Elderberry is the more commonly used term for Sambucus, a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae. The elderberries usually occur in temperate to subtropical regions of the world, and as such are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia, as opposed to their more rare occurrence in Australia and South America. The Sambucus has been used for the improvement of overall health, among which the most prominent areas are: help with respiratory issues and help in the treatment of skin irritation. Let’s try and analyze some of the healing properties of this plant.
Soothes the skin
Mixtures with elderberry can bring relief from bruises, minor wounds, sprains, and sores if it is to be used as a bathing shower. Moreover, the short-term exposure of the anthocyanins present in the plant may greatly improve the skin softness and overall appearance.
Treatment of flu and cold symptoms
Studies show that elderberries are one potential remedy for the flu. Unsurprisingly they have been used for thousands of years as both food source and in medicine. The elderberries are known to help in the process of creation of antibodies against the influenza virus, which basically means that the berries not only treat the flu symptoms but can prevent influenza infection altogether. What’s more, the study was done in a participation of patients that were given a placebo syrup, and another group of patients that were given a real syrup containing extracts from elderberry. This study result showed a 4 days shorter improvement period for the patients treated with the syrup with the real elderberry extracts.
All-around rich source of antioxidants
The elderberries contain loads of flavonoids, free radical-scouring antioxidants and right about 87 percent of your daily nutritional value for the vitamin C and as such beat the blackberries, blueberries, and goji berries (when it comes to vitamin C values ).
The elderflower tea is also known to alleviate indigestion, reduce headaches and the leaves present a great way to deal with constipation because of the powerful laxative property.
Cooking the elderberries
The elderberries and elderflowers are already part of many cuisines known to us. They are often used as an ingredient in preparations of syrups, or baked as a delicious flavor ingredient for muffins and cupcakes. We can name even more: jellies, candies, sauces, jams, so basically: sugar, spice, and everything nice!
Last but not least, the elderberries and their flowers present a great ingredient for brewing beverages, medicinal tea, and wine. Though, we warn you: be prepared for a little bit of bitterness if cooking them raw. (Does not suit everyone’s taste)