With kids going back to school, and many adults heading back to the office, our immune systems are going to face challenges.
This month our Master Herbalist, Stacey Littlefield, has been clearing up misconceptions about popular immune-boosting supplements, and helping you understand how to use them effectively.
We’re finishing our series by talking about arguably the trendiest supplement on the list… elderberry!
Elderberry is a great general health tonic! Why? Because it’s an antioxidant.
Just like cherries, raspberries, and blueberries, the antioxidant properties of elderberry provide our existing immune cells with armor.
When foreign cells invade and attack our tissue and cells, we release free radicals to annihilate them. However, free radicals don’t discriminate between friend and foe. They can easily do damage in this process.
The armor supplied by the antioxidant properties of elderberry to our tissues and cells keep them protected from free radicals while they dispatch the foreign cells.
While it may be a good general health tonic, you should know that when it comes to elderberry treating specific conditions, the scientific research available to us is narrow in its scope.
There is some good research available regarding its ability to fight the common cold and the flu. This makes sense; given its antioxidant capabilities, it will likely work on these conditions in the same way vitamin C would.
However, this is really where the scope of research ends for elderberry.
While you may hear about positive benefits being seen in those suffering from obesity and cardiovascular diseases, or herpes and other viruses, there is only preliminary research in these areas.
All elderberry is not created equal.
When observing research on the benefits of elderberry, you must be discerning about the type of elderberry supplement that has been used.
Assuming that your generic elderberry supplement will be identical to the one used in a case study is dangerous.
Many high-profile elderberry studies use extracts that contain more than just elderberry. In fact, one such study that yielded very positive results used an extract that contained a combination of elderberry and raspberry.
Why is this an issue? Well, there’s more variables at play. Were the benefits experienced by the test subjects due to the elderberry or the raspberry? Or was it the way the two complement one another? We simply don’t have enough research to know.
At Redd Remedies we give every customer a “purity promise.”
We vow to verify every single ingredient we use with vigorous 3rd party testing, to ensure that all ingredients are free from toxins and contaminants.
This might sound like something every supplement company should do. But they don’t. In fact, our testing goes far above and beyond the basic expectations of ingredient safety and purity set forth by the FDA.
Due to the FDA’s unclear guidelines on purity and safety, there are plenty of con artists looking to cash-in on cheap knock-offs… especially when it comes to supplements as trendy as elderberry.
There are plenty of ingredients in the supplement market that are not what they purport to be.
Remember: Always research a supplement company’s background before making a purchase. Do they have their own “purity promise?” If not, you could be getting into risky territory.