At a glance:
Elderberry is a flowering plant from the Adoxaceae family.
Elderberry is most well known for its immune-enhancing properties.
It’s important to note that these tart berries need to be cooked to be consumed. In their raw form, they’re known to be poisonous and cause stomach discomfort.
Have you heard of elderberries?
According to the smart people at Healthline, “Elderberry refers to several different varieties of the Sambucus tree, which is a flowering plant belonging to the Adoxaceae family.”
These dark purple berries have long been lauded for their health benefits. In fact, supporters of the fruit say it’s “one of nature’s most versatile solutions for what ails you.”
Elderberry benefits range from supporting the immune system to boosting skin appearance, but not so fast! It’s important to note that these tart berries need to be cooked to be consumed. In their raw form, they’re known to be poisonous and cause stomach discomfort. They’re often cooked into juices, which is one of the best ways to absorb elderberry benefits.
If you’ve been wondering “what is elderberry good for?” you’ve come to the right place! We got in touch with our team of wellness experts to learn more about elderberry benefits, so we could relay all the juicy information to you.
Here’s what they said:
Elderberry is most well known for its immune-enhancing properties and can be effective at reducing the severity of colds, viruses, and even upper respiratory infections.
Elderberries are loaded with key nutrients to boost the immune system, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, beta-carotene, iron, potassium, and phytosterols.
Pro-tip: both the flowers and berries can be used. The berries have the most concentrated active compounds for stimulating the immune system, treating upper respiratory infections, and fighting viruses.
The flowers protect against allergies and congestion and have a diaphoretic action to promote sweating for fever reduction.
While elderberries are an excellent natural medicine to keep in your cupboard, they are tasty to eat, too. Elderberries make excellent syrup, wine, jams, jellies, and pies. Be careful, however, to only consume cooked berries! Elderberries can be toxic if consumed raw, often resulting in digestive upset.
Katie Krejci, MS, RD, LD, IFNCP, Integrative Dietitian, The Homesteading RD
The flowers that bloom before turning into elderberries have been used for cosmetic purposes for centuries.
Large clusters of elderflowers bloom before turning into berries. For centuries, these blossoms have been picked at their peak and infused into water to create elderflower water, a lovely cosmetic wash. Elderflower water is slightly astringent due to tannins, making it useful for tonifying and tightening skin without being overly drying. It can even be used as an aftershave splash. Some folks use it as a hair rinse for graying blonde hair, claiming that it lightens the color. Other folks use it to lighten freckles, and it doesn’t stop there! Elderflower water can also be used as a soothing wash for itchy eyes.
Judy DeLorenzo, Holistic Nutritionist, A Life Well Planted
Elderberry is rich in antioxidants and fiber.
The body uses antioxidants to fight disease and the damage caused by free radicals and toxins. The primary source of these antioxidants in elderberries is from phytonutrients: phenolic acids, flavanols, and anthocyanins.
The immune system and gut are linked in an undeniable and strong way. When the gut is healthy the immune system is better able to operate at an optimal level. Elderberry improves gut health by providing a form of fiber that acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria.
One serving of elderberry contains approximately 7 grams of fiber, this is a quarter of the recommended daily intake! The typical diet is significantly deficient in dietary fiber, which makes elderberry a beneficial addition to most wellness routines.
Elderberries can help boost heart health.
Elderberry is a common medicinal plant used in various healing processes. Regular consumption of elderberries may have heart health benefits. Elderberries are packed with powerful antioxidants, like flavonoids and anti-inflammatory properties, such as anthocyanins. These compounds can lower high levels of bad cholesterol and unhealthy fats, lowering the risks of heart diseases. The polyphenols in elderberry flowers and fruits can help lower high blood pressure and increase insulin sensitivity and production. An increase in insulin activity boosts blood sugar regulation and reduces the risk of diabetes, heart, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Nataly Komova, RD and Fitness Expert
Elderberry is the kind of ingredient that we, at KOR, stand behind. If you want to familiarize yourself with more of our favorite ingredients – including fresh fruit juices, adaptogens, and probiotics – give our Remix Box a try. This “build your own” pack allows you to mix and match twelve different KOR shot flavors, so you can get to know them all.
Fill your day with ingredients that make you feel vibrant – with KOR!