What are elderberries?
Elderberries are the fruit of the Sambucus tree and have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. Elderberry syrup is a natural remedy made from the juice of elderberries and has a long history of being used to treat cold and flu symptoms.
What does elderberry syrup do for you?
Elderberry syrup has shown to work by helping to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, which can help fight off infections and illnesses.
Here are 5 benefits of elderberry syrup:
- Boosts immune system: Elderberry syrup contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help boost the immune system and protect the body from harmful free radicals that can cause damage to cells. A study showed that elderberry extract, taken 10 days before travel, significantly reduced common cold symptoms in airline passengers compared with placebo (1).
- Reduces inflammation: Elderberry syrup contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. A study found that elderberry extract can inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines, which are associated with several diseases (2).
- Relieves cold and flu symptoms: Elderberry syrup has been shown to help reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms. A randomised, double blind, study concluded that elderberry supplementation can shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms by an average of four days (3).
- May improve heart health: Elderberries contain high levels of flavonoids, which are compounds that have been linked to improved heart health. A study showed some promises in the use of elderberry in reducing cardiovascular disease. This is thought to be due to its high level of bioactive compounds with potent antioxidant properties. More research is required in this area (4).
- May have anti-cancer properties: Elderberries contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. A study showed that compounds found in elderberries have anticarcinogenic potential (5).
Are there any side effects of elderberry syrup?
Like all natural remedies, there may be the chance of side effects associated with elderberry syrup consumption. Common side effects may include gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. This however can be managed by sticking with the dose of elderberry syrup stated on the pack. Elderberry syrup may also interact with certain medications, such as immunosuppressants and diuretics. It is important to check with a healthcare professional before taking elderberry syrup, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a chronic medical condition, or are taking any medications.