Elderberry syrup has been touted as a natural remedy for everything from colds and flu to allergies and inflammation. But with any new supplement or medication, it’s important to consider the potential side effects.
One of the most common concerns people have about elderberry is whether or not it can cause diarrhea. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the science behind elderberry and its effects on the digestive system.
We’ll explore the potential causes of diarrhea from elderberry and provide tips for safely incorporating this popular remedy into your wellness routine.
So, if you’re curious about elderberry syrup and its impact on your gut health, keep reading!
Does Elderberry Syrup Give You Diarrhea?
The short answer is that yes, elderberry syrup can cause diarrhea in some people. This is because the elderberry plant contains a natural laxative called anthraquinone, which can stimulate the large intestine and lead to loose stools or diarrhea.
However, it’s important to note that the risk of developing diarrhea from elderberry syrup is low for most people. Ripe or cooked elderberries are generally safe when consumed in small quantities, and properly prepared elderberry syrup is considered safe for most individuals.
That being said, if you are prone to diarrhea or have a sensitive stomach, you may want to take elderberry syrup with caution or avoid it altogether. It’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement or medication.
What Is Elderberry Syrup And How Does It Work?
Elderberry syrup is a natural remedy made from the cooked and processed berries of the elderberry plant. It is often used to boost the immune system, alleviate cold and flu symptoms, and reduce inflammation in the body.
The active compounds in elderberry syrup are believed to be flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that can help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. Elderberry syrup also contains high levels of vitamin C, which is essential for immune function and overall health.
When consumed, elderberry syrup is thought to work by stimulating the immune system and reducing inflammation in the body. It may also help to prevent the replication of viruses that cause colds and flu.
While elderberry syrup has many potential health benefits, it’s important to note that it can also have some side effects. As mentioned earlier, some people may experience diarrhea or other digestive issues when taking elderberry syrup. In addition, elderberry can interact with certain medications, so it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking it if you are on any prescription drugs.
The Potential Causes Of Diarrhea From Elderberry
While elderberry syrup can have potential health benefits, it can also cause diarrhea in some individuals. The main reason for this is the presence of anthraquinone, a natural laxative found in elderberry plants. This laxative stimulates the large intestine and can lead to loose stools or diarrhea.
In addition to anthraquinone, there are other potential causes of diarrhea from consuming elderberry. Unripe or uncooked elderberries, leaves, stems, or fruit contain a chemical that produces cyanide in the body. This can cause digestive distress, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Consuming large quantities of these parts of the plant can lead to more serious side effects.
Another potential cause of diarrhea from elderberry consumption is the presence of lectins, a type of protein that binds to carbohydrates and can be found in almost all foods. While most plant lectins do not cause any health issues, some plant lectins, especially those in improperly cooked plant foods, are toxic and can even be lethal. Elderberry contains lectins and consuming large amounts of unripe or uncooked elderberries or other parts of the plant that contain lectins may cause digestive distress.
It’s important to note that properly cooked elderberries and commercially-prepared elderberry products are generally safe for consumption and do not contain harmful substances like cyanide or lectins. However, it’s still important to be cautious when consuming elderberry products and to consult with a healthcare provider if you have any concerns about potential side effects.
Research On Elderberry And Digestive Health
Research has shown that elderberry may have some positive effects on digestive health. A study published in the BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies found that products containing elderberry can help speed up the colonic transit time and increase bowel movements in individuals with chronic constipation. Elderberry is also high in fiber, which can improve digestion and promote regularity.
Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Science suggests that the high-antioxidant flavonoids found in elderberries may interact with the microbiome in the gut, potentially providing added benefits for digestive health.
It is important to note, however, that while elderberry may have potential benefits for digestive health, it is not recommended for everyone. The uncooked leaves, stems, or fruit of the elderberry plant can contain a chemical that produces cyanide and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pregnant or lactating women and children under 18 years old should avoid elderberry consumption due to a lack of sufficient data on its safety for these groups.
Tips For Safely Using Elderberry Syrup
If you’re interested in trying elderberry syrup, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diarrhea or other adverse effects. Here are some tips for safely using elderberry syrup:
1. Choose a reputable brand: Look for elderberry syrup from a trusted source that uses high-quality ingredients and follows good manufacturing practices. Avoid homemade elderberry syrup unless you’re confident in the recipe and preparation methods.
2. Start with a small dose: Elderberry syrup is usually taken in small doses, such as 1-2 teaspoons per day. Start with a lower dose and gradually increase it as needed. This can help your body adjust to the supplement and reduce the risk of digestive upset.
3. Take with food: Elderberry syrup can be taken on an empty stomach, but it’s generally better to take it with food. This can help prevent stomach irritation and improve absorption of the nutrients in the syrup.
4. Don’t exceed recommended doses: Taking too much elderberry syrup can increase your risk of side effects, including diarrhea. Follow the recommended dosage instructions on the label or as directed by your healthcare provider.
5. Monitor for side effects: Pay attention to how your body responds to elderberry syrup. If you experience any unusual symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, stop taking the supplement and consult with your healthcare provider.
By following these tips, you can safely incorporate elderberry syrup into your wellness routine and potentially reap its many benefits without experiencing unwanted side effects.
When To Consult A Doctor.
While elderberry syrup is generally safe for most people, there are some situations in which you should consult a doctor before taking it. If you experience severe or ongoing vomiting or diarrhea after taking elderberry syrup, you should stop using it and contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Additionally, if you have a history of allergies or are allergic to any of the ingredients in elderberry syrup, you should avoid taking it and seek medical advice. Signs of an allergic reaction can include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Furthermore, if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking any medications, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking elderberry syrup. This is because elderberry may interact with certain medications or exacerbate certain health conditions.