The Many Benefits of Immune-Supporting Elderberry | 1MD Nutrition™

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The Many Benefits of Immune-Supporting Elderberry

Elderberry has been used for centuries to support immune function. Here’s your guide to the immune-supportive properties and benefits of elderberry.

8 minute read

Last Updated April 11, 2022

The Many Benefits of Immune-Supporting Elderberry

Elderberries are one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world and have been used for centuries. Today, the elderberry is used to promote immune system function and protect against common seasonal threats. As part of a healthy lifestyle, elderberries can support immune, heart, and digestive health.

Support Immune Health With Elderberry

The benefits of the elderberry are associated with the antioxidant compound anthocyanin. Anthocyanin gives the elderberry its dark purple color and also helps reduce occasional oxidative stress. By promoting antioxidant capacity, anthocyanin helps promote immune system defenses against common environmental threats.  

Fight Seasonal Threats

Elderberry juice has been used for centuries to help fight off seasonal threats. Today, as part of a healthy lifestyle, elderberry helps support immune system function, specifically the activation of immune cells. The antioxidant capacity of elderberry helps relieve common fatigue, nasal drippage, and cough. 

Additionally, the diaphoretic action of the flowers and berries of elderberry plants promotes a healthy immune response, aiding immune cells in the identification and taking out of problem cells. Elderberry extract or juice also helps to promote the body’s natural healing rate.

plant

Get More Vitamin C 

Elderberry has a high vitamin C content. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant known to support the immune system in a number of ways.

♦ Vitamin C encourages the production of phagocytes and lymphocytes. These are white blood cells responsible for taking out problem cells.

♦ Vitamin C promotes healthy immune cell activity to better protect against environmental threats.

♦ Vitamin C promotes healthy immune cell activity to better protect against environmental threats.

♦ Vitamin C helps maintain epithelial tissue integrity, This is the lining of the digestive and respiratory tracts and is the first main defense of our immune system.

Promote Comfort

The anthocyanins in elderberry help reduce occasional oxidative stress to support the body’s defense against invaders and to promote the body’s natural healing rate. By supporting optimal immune cell activity, anthocyanins also helps to relieve common chest-related discomfort.

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Additional Health Benefits of Elderberry

Elderberry is primarily taken to support immune system function. The powerful plant compounds within elderberries can also support other systems within your body to promote overall health.

Heart health: The anthocyanin in elderberry can help to promote healthy blood lipid levels. By promoting healthy cholesterol levels, this antioxidant supports arterial health and normal blood pressure. Elderberry also supports pancreatic cell activity, which can promote healthy blood glucose levels.

Digestive health: A compound in elderberry known as anthraquinone helps to promote gut health and healthy bowel movements. Anthraquinone encourages muscle contraction along the intestines to promote proper gastric emptying and regular bowel movements.

How to Take Elderberry 

Elderberry can be found in supplements and as a syrup. You can also make it into a tea or topical ointment, or you can eat the berries. There is no general recommendation for taking elderberry, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s dosage guidelines or the advice of your doctor.

Side Effects and Warnings

Ripe, cooked elderberry fruit is safe to eat within moderation. The amount used in supplements is also considered safe for consumption. Eating too many berries can be associated with occasional diarrhea. If eating elderberries, make sure they are always ripe and cooked, or you can opt for a supplemental form instead.

Elderberry extracts or supplements may also interact with certain medications, so consult with your doctor before starting a supplement.

a close-up of some bracelets

The Bottom Line

Elderberry has been used for decades to help support the body’s defenses against environmental threats. The immune-supporting properties of elderberry promote healthy immune responses and the body’s natural ability to heal. As a supplement, elderberry can help support heart and digestive health too.