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What is Elderberry and why should you take it?

A brief introduction to elderberry, it's uses, what it does and how to take it.

If you've never heard of elderberry or have and want to know more then you've come to the right place. In my apothecary storefront, I carry elderberry in a liquid form, capsule form and as an ingredient in many of my immune boosting tea blends and it always surprises me when I am asked, "What is this Elderberry and how do you take it?" Elderberry has become quite the holistic health craze as of late but did you know elderberry has long been used in folk medicine in Europe, and was even a medicinal favorite of the great Hippocratese, referencing the elder tree as his "medicine chest"? So it makes sense that some still have not heard of its many uses and benefits and have yet to try it.


Elderberry is a small, dark purple berry found on the elder tree and is also known by its botanical name,

Sambucus nigra.

This tree belongs to the elder family which consists of about 30 or so species, not all of which are edible and safe for medicinal use so be sure you have the right tree when foraging. Elderberry is considered one of the most healing plants in modern holistic medicine and was revered as a Holy tree during the renaissance era.

The entire tree has many uses and purposes beginning with the flowers, that are commonly used in beauty products due to their skin toning and softening properties. The juice from the berries is best known for making tonics and syrups that are ingested for their immune boosting benefits but did you know the berries can also be used to infuse oils to make salves that are used for burns and scalds? Now that's pretty awesome. The flowers contain tannins which are power antioxidant compounds often found in red wines. Not only does the tree have these healing properties, but its a beautiful addition to any garden and a natural deterrent for critters.

One of the reasons elderberry has become so popular lately is due to its immune boosting properties. Elderberries contain 2 times the amount of Vitamin C as oranges and 3 times the antioxidants of blueberries. In fact, studies have found that ingesting elderberry on a regular basis not only helps to prevent the common cold & flu but also aids in shortening sick times when these illnesses occur.


More symptoms elderberry treats:

  • Constipation

  • Joint & muscle pain

  • Heart disease

  • Headache & fever

  • Kidney issues

  • Epilepsy

  • Minor skin irritations

  • HIV & AIDS

  • Stress

Of course elderberry is not an end all to these serious conditions but most doctors will agree that elderberry is a natural immune booster and probably will not interfere with your prescribed medicines. Of course, it's always best to play it safe and consult your medical professional before adding or changing your current medicine regimen.


What's the best way to take elderberry to enhance your immune system?