Elderberry juice is one of many foods high in antioxidants. Anthocyanins, the powerful antioxidants found in many berries, are being researched and the research is showing some amazing findings.
One benefit to the anthocyanins found in elderberry is to reduce likelihood of arterial plaque and hardening of the arteries. Great news for folks who have a hard time with cholesterol levels.
Antioxidants in elderberry juice also help with eye health by providing protection to the optic nerve. The anthocyanins, Vitamin C, and carotenoids keep those important nerve cells from being damaged by oxidative stress from bright lights, eye strain, and poor diet.
One of my favorite benefits of elderberry juice is improvement to immune function.
As a nutritionist, I love anything that causes no harm and supports healthy immune function. I don't know if people realize that our immune system is what keeps us healthy and alive.
Elderberries have been listed in the CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs since 1985. It's also listed in the 2000 edition of Mosby's Nursing Drug reference. Both books illustrate the remarkable benefits elderberry juice has for viruses, colds, flus, hay fever, sinus congestion, and even yeast infection.
Hasassah's Oncology Lab in Israel determined that elderberry stimulates the immune system to such a degree, they are studying it for use with cancer and AIDS treatment.
People get all excited and freaked out about the flu. My opinion is that the flu is no big deal. The utterly worthless and probably dangerous flu vaccine bothers me much more. There are so many natural foods and herbs that boost immune function against viruses that it's almost hard to avoid them. Elderberry juice is one example.
Elderberry drinks and elder flowers have been used in natural medicine for centuries for viruses such as colds, flus, and herpes simplex. A study documented in the Journal of International Research showed that people suffering from flu-like symptoms recovered more quickly (average of 4 days sooner) and had less severe symptoms when taking elderberry syrup than those taking placebo.
On a personal note, I have never and will never have a flu vaccination. I've had the flu once in my life and recovered in about 3 days. I took elderberry extract from Planetry Formulas (great product), garlic supplements, and echinacea tincture. I also ate lots of fruits and vegetables, rested, and took therapeutic baths. That's all it took.
In the 13 years I worked in the supplements industry, I worked with hundreds of people who had bad experiences with flu shots. These same people had switched to elderberry tinctures or elderberry extract and other natural remedies with complete effectiveness.
Proper diet and lifestyle habits are extremely effective for any type of virus, including bird flu or H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.
If you have access to elderberries, eat them or run them through your juicer.
If not, elderberry juice, elderberry tincture, supplements and elderberry extract are widely available in health food stores or online. Some brands I would look for include: Planetary Formulas, Wyldewood Cellars, Source Naturals, and Nature's Answer. I used to like Sambucol Black Elderberry by Nature's Way until they started using artificial flavors. I refuse to recommend any natural health option that contains artificial ingredients.
In summary, elderberry juice is completely safe and delicious. It's great for boosting the immune system against viruses (colds and flus), helps reduce hardening of the arteries and plaque formation in the arteries.
Side effects of elderberries or elder flowers are extremely rare. When they do occur, they are minor gastrointestinal complaints. All around great stuff and widely available. Enjoy.
Related Elderberry Juice Pages:Benefits of Elderberry Juice
1:Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Incorporation of elderberry anthocyanins by endothelial cells increases protection against oxidative stress. Free Radical Biol Med 2000: 29:51 60
2:Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in treatment of influenza. J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40.