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The Benefits of Elderberry

The holiday season is upon us, and that also means the start of cold and flu season. Increased travel, stress, and colder temperatures lowers immune function. That coupled with unexpected illness can make the joyful season much less festive. However, a natural remedy is at your fingertips here at Green Door Gourmet, elderberry.

Elderberry is the fruit of the Sambuca tree. The dark berries have been used for thousands of years in Europe and North American to treat a number of health issues, from arthritis to the common cold. Elderberry products are still used today, and are considered very safe as an at-home remedy (although always check with your doctor if you have any concerns. Children’s strength is also available but check with your child’s pediatrician before feeding elderberry to your children).

We carry Nashville’s best elderberry products in our on-farm market, including customer-proven medicinal elderberry syrup. The recommended dosage is ½- 1 tablespoon daily for adults to prevent the cold and flu, and ½ tablespoon every 2-3 hours if cold and flu symptoms strike. Here are 5 awesome benefits of elderberry.

Improves Cold and Flu Symptoms

Probably the most commonly known elderberry use is as a remedy for cold and flu symptoms. In one double-blind study, people exhibiting flu symptoms took elderberry syrup 4 times daily, and a control group took a placebo. The elderberry syrup group recovered from their flu symptoms 4 days earlier and with less supplemental medication than those taking the placebo. Although more research needs to be done, this is a pretty impressive result for an all-natural remedy with no known negative side effects.

We all know that air travel causes physiological stress-breathing recycled air, dehydration, disrupted sleep schedules, stress, and tons of contact with strangers. However, a double-blind study of 312 economy-class passengers showed that elderberry syrup could help prevent and improve common cold symptoms in airline passengers. One group was given elderberry extract before and during travel, and the other a placebo. Those who took the elderberry extract were less likely to report upper respiratory symptoms than those who took the placebo. Once fallen ill, the placebo group took a significantly longer time to recover than those taking the elderberry extract.

Immune System Support

Although it is still being researched, there is evidence to support elderberry as helpful in immune system function. One study showed that the polyphenols found in elderberries help in the production of white blood cells. Elderberries are also a significant source of Vitamin C, which supports immune function. Additionally, since properly-prepared elderberry syrup is known to be safe, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give your immune system all the help it can get this winter!

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Elderberries have been shown to have anti-inflammatory compounds. The presence of high amounts of antioxidants, especially polyphenols, in elderberries has been shown to improve muscle and joint function and to potentially reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases. Elderberries have been shown to have higher antioxidants than cranberries, goji berries, and blueberries.

May Reduce the Risk of Some Cancers

Elderberries are high in a number of compounds-including phenolic acid, flavonols, and anthocyanins, which are all known to be powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants act as an antidote to excessive free-radicals in the body. They bind to the free-radicals, generally improving cellular health. Antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, to help slow aging, and to reduce inflammation.

May Improve Heart Health

Also related to antioxidants-elderberries help to improve function on a cellular level, and thus, improve overall health. A diet high in antioxidants has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Elderberries also are known to have a ton of other compounds- including polyphenols and dietary fiber-that help to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

So what are you waiting for? Whether it is for yourself or a loved one, stock up on elderberry syrup and other wellness related products at Green Door Gourmet. Elderberry syrup (and preserves) are stocked on our shelves. Enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season!

Shopping for a loved one? Create your own wellness gift basket with hand-crafted goods. Our friendly market staff is happy to help you create a customized gift basket filled with local goodies. Shop today!>>

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