Scientific Name: Sambucus nigra
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is native to Europe and North America. The Latin specific epithet "nigra" means "black" and refers to the dark color of the berries, so elderberry is sometimes called black elder. Like many fruits, elderberries are high in vitamin C. The flowers of elderberries are sometimes used in herbal medicine. The berries are more often used for their antioxidant properties and as an immune stimulant. Additional details on the medicinal properties of this fruit can be found on the natural medicine page of elderberry.
An amount of 100 g of elderberry contains 36 mg vitamin C (60% daily value [DV]). Vitamin C is a useful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals. It protects one's cells from damage and supports heart health. It helps boost the immune system and reduces fatigue. It also enables the body to produce collagen, which provides structure to cells, skin, and hair.
Elderberries also have antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavonols, which may protect against oxidative stress. These antioxidants might also act as immunostimulants and have anti-inflammatory properties. The high content of fiber (28% DV) promotes digestive health. Side effects from consuming elderberries may include diarrhea and vomiting. Only harvest fully ripe purple berries because younger berries are slightly toxic.