Blog 11th of April 2021

The healing power of elderberry.


Elderberries grow on the familiar elderberry bush you see growing in practically every hedgerow. It is native both here and throughout the rest of Europe. This beautiful shrub with large clusters of flowers makes a beautiful feature in any garden. Elderberries can be eaten when they are ripe, but are more often used as a base for a syrup. You can make tea from the flowers.

Rediscovery of the elderberry

The elderberry has medicinal properties that current research is continuously rediscovering.

Hippocrates, a physician from ancient Greece and founder of the four elements theory upon which the Go4Balance herbal drops are based, praised the elderberry for its healing powers. Today, people are becoming increasingly aware of the limitations of synthetic medicines. 

Medical science is returning to therapeutic plants from traditional folk and herbal medicine.There appears to be a lot of truth in these old traditions; more and more research confirms their curative and restorative effects, although this often happens with the intention of securing a new patent on an organic plant component. The result - an expensive pharmaceutical drug.

🌱Elderberry wound care

Elderberries have been used to treat wounds for centuries. Mashed berries are applied directly to the wound. When you eat them you can better fight illnesses such as colds and flu; both the flowers and fruits help heal throat infections. Elderberry flowers are edible and tasty. 

University laboratories suspect the elderberry has antiviral properties. Scientists also believe that it has anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties.

🌱Don’t eat green elderberries!

Many people say never eat unripe elderberries as they contain cyanide. You would have to eat a lot of elderberries to feel any effects, however. Ripened elderberries are boiled and no longer contain cyanide. Elderberries are not often eaten in the Netherlands and Belgium, but this is less the case in other parts of Europe. Austria is the main producer and produces large quantities of elderberry jams, juices, yoghurts and wine. 

In the Netherlands, many have tasted the ‘hard drug’ known as elderberry gin, a very unhealthy, very strong alcoholic stimulant.

🌱Anthocyanins, better than vitamins

Elderberries contain lots of anthocyanins - stronger antioxidants than vitamins C and E. Anthocyanins stimulate the production of cytokines.

Cytokines are proteins that play the role of immune system messengers. Dr Rechkemmer of the Bundesforschung Anwalt in Karlruhe that focuses on food-based studies has researched this anthocyanin role. 

🌱Elderberry treats obesity and high blood pressure

Many natural foods fight obesity. At the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Freiburg, researchers concluded that elderberry juice helps the obese lose weight. Elderberry juice, combined with powdered berry extracts and extracts of asparagus, helps with weight loss and also regulates blood pressure. Study participants reported improved physical and emotional well-being. More research needs to be done to definitively confirm these results.

🌱Elderberry goes into mass production

The elderberry is becoming so popular that serious preparations are being made in the US to grow this tree on a large scale and eventually put elderberry juice on mainstream supermarket shelves. Because science has confirmed that this is a very healthy plant, it is increasingly being produced and sold by small farmers. Larger farms are trying to optimise elderberries as an agricultural crop. The elderberry is a fast growing tree by nature and requires little maintenance other than regular pruning.

🌱Tips for eating elderberries

Elderberries can be prepared in a variety of ways in the kitchen. Try delicious elderflower fritters, made in the same way as apple fritters but with elderberry flower heads. Use the flowers as often as you can! A flower salad is an attractive feast for the eyes and for the taste buds. Of course, you can also drink elderberry juice. Elderberry syrup can be added to muesli, yogurt and homemade ice cream. It makes a refreshing drink when you add water. Finally, elderberry tea should be part of your herbal tea collection.  

    Source: Pat Patricia Clement, 8/30/2016 in Gezonde Weetjes.

🌱Elderberries as a valuable ingredient of Go4Balance herbal drops

Elderberry is an important ingredient in immune system-supporting herbal drops to support. It is also a highly-valued addition in the drops that improve concentration levels. The elderberry's numerous bioflavonoids contribute to optimal cerebral and venous blood flow. The high content of vitamin C in combination with anthocyanins makes this plant a powerful anti-oxidant. Vitamin C is unique because it can cross the blood-brain barrier. Once through, it contributes to the production of various neurotransmitters including dopamine * and adrenaline ** - and is partly responsible for the smooth transmission of messages between nerve cells.

Vitamin C is also important for blood vessel elasticity that is essential for healthy blood pressure. This means it helps to prevent blood clots and thickening of the vein walls, reducing the risk of stroke, among other pathologies.

* dopamine is part of the brain's reward system. It is a neurotransmitter - a ‘messenger chemical’ in the brain that transfers information from one nerve cell to another. Dopamine makes us feel satisfied and rewarded.

** adrenaline is a stress hormone, like cortisol and norepinephrine. This hormone is produced in the adrenal glands. It relaxes the smooth muscles of the airways, blocks pain sensations and boosts the immune system. 

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