Elderberries - Sambucus Nigra
What are elderberries?
Also known by their Latin name Sambucus nigra, elderberries are the richly colored, purplish black berries of the shrub-like Elder tree, typically found in Europe and North America.
Health benefits of elderberries
For centuries, elderberries have been used for their potential health benefits, which likely stem from their superior antioxidant capacity (higher than blueberries!). Black elderberry (Sambucus) is said to possess antioxidant properties that may protect healthy cells from free radical damage.
In addition, black elderberry may support normal immune function - which is why elderberry lozenges and elderberry supplements are so popular during the winter months when everyone seems to be coughing and sneezing.
How to enjoy elderberries
Cooked elderberries and elderberry extract are used as a flavoring for many different products, including juices, syrups, jams, soft drinks, wines and teas. Elderberries can also be used as a garnish.
Important note: If you use fresh elderberries in the kitchen, they should always be cooked, as the raw berries contain compounds that can cause digestive upset.
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