When I hear the word “elder,” I think of something or someone old and wise with a lot to offer the world.
Elderberries have been around for centuries and are filled with fantastic benefits to offer you and your health. They are most commonly known for their contribution to jam, jellies, wines, syrups and other desert like foods and beverages because of their sharp, sweet flavor.
They come from a flowering plant known as Sambucus (or elderflower) that’s found in the Northern hemisphere, most commonly in Europe and North America, though they can also be found in Australia. They are easy to get a hold of and can be made into a number of delicious goodies.
Elderberries are a very nutritious fruit, packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper and vitamins A, B and C, along with some fiber and protein. This is only the beginning of what these delicious berries can do for you.
Top Benefits Of Elderberries
#1. Aid In Digestion
Unlike most fruits and vegetables, elderberries can provide 40% of your daily dietary fiber requirement in just a single serving. Their fiber content can help smooth out your digestive process, prevent constipation, reduce gas, help with nutrient absorption and boost the health of your gastrointestinal system.
#2. Boost Immunity
Elderberries are popularly known for their ability to aid the immune system with their anti-bacterial and anti-infectious properties. They have proven to be able to ward off influenza and can help protect against autoimmune diseases.
#3. Improve Heart Health
The high levels of fiber in elderberries can also help boost heart health by clearing out excess cholesterol from your system and making room for the HDL cholesterol you actually need. This reduces the chances of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular issues. The levels of potassium in elderberries can also ease tension in your blood vessels and arteries and lower blood pressure, further providing protection for your heart.
#4. Strengthen Bones
The minerals found in elderberries can help promote bone strength while also aiding in the development of new bone tissue. This can help decrease your chances of developing osteoporosis.
#5. Support Respiratory Health
Elderberries have been known to be used as a sort of natural cough syrup and for good reason. They can help soothe a sore throat, clear up a cold, aid recovery from bronchitis and help with any other issue involving your respiratory system. Elderberries contain active compounds that help ease inflammation and other irritations. They even have the potential to help with asthma.
#6. Help With Diabetes
Elderberries contain compounds that directly affect the pancreas and help regulate the production of insulin and glucose, helping those with diabetes as well as preventing it in those who don’t have it.
#7. Enhance Skin Care
Elderberries are a favorite ingredient in skin care products because of their bioflavonoids that are known to help enhance skin health. Their antioxidant and vitamin A content specifically helps reduce signs of aging and helps your skin develop a natural glow.
How To Enjoy Elderberries
There are several ways to enjoy elderberries. They can be made into delicious jellies, used as tonics, made into teas, etc. It is highly suggested to either cook them or enjoy them dry in whatever recipes or ways you choose to enjoy them.*
Here is a tea recipe to help get your relationship with elderberries started…
Immune-Boosting Elderberry Tea
Recipe credit: Wellness Mama
- 16 oz filtered water
- 2 tbsp dried elderberries
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp raw honey (optional, for sweetening)
- Put water and elderberries into a small saucepan.
- Add turmeric and cinnamon.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer and pour into individual mugs.
- Stir in raw honey if using.
*Note of caution: be sure to get good quality elderberries from certified and reputable sources as they are wild berries and can contain traces of cyanide (also why it’s suggested to cook them or eat them dry). If you want to harvest them yourself, be sure to do your research and make sure you know what you’re doing.
Have you used elderberries before? What are your experiences? Do you have any favorite recipes? Please share with us, we’d love to hear from you.