Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ELDERBERRY - Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

Elderberry tackles toxins, reducing damage to tissues all over your body ...
Elder was used as a food in ancient times but it also has an extensive history of medicinal usage.  Extracts of elder berries have been shown to inhibit the replication of the influenza virus, making it a suitable herb for the treatment and prevention of the common cold and flu.  Elderberries also contain large amounts of flavinoids, which act as antioxidants.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that in their bid to become more stable must bump into healthy cells and cause damage. Elderberries antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals and therefore reduce damage to tissues all over the body, including those that are infected.  Elder flowers act as a diuretic and diaphoretic, aiding the body in the release of excess fluid through the kidneys and the skin (via the sweat).  Elderflower tea can be used as a wash over skin irritations.  Elder is recommended by natural health practitioners for a variety of conditions including prevention of colds and flus, treatment of infections, skin infections, wound cleansing, water retention and fevers.

Elderberries can be purchased as a dried berries, encapsulated berries, liquid extract or tincture.  In general liquid preparations of elderberry are stronger than dried preparations. Elderberries are found in formulas for colds and flus.  Elderflowers can be purchased as lose herb, encapsulated herb or tincture.  They are found in formulas for water retention and kidney cleansing.  By purchasing standardized elder supplements one can be sure that there are some berries and/or flowers in the formula.
The stems of elder contain the toxin cyanide and should not be used.  Use caution when taking elder for long periods of time if you are on heart medication, lithium or diuretics because elder can alter the levels of these medications.  Short-term use of elder has not been found to affect medication levels.

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