is related to the blueberry and cranberry and contains natural anitoxidants. It's also reportedly been used to reduce cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and improve resistance to coughs, colds, flu and infections. Elderberry syrup is a well-known 'folk remedy' that has been used to treat coughs and sore throats for generations.
Concerned about the flu?
The recent concerns about the H1N1 flu has caused an increased interest in the potential ability of elderberries in boosting the immune system.
It has been reported that elderberries were used in Panama to fight a flu epidemic in 1995. A strong immune systems helps your body fight off illness and helps you recover more quickly if you do happen to become ill.
Elderberry Immune Response Research
At the Bundesforschungsanstalt, research center for food in Karlsruhe, Germany, scientists conducting studies on elderberries showed that elderberry anthocyanins enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines. These unique proteins act as messengers in the immune system to help regulate immune response, thus helping to defend the body against disease. Additional research showed that anthocyanins found in elderberries (as well as acai berries) possess appreciably more antioxidant capacity than either vitamin E or vitamin C.
Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, which help defend the body against stress. Antioxidants also help the body's cell protection system and compounds such as anthocyanins help protect the body against damage by neutralizing free radicals. By reducing the impact of free radicals, antioxidants such as anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of some diseases associated with free radicals including heart disease and cancer.
Do elderberries or elderberry juice have any known side effects or potentially dangerous implications?
Elderberry can be consumed as an herbal supplement, a tea or a juice. If taken as a supplement, follow instructions on the label (always follow label instructions on anything you consume!). Elderberry tea and juice can typically be consumed safely in moderation. The best way to reap the benefits of elderberry is to drink up to 10 ounces of elderberry juice daily. However, large doses can cause diarrhea, so test your tolerance and build up gradually. ('Everything in moderation' is a good motto to keep in mind with any food, product or supplement).
If you're looking for a natural way to boost your immune system and want to enjoy a delicious organic juice as well, try organic elderberry juice for an all-around good for you superfood.
For more on the power of antioxidants in organic food, click here.
For Biotta's organic elderberry juice, click here.