Sickness is a part of life. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it’s something everyone has to deal with. As cold and flu seasons ramp up, people start looking for different ways to fight off those frequent cold-weather visitors. It can be difficult, though.
There are mountains of research and home-health remedies available that leave many people feeling overwhelmed. One of the most popular home-health remedies for colds and flu is elderberry syrup. Many people support the use of elderberry as a way to strengthen immune systems, but others are still unsure about its effectiveness.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 over the past year has sparked a new interest in health and wellness around the world. People are still wondering about the long-term effects of this virus even in discussions of life insurance and coronavirus. Part of those discussions is the debate over elderberry and its immune system benefits. So what’s the truth?
Elderberry Can Help With Threats of Illness
Even with the best immune system, there are still threats of illness. Some of these illnesses are more severe than others, but almost every person will suffer from the common cold and/or the flu.
The common cold is most often a nuisance rather than a serious health concern. A few days of a runny nose and a cough are the most widely reported symptoms. The flu, on the other hand, can be much more serious. There are reports of thousands of people being hospitalized for the flu or flu-related issues. With treatment and rest, the majority of people recover from both the common cold and the flu.
The coronavirus, on the other hand, is a much newer disease. Most people know the devastating effects this disease has caused both in the U.S. and around the world. As more information comes to light, new COVID-19 treatments have been made available. And after a year of restrictions and lockdowns, many areas are seeing lifted COVID-19 restrictions and a return to normalcy.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the coronavirus is how it will impact our lives in the years to come. Will this be something that will disappear, or will it return yearly like the cold and flu? Many people have turned to preventative treatments and supplements to keep their immune system strong year-round. Elderberry is often the main supplement discussed and promoted.
What is Elderberry?
Elderberry is a tree-grown fruit found in many places around the world. Like many plants, elderberry has many different subspecies that grow more abundantly in different areas. The two most common varieties of elderberry are the American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) and the European elderberry (Sambucus nigra).
The American elderberry is found in eastern areas of North America near the Rocky Mountains. It grows in a bush formation and blooms with small, white flowers and elderberry fruits. The European elderberry is a tree found in areas of Britain and northern Europe. European elderberry trees bloom with smaller, pink flowers and the elderberry fruit.
The elderberry fruit itself is a dark, purple berry. The berries grow in great clumps similar to grapes. The fruit is harvested in the late summer months and used in a variety of ways. Some people use elderberries to make wines, jams, and even pies. The most popular use of the elderberry fruit, however, is medicinal.
Elderberry’s Effect on the Immune System
The elderberry fruit has a long history of being used to treat many different ailments and illnesses. Historically, every part of the elderberry tree had a medical purpose. The flowers of the tree were used for pain relief and to reduce swelling. The bark of the tree was once used as a laxative and a way to induce vomiting.
Both of these uses are less common today. The flowers, leaves, and bark of the elderberry tree can be poisonous to humans if used or prepared improperly.
The most common use of the elderberry today, however, is in juicing or cooking the berries down and using them to make elderberry syrup. The berries themselves are full of vital nutrients to help strengthen many areas of the body.
There is even strong scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the use of elderberries or elderberry syrup in a daily wellness routine.
Elderberry Is High in Nutrients and Antioxidants
Elderberries themselves are full of vitamins and nutrients that help support the overall function of the body. Elderberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which help in the fight against disease.
Vitamin C is one of the best sickness-fighting vitamins. It is critical in the body’s development and function of the immune system. One cup of elderberry fruit holds over 50% of the daily value of vitamin C.
Antioxidants help remove dangerous molecules in the body that can build up and lead to chronic disease. Elderberries have a higher concentration of antioxidants than other fruits. With a regular intake of the berries, or elderberry juice, research has shown a decrease in inflammation and diseases like diabetes. Antioxidants can help you stay in shape as you age.
Elderberry Improves or Fights Cold and Flu Symptoms
If you’re doing some outdoor activities (like hiking, going to fish, camping, biking..) in cold weather , you’re probably prone to catch a cold. Elderberry has the ability to reduce the severity of cold. Many supporters of elderberry have long praised its effectiveness against the common cold and influenza. Both scientific research and anecdotal evidence support this view. Elderberry has been shown to reduce the length and severity of both the cold and influenza viruses.
Other Possible Health Benefits of Elderberry
There are other possible health benefits that have shown promise but lack the depth of academic research. For example, elderberries have shown positive benefits for heart and overall cardiovascular health. Elderberries help reduce the amount of cholesterol and uric acid in the blood. Both of these put stress on the cardiovascular system, leading to heart disease.
Elderberries also have powerful cancer and bacteria-fighting properties. This does not mean elderberry is a cure for these devastating diseases, but research does support elderberries’ use in a preventive and supportive way.
Elderberry and Life Insurance
Elderberry might have a positive effect on life insurance policies. Many people have been looking into their life insurance coverage or buying new policies that cover COVID-19 illness and/or death. As with many policies, your current and overall health may be considered as a factor for terms and approval of a life insurance policy.
Instituting a daily wellness routine that includes elderberries could boost your immune system. That boost can help fight off current and future illnesses or diseases. A healthier immune system can help secure a favorable life insurance policy even in the turmoil and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The only question left to ask is why not elderberry?
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Ahmedabad Local journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.