The 12 Big Benefits of Small Elderberries

Benefits of Elderberries

Elderberries are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. They have gained popularity in recent years as a superfood that can boost the immune system, fight infections, and provide numerous other health benefits.

1. Immune System Support

One of the most well-known benefits of elderberries is their ability to support the immune system. The high concentration of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, helps strengthen the body's defenses against infections and illnesses. Taking elderberry extract may help reduce cold and flu symptoms, making it a natural and effective immune-boosting remedy1,2.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is associated with various health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Elderberries contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the body. Quercetin, a flavonoid found in elderberries, has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects, potentially providing relief for conditions such as arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. Elderberry's anti-inflammatory effects contribute to lower proinflammatory cytokines in the bloodstream, leading to a reduction in joint and muscle pain3,4.

3. Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential for combating oxidative stress and preventing damage to cells. Elderberries are packed with powerful antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, flavonols, and polyphenols. These compounds neutralize free radicals, protecting cells and reducing chronic disease risk5,6.

4. Heart Health Benefits

The anthocyanins found in elderberries may contribute to heart health by improving cardiovascular function. Studies indicate that elderberry can contribute to heart and blood vessel health by lowering unhealthy cholesterol levels (LDL) and increasing healthy fats (HDL). 7

5. Enhances Respiratory Health

Elderberries have been traditionally used to alleviate respiratory issues such as coughs and congestion. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of elderberries may help soothe the respiratory system and provide relief from symptoms of respiratory infections. 8

6. Digestive Support

Elderberries are enriched in dietary fiber that helps maintain digestive health by facilitating regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. With 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, elderberry promotes healthy digestion and the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Additionally, elderberries contain compounds that support digestive health by promoting the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. 9

7. Improves Cognitive Function

The antioxidants present in elderberries may have positive effects on cognitive function and brain health. Some studies suggest that compounds found in elderberries may protect the brain from oxidative stress. This may lower the chance of cognitive decline that comes with getting older10.

8. May Help With Cancer

Researchers have suggested that elderberry may lower the risk of certain types of cancer. The compounds present in elderberries are believed to play a role in preventing DNA mutations in cells, potentially contributing to cancer prevention11.

9. Inhibits The Growth of Bacteria

Research has shown that elderberry can reduce bacterial growth, including the notorious Helicobacter pylori. Its immune-boosting properties make it a significant player in promoting the cellular identification of harmful pathogens12.

10. Protects Against UV Radiation

Skin products containing elderberry extracts have demonstrated effectiveness against UV radiation. These products may even have a sun protection factor (SPF) of around 9.88, showcasing elderberry's potential to protect the skin from the sun13.

11. Improves Depression

Studies have shown that elderberry extracts can positively impact mood and cognitive performance. This suggests a potential role for elderberry in improving symptoms of depression14.

12. Versatile Culinary Uses

Elderberries are not only good for your health but also very versatile in the kitchen. They can be used to make jams, jellies, syrups, and sauces. Creative chefs have also explored incorporating elderberries into desserts, salads, and even savory dishes, adding a unique flavor and nutritional boost to various recipes.

Choosing and Using Elderberries

While elderberries offer a multitude of health benefits, it's essential to use them correctly. Raw elderberries can be toxic, so it's crucial to cook them before consumption15. Elderberry supplements, such as capsules or syrups, are available. However, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

The Bottom Line

Elderberries are a nutritional powerhouse with a wide range of health benefits. From immune system support to heart health and cognitive function, these tiny berries offer a natural and delicious way to enhance overall well-being.