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The Elderberry Syrup Wars


Elderberry is most often taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. It is is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world. Elderberries are a low-calorie food packed with vitamin C, high antioxidants dietary fiber and antioxidants in the form phenolic acids, flavonols and anthocyanins. The flowers are particularly rich in flavonols. Elderberry extract has been found to reduce the length and severity of symptoms caused by the influenza virus. While these results are promising, further large-scale human studies are needed.

It is said that Elderberry has some benefits for heart health, such as reducing cholesterol, uric acid and blood sugar levels.


Other Health Benefits

There are many other reported benefits of elderberry, though most of these have limited scientific evidence:

  • Helps fight cancer: Both European and American elder have been found to have some cancer-inhibiting properties in test-tube studies (5, 8Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).

  • Fights harmful bacteria: Elderberry has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria like Helicobacter pylori and may improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis (8Trusted Source).

  • May support the immune system: In rats, elderberry polyphenols were found to support immune defense by increasing the number of white blood cells (30).

  • Could protect against UV radiation: A skin product containing elderberry extract was found to have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 9.88 (31Trusted Source).

  • May increase urination: Elderberry flowers were found to increase the frequency of urination and amount of salt excretion in rats (32).

  • May have some antidepressant properties: One study found mice fed 544 mg of elderberry extract per pound (1,200 mg per kg) had improved performance and mood markers (33Trusted Source).





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