Elderberry or sambucus is a flowering plant from the Adoxaceae family. It grows in subtropical regions and is more widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. The plant is cultivated for its ornamental leaves and flowers, but has also been a part of natural medicine for centuries.
Elderberry is among the oldest healing plants in the world. It has been used for millennia, with even the great Hippocrates praising its properties. Even science has confirmed its powerful abilities in the last few decades after a long time of ignoring it. Most of the research on elderberry has been focused on its effect on colds, the flu, cough and similar problems. Several studies have shown that elderberry extract is just as effective as Tamiflu, (the usually prescribed medication for swine flu) without the side-effects of the drug.
The healing properties of elderberry
Elderberry has mostly been used as a natural remedy against respiratory problems such as asthma, cough, chest congestion, colds, the flu, throat and lung infections. It is commonly used to reinforce the immune system as well, and like all berries, it is an excellent source of antioxidants. Elderberry is a mild laxative, so its effective against milder forms of digestive disorders, and it tastes great, which makes it a favorite among children. The plant’s powerful diuretic properties can ease most kidney and urinary tract problems.
And it’s not all just about the plant – elderberry flowers have a rich nutritional profile which includes carotenes, flavonoids, tannins, vitamin, while the berries contain carotenes, antioxidants, vitamins A, B and C and organic acids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that can protect our cells from damage, which is why elderberry is often used as a natural remedy for degenerative diseases.
As we mentioned before, elderberry can reinforce the immune system and fight infections, colds and the flu. It possesses antiviral and antibacterial properties which work great against respiratory infections. Besides being a laxative, it is a powerful diuretic as well. Elderberry is often a part of creams that treat dark spots and stains. The plant is often used to treat numerous skin disorders such as acne, skin rashes and eczema.
Looking back in the past, elderberry has been used to fight colds, the flu, viral and bacterial infections as well as sinus obstructions. People were well aware of its ability to promote sweating, which effectively removes toxins from the body and speeds up the recovery process. This is why it was so popular in the past, and also the reason why we should use it more today.