symptoms of this study noticed improvement 4 days earlier compared to the placebo group.
This evidence suggests the potential use of elderberry in treating upper respiratory tract infections.
2. Treats acne
Elderberry is rich in flavonoids. These compounds are antioxidants that also exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
According to the American Nutrition Association (ANA), using an elderberry face wash helps with acne due to its antiseptic effects.
3. Reduces wrinkles
Elderberry is very rich in vitamin A, which fights off age-related skin deterioration. It soothes the skin, eases the appearance of age spots, and prevents wrinkles.
Taking elderberry supplements will provide your needs for vitamin A, which results in a myriad of health benefits.
4. Neutralizes free radicals
Inside your cells, there are chemicals known as free radicals or reactive oxygen species. The role of these chemicals is to eradicate pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses) when captured. However, they do not exert their action in a targeted way. In other words, those same free radicals could wreak havoc on your cells.
For this reason, your body uses a contingency plan to keep them under check. It uses antioxidants to neutralize the action of free radicals when their concentrations go overboard.
Unfortunately, this system is subject to many dysfunctions, and when it occurs, we refer to it as oxidative stress.
Inflammation and oxidative stress often go hand-in-hand, destroying cellular function and interfering with metabolism.
As a result, you will be at risk of an array of ailments.
Fortunately, elderberry is an excellent source of antioxidants that neutralize the detrimental effects of free radicals.
One study found that elderberry is one the most effective antioxidants out there. The study compared 15 different berries, yet elderberry always prevailed.
5. Optimizes cardiovascular health
Elderberry may benefit your heart and blood vessels.
Studies showed that elderberry can lower your levels of unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) and increase healthy fats (HDL).
One study on mice with high cholesterol levels found that elderberry reduces cholesterol in the liver and large blood vessels (e.g., aorta).
6. Helps with cancer
Researchers from Europe and the United States found that elderberry may lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
The hypothesis states that the powerful compounds found in elderberry may prevent DNA mutations in the cell.
7. Inhibits the growth of bacteria
In one research paper, scientists found that elderberry prevents the growth of bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori. Evidence suggests that elderberry is able to promote cellular identification of harmful pathogens, making these immune-boosting properties the hallmark of elderberry benefits.
8. Supports the immune system
It should come as no surprise that one of elderberry benefits revolves around optimizing the defense mechanisms of white blood cells.
More specifically, elderberry promotes the abilities of antigen-presenting cells (APC), which deliver parts of the pathogen to other types of immune cells.
9. Protects against UV radiation
Skin products that contain elderberry extracts are often potent against UV radiation. In fact, experts found that these products may contain a sun protection factor (SPF) of around 9.88, which is significantly high for a product that is not designed to protect from the sun.
10. Increases the frequency of urination
While this effect might not seem eligible to be on the list of elderberry benefits, it can be helpful for some people who suffer from kidney stones and high blood pressure.
By promoting urination and the excretion of salt, elderberry can be very effective at aiding patients with renal disease.
Before taking this product, you might want to speak with your primary care physician.
11. Improves depression
In one study, researchers found that mice who receive 544 mg of elderberry extracts per pound had a substantially better mood and cognitive performance relative to the placebo group.
12. Provides you with vitamin C
Elderberry is very rich in vitamin C.
In fact, 100 grams of this fruit contain 6–35 mg of vitamin C, which accounts for 60% of the recommended daily intake.
13. Provides you with dietary fiber
100 grams of elderberry has 7 grams of fiber. This will dramatically improve your digestion and promote the healthy growth of your gut flora.
14. Provides you with phenolic acids
Phenolic acids have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including the promotion of memory and concentration.
Consuming elderberry will provide your body with enough phenolic acids to optimize every aspect of your health.
15. Provides you with flavonols
Another one of elderberry benefits resides within its rich content in quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin.
These are known as flavonols, which could promote physical and mental health in ways that you don’t even realize.
16. Contains anthocyanins
Anthocyanins are specific to dark black, purple-colored fruits. They promote cardiovascular health, immune function, and digestion.
17. Aids with constipation
Scientists found that drinking tea that has elderflower can be a great way to ease up your symptoms of indigestion and constipation.
18. De-obstructs your nasal passages (sinusitis)
Sinusitis is another upper respiratory infection that is often chronic.
Fortunately, combining elderflower with cowslip flower, sorrel, and gentian root can be very effective at dampening the inflammation of the nasal passages.
19. Relives joint pain
The anti-inflammatory effects of elderberry lower proinflammatory cytokines in the bloodstream. As a result, your symptoms of joint and muscle pain will drastically subside.
20. Improves headaches
Treating a headache with the combination of herbs listed above can be as effective as over-the-counter medications (e.g., Tylenol).
However, you should inform your doctor if you are taking any other drugs to prevent adverse effects and interactions.
Covering all of elderberry benefits is no easy task due to the large number of studies that explore the secrets of this superfood.