Elderberry is a sought-after ingredient in natural supplements, especially for immune defence. But what is elderberry and what are the benefits when taking it?
Read on to find out!
What is Elderberry?
Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a member of the Caprifoliaceae or honeysuckle family. Native to Europe, Northern Africa and Western and Central Asia, extracts from the small dark purple berries of this bush have been used in traditional medicine for seasonal wellness for centuries. In fact, in late summer people all around the world go out foraging for them to create extracts, syrups, tonics, desserts, jams and more. The flower can also be harvested; most commonly used for Elderflower cordial and tea.
Elderberries have been used in traditional medicines and remedies for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used it and some Ancient Egyptians even had the tincture buried with them. In the Middle Ages elderberry was considered a Holy Tree, capable of restoring good health, keeping good health, and as an aid to longevity.
What are the benefits of Elderberry?
The active constituents (parts) of Elderberry have a wide range of effects on immune health. They are reported to enhance the production of cytokines p (signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity), neutralize viruses, promote the health of the upper respiratory system as well as promoting a healthy inflammatory response.
The pectic polysaccharides found in elderberries appear to play a role in the stimulation of macrophages with the human immune system. In other words Elderberry seems to stimulate a type of white blood cell of the immune system (macrophages) that engulfs and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, cancer cells, and any other intruder that it doesn’t like the look of.
The active constituents of Elderberry include:
- Anthocyanins (specifically the cyanidin family)
- Pectic polysaccharides
The most researched constituent, anthocyanins, are a type of beneficial plant phytochemical called flavonoids. They are water soluble pigments that give elderberries their characteristic dark purple colour. Anthocyanins have powerful antioxidant effects, helping to protect against oxidative stress.
Find out more about the importance of testing for active constituents here - high quality and authentic herbs - why is it so important?
Packed with Vitamin C
We have been asked why we don’t add Vitamin C to our Extra Dose of Immunity. The reason is that the vast majority of the world’s Vitamin C production is chemically produced in a factory (commonly known as Ascorbic acid). If you don’t know by now, that’s not what we’re about - Nature is Awesome! And she has packed a lot of natural Vitamin C into Elderberry. On average 6–35 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, which is 60% of your daily recommended intake.
Why do we use Elderberry?
We’ve used Elderberry in our Extra Dose of Immunity for all of the reasons above - for it’s immune boosting properties. Plus we want our botanicals to taste great and the tart flavour of the Elderberries pairs beautifully with the delicious flavour of our raw Mānuka Honey.
Together with Echinacea purpurea, this potent syrup like herbal supplement is perfect for when you feel your immune system is under attack. Kickstarting the immune response with the added benefit of an all natural energy boost from raw Manuka honey will help you feel your best.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.