With the plethora of health products out there, what should you take that ticks off all the major boxes? Look to the ancients for inspiration! Forgotten immunity boosters, Elderberry and Echinacea are a surefire way to bulletproof your immunity, especially in today’s pandemic-ridden environment.
They say the truth never dies. Sidelined to give way to Western medicines, Elderberry and Echinacea are finally receiving the attention they deserve. Extensively used before the advent of modern medicine, the combination of both herbs exhibits antiviral properties, successfully preventing seasonal flu. With the development antibiotics, these herbs were stashed away, disregarded as an old wives’ remedy. However, antibiotics only kill bacteria not viruses and seasonal flu, like the common cold is caused by viruses. Over the years, research has shown us that improper use of antibiotics creates more havoc than health, warranting the way back to the old favorites: Elderberry and Echinacea. Both herbs support and strengthen the body’s natural immunity; Elderberry with its antiviral properties and Echinacea, by regulating inflammation.
Scientifically known as the Sambuscus Nigra, the Elderberry tree is a flowering shrub with small white flowers that mature into black or blue-black berries. There are many types, with European Elderberry and black Elderberry being the most common. Every part of the plant, be it the berries, bark, leaves and flowers are used in treating various ailments. Packed with antioxidants flavonoids that protect cells and fights off invaders, Elder contains Proanthocyanadins, anti-microbial that boosts the immune system. It is safe to consume as a daily tonic.
Echinacea is part of the sunflower family. It is a perennial prairie plant, native to Eastern and Central North America, widely used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments from toothaches, wound healing, snakebites, alleviating pain and the treatment of colds, sore throats and headaches. The herb activates the immune system, quickly mobilizing white blood cells to attack invaders.
Top 4 Benefits of Elderberry and Echinacea
The use of Elderberry as a medicine dates to ancient Greece. It is rumoured that Hippocrates called it his ‘chest of medicine,’ because of its versatility. Nowadays its best-known use is for the prevention and early treatment of the common cold and flu. A recent study evidenced that Influenza patients who took the Elderberry showed symptom improvement in lesser days than those who didn’t. Further studies indicated a group of air travellers who took Elderberry experienced shorter durations of flu than their counterparts. Similarly, Echinacea increases the number of white blood cells, ‘working’ at immunity front lines when a new pathogen like a cold virus is detected. It fights off infection, lessening the severity of symptoms.
Additionally, Echinacea is filled with antioxidants such as Flavonoids, Cichoric Acid and Rosmarinic acid. Antioxidants scavenge for ‘free radicals,’ unstable oxygen molecules that can cause cellular damage. They then stabilise these free radicals, protecting the body from oxidative stress.
Elderberry is not simply used for problems related to respiratory systems. It is also used to alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as sinus, sciatica, and nerve pain. HIV patients also regularly take it to help with symptoms. Furthermore, the extract boosts heart health by reducing cholesterol, uric acid and regulating blood sugar levels. There is growing evidence that the herb has cancer-inhibiting properties. Like Echinacea, Elderberry also increases white blood cells in the body, though Echinacea works better to mobilize it.
When you’re hurt, the body’s first response is to trigger an inflammatory response. Echinacea in combination with Elderberry quickens that response timing, therefore accelerating wound healing, event surgical wound healing.
Bowel troubles? Traditionally Elderberry tea was given to those with constipation. The component, Antraquinone, in Elderberry acts as a natural laxative, making movement easier!
At the first sign of trouble, it's best to take a combination of Elderberry and Echinacea. Like a quick jab and cross, the herbs punch out those pesky flu bugs before they can cause too much trouble! It's also a great solution for those looking to heal wounds, alleviate pain or just need a little help moving things along.