Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world. Elderberry refers to several different varieties of the Sambucus tree, which is a flowering plant belonging to the Adoxaceae family.
Traditionally, Native Americans used it to treat infections, 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.
Do not eat raw elderberries as they can be poisonous.
1) High in Nutrients
Elderberries are a low-calorie food packed with antioxidants.
- High in vitamin C
- High in dietary fiber
- A good source of phenolic acids
- A good source of flavonols
- Rich in anthocyanins
2) Treating acne
3) May Improve Cold and Flu Symptoms
4) High in Antioxidants
5) May Be Good for Heart Health
Here are many other reported benefits of elderberry, though most of these have limited scientific evidence:
- Helps fight cancer: Both European and American elder have been found to have some cancer-inhibiting properties in test-tube studies (Source, Source).
- Fights harmful bacteria: Elderberry has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria like Helicobacter pylori and may improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis (Source).
- May support the immune system: In rats, elderberry polyphenols were found to support immune defense by increasing the number of white blood cells (Source).
- Could protect against UV radiation: A skin product containing elderberry extract was found to have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 9.88 (Source).
- May increase urination: Elderberry flowers were found to increase the frequency of urination and amount of salt excretion in rats (Source).
- May have some antidepressant properties: One study found mice fed 544 mg of elderberry extract per pound (1,200 mg per kg) had improved performance and mood markers (Source).