Elderberry or Elderflower. Are you making the right choice?

Your local market’s nutrition aisle is packed with purple-labeled elderberry syrups, capsules, and gummies.  

Elderberry is trendy for good reasons—we love it too, but there’s a time and place for elderberry (but we question its use as an everyday herb).  

What’s more, with all the focus on the berry, many are missing another gem of the elder tree that we enjoy using daily: the elderflower.  

Elderflower vs. Elderberry for Daily Use 

Based on the massive amount of elderberry products, you would think the brilliant purple elderberry is a richer source of potent, health-promoting polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) than the white elderflower.

But, as it turns out, elderflower tea has been shown to deliver more antioxidative activities than tea made with the berry![1] and if that weren’t enough, its antioxidant properties were found to exceed that of Vitamin E.[2]

But that’s not the main reason we prefer elderflower over the berry for daily use.  

As remarkable as elderberry is, it may stimulate your immune response too much leading to imbalance.  

And when it comes to immune health, balance is essential. As we like to say, a properly functioning immune system isn’t “boosted”, it's balanced. 

How does elderflower work? We’ll never know the full story because plants and people are infinitely complex, but we do know that elderflower contains myricetin (a polyphenol NOT found in the berry), which might help balance the immune response. 

What particularly caught our attention is that myricetin also has specific effects in the nervous system: it may help protect nerves and has been studied for its potential to protect against the effects of chronic stress.[3], [4], [5] And who  couldn’t use a little help with stress support? 

Elderflower also contains pectic polysaccharides, which have been shown to modulate the immune system,[6] which means it can help tune your immune response to meet challenges with wisdom.  

And the cherry on top? When made into an herbal infusion (brewed like a tea, but with an exacting, therapeutic dose), elderflower’s powerful phenolic compounds like quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol (and numerous others) bathe the upper respiratory and digestive tracts and protecting and neutralizing damaging oxidative stress.  

As an extra bonus, sipping on elderflower infusions can even support your oral health[7]another reason to choose infusions over encapsulated herbs, which pass right by the tissues in your mouth! 

Elderflower for Stress & Immune Support 

As you can tell, we’re big fans of elderflower which is a key member of our Stress Therapy 7-Flower Infusion.  

Learn More About our Stress Therapy 7-Flower Infusion.
Clinically proven to relieve stress.

Our philosophy is inspired by nature’s law: everything is connected. With the help of myricetin, elderflower can help cool and calm the nervous system. And when you cool and calm the nervous system, you also cool and calm the immune system (and vice versa), helping your whole body and mind meet whatever might come your way with more wisdom.  

And since elderflower is probably more appropriate than elderberry to consume every day for most adults, its soothing, balancing, and sweet nature make it a reliable friend in a world that could use a daily dose of calm.  

 

References  

[1] Viapiana, A., & Wesolowski, M. (2017). The phenolic contents and antioxidant activities of infusions of Sambucus nigra L. Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 72(1), 82–87. 

[2] Semwal, D. K., Semwal, R. B., Combrinck, S., & Viljoen, A. (2016). Myricetin: A dietary molecule with diverse biological activities. Nutrients, 8(2), 90. 

[3] Li, J., Xiang, H., Huang, C., & Lu, J. (2021). Pharmacological actions of myricetin in the nervous system: A comprehensive review of preclinical studies in animals and cell models. Frontiers in pharmacology, 12, 797298.  

[4] Pluta, R., Januszewski, S., & Czuczwar, S. J. (2021). Myricetin as a promising molecule for the treatment of post-ischemic brain neurodegeneration. Nutrients, 13(2), 342.  

[5] Wang, Q. M., Wang, G. L., & Ma, Z. G. (2016). Protective effects of myricetin on chronic stress-induced cognitive deficits. Neuroreport, 27(9), 652–658.  

[6] Ho, G. T., Zou, Y. F., Aslaksen, T. H., Wangensteen, H., & Barsett, H. (2016). Structural characterization of bioactive pectic polysaccharides from elderflowers (Sambuci flos). Carbohydrate polymers, 135, 128–137. 

[7] Harokopakis, E., Albzreh, M. H., Haase, E. M., Scannapieco, F. A., & Hajishengallis, G. (2006). Inhibition of proinflammatory activities of major periodontal pathogens by aqueous extracts from elder flower (Sambucus nigra). Journal of periodontology, 77(2), 271–279. 

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