While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of elderberry for fertility, there is some evidence to suggest that it may improve reproductive function in both men and women who eat them, especially those tormented by fertility.
For example, one study found that elderberry extract improved sperm motility in men with infertility. Another study found that elderberry extract helped to regulate hormone levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that can affect fertility.
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This article provides some of the proven benefits of elderberries on fertility, essential bioactive compounds, and nutritional value of elderberries.
What Are Elderberries?
Elderberries are the small, dark berries of the elderberry tree (Sambucus nigra). They are native to Europe, Asia, and North America and have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties [3, 4].
Elderberries are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds like antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which are responsible for their dark color.
Bioactive Compounds in Elderberries
Elderberries are a rich source of bioactive compounds, including:
- Anthocyanins: These are pigments that give elderberries their dark color. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that can help to protect cells from damage.
- Flavonoids: These are compounds that are found in many plants. Flavonoids have several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.
- Sambucusins: These are unique compounds that are found in elderberries. Sambucusins have been shown to have antiviral and immune-boosting effects.
- Vitamins and minerals: Elderberries are a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium.
Proven Benefits of Elderberry for Fertility
Elderberries have been shown to have several potential benefits for fertility. Detailed below are some proven ways to benefit reproductive functions in men and women.
1. Stimulates ovulation
Study shows that the bioactive components of elderberries also called black elder can improve reproductive procedures, and fecundity and may help induce ovulation. The study implies that elderberry may have several potential benefits for female reproduction .
It has been shown to have stimulatory effects on healthy ovarian cells, promote apoptosis reduce the viability and proliferation of ovarian cancer cells, and have positive effects on embryogenesis and the embryonal estradiol-estradiol receptor system.
Bottom line: elderberry may be a valuable tool for improving reproductive processes in women, as well as for the prevention and treatment of reproductive disorders.
2. Improves sperm quality
Is elderberry good for sperm count? Yes, the study says it can help improve overall sperm parameters due to their antioxidant potential .
According to a study that provided promising evidence, stating that elderberries may be a valuable tool for improving fertility in men.
The result from the study shows that mice that were fed an elderberry diet had significantly better sperm quality than mice that did not receive elderberry .
This further implies that elderberries may be a beneficial treatment for improving sperm quality in men who have experienced scrotal hyperthermia. Scrotal hyperthermia is a condition that can damage the testicles and impair sperm production.
Also, a study on the mice model suggests that elderberry fruit extract can be a potential treatment for azoospermia due to its ability to boost spermatogenesis in azoospermic mice .
The above evidence suggests that elderberry extract may improve sperm motility and morphology, and may help to improve the chances of fertilization.
3. Reduces oxidative stress
Oxidative stress can damage sperm and eggs, making it difficult to conceive. Elderberry is a potent antioxidant  that can help to reduce oxidative stress and protect reproductive cells.
4. Regulates hormones
Does elderberry help with hormones? Yes, elderberry may help to regulate hormone levels, which can be important for fertility. For example, elderberry has been shown to increase levels of progesterone, a hormone that is essential for maintaining pregnancy.
Several compounds such as polyphenols, terpenes, and lectins have also been linked with improved reproductive health and fertility by many studies.
For example, a study suggests it can help regulate steroidogenesis in ovarian cells .
Also, another study finds that elderberry extracts stimulated the secretion of progesterone by HGL5 cells at a lower dose when compared to the control group .
5. Reduces menstrual cramps and pain
Is elderberry good for the menstrual cycle? Yes, Available data from studies suggest that elderberry fruit extract can help modulate Inflammation [13, 14] which is beneficial for women’s menstrual health.
For example, one study found that elderberry extract helped to reduce menstrual cramps and pain .
6. Increase body antioxidant level
Elderberries are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and compounds like anthocyanins, flavonoids, and polyphenols. With their antioxidant properties, they all contribute to improving our body’s antioxidant levels and activities in the fight against free radicals that reduce the quality of both male and female reproductive gametes and their functions [18, 19].
Does Elderberry Help with Pregnancy?
Some experts believe that it is safe to take in small doses.
- Elderberry may help to reduce the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.
- It may also help to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of infection during pregnancy.
Bottom line: Elderberry is a safe and healthy fruit that may have many benefits for fertility. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking elderberry, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How to Eat Elderberries
Elderberries can be eaten fresh, cooked, or dried. However, they are better added to smoothies, juices, jams, and pies. Elderberries can also be used to make syrups, extracts, and wine.
Elderberries are generally safe for most people to eat. However, there are a few potential health concerns to be aware of:
Raw elderberries contain sambunigrin, a substance that can be poisonous if consumed in large amounts. Cooking elderberries destroys sambunigrin and makes them safe to eat.
Elderberries may interact with certain medications. If you are taking any medications, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking elderberry.
Safety for Pregnant or breastfeeding women
There is limited research on the safety of elderberry during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking elderberry.
Bottom line: Elderberry is a safe and healthy fruit that may have many benefits for women’s menstrual health. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking elderberry, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Elderberries are a safe and healthy tonic that may have several benefits for fertility. A cup of elderberry juice taken regularly can improve sperm motility and morphology in men with infertility.
In women, it may help to regulate hormone levels in women with PCOS, a condition that can affect fertility.
Finally, elderberry is a potent antioxidant that can help reduce oxidative stress and protect reproductive cells from damage caused by free radicals.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.