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For those wanting to stay healthy, you might want to pay attention to this.
Black elderberry is most commonly known for its medicinal uses in the aid of upper respiratory infections, constipation, and fever. It is an antiviral which has the ability to stimulate the immune system. Black elderberry has even been known to show positive effects against the herpes simplex virus and HIV. “A clinical trial of elderberry found that it cured ninety percent of flu infections within 72 hours.”
Black elderberry can be both internally and externally. Internally only the flowers and berries can be ingested. Pure alcoholic tinctures, vinegar and alcoholic tinctures (acetum), teas and syrups can be made out of the flowers and berries. The pure alcoholic tincture form can be made out of either fresh or dried flowers. To make the acetum tincture form, “pack the flowers in a crock or jar and cover with simmering hot apple cider vinegar. Cover and set aside overnight, then pour off through cheesecloth.” (Cech, 144) A tea can be made out of dried flowers and ingested hot or cold. There are two ways syrup can be made out of black elderberry. The first way involves mixing one part of dried elderberry flower tea with two parts of honey. The second way consists of mixing two parts honey for every one part of juice made from raw or cooked berries.
Externally, black elderberry can be used as a wash, a bath solution, oils, salves or creams. The wash form can be made by taking cold elder tea. This can benefit oily or acne skin. The bath solution is usually used in combination with elderberry tea or tincture to cure a fever. To make the solution add dried black elderberry flowers to a muslin bag. The bag is then added to hot bath water. This will help sweat out the fever. One of the few uses involving the leaves is included in the making of oils, salves or creams. To make herbal oil out of black elderberry, use fresh, green leaves. The oil can be used alone or mixed to make a salve or cream. The use of the leaves is beneficial to old burns, ulcerations and hemorrhoids.
The black elderberry contains nearly five times the level of anthocyanins (natural antioxidants) of the blueberry!
The black elderberry has twice the overall antioxidant capability of the cranberry!
Research data from studies around the world have proven black elderberry extract to be effective in shortening the duration of influenza A and B. In fact, many people who use elderberry extract never get the flu at all.
Among all fruits, elderberries are the most concentrated source of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants to boost the immune system and protect the body’s cells from harm.
These anthocyanins are found in the purple pigment of black elderberries, and according to Dr. Gerhard Rechkemmer, president of Germany’s Federal Research Institute for Nutrition and Food, they have significantly greater antioxidant capacity than common antioxidants such as Vitamin C. In fact, Dr. Rechkemmer’s research has shown that the anthocyanins in black elderberry actually boost the production of cytokines, the proteins that act as messengers within our immune system, and thereby serve to enhance the body’s immune response.
Cytokines play a crucial role in the immune system’s response to disease. Cytokines work in ways very similar to hormones. They are released by immune cells into the blood stream or locally into body tissue during an immune response. There are many different types of cytokines including interleukins, interferons and tumor necrosis factors. Why are anthocyanins so important? These compounds are powerful antioxidants that protect cells against free radicals, while boosting the immune system at the same time.
Several studies have shown that extracts from the fruits of the black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) may help to activate the immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production. (Barak 2001, Barak2002))
Both studies above found that extracts from black elderberries helped increase the production of interleukins 6 and 8 (IL-6, IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α;). All of which have been shown to have pro-inflammatory properties in fighting infection (2,3).
One study (Barak 2002) also demonstrated that an extract of black elderberry increased the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.
Warnings for use of Black Elderberry
The seeds of raw elder berries can be extremely toxic, which is why most physicians suggest buying Sambucol, which is a commercial form of black elderberry syrup. Since there are about 20 different species of elderberries, it is important only to make homeopathic remedies from the trees that produce black, blue or purple berries. The trees that produce red berries have been proven to hold a higher level of toxicity.
For information on making it at home, click below;
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