The plant known as Elder Berry occurs as several different species and grows throughout Europe and North America. It can be a tall tree or smaller bush, earning it the knickname “Dwarf Elder”. The berries that appear as the ripe fruits can range in color from red to black. Only the blue/black berries are medicinal. The genus and species name for this variety is Sambucus nigra.This plant has a long history of use as both a food and medicine in many countries. In England, for example, it was a common belief that Elder-Berry was a favorite tree of witches who enjoyed residing among its branches.
To disturb such a tree was thought to incur a witch’s wrath. To this day, many British still refuse to cut an Elder Tree down or burn its branches. In Denmark, the tree was said to house Hylde-Moer, “The Elder Tree Mother”, who would haunt anyone found harming the tree. In addition, many believed that an Elder Tree was a symbol of “good luck” if found growing on one’s property.
As a food source Elder Berries are commonly made into jams, jellies, chutneys and wine. As a medicinal, the fruit is often prepared as a syrup. For example, the “Duke of Monmouth’s Recipe” was made with Elder syrup and other herbs, and was used for sciatica. Native Americans used different parts of the plant for infections, coughs and skin conditions. Today Elder can be found listed as an “official medicine” in the Holland pharmacopeia, and was listed in the past in the pharmacopeias of both England and the United States.
The most common medicinal uses for Elder Berry are:
* Cold / Flus
* Sore Throats
* Herpes breakouts
* Swollen Glands
Elder Berries contain vitamins A, B and C plus various flavonoids including quercetin. However, these substances alone cannot account for its remarkable effect of disarming the symptoms of a cold or flu. An Israeli scientist, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuouglu, Ph.D., performed research that uncovered the mechanism of activity of Elder Berry’s anti-cold and flu activity. The flu is triggered by a virus, which must invade living cells in order to reproduce and spread. The virus enters the cell by puncturing the cell’s outer membrane with tiny spikes known as hemagglutinin. Dr. Mumcuoglu discovered that the active ingre- dients in Elder Berry bind onto the hemagglutin, deactivating it and ultimately preventing the piercing of the cellular membranes.
Scientific investigations collaborate the effectiveness of Elder berry. One scientific study tracked a reduction of flu symptoms during an outbreak of influenza. (Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucas nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alt Compl Med 1995; 1:361-9.) An added advantage to the use of Elder Berry is its record of safety. There are no known adverse reactions to the use of Elder Berry, although the possibility of an individual allergic reaction can never be discounted.
Nature’s Answer offers Elder Berry in an alcohol-free, tangy-tasting 4oz. liquid herbal extract form. This concentrated (1:1) maximum strength fluid extract contains 5,000mg of Elder Berry in each 1 teaspoonful dose. Natures Answer also supplies Elderberry in two encapsulated products, Sambucus & Ester-C, and Sambucus & Maitake Bio-Beta Glucan.
A great companion product is Nature’s Answer’s Elder Flower (organic alcohol). Flowers from the Elder tree contain tannins that have been shown to help dry up excess mucous, and can act as an expectorant.
One final note…when deciding on an Elder berry liquid, remember to check the kind of sweetener it contains. Many brands add sugar or sorbitol, while Nature’s Answer’s Elder berry contains only pure coconut glycerin.
Ester-C is a licensed trademark of InterCal Corporation and manufactured under U.S. patent #4,822,816 and other patent applications.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
**There are no valid studies using current scientific methods confirming this product’s efficacy. These indications are based solely on traditional homeopathic principles.
** These indications are based solely on traditional homeopathic use. They have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.