Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a small, dark purple fruit that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is native to Europe and Asia, but it is now grown all over the world. Black elderberries are packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, which give them a wide range of potential health benefits.
Immune system support
Black elderberry is best known for its ability to boost the immune system. It contains compounds that can help to increase the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infection. Black elderberry has also been shown to be effective against a variety of viruses, including the influenza virus.
Cold and flu relief
One of the most well-studied benefits of black elderberry is its ability to shorten the duration and severity of the common cold and flu. A review of 14 studies found that people who took black elderberry extract recovered from the flu an average of 4 days faster than those who did not take it.
Heart health
Black elderberry contains antioxidants that can help to protect the heart from damage. It can also help to lower cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure.
Other potential benefits
Black elderberry has also been shown to have a number of other potential health benefits, including:
* Reducing inflammation
* Protecting against cancer
* Improving blood sugar control
* Promoting gut health
* Relieving constipation
* Boosting energy levels
* Improving skin health
Safety and side effects
Black elderberry is generally safe for most people to consume. However, it is important to note that the raw berries are poisonous. They must be cooked before eating. Black elderberry supplements should also be taken with caution, as they may interact with certain medications.
The recommended dosage of black elderberry depends on the form in which it is taken. For dried berries, the dosage is 1-2 tablespoons per day. For syrups and extracts, the dosage is typically 1-2 teaspoons per day.
Overall, black elderberry is a safe and effective natural remedy that offers a wide range of potential health benefits. It is especially beneficial for boosting the immune system and relieving cold and flu symptoms.