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  • Writer's pictureSheri

Elderberry: Why You Need this Superfood

With the cold and flu being a yearly thing we all want to avoid if possible, it’s great to have a few homemade remedies on hand.

There are a variety of things we love for herbal cough and sinus help, but our very favorite thing is to grow for our herbal medicine cabinet is elderberry.

What Are Elderberries?

Elderberry is a fruit from a plant called Sambucus, it is also commonly known as elderflower or elder. Elderberries are primarily found in the Northern hemisphere and they grow very well naturally here in Missouri.

Elderberries are typically dark blue or black and usually have a sweet and sharp flavor, sometimes almost tart. This is what makes them useful in a variety of ways.

What are the Benefits of Elderberry?

Because elderberries contain vitamins A, B, and C, they naturally stimulate and wake up the immune system. This makes it a great remedy for seasonal illnesses such as colds and the flu. Boosting your immune system when the weather begins to change can actually help you fight off those germs.

Elderberries have health benefits including aiding in digestion, supporting cardiovascular health, enhancing respiratory health, boosting immunity and controlling diabetes. They have even been shown to help in weight loss, preventing cancer and a remedy for constipation.

Traditionally used by Egyptians and Native Americans to treat infections, improve their complexion, and heal their burns, elderberry is and has always been one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world. Historically, the flowers and leaves were used for pain relief, inflammation and swelling.

Today there are many reported and scientifically proven benefits of elderberries. It is widely accepted and agreed that elderberries fight cold and flu symptoms, support heart health, fight infections, fight inflammation, fights harmful bacteria, supports and boost the immune system, lessen stress, and much more. Many experts recommend elderberry to be used as a treatment for:


Joint and Muscle Pain




Kidney Problems

Minor Skin Conditions


With benefits like this, growing Elderberries is a no-brainer for our farm.

High in Nutrients

Elderberries are high in vitamin C containing 6 - 35 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams which accounts for up to 60% of the recommended daily intake. They are high in dietary fiber containing 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams which is also over the recommended daily intake. They are a good source of phenolic acids that help reduce damage from oxidative stress, flavonols, and anthocyanins. The exact nutritional composition of elderberries depends on the plant, ripeness, and environmental and climatic conditions, therefore, servings can vary in nutrition.

How Elderberry Helps with Cold and Flu Symptoms

Black elderberry extracts and flower infusions have been shown to reduce the severity and length of the flu. Commercial preparations of elderberry for the treatment of colds come in various forms including gummies, capsules, lozenges, liquids, and syrups. One study, participants with the flu found that those who took 15 mL of elderberry syrup four times per day showed symptom improvement in two to four days whereas the remaining participants who did not take the syrup took seven to eight days to improve. You can find many of these studies with a quick, online search.

High in Antioxidants Reactive molecules accumulate in the body after they are released during normal metabolism. This can cause oxidative stress and lead to the development of diseases like type 2 diabetes and cancer. Antioxidants are natural components of foods that are able to remove these reactive molecules and research suggests that consuming high amounts of antioxidants may help prevent chronic disease.

Helps with Heart Health Studies have shown that elderberries may reduce the level of fat in the blood and decrease cholesterol. Containing high amounts of anthocyanins, this gives elderberries the benefits of reducing the risk of heart disease. Elderberry can also increase insulin secretion and improve blood sugar levels. Given that type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for heart and vascular disease, elderberries can help prevent these conditions.