Elderberry tea is obtained from the fruit-bearing tree. The unripe fruit, the leaves, and stems can contain cyanide and thus are potentially toxic. The berries from the tree are used in many forms, such as wines, jams, and pies.
The tea is made by using the flowers of the elderberry, which are steeped in boiling water for about 10 minutes. The health benefits of the elderberry are numerous.
Health Benefits of Elderberry
Native American tribes have for centuries used elderberry tea as an herbal remedy to help ease joint and muscular pains. It is still a popular herbal medication today and can be used for ailments such as:
- Fevers, particularly flu or other virus-based illnesses, can be eased by drinking elderberry herb tea. It can also help clear the airways, breaking down mucus and phlegm, which can aid ailments such as bronchitis and asthma.
- The common cold can be overcome much more quickly with a dose of elderberry tea, and drinking it regularly can help stave off a cold altogether. Due to the airway-clearing properties contained within elderberry, it can also help with allergies such as hay fever. The tea has also been used to help speed up the recovery process for sufferers of chicken pox and measles.
- Elderberry herb tea is a popular choice to relieve water retention, as it has slightly diuretic properties. It can also aid in the detoxification process of the liver and kidneys. With this in mind, it may help those who suffer from frequent bouts of urinary tract infections.Elderberry tea is also a mild laxative and so can help ease constipation and the bloating and flatulence that may accompany it.
- Elderberry also has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to ease the joint pain associated with arthritis and can be used as a wash for skin disorders such as eczema and boils. The fresh herb can be placed into bath water, rather like a large cup of tea, as a whole body soak to alleviate muscle aches and pains.
- Elderberry is a well-known immune system booster, and regular consumption of the tea can help the body fight off such ailments as herpes. It is particularly popular with those who regularly suffer from cold sores. It is also thought to help lower cholesterol.
- Elderberry herb tea has sedative properties and so can assist with stress relief, be used as an anti-anxiety supplement, or aid a restful sleep. It may also be helpful for people who suffer from insomnia if used on a regular basis. As a relaxant, it may also be beneficial for those who suffer from high blood pressure.
Elderberry is believed to have emetic properties, meaning it can induce vomiting. The raw and unripe fruit leaves and stems contain cyanide. Unless familiar with this herb, it is not recommended to pick fresh for making homemade teas.
Commercially-bought products would be the preferred choice to avoid possible contamination.