This plant and its berries have long been used by Native Americans and European herbalists for alleged health benefits. Historically, the leaves and flowers were used to treat inflammation, swelling, and pain, induce sweating, and stimulate urine production. Every part of the plant was thought to have medicinal value. The bark was used to induce vomiting as well as as a laxative and diuretic.
Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine,” described the plant as his “medicine chest,” which he used to treat various ailments. The elder is a legendary plant with medicinal uses dating back to Ancient Egypt and spanning many cultures and countries.
Elderberry juice has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol levels. A diet rich in flavonoids, such as anthocyanins, may lower the risk of heart disease. They are high in vitamin C, dietary fibre, phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins.
A great many benefits have been discovered:
The elderberry plant’s leaves, fruits, and flowers are high in antioxidants.
Black elderberry extracts have been shown to reduce the duration and severity of influenza.
Elderberry may have antidepressant properties; there is evidence that it improves performance and mood.
Studies have shown that elderberry polyphenols help the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells.
The plant can fight bacteria – it has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori.
Elderberries have even been shown in studies to have cancer-fighting properties.