Posts Tagged ‘LDL’

Elderberry As a Supplement

Elderberry As a Supplement

Elderberry has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat different ailments including the flu, cardiovascular conditions and poor immune system function. You may find elderberry supplements at local health food stores or shop online with reliable herbal providers. If you are seeking to treat a virus, you may consider using elderberry tincture or syrup instead of capsules, since they contain a higher dosage of the plant’s medicinal ingredients. As a preventative measure for the flu and as an immune enhancer, elderberry capsules work well and are a convenient way of getting the benefits of this herb.

The oxidation of LDL cholesterol produced by the liver is a contributing factor to heart attacks. The anthocyanins present in elderberry reduce the adhesion of this cholesterol to blood vessel walls, helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They come in the form of lozenges, syrups, tinctures and capsules. Dosage for each varies and it is important to follow the labeling of the specific supplement you are purchasing. Typically if you are using elderberry supplements as an immune enhancer, one tablespoon a day of elderberry tincture diluted in filtered water is enough. If you are treating a viral infection you should increase this dosage to three tablespoons per day, spaced out in an interval of six hours.

Making your own supplements

If you want to wild harvest elderberry or buy the dried berries in bulk, you may consider making your own elderberry tincture. You will need a jar that’s just big enough to fit all your berries, leaving no empty space. Add vodka to the jar of berries, soaking them well and letting any air bubbles out before closing the jar. Place a sheet of wax paper under the lid before you close it. Make sure you label your jar to read “elderberry tincture” and note the date. You can add other information to your label, such as where you got the berries and what kind of alcohol you used.

Let the elderberries macerate in the vodka for four weeks, shaking the jar periodically. Strain out the berries with a muslin cloth and keep your tincture in a cool space out of direct sunlight.

Elderberry also stimulates the immune system and may interact with immuno suppressant medication.

Other interactions that elderberry can have with drugs are reducing the levels of theophylline, the active ingredient in asthma medicine; lowering blood sugar levels (avoid taking it alongside diabetic medicine); and being a mild laxative that should be avoided when taking other types of laxatives.