Elderberry vitamins have been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. Elderberry has been said to treat nearly seventy different ailments and boost the immune system, making it one of the most healthy and versatile berries.
There are many types of elder plants and trees worldwide, but the European variety is the one you hear the most about because it is the one you will find in supplements everywhere. Packed with nutrients, it contributes to health and healing more than other varieties.
Keep reading to learn all you need to know about elderberry vitamins, including their health benefits and how to consume them.
History of Elderberry Vitamins
The elder plant has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, dating back to 2000 B.C.E. It is still one of the most commonly used natural supplements on the market today.
Elder has been referred to as Hippocrates’ “medicine chest.” It is a natural remedy for many ailments which have been handed down for centuries. Writings by Pliny the Elder have also been recognized for hailing the health benefits of the elder bush and its fruit.
It has been used for improved immunity, as well as to fight the flu and common cold across the world. Traces of the medicinal properties and uses of the elderberry and its flowers can be found in pharmacopeias in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Portugal, along with many more.
In the Middle Ages, the elder bush was referred to as a Holy tree, and many people believed it would preserve health and lengthen lives.
Elderberry vitamins were often used in folk medicine before antibiotics for various purposes, including treating the flu, common cold, headaches, nerve pain, and inflammation.
Elderberries are rich in nutrients and contain many vital vitamins and minerals to our overall health. The elder bush’s berries, flowers, and leaves contain flavonoids, lectins, and anthocyanins and can be used to treat various ailments!
Their antiviral properties fight the common cold, the flu, and other upper respiratory illnesses. They have been known to shorten the duration and severity of the symptoms caused by these viruses.
Elderberries have been known to treat constipation, joint and muscle pain, headaches, fever, colds, coughs, flu, kidney problems, and a wide array of other health complications.
Elderberries are packed with more vitamins and nutrients than any other berry.
Elderberries are known as an excellent source of vitamin A, which boosts immunity and aids in healthy cell growth. Consuming elderberries can help prevent certain cancers and illnesses that result from a vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A works as an antioxidant, fighting cell damage and promoting the healthy growth of new cells. It also supports bone density, which strengthens the bones.
Vitamin A protects your eyes from natural aging and damage and supports healthy skin and hair. It is incorporated into elderberry vitamin supplements.
Vitamin C, present in elderberries, is one of the most vital nutrients to our bodies, but it is one that we cannot produce on our own. It must be consumed through the foods we eat and beverages we drink.
This vitamin promotes healthy skin, teeth, and bones. It also works hard to boost immune health. Elderberries are an excellent choice of vitamin C.
It is an antioxidant that protects the cells from free radicals that are harmful to the body and result from the body breaking down food or from exposure to harmful UV rays. Vitamin C is what is responsible for your skin’s healthy glow.
Getting enough vitamin C in your diet plays a role in the body’s healing process, a deficiency slowing down its natural healing process. Elderberries are a great source of vitamin C.
Many supplements that contain elderberry vitamins have vitamin C added to the mix.
Vitamin E boosts the immune system and helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. In fact, elderberries are packed with more free radical fighting properties than blueberries, cranberries, or blackberries.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is not naturally produced by the body, so we must consume this nutrient through food or supplements, like elderberries.
As a powerful antioxidant, this vitamin helps us prevent viruses and infections. It also helps improve blood flow, which can help with blood clots.
Other Nutrients Contained in Elderberries
Elderberries are a great source of anthocyanins, which help reduce swelling and inflammation of the sinuses caused by the common cold or flu.
They also contain vitamin B6, which promotes a healthy nervous system and immune system and helps fight against depression.
Iron and potassium, found in elderberries at high levels, help regulate the circulatory system. These nutrients reduce the risk of anemia and lower blood pressure, therefore reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Elderberries contain flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and help prevent the development of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Elderberries are also a great source of fiber, which is essential to your digestive health.
These berries are rich in nutrients like proteins, healthy fats, organic acids, essential oils, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Forms of Elderberry Vitamins
There are many different methods of preparing elderberries for consumption.
Please remember that fresh elderberries contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are sugars that turn into cyanide and are poisonous to humans. For this reason, make sure you always cook the berries before using them. Raw berries should never be consumed.
Elderberry extract can be used to help create the other forms of these vitamins that are consumed. It is commonly used for syrup and for cooking with elderberry.
You can use the extract for baking muffins, pies, cakes, and pretty much any treat your heart desires!
Elderberry extract is delicious when added to a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Elderberry syrup is the most used form of elderberry vitamins because of its versatility. The syrup is made by simmering elderberries in water, with thickeners and natural preservatives added to maintain the consistency of the syrup.
Add the syrup to a smoothie for a healthy drink with an added sweetness.
Consume elderberry syrup directly or add it to a hot or cold beverage of your choice for an added immunity boost.
Capsules are another popular way to consume elderberry vitamins. These generally have other vitamins and minerals added into the mix as well, but you can choose just elderberry vitamins.
Elderberry capsules are made using elderberry extract that undergoes a fermentation process, which breaks down the herb’s compounds and supports the body’s ability to absorb the vitamins.
Elderberry capsules can be combined with a probiotic to support immune and digestive health. The supplements are also known to be combined with other immune boosters like zinc and vitamin C.
Gummies are a great alternative for anyone who struggles to swallow a pill.
Elderberry gummies are tasty and chock full of vitamins and minerals essential to overall health. They are generally made with gelatin and elderberry syrup.
Elderberry gummy vitamins are healthy, but they do have added sugar, so if you are at risk for diabetes or are diabetic, you should probably steer clear of this method and stick with capsules.
Elderberries and elderflowers can be turned into tinctures that can be incorporated into a topical cream. Topical creams can be used to treat pain and inflammation.
You can also consume an elderberry tincture directly by dropping it onto your tongue if you want it to begin working as quickly as possible.
You can also mix the tincture into a smoothie for a berry-licious treat!
When to Consume Elderberries
Elderberry vitamins are generally consumed during cold and flu season because they are a popular remedy and are thought to decrease the severity of symptoms and how long they last.
Some people take elderberry vitamins as a preventative measure to lessen their chance of catching the flu or a cold in the first place. It boosts the immune system and prevents viruses and infections.
If you prefer, you can take an elderberry supplement year-round for a continued immunity boost and to reap the many health benefits of the fruit, but it is not necessary to take it every day.
If you are taking elderberry vitamins to lessen the severity of your cold or flu symptoms, you should take them within 24- to 48- hours after the symptoms begin.
Give Elderberry Vitamins a Try!
Elderberry vitamins date back to ancient times and are still widely used in traditional medicine today to treat symptoms caused by the common cold and flu.
Each part of the elder tree, from the berries to the flowers, provides numerous health benefits. You will not be disappointed if you decide to use them as a preventative measure or a natural remedy to the cold or flu.
Elderberries pack a nutritious punch and provide a sugary treat to those who consume them. To learn more about elderberries, including different varieties, their health benefits, and how they are grown, check out our elderberry page.