The world is well into the Covid-19 pandemic. And life as we know it has changed for people and families across the globe. Most are trying to take all necessary precautions at this time – including daily dietary supplements to help keep immune systems in tip top shape. You may have heard or seen people discussing wild harvested, herbal Sambucus (more commonly known as elderberry).
If you’re wondering what elderberry is, how to get it, and how it may help you this flu season, then you’ve come to the right place. Get the scoop on all you should know about taking Sambucus for immune support.
Sambucus: What is Elderberry Extract?
First things first; just what is Sambucus or elderberry? Sambucus is a flowering plant that also bears dark purple berries. Previously classified in the honeysuckle family, it is now considered an Adoxaceae. It is also sometimes referred to as simply elder, but you will most likely hear it called elderberry.
Surprisingly, there are about 30 different kinds of elderberry plants across the globe. It is the European type (Sambucus nigra or “black elderberry”) that is most often used as an herbal supplement. Its use can be traced back as far as 400 BC. Hippocrates, who is commonly referred to as the “Father of Medicine,” called his own elderberry tree a “medicine chest.”
It is believed to help with the following:
- Immune support
- Can potentially fight inflammation
- May have calming effects
- Potential cardiovascular benefits
There are a variety of ways to extract juice or syrup from Sambucus berries. Some people even mash their elderberries at home and strain the juice from the pulp. Commercial products can be found in a variety of forms, from syrups to jams and even lozenges.
Elderberry Nutritional Content: Vitamin C and Fiber
Elderberries contain many essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the nutrients that it is most well-known for are:
- Vitamin C
- Antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins
The fruit of the elderberry tree is very high in Vitamin C, which is known to help boost the immune system. Vitamin C is a very important vitamin that humans need on a regular basis. It is well known that lack of this essential nutrient can lead to a condition known as “scurvy” – commonly mentioned in regards to pirates who would be without fresh fruit sources when out at sea for long periods of time.
Elderberry is also very high in fiber, which is great for digestive health. Your digestive health is closely tied to your overall health. During digestion, your body absorbs all the nutrients from your diet. So it’s no surprise that a healthy digestive tract is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle.
Elderberries are also loaded with antioxidants like the ones in the bullet list above. It is believed that anthocyanins (the compound that gives the fruit its deep royal purple color) contain the most antioxidants in the plant. These antioxidants can help to fight off free radicals and other toxic compounds in the environment that lead to oxidative stress in the body.
Health Benefits of Elderberry: Does it Really Provide Immune Support?
As briefly mentioned above, this fruit is very high in Vitamin C. This vitamin is one of the most well known nutrients for immune support. This, along with antioxidants, make herbal elderberry great for your immune system. It is also believed to help fight inflammation, which can wreak havoc on not just your immune system, but your whole body.
Many doctors will approve this herbal remedy, as there is legitimate science to back up these claims. Research has shown physiological benefits with this extract in clinical trials. For example, one randomized study showed that individuals sick with Influenza (both type A and B) had symptom relief an average of 4 days earlier with the use of herbal elderberry (15 ml 4 times daily during illness – about 5 days). Those who did not take it felt sicker for longer.
More randomized, controlled clinical trials have shown that elderberry syrup can help to relieve respiratory symptoms from a variety of illnesses. That is a pretty big deal right now with the Covid-19 pandemic. Respiratory symptoms are known to be one of the most serious and concerning aspects of this illness.
Should You Take Herbal Elderberry This Flu Season?
Taking elderberry as a preventative can be a great idea this flu season. Clinical research has shown the positive effects of this extract. And there also seem to be no side effects or potential risks (aside from the rare allergy, which is to be expected). Remember to run this by your doctor. Talk with them about dosage and frequency for your unique, individual needs.
With the Coronavirus pandemic upon us and seeming to increase as winter is approaching, it might be a better time than ever to start taking wild harvested elderberry. Many healthy individuals are doing this now as a preventive measure and to keep up with immune support throughout this flu season. With two potentially deadly viruses to watch out for this year, an herbal supplement can be another step to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible.
Can Kids Take Elderberry Syrup?
The info is in, and yes, your children can safely take elderberry syrup. Just as you would for yourself, talk with their doctor or pediatrician. They will most likely approve this herbal supplement, and you can feel safe and assured about your decision. And, you can mix elderberry with honey to add to drinks for a tasty way to deliver. Products like Dr. Appleseed’s Elderberry with Honey are super easy and convenient for taking wild harvested elderberry.
It is not recommended to give elderberry extract to children under the age of one years old.
Can Elderberry Help to Prevent Severe Illness Due to Covid-19?
It is important to keep in mind that Sars-CoV-2 is a novel virus. Diagnosis through testing and treatments have improved since this pandemic started, but there is still much to be learned. Elderberry can not prevent Covid-19 and is not a standard recommended treatment. If you think you or a loved one may have Covid-19, please get to a doctor or testing site as soon as possible and otherwise self-isolate.
Remember that staying home as much as possible is the best preventative right now. And when you must be out, make sure to:
- Wear a mask or other face covering like a face shield
- Social distance and try to stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Thoroughly wash hands as frequently as possible for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face and/or hair
- Sanitize hands and frequently used surfaces
Now that that’s covered, while elderberry can not totally prevent an illness, it may potentially help your body to respond to the incoming attack. As mentioned above, sick individuals who took elderberry showed symptom relief sooner than those who did not. There has also been particular interest in elderberry’s ability to fight respiratory illness and inflammation. These have been two concerning symptoms with Covid-19.
Just remember, if you think you have been exposed to the novel Coronavirus or feel you may be getting sick, start isolating immediately and call your doctor or health care provider to get a test as soon as possible.
Elderberry is Not a Replacement for Professional Medical Care
Please remember that elderberry extract is not an adequate replacement for professional medical care. In fact, you should talk with your doctor about your herbal elderberry supplementation (just as you would any major lifestyle change). It’s important to keep your doctor in the know about these things – even something as seemingly minor as a new dietary supplement.
It is also important to remember to take all precautions this flu season. Covid-19 numbers are on the rise again, and we should be doing all we can to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe. The CDC recommends all healthy, eligible individuals take a flu shot this year (just like every year). And it is still recommended to stay home, social distance, and take all other safety precautions to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Make sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.
Okuma Nutritionals: Dr. Appleseed’s Wild Harvested Elderberry Extract With Honey
Okuma Nutritionals offers a delicious and convenient way to take your herbal elderberry syrup every day. It is super delicious mixed into a warm tea beverage. It is made from native West Coast wild harvested elderberries and regional honey. It contains no additives, and many parents will love that it has no added sugar.
Dr. Appleseed’s is loaded with the nutrients and antioxidants that make elderberry syrup so beneficial to immune support and fighting inflammation. It is a gentle and effective supplement to add to your daily diet. Each bottle contains about ⅓ pound of wild elderberries and provides about 22 servings (one serving = � teaspoon). Kids over 1 and under 75 pounds take half this dose (¼ teaspoon).
Elderberry is clearly sought after for its potential to help boost immune support. With the Covid-19 pandemic, more people are buying herbal Sambucus extract than ever before. With limited supplies, it may seem tough to find or get right now. But you can head over to the Okuma Nutritionals website and find Dr. Appleseed’s Wild Elderberry Extract with Honey in stock and ready to order/ship. Use this delicious jam in your tea, in food recipes, or simply drink as a syrup to help support a healthy immune system this flu season.