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Elder Berry - Sambucus nigra

Elderberry is traditionally used to help support the immune system.

Traditionally used against colds and flu, there is indeed laboratory evidence that elderberry is active against the influenza virus. A study in humans showed that an elderberry extract could soothe the symptoms of the flu and shorten the duration of the illness.

They have aperient, diuretic and emetic properties, and the inspissated juice of the berries has been used as an alterative in rheumatism and syphilis in doses of from one to two drachms, also as a laxative in doses of half an ounce or more.

The ripened black Elderberries just burst with nutritional goodness: vitamin C, immune-supporting flavonoids, and other Health giving nutrients. Elderberry juice, wine and syrup are long-standing Home Remedies in Europe and around the world. This "medicine chest of the country people" is now a popular favorite for supporting immune and respiratory health.

Elder berries & flowers are known to be effective against eight strains of influenza. This suggests that elder be superior to vaccines in preventing flu, because flu vaccines are only effective against known strains of flu, whereas the virus is continually mutating to new strains. Vaccines have another draw back: over half of people who get them report side effects. Extensive research show that elder stop the production of hormone-like cytokines that direct a class of white blood cells known as neutrophils to cause inflammation, especially in influenza and arthritis. On the other hand, elder increases the production non-inflammatory infection-fighting cytokines as much as 10 fold.

This plant is traditionally used as a medicinal plant by many native peoples and herbalists alike. Stembark, leaves, flowers, fruits, root extracts are used to treat bronchitis, cough, upper respiratory cold infections, fever. A small (N=60) double blind clinical trial published in 2004 showed reduction in both duration and severity of flu-like symptoms for patients receiving elderberry syrup versus placebo. Elderberry flowers are sold in Ukrainian and Russian drugstores for relief of congestion, specifically as an expectorant to relieve dry cough and make it productive. The dried flowers are simmered for 15 minutes, the resulting flavorful and aromatic tea is poured through a coffee filter. Some individuals find it better hot, others cold, and some may experience an allergic reaction. The flowers can be used to make an herbal tea as a remedy for Inflammation caused by colds and fever

None for flowers or berries. When using berries it must be from the nigra species as others are known to be poisonous.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.