Elderberry is an herb that has been used as a home remedy in many nations, including parts of the Americas, Asia, Europe, and northern Africa. Many of the elderberry benefits are focused on ridding the body of toxins and promoting a more efficient function of various bodily organs. The herb can be taken as a capsule or used to brew a soothing elderberry tea. It is also possible to prepare an elderberry extract or tincture as a means of enjoying the purported health benefits associated with using elderberry.
The combination of vitamins and minerals contained in the herb are considered by alternative health practitioners to be the reasons why there are so many elderberry benefits. A significant amount of vitamins C and E are found in the herb, as well as most of the B vitamins. Minerals found in elderberries include calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and potassium. Together, these nutrients are helpful in maintaining emotional balance as well as cleansing the body of various substances that can cause a number of different ailments.
One of the main elderberry benefits has to do with the immune system. Thanks to the presence of most B vitamins in the herb, an overworked immune system can be nourished and strengthened so that it can once again effectively fight off infections and imbalances that cause both physical and emotional distress. The benefits of elderberry also include lowering "bad" cholesterol levels, and helping to regulate the function of the heart. Elderberry tea is sometimes recommended when an individual is suffering with the common cold, since the presence of vitamin C is often thought to aid in shortening the duration of that particular illness.
There are also some claims that elderberry benefits also include alleviating problems with the intestinal tract. For example, drinking elderberry tea is said to soothe the stomach and help to aid in digestion. At the same time, the product is understood to help kill bacterial and other forms of infection within the body, including the intestinal tract. Drinking a tea instead of taking a capsule is sometimes said to expedite the healing process, since the body can begin to absorb the nutrients immediately, without waiting for the capsule to dissolve and the contents to be broken down by the stomach.
While many of the different elderberry benefits are supported with generations of anecdotal evidence, not all claims made for the herb have been substantiated by Western medicine. In addition, combining the use of any elderberry product with a prescription medication should only take place with the permission of a health care professional. As with most herbs, there is some potential for elderberry to negatively interact with different types of medicine.