How to Use Elderberry for Cold and Flu Season
As the leaves change and the air gets chilly, not only does it mark the beginning of the holidays, but it also marks the dawn of the cold and flu season. Though we usually reach for the orange juice or lemon tea when we feel that tickle in our throats, elderberry might be another great all-natural cold remedy.
Packed with the wonderful health benefits of antioxidants and vitamins, elderberry will be an advantageous addition to your seasonal product line. Not only is it a natural supplement, but it provides the strength and protection your customers need to be healthy all year round.
What Is Elderberry?
Part of the plant family Adoxaceae, elderberry is a dark purple berry from varieties of the Sambucus flowering plants. The most common of these plants is Sambucus nigra, which is known as the European elderberry or black elder. Though it’s native to Europe, it’s grown widely in other parts of the world and is known as the most studied member of the Sambucus family, and the one most closely tied to our health and healing.
Elderberry can be cultivated for decorative purposes, erosion prevention, or as food and folk medicine for both humans and animals. Its physical features include clusters of white flowers and dark blue or dark purple berries. Various parts of the tree (bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, and roots) have been used throughout history for medicinal and culinary purposes.
What Are the Benefits of Elderberry?
This medicinal plant is packed with antioxidants. Therefore, elderberry benefits your body not only by mitigating seasonal illness, but by building a strong immune system no matter what time of year it is. Other elderberry benefits include:
Boosts Immune System
In addition to Vitamin C, elderberries contain high levels of flavonoids, which means they carry anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds can strengthen the immune system, helping to reduce:
- Joint and muscle pain
Fights the Cold and Flu
A strong immune system means you are less susceptible to getting sick. Elderberry has been shown to fight flu symptoms. Though the findings are preliminary, using elderberry for the flu has proven to be very promising and effective.
For example, in one study, 60 adults with influenza symptoms either took a placebo or 15 mL of elderberry syrup four times a day for five days. The adults who consumed the elderberry experienced their symptoms clearing up on an average of four days earlier than those who took the placebo.
Though it doesn’t replace the flu vaccine, elderberry can be used as a complementary remedy to help mitigate cold and flu symptoms.
Different Forms of Elderberry
There are many options when it comes to incorporating elderberry to help strengthen the body and keep illnesses at bay. It comes in many forms, such as:
- Syrups – Most elderberry syrup products allow you to take up to four teaspoons a day until symptoms clear.
- Capsules and Tablets – These provide a simple and convenient way to reinforce your body’s defenses. Most products have you take up to two capsules a day.
- Gummies – If you cannot swallow tablets, gummies are a great alternative for incorporating elderberry into your diet. They’re also great for kids!
- Teas – You can come home after a long day and wind down with some elderberry tea. Since stress suppresses the immune system, it will give you the boost you need to recuperate and take on the next day.
Things to Keep In Mind
Elderberries should not be consumed unripened or uncooked, which is why producing elderberry products is a safe and viable option. The plant carries glycocyanide, which is a natural poison that causes vomiting, nausea, and other unpleasant digestive effects. Thus, rather than taking the DIY route, elderberry should only be consumed through commercial products.
Implementing this medicinal plant into your product line for your customers will not only provide them with safe options to consume elderberry for colds, but also build strong physical health all-year-round.
As a full-service contract manufacturer, we are here to help manufacture elderberry products. Contact MBi Nutraceuticals today for more information on creating quality and trustworthy products that enhance the wellbeing of your customers.