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What is Elderberry?

The elderberry tree grows wild throughout Europe and has a long history of medicinal applications. In addition to the berries, the bark leaves and root of the tree have all been shown to have active properties.

The berries themselves must be allowed to ripen fully before picking as the unripe fruit contains poisonous alkaloids and cyanogenic glycosides. The alkaloids are characterized by their bitterness and are chemically related to quinine, caffeine, nicotine and strychnine.

Different Usages: Elderberries have been used for infections, coughs, and skin conditions by Native Americans.

Elder flowers and berries have been used in traditional medicine and as flavorings for centuries. In folk medicine, the flowers have been used for their diuretic and laxative properties and as an astringent.

Various parts of the elder have been used to treat cancer and a host of other unrelated disorders. Elderberry is available as an aqueous solution, berries, extract, flowers, oil, and wine.

Reported uses:
Elderberry extracts are used to treat asthma, bronchitis, cough, epilepsy, fever, fungal infections, gout, headache, hepatic dysfunction, neuralgia, rheumatic diseases, and toothache. They are also used as diuretics, insect repellents, and laxatives.

Native Americans used tea made from elderberry flowers to treat respiratory infections. They also used the leaves and flowers in poultices applied to wounds, and the bark, suitably aged, as a laxative. The berries are frequently made into beverages, pies, and preserves, but they have also been used to treat arthritis.

Infusion (add 3 to 4 g of elderberry flowers to 5 oz of simmering water): 1 to 2 cups by mouth several times daily

Elderberry juice-containing syrup: Adults, 4 tablespoons daily for three days; children, 2 tablespoons daily for three days.

Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to laboratory research, an extract from the leaves, combined with St. John’s wort and soapwort, inhibits the influenza virus and herpes simplex virus.

A double-blind study in humans determined that an extract of elderberries is an effective treatment for influenza. Animal studies have shown the flowers to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Nature's Way's Elderberry

Solaray's Elderberry

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