Black elderberry has pronounced medicinal properties and is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world.
Usually used in traditional medicine to treat infections, while in many parts of Europe they used to improve complexion and heal burns.
Today, black elderberry is most often taken in everyday practice as a natural supplement for the prevention and treatment of symptoms of colds and flu.
However, it is also known that raw berries, bark, and leaves of a plant have moderately toxic properties and can cause stomach problems.
Relief of respiratory infections
Elderberry blocks the ability of viruses to reproduce. Studies have shown that it is effective even with swine flu, and the usual virus goes 4 days faster than those who do not accept elderberry.
American experts have found that black elderberry extracts and infusions reduce the severity and duration of the flu. Experts associate the action with the pronounced antimicrobial and antiviral activity of the fetus.
In 1992, a group of Israeli scientists began to study the effect of elderberry on influenza patients. During the epidemic, half of the patients have prescribed elderberry syrup and the other half were given placebo. The results were impressive:
- During the day, 20% of elderberry syrup patients received significant improvements.
- Within two days, 75% of elderberry patients took significant improvements.
- Within 3 days, 90% of elderberry patients treated had been completely cured.
Among the placebo group, improvements were observed in 8% of patients during the day, and only after 6 days did 90% of the patients in the placebo group recover.
In 2001, Israeli scientists published the results of a study that confirmed elderberry’s ability to dramatically increase cytokine production (a form of antibody). Influenza outbreaks are always epidemiological. Up to 40% of the country’s population can get sick within 5-6 weeks. Flu vaccines are not always effective. About 50% of vaccinated people suffer from complications. In addition, influenza viruses mutate very quickly and can have many different structures that are resistant to antibodies produced in response to vaccination.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 60 patients who suffered from influenza A and B symptoms for two days or less. The first group took 4 ml of elderberry syrup 4 times a day for 5 days, and the second group received a placebo. Patients in the first group noted an improvement in flu symptoms within three days. Almost 90% of patients fully recovered in 2-3 days.
On average, according to scientists, the duration of the disease is reduced by 4 days.
In the placebo group, recovery lasted at least 6 days (these patients also took many painkillers and nasal sprays).
Conclusion of the study: Elderberry in the fight against influenza works even better than prescription drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza.
The influenza virus enters into the human body by piercing the walls of cells with the help of spikes called hemagglutinin. They contain the enzyme neuraminidase, which helps break down cell walls. Elderberry inhibits the action of this enzyme. Thus, the penetration of influenza into the cells of the body is prevented. In addition, elderberries activate the immune system.
Elderberry acts against a wide range of influenza viruses. The best results are obtained if the berry syrup begins to be taken before the epidemic. Besides the fact that the syrup is very healthy, it is also very tasty. They can water pies, desserts, ice cream.
Currently, several commercial pharmaceutical products even are produced on the basis of this natural product.
The inlet of the physiological course of metabolic processes, our body produces free radicals and causes oxidative stress.
It is oxidative stress that is directly related to the early appearance of malignant tumors and the development of many diseases from the side of the heart and blood vessels, the endocrine system.
Numerous studies by American and Italian scientists show that antioxidants found in various fruits, vegetables, and berries (including elderberries) can prevent the damaging effects of free radicals. And, as a result, reduce the risk of manifestation of chronic diseases.
Elderberry flowers, fruits, roots, and leaves are extremely valuable sources of antioxidants (anthocyanins). The plant’s activity is 4.5 times higher than the action of one of the most powerful antioxidants – vitamin E.
Also, these antioxidants inhibit chronic inflammation in the walls of the colon, which is associated with type II diabetes and obesity, as well as cancer of the distal gastrointestinal tract.
Elderberry fruit is a valuable source of antioxidants that reduce the risk of developing cancerous tumors, as well as diseases of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems.
Improving heart and vascular health
Studies by Chinese scientists show that elderberry can lower blood cholesterol. As a result, the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls of arteries is prevented.
An increase in the number of atherosclerotic plaques can lead to the accumulation of thrombotic masses and to complete blockage or even rupture of the blood vessel.
This pathological process underlies the development of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, stroke. In experiments on rats, it was found that elderberry is also capable of causing regression of atherosclerotic plaques on the aorta and blood vessels of the liver.
But due to the high content of polyphenols, the plant can lower blood pressure and reduce damage to the heart, kidneys, organs of vision against the background of high cholesterol.
Elderberry is able to influence risk factors for the development of the most dangerous cardiovascular diseases.
Laboratory studies show that elderberry has the ability to inhibit the growth and development of malignant cells, to prevent their metastasis to various organs and tissues.
For example, American scientists have revealed the ability of a berry to block the effect of the human papillomavirus on cells, during which they degenerate into malignant.
University of Illinois researchers have proven the ability of elderberries to reduce the activity of enzymes responsible for the replication of cancer cells.
The inclusion of elderberry in the diet, presumably, can reduce the likelihood of malignant tumors in the body.
Chronic gastritis is an inflammatory disease of the stomach that affects up to 40% of the population of developed countries.
With a probability of 99%, the cause is an infection of the gastric mucosa by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Also, this microorganism is associated with the manifestation of peptic ulcers of the stomach and duodenum.
American scientists have proven that black elderberry inhibits the growth of this bacterium and contributes to the onset of prolonged remission of chronic gastritis.
The inclusion of elderberry in the diet is an effective way to prevent gastritis associated with Helicobacter pylori infection.
Iranian pharmacologists in the process of conducting experiments on rodents have found that the use of elderberry significantly reduces the severity of symptoms of depression and various depressive disorders.
Berries increase mood and cravings for life, improve tolerance to various stress factors of a psychogenic and physical nature.
Side effects of raw elderberries
In most cases, people can eat in moderation black elderberry raw or cooked. However, it should be borne in mind that the raw elderberry, as well as the seeds, leaves, and bark of the tree, contain a certain amount of toxic substances.
Therefore, eating fresh berries or other parts of the plant can cause stomach pain, digestive upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and worsens the general condition of the body.
The benefit or harm when using black elderberry in one case or another is determined by the nature of the disease, the individual characteristics of the body.
This plant can be very useful for increasing the overall tone of the body, treating colds, skin diseases, etc. Elderberry preparations should be taken only on the recommendation of a doctor.