Elderberry is a popular fruit packed with health benefits. It has a spooky history attached to it. The “Elder Mother'' was believed to guard the tree in England and Denmark, whose consent was necessary before using the fruit or any other part of the plant. Also, the tree was declared to bridge the gap between the living and the dead, protecting against sorcery and evil forces.
Perhaps the superstition originated from the innumerable health benefits of elderberries, due to which it was perceived as sacred and holy. This dark purple to black fruit is jam packed with antioxidants for the effective treatment of hay fever, constipation, cold, flu, respiratory diseases, etc. Therefore, people take elderberry supplements and syrup such as Elderberry Gummies by Gummies Garden, Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup, NOW Supplements Elderberry Capsules, etc.
European elderberries are known to contain anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a rich source of anthocyanin, which clears the body’s free radicals and decreases infection severity. Evidence of elderberry compounds reducing pain and swelling have also been reported, however much research is needed to prove these claims. 

Consumption of Raw Elderberries

You have to be very smart to reap the benefit of elderberries through adequate consumption techniques. Raw elderberries are proven to be toxic, which could cause vomiting, nausea, and digestive disturbances. Raw elderberries can cause cyanides uid up in the body which could toxicate, therefore avoiding raw elderberries is the safest option. Cooking releases the toxicating substance from elderberries making them completely safe for consumption. 

Benefits and Risks Associated with the Consumption of Elderberries

There are many pros and cons of using elderberries. For years, the syrup of elderberries has been used as a home remedy for the treatment of viral cold and flu. If taken within 48 hours of first symptoms, it could reduce infection to a great extent. Regular consumption of elderberries can also strengthen the immune system responses. It also has laxative properties which could aid in the treatment of constipation by clearing the bowel. 
Elderberry can safely be used upto five days, after which consumption should be discontinued. Overconsumption can cause stomach ache, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Also, make sure you consume only ripe elderberries as unripe elderberries can make you ill. 
Elderberry Poisoning can cause numbness, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, etc. severe cases can also be fatal and life-threatening. Elderberries should not be consumed by pregnant women, lactating mothers, or children.  

Adequate and Safe Ways to Consume Elderberries

The innumerable benefits of elderberries can be acquired by adequate consumption of elderberries which makes them safe. For safe consumption, Elderberries are available in the markets in many forms from supplements to syrups.
Following are the ways you could safely incorporate elderberries to your diet. 

Consumption of Elderberries in the form of Supplements.

Elderberry supplements are widely available in many varieties. Consumption of elderberries in supplement form is the most commonly used method. There are many forms of elderberry supplements available, from elderberry gummies and capsules, to tinctures and lozenges. You should take these supplements in winters to avoid cold and flu and build up immunity. 

Consumption of Elderberries in the form of Jelly.

Elderberry jelly is a breakfast favourite. It has a long shelf life and stays fresh in your refrigerator. Also, it is used in baked goods to enhance the flavour of popular desserts. Commonly, it is added to cookies, cheesecakes, muffins, quickbreads, and other desserts.

Consumption of Elderberries in the form of Syrups.

Elderberry syrups are the most convenient ways to consume elderberries. Elderberry syrups can have been used for cold and flu treatments for a long time. You could dilute this syrup and take it, or it can be added to drinks. You can also directly take a spoonful. 
Most syrups are sweetened by adding sugar or honey to make it easier to take them. Check the label carefully if you are avoiding sugar. 

Consumption of Elderberries in the form of Gummies

Another popular way to consume elderberries is through elderberry gummy supplements. These are pleasant tasting treats liked by everyone due to their candy-like appearance and flavour. However, caution should be taken as it is easy to over consume elderberry gummy supplements. 

Consumption of Elderberries in the form of Oatmeal Breakfast.

You could have a head start of the day through a nutritious elderberry oatmeal breakfast. Add dried elderberries to your breakfast bowl of oatmeals for a healthy meal.

Consumption of Elderberries in the form of Punch.

Elderberry punch is a popular drink for parties, sleepovers, and get-togethers. Elderberry syrup can also be added to any juice or plain seltzer water to turn it into elderberry punch. It is commonly used in winters.

Consumption of Elderberries in the form of tea.

Elderberry tea is very beneficial for a sore throat and a stuffy nose. When brewed as tea, elderberries can provide an excellent way to boost your immune system and keep you hydrated. Elderberry tea is commonly used in winter as a hot beverage for breakfast and dinner. Get good quality dried elderberries to brew elderberry tea and acquire all the advantages of elderberries. 
Research reveals that elderberry tea can stimulate your blood sugar metabolism, decrease flu severity, and strengthen immunity. There are several minerals, proteins, and dietary fibres present in elderberry tea. 


Clara Rose