Updated: Jan 8
Elderberry is quite possibly the most well known herbal remedy as well as one of the more well known herbs in the scientific/pharmaceutical industry. According to (Krawiec) with Nutritional outlook, “within the cold and flu category, rising in sales by a whopping 116% to nearly $63 million.” Making Elderberry ranked as the 10th bestselling ingredient in the natural channel.
This season was my first personal experience finding and harvesting fresh elderberries! Allowing for us to not only offer our customers and clients TrulyMindfuls own elderberry syrup as well as our dried elderberry DIY home kits but myself a much deeper appreciation, connection and understanding of the plant. With this deep dive into elder I want to share on elder, its benefits, folklore and so much more with you.
Uses & Effectiveness
The humble elderberry is perhaps most famously used for the treatment of colds and flu. An extensive body of research, including a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment done in 1995 during an influenza B outbreak in Panama, attests to its efficacy. According to the study, 93.3% of those who took elderberry syrup experienced noticeable improvements in their symptoms, including fever, after 2 days. Compared to the placebo group, which took six days to recover fully, 90% of the elderberry group did so in two to three days.
Antioxidants and vitamins found in elderberry berries and flowers may help to strengthen your immune system. They might also assist to control inflammation, relieve stress, and safeguard your heart. Elderberry is suggested by some experts as a way to both prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms.
Shown Effective for
Flavonoids, notably anthocyanins, which give elderberries their deep purple (nearly black) color, are particularly abundant in elderberries. The immune system is kept robust and resilient by these potent antioxidants. The head of Germany's Federal Research Institute for Nutrition and Food is Dr. Gerhard Rechkemmer. His studies have demonstrated that the anthocyanins in elderberries increase the production of cytokines, which are immune system messenger proteins that improve the body's immune response. The immune system's reaction to sickness is greatly aided by cytokines, which function very similarly to hormones. Depending on the situation, immune cells can release them directly into the bloodstream or locally into body tissue during an immune response. They can be either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory.
These tiny berries may also contain antiviral chemicals, which are powerful enough to be thought to render viruses inactive. Viruses require entry into a healthy cell in order to reproduce because they are unable to do so on their own. To assist them break through the cell wall, they are skillfully covered with something referred to as "haemagglutinin spikes." Enzymes that the virus employs to destroy the cell wall are also coated on these viral spikes. High amounts of bioflavonoids found in elderberries appear to suppress the activity of this enzyme, rendering viruses inactive and preventing them from replicating by preventing them from penetrating cell walls. The Elderflower is also packed with bioflavonoids that help to boost the immune system.
Cystitis/Urinary Tract/Bladder Infections
UTIs, cystitis, and bladder infections, which most frequently affect women (although men are by no means exempt), are a source of extreme suffering and discomfort. The continuous need to urinate and accompanying burning sensation might make the person feel miserable and confined to their home. Elderberry tea, which acts primarily as a diuretic, may provide great relief from this crippling disease. This is crucial because it increases urination and causes the kidneys to continuously clear out toxins. The bacteria that cause cystitis are then flushed out as a result, lowering the risk of the infection spreading to the bladder and/or kidneys and possibly shortening the illness's duration. The burning and agony that come with urinating could possibly be lessened because of its anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Elderberry is a fantastic natural treatment for allergy symptoms due to its immunostimulating and anti-inflammatory characteristics. This powerful herb can help with edema, runny or stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, sinusitis, and sneezing. It is said to be very beneficial for treating hay fever and bolstering the upper respiratory system.
The anti-catarrhal properties of elderflower are also useful in treating seasonal allergy-related congestion and runny noses.
Elderberries' high fiber content can aid to prevent constipation, lessen excess gas, and generally improve the condition of the digestive system. These berries' dietary fiber can also improve the efficiency of nutrients being absorbed, particularly in the gut, so you can benefit more from the food you eat.
Children: Elderberry extract taken orally for up to three days is safe for kids 5 years of age and older. Elderberry use by children under the age of five is unknown given the lack of sufficient trustworthy data. Elderberries that are not yet ripe or cooked may not be safe. Never give them to kids.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ELDERBERRY Elderberry can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking elderberry along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.
Consuming elderberries that are immature or undercooked poses a potential health risk. Elderberries that have been cooked appear to be harmless, but unripe, uncooked fruit may make you sick or give you very bad diarrhea.
Terms to Know
Contraindication: (of a condition or circumstance) suggest or indicate that (a particular technique or drug. or herb) should not be used in the case in question.
Supporting Cluster Post to Include: Coming Soon
Elder is a relatively newcomer to world mythology, having emerged most notably in European history and mythos, where she has been intimately associated with Celtic faerie kingdoms and ethereal realms of other European traditions. Elder is sacred to several goddess cultures, particularly Venus and Holle. The concept of the Elder Mother, a spirit who lives the Elder tree and has the power to perform a range of magics in this world, is most common among current and ancient pagan religions.
Elder has always been revered in pagan traditions. Elder's pagan abilities include the capacity to guard, inspire vivid dreams, particularly of the Faerie realms, heal, and exorcise or remove evil spells and influences.
It was said that to wear or carry Elder wood, leaves, flowers or berries would protect you from attack.
Elderberry oil or water was used in blessing rituals.
Elder leaves and branches were often hung in doorways and windows to protect those who lived within.
Elder planted in the back yard, particularly near the kitchen, provided protection from negative influences and disease.
Elder flowers were used in a facial wash to lighten and care for the skin.
It was said that if you fell asleep under the elder you would dream of the faerie lands.
In Christian traditions, on the other hand, the Elder was a terrifying figure of sadness and death. Langland said in The Vision of Piers Plowman that Elder was the tree from which Judas Iscariot committed suicide by hanging. Elder was also claimed to be the tree whose wood was used to create the cross on which Jesus was crucified at times. Elder has been employed in a variety of funeral ceremonies as well as in rituals for identifying and repelling witches.
Elder wood is very well-known in folklore. Elder branches have a firm, readily polished exterior and a soft, springy center that is easily removed. For these reasons, they are frequently utilized to construct woodwind instruments, which are thought to provide the music that faeries and other spirits prefer. Elder wood burns quickly, causing a lot of hissing and cracking, which is perhaps why the gypsies avoided burning it.
Elder's lessons and magic are similar to those of the Gateway Guardian. She reminds us that the gateway guardian is a combination of strength and protection, as well as softness and light. Her skin, bark, and outside wood are tough and tough, protecting the tender inner core and sap that is the blood of life and the home of the spirit.
Woodwind instruments built from Elder are supposed to produce the most adored music of the Spirit realm, implying Elder's ability to unite energies across the divide. If Elder has appeared in your life, she may be asking you to be the bridge between two worlds. Elder magic is the magic of juxtaposition, of opposites finding synergistic expression.
“Elderberry Benefits - Natural Health Guide.” Indigo Herbs, https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/elderberry. Accessed 5 September 2022.
“ELDERBERRY: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews.” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-434/elderberry. Accessed 5 September 2022.
Krawiec, Sebastian. “Artemis International announces new research and phytonutrient berry blend: SupplySide West 2022 report.” Nutritional Outlook, 21 November 2022, https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/view/artemis-international-announces-new-research-and-phytonutrient-berry-blend-supplyside-west-2022-report. Accessed 8 January 2023.