You may have been hearing about elderberry a lot lately, especially in the past two years during Covid-19. But does elderberry actually help reduce symptoms from viruses and illnesses?Otherwise known as sambucus nigra, the black elderberry is a small, antioxidant rich fruit common to Europe and North America. In folk medicine today, the elderberry is considered one of the world’s most healing plants. Like many herbal supplements, elderberry can provide nutrients to your body while boosting its immunity powers. The reason why elderberry is so great at helping your body's immunity is because elderberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give the fruit its characteristic black-purple colour.
Here are the major benefits of elderberry for your health*
- Mainly in cold and flu symptoms, if taken in the first 48 hours of a virus, by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells
- Help infections that affect how you breathe
- High in anti-inflammatory compounds flavonoids which may reduce chronic diseases like heart disease
- Enhance body defense to possibly prevent future illness
- Ease constipation due to the anthraquinones in elderberry
- Skin conditions such as burns, swelling, cuts, skin rashes
*Reference: Golnoosh Torabian, Peter Valtchev, Qayyum Adil, Fariba Dehghani. Anti-influenza activity of elderberry (Sambucus nigra). Journal of Functional Foods, 2019
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Elderberry is packed with heart-healthy antioxidants that may be able to give your immune system a boost during cold and flu season. Giving your body a little boost of elderberry can only help you keep up your immune fighting powers all year round. Just make sure to check in with your pharmacist before taking elderberry supplements. And while no medicines can completely cure the flu, the flu vaccine is the best defense against it.
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