Nature has always provided us with an infinite variety of plants and herbs to improve our overall health. The elderberry is one of those plants that we have at our disposal, with multiple health benefits. Elderberry is a shrub known as Sambucus nigra, that have been used in folk medicine to heal many health conditions. Nowadays, scientists are investigating this plant as an alternative and natural treatment for many diseases, like insomnia, cardiovascular diseases, and many more.
The most common way to consume this plant by infusion or teas, where you dry up the leaves, stems, and flowers. You can also boil the bark and berries to produce an elderberry extract. Thus, let’s enlighten on 3 benefits of elderberry tea.
1. Anti-inflammatory and Healing Properties
Elderberry tea is very beneficial for our organism because it provides many nutrients necessary for adequate functioning and maintenance. Since ancient times, elderberries and elderflowers were prepared into infusions to reduce inflammation and treat main diseases, like rheumatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune heart disease. Although inflammation is our body’s attempt to protect us from harmful toxins, pathogens, irritants, or pathogens, prolonged exposure can cause our own cells to harm healthy cells, which leads to these chronic conditions.
Many studies have revealed that elderberry contains many compounds known as polyphenols, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds reduce the reactivity of our own defensive system and increase blood flow to allow nutrients to circulate and promote healing.
2. Treat Viral Infections
Elderberry teas were utilized to treat colds, sinusitis, and influenza for centuries. Certain studies have shown promising evidence regarding elderberry infusions and a potent antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. Elderberry also contains Vitamin C, which helps fortify our immune system and decrease the likelihood of recurrent viral infections.
A recent study done in 2019 evaluated the use of elderberry to reduce flu symptoms. Scientists discovered that certain flavonoids contained in elderberry, such as cyanidin, stimulate the production of white blood cells to fight viral particles. Thus, flu symptoms were minimized and lasted for about two to three days. Additionally, and most surprisingly, they block viruses from multiplying in our body and entering our healthy cells, which further decreases the probability of developing an infection.
These outstanding discovery might lead to the creation of elderberry-based drugs as an alternative treatment for infections, as further clinical trials are made.
3. A Natural Laxative
Have you ever suffered from constipation or painful bowel movements, but are not to keen on consuming laxative drugs? Well, elderberry infusions might be your natural substitute to improve these ailments. Elderberries, particularly the bark, are a great source of substances called anthraquinones, which have a laxative effect. These compounds inhibit the absorption of water by our intestines, which aid in producing softer stool and more frequent bowel movements.
However, you must be cautious in consuming elderberry for chronic constipation, because it can lead to diarrhea or other digestive symptoms. It is recommended to drink one tablespoon of elderberry extract per day to function as a laxative. This way, you can avoid side effects.