Have you heard of elderberries? These small, tart dark coloured berries have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians used it for skin healing – other groups like the Native Americans used elderberry to treat infections. But what exactly is this berry, and how is it used today? Move aside green juice – today we’re talking elderberry juice!
What is Elderberry?
The Elderberry tree, native to Europe, is now grown in many parts of the world. It produces white elderberry flowers, and the berries, which are a blackish-blue. Because the berries are so tart, they are usually cooked before consumption.
There are several varieties of elderberry trees, but the most common is the black (European) elderberry. Elderberries can be made into jams, pies, wines, and juices.
What are the Benefits of Elderberry Juice?
The elderberry is associated with many health benefits, all of which could be dispensed in juice form. Elderberry juice is easy to store and also easy to take, making it a smart option for consumption if you want to enjoy some of the elderberry benefits.
High in Antioxidants
These dark berries are high in antioxidants, which help fight free radical damage. Research shows that fighting free radical damage and oxidative stress protects against the development of chronic disease.
Relieve Cold and Flu Symptoms
Elderberries are immune system supportive. This makes the juice especially useful during cold and flu season, as it can help reduce symptoms. In one study, 60 participants were made to supplement with elderberry four times each day when they had a cold. Those participants felt better within 2-4 days, whereas the group who didn’t supplement with elderberry were symptomatic for just about twice as long. If preventing or treating cold and flu symptoms naturally is important to you, you could try elderberry juice.
Great for Heart Health
Studies have shown that elderberry could reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease. This could have something to do with the fact that consumption of elderberry reduces uric acid levels in the blood, and uric acid is negatively correlated with heart health. Another study using rats showed promising results on its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. More studies are still being done in this area on humans to fully evaluate its impact on human heart health.
High in Nutrients
Elderberry juice is high in flavanols like quercetin, which is known for reducing inflammation and protecting the central nervous system. Anthocyanins are also abundant in elderberries, which also reduce inflammation and give the berries their darkish blue colour. Elderberries themselves are very high in fiber, so if you make your own juice you can include the pulp. This will help with detoxification and support your digestive system.
Is Elderberry Juice Safe?
Elderberry juice is safe for consumption. Elderberries in their raw form are not confirmed to be safe for consumption, which is why through production they are typically heated. The other parts of the tree, such as the leaves and the bark, are toxic. But not to worry, as you won’t find these in elderberry juice.
The Takeaway on Elderberry Juice
Elderberries have potential in fighting against the cold and flu, and it also appears to be heart protective. It is high in antioxidants as well as other nutrients such as
Should you sip elderberry juice? You should definitely try it. It’s a great beverage that offers tons of benefits and is completely safe for consumption. Plus, it’s just nice to mix it up sometimes. Enjoy elderberry juice in place of your morning celery juice, or try it before at night for a last boost before bed.