It is officially flu season! If you get sick, your first instinct may be to reach for a bottle of cold and flu medicine. However, these over-the-counter medications often come with undesired side effects. Many people prefer to go the natural route and use herbs and supplements from a health food shop in Eau Claire, WI to bolster their immune systems.
One of these common natural remedies is elderberry. Elderberry has been used for centuries as a form of medication. The elderberry bush produces black or blue-black berries and white or cream-colored flowers, both of which can be used to make a natural medicine. It’s best known for its ability to ease cold and flu symptoms.
Elderberry’s medical benefits
The berries from the elderberry bush have powerful antioxidants called flavonoids, which are beneficial for the immune system. These flavonoids have the ability to increase production of cytokines—messenger proteins within the immune system.
Additionally, the high vitamin C content, dietary fiber and antioxidants may have beneficial effects on your health, such as:
- Fight the cold and flu: Studies have shown that elderberry is potentially effective at reducing cold and flu symptoms, including reducing fevers, shortening the duration of symptoms, improving congestion and halting runny noses.
- Fight viruses: Some experts believe that elderberries contain antiviral components, which may be able to inhibit a virus’s ability to attack and invade healthy cells.
- Improve UTI symptoms: Elderberry can act as a diuretic, aiding in the improvement of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder infections. Increasing the frequency of urination helps the body flush out bacteria that are causing the infection and also halts the spread of the bacteria to other areas like the kidneys. Elderberry may also act as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce the pain caused by these ailments.
- Clear acne: The flavonoids and anti-inflammatory properties in elderberry may help to clear up cystic acne and other skin problems.
- Reduce allergies: Elderberry may aid in reducing allergy symptoms because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. Taking elderberry may help ease sneezing, itching and sinus inflammation.
- Bolster digestive tract: Elderberry has a lot of dietary fiber, meaning it’s beneficial to your digestive tract. Taking elderberry may help reduce the effects of constipation, excessive gas and other intestinal problems.
How to use elderberry
Elderberry can be beneficial to your health if you take it properly, but it can make you sick if you eat it without proper care.
Typically, elderberry can be dried to create teas and syrups. The berries can also be cooked and added to baked goods. The flowers and leaves can sometimes also be used.
On the market, you can find various forms of elderberry supplements such as gummies, lozenges and capsules. These products are typically available in places like Mother Nature’s Food, a health food shop in Eau Claire, WI.
The raw berries should not be eaten directly, as they may cause severe stomach problems like vomiting or diarrhea due to poisonous components.
Shop our selection of elderberry products
If you’re interested in giving elderberry a try, stop by Mother Nature’s Food! Our health food shop in Eau Claire, WI offers a wide selection of natural supplements and vitamins, health and beauty products and essential oils to help you feel your best.
Categorised in: Flu Season