The fruit from the elder tree has been used for generations all over North America, Europe, Western Asia and North Africa in folk remedies. The tree itself is a small tree that can grow up to 30 feet. Its berries are green, turn red and then turn black when ripe. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that the berries by themselves are poisonous and have to be cooked down to make them safe. Elderberries have been found to help with the flu, colds, nasal and chest congestion, yeast infections and hay fever. It can also be used as a diuretic or laxative. When cooked, elderberries are also used as flavoring in wines and foods like jams or pies.
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The poorly-known berries naturally contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant like properties that help prevent damage to your body’s cells. That means that it’s a great way to protect your body’s immune system during flu season. The flavonoids help to reduce swelling, fight inflammation and boost your immune system. It’s also able to reduce flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headaches, sore throats, fatigue, cough and body aches. It’s best to take an elderberry supplement within 24 to 48 hours of your symptoms showing up. If you take it soon enough, it’s been known to cut the duration of your flu symptoms by 50 percent! It can make your symptoms less severe and you’ll be better before you know it.
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