Elderberries are mainly used to treat flu and its symptoms. Clinical studies have shown that consumption of elderberry tea significantly reduces both symptoms and the time of recovery from flu (both type A and type B).
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(Sambucus nigra) Elderberries contain more potassium nitrate than any herb and is rich in many vitamins (mainly A, B, C). Its fruits contain: amino acids, bioflavonoids, flavonoids, carotenoids, sugar and tannins.
They are also used for bruises, sprains, wounds and snowdrifts, usually in the form of a warm compress. For cold and fever, they are combined well with Mint leaves, Yarrow, or Hyssop. For flu is combined well with Agrimony herb.
The berries act as a diuretic and laxative. They have similar properties to flowers but are also useful in rheumatism, neuralgia, and hormonal disorders. They promote sweating, fight constipation, and help detoxify the body.
Elderberry has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria like Helicobacter pylori and may improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis.
May support the immune system: In rats, elderberry polyphenols were found to support immune defense by increasing the number of white blood cells.
Could protect against UV radiation: A skin product containing elderberry extract was found to have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 9.88.
May increase urination: Elderberry flowers were found to increase the frequency of urination and amount of salt excretion in rats.
May have some antidepressant properties: One study found mice fed 544 mg of elderberry extract per pound (1,200 mg per kg) had improved performance and mood markers.
The leaves act as an external softener and healing, internal laxative, expectorant, diuretic and sweating.
1 tsp. in 1 cup boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the fire and leave the decoction covered for about 6-7 minutes to rest. Sip and drink 1-2 glasses a day.