Elderberry While Breastfeeding
Elderberry has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Ancient Egyptians used this berry to heal burns. Other cultures use elderberry to treat fever and rheumatism. Today, elderberry is still used in folk medicine and can be found in supplement form to treat cold symptoms. But is it safe for nursing moms? Can you take elderberry while breastfeeding?
The information in this article is for information purposes only. We are not doctors. Please talk to your doctor before taking elderberry.
Elderberry Health Benefits
Elderberry has traditionally been used for medicinal purposes, and there is some evidence that this berry does offer health benefits.
May Help with Cold and Flu Symptoms
You can find elderberry cough drops, gummies and liquids in most drug stores. That’s because this berry is commonly used to help with cold and flu symptoms.
Research has shown that black elderberry flower infusions and extracts can help reduce the length and severity of the flu.
One study found that participants who took 15 mL of elderberry syrup four times daily had improved symptoms after just 2-4 days. The control group, on the other hand, saw symptom improvements after 7-8 days.
There is also evidence that elderberry can help prevent people from developing colds after airplane travel. In this study, people took a lozenge with 300 mg of elderberry extract and rice flour twice per day for ten days before flying.
Much of the research related to elderberry and its effects on cold and flu symptoms is based on commercial preparations. It’s unclear whether homemade preparations would have different effects.
Because raw elderberries are poisonous, it’s best to use commercial elderberry products.
May Promote Heart Health
Elderberries may promote a healthy heart. Research has found that elderberry juice may reduce blood fat levels and cholesterol. Flavonoids, like anthocyanins, may also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Elderberries may also reduce uric acid levels in the blood, which may help promote healthy blood pressure.
May Promote Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Rich in Antioxidants
Oxidative stress has been linked to a variety of illnesses, from cancer to type 2 diabetes. Antioxidants help fight back against oxidative stress, and elderberries are rich in these beneficial compounds.
There is some evidence that diets rich in antioxidants can help prevent chronic disease.
Elderberries are rich in antioxidants. The anthocyanins in the berries have three times the antioxidant power of vitamin E.
One study in rats with colitis found that elderberry extract reduced inflammation and oxidative damage to tissues. Another study found that drinking 400 mL of elderberry juice improved antioxidant status after one hour.
The antioxidant content of elderberries is largely dependent on the way the berries are processed. Heating, juicing and certain extraction processes can reduce antioxidant levels and activity.
A Nutrient-Dense Food
Elderberries are not only low in calories, but they’re also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
A single cup of berries has just 106 calories and:
- 52 mg of vitamin C
- 10 g of fiber
- Flavanols, like isorhamnetin, quercetin and kaempferol
- Phenolic acids, which can help reduce damage from oxidative stress
- Anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
The nutrient content of elderberries depends on the variety of the berry, its ripeness and where it’s grown.
May Promote Healthy Skin
Elderberry’s high antioxidant and vitamin content can help promote healthy, youthful skin. The flavonoids in the plant can have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can help protect against free radical damage.
An elderberry face mask can help prevent or fight acne because of its antiseptic effects.
The high levels of vitamin A in this plant can also help reduce signs of aging, prevent wrinkles and ease irritation.
Many people use topical elderberry to help keep their skin looking its best, but consuming elderberry products can also beautify your skin from the inside out.
Elderberry While Nursing
Elderberry’s high antioxidant content and nutrient profile make it a popular option for people looking to prevent or treat colds and flu.
But nursing moms have to be very cautious about what they eat. If you’re thinking of incorporating elderberry into your diet, you may be wondering: Can you take elderberry while breastfeeding?
It’s important to talk to your doctor about any dietary changes you want to make while breastfeeding.
Can You Take Elderberry While Breastfeeding?
Elderberry can be found in many forms, from syrups to capsules, juices and powders. But can you take elderberry while breastfeeding? Is it safe?
Is Elderberry Safe While Breastfeeding?
Currently, there is no data on whether elderberries are safe while breastfeeding. We don’t know if the berry’s components make their way into breastmilk or whether they’re effective for nursing moms.
No official recommendations have been made one way or the other on elderberries while breastfeeding.
If you’re interested in taking elderberry, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to make a recommendation one way or the other.
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Elderberry Benefits While Breastfeeding
If your doctor gives you the green light to take elderberry, you may be wondering what types of benefits you will experience.
Because the research is limited and the jury is still out about the safety of elderberry while nursing, it’s difficult to talk about proven benefits. But there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence of health benefits, like:
- Immune boost: Most people take elderberry because of its reported immune-boosting effects. The berries are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and other nutrients that may help fight colds and flu.
- Dose of nutrients: As mentioned previously, elderberries are rich in nutrients. Supplements make it easy to add these extra vitamins and antioxidants into your diet.
Elderberry supplements are also easy to take and incorporate into your diet.
Elderberry Side Effects
While elderberries are believed to have many benefits, they can also cause side effects – whether you’re nursing or not.
Raw, unripe berries and other parts of the plant can be toxic, so it’s best to stick to commercially prepared products.
Common side effects of elderberries include:
- Nausea or vomiting (typically when consuming raw berries)
Elderberries can have a laxative effect, so overconsumption can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
Elderberry extracts may also interact with drugs designed to suppress the immune system, such as:
Always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements (including elderberry) if you’re on medication and/or breastfeeding.
Elderberry Syrup While Breastfeeding
Elderberry syrup is a simple way to take elderberry and enjoy the reported health benefits. But can you take it while breastfeeding?
There is no research on the safety or efficacy of elderberry syrup while breastfeeding. There have been no reported negative effects, but doctors still don’t know the safety of elderberry syrup while breastfeeding.
Elderberry Gummies While Breastfeeding
Elderberry gummies are a convenient and tasty way to take elderberry, but as a breastfeeding mom, you may be worried about the safety of these products.
Like other elderberry products, there is no evidence that gummies are safe – nor is there evidence that they aren’t safe. Talk to your doctor to find out whether they are safe for you to take while nursing.
If your doctor does give you the go-ahead to take elderberry gummies, make sure that you look at the other ingredients in the product. Some contain other herbs or added sugars that can make the gummies unhealthy.
Elderberry And Zinc While Breastfeeding
Elderberry hasn’t been proven to be safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so It’s best to talk to your physician about whether you can take it let alone pair it with zinc.
Zinc, by itself, is generally safe to take when you’re breastfeeding, and it’s a great way to help boost immune function. According to the NIH, breastfeeding women can take 12 mg of zinc daily.
Benefits Of Elderberry Tea While Breastfeeding
Many people drink elderberry tea as a way to boost their immune system and decrease the length of colds and flu.
But can you drink it while you’re breastfeeding? Like other elderberry products, it’s best to talk to your doctor about its safety. Research does not promote nor condone the use of elderberry products during breastfeeding.
Elderberry Benefits For Skin Postpartum
Elderberry is loaded with antioxidants and can have anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants can help keep your skin looking its best. Combating inflammation can help keep acne and irritation at bay.
The vitamins, quercetin and flavonoids in elderberry also provide anti-aging and anti-wrinkle benefits.
Elderflower extracts may have antimicrobial and astringent properties that keep skin clear and smooth.
If you’re breastfeeding, ask your doctor if it’s okay to apply topical elderberry products or consume elderberry supplements.
Elderberry Beauty Product You’ll Want to Try
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream pairs hydrating hyaluronic acid with antioxidant-rich elderberry in a lightweight and protective moisturizer.
Ceramides help lock in moisture while ProHyal+ helps improve hydration for healthier-looking skin. Anti-oxidant-rich elderberry helps defy the look of aging. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is visibly reduced, leaving a silky, hydrated and more youthful-looking complexion. Oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free.
Elderberry may offer many potential health benefits, but when you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to be especially cautious about what you put into your body. We still don’t know if elderberry is safe while breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor to see if elderberry is safe for you while nursing.