Elderberry got my attention while I was browsing for something. And I ended up confused. Why would anybody consume elderberry even as a flavouring agent?
Elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) grow in pretty purplish black clusters in their brushes. These elderberry brushes are mostly seen to grow abundantly on roadsides. I read that elderberry gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon word “aeld” meaning “fire”. It is because the branches have a pipe like hollow space which was once used to blow on fire. Elderberry has hundreds of other names like European elder, black elder, elder though most of which acknowledge it as “elder”.
Though born in North America, elderberries travel much all over the world as wine, jams, jellies and syrups. The fruits and leaves are used for teas, extracts and local application liquids.
The Said Benefits of Elderberries
1. With its amazing anti oxidants, blue elderberry can prevent diseases and ensure optimum health in its users. It is claimed to suppress inflammation and provide enriching flavonoids.
2. In a study, it was found that those who consumed it could lose weight and still get nutrition from the fruits.
3. Though not clinical proven, it is said to inhibit the enzyme that causes the spread of flu, and relieve of nasal congestion and improve respiration. Some researchers point out that these benefits are possible as it contains tannins and viburnic acid.
4. It is also said to treat diarrhea, while also easing bowel movements in the needy.
5. Externally, the juice of elderberries is used for acne, minor cuts and burns.
What Makes Them Not So Safe…
Though elderberries and their little flowers are used for medical values the raw berries contain chemical substance as dangerous as cyanide. Hence researchers and herbalists warn against giving elderberries to children, pregnant women and lactating mothers, or having raw berries at any cost. Some say that it is a relatively safe idea to give elderberry tea a try.
My online research yielded no results as to the safety of elderberries in foods and beverages. Do the benefits outweigh the possible side effects of these?
If you happen to know more about elderberry or have used it, feel free to let us know.
Aparna K.V.

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