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Elderberry: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions

Hippocrates referred to this plant as the “medicine chest” and research has proven this to be true. However, their protective effects in humans appear to be weak. What we really know is this:

Another study tested its effectiveness in air travelers. Expiration date that has not yet passed. Relatedresources, since IFN gamma is necessary to fight viruses and also primes antiviral responses of the specific immune system, progesterone may therefore inhibit antiviral responses [117]. Although these studies are promising, don’t forgo your flu shot to take elderberry.

Is there anyone who should NOT try elderberry? This essentially activates or boosts the immune system to be ready for action. Side effects of raw elderberries People can eat elderflowers raw or cooked. However, there is one unifying area of health that affects everyone, and to varying degrees—our natural defense system. She believes there's healing power behind these berries, rooted in her family line. Everything in this slideshow, they’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Is elderberry good for a cold? Studies indicate that elderberry may have diuretic and blood sugar lowering properties, too, so, as with all herbal medicines, if you are considering adding elderberry to your diet, do your research and consult your physician to ensure that elderberry won’t interact with any prescriptions medicines you may already be taking.

Black elderberry is available and found in several supplemental forms at many health food stores. Elderberry lozenges (175 mg) can be taken twice daily. The participants kept taking elderberry (or the placebo) until four or five days after they returned home, and they tracked any cold symptoms they experienced during or after their trip. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus Nigra L.) Another study looked at whether elderberry extract helped air travelers avoid colds (since people often get sick from flying).

For medicinal benefits, elderberry extract is available commercially in tablet or syrup form. Further large-scale studies are required to confirm these results and determine if elderberry may also play a role in preventing influenza ( 8 ). Encephalitis, if the immune suppression is causing harm then sometimes an alternative can be used, or the dose dropped. Her family has been making the syrup for four generations. It’s important to know which species of herb is used, as different species even within the same family may have different effects on the body. As an added benefit, the patients in the elderberry syrup group reported taking significantly fewer over-the-counter medications in hopes of symptom relief. Additionally, one study found that antioxidant status improved in people one hour after drinking 400 ml of elderberry juice. Its bioflavonoids and antioxidants, along with its high vitamin A content, make it awesome for skin health.

A Burst Of Vitamins And Antioxidants For Immune Support.*

That doesn’t mean you can skip your flu shot, though. Forgotten are many of our past remedies and herbs that have continually demonstrated their healing abilities over time. The berries are found in small black or blue-black bunches ( 1 ). Once coated, it can be more easily detected by the immune system, which then can dispatch it. Sealed for your protection. Allow the syrup to cool, then stir in 1 cup of honey. 2 g of dietary fiber per cup.

Fresh ones may be hard to find, but click here to see if any local farmers harvest them. However, a recent study by a group of Chemical and Biomlolecular Engineering researchers from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Engineering and IT has determined exactly how a popular ancient remedy, the elderberry fruit, can help the fight against influenza. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: She sees patients at Henry Ford Medical Center – Novi. Research suggests that diets high in antioxidants may help prevent chronic disease (5, 12 , 15 ). The most common type is the Sambucus nigra. Not enough is known about the safety of using elderberry during pregnancy and breast -feeding.

B, Fink RC, McMichael MD, et al.

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The following advice is for the DIY individual that has made their own elderberry syrup or extract and is looking for serving recommendations. In another study published in 2020, Australian researchers showed that taking elderberry before an overseas flight may protect against the cold viruses that can wreak havoc in a plane’s tight quarters and stagnant air. Some people might confuse elderberry with other poisonous plants.

Sambucol, the original black elderberry extract, provides strong immune system support to help you and your family stay healthy throughout the year. There are several elderberry supplement options and preparations, such as gummies, lozenges, syrups, teas, and more. Sambucol® contains natural ingredients and may change color over time. Therefore, products like syrups, juices, teas and jams may have reduced benefits compared to some results seen in laboratory studies (16).

Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in every part of the world, with its history of healing going all the way back to ancient Egyptians who used the plant to treat skin issues, including burns and infections. If elderberries are taken after infection, that keeps the virus from spreading, which reduces the duration of influenza symptoms. What do studies say? How does Elderberry work?  This increases the intestinal pressure, stimulating muscles contractions (peristalsis) to promote clearance of the bowel. ” In folk medicine today, the elderberry is widely considered one of the world’s most healing plants.

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This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack. Shopping cart, this tutorial on how to peel garlic in 7 seconds makes it easier than ever to add garlic to your meals. Historically, the flowers and leaves have been used for pain relief, swelling, inflammation, to stimulate the production of urine and to induce sweating. Antioxidants are natural components of foods, including some vitamins, phenolic acids and flavonoids, that are able to remove these reactive molecules. However, one ounce by volume of one herb may have a very different weight than the same volume of another herb, depending on the density of your plant material. Journal of dietary supplements. For syrups in this category, I recommend using the ratio from our elderberry recipe to prevent herb degradation due to overcooking. Of the 312 participants taking the elderberry extract, 29 developed a cold. There is some evidence that Sinupret® may have benefits for this condition compared to other medications.

Some may find it more difficult to swallow capsules than chew gummies. In our modern world, it seems that so much emphasis is placed on the newest and latest remedies. Summary, the immune system is the body’s defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. With cold and flu season nearing, people who take this approach may be reaching for elderberry. What is glycogenesis, and why is it important? One of these natural remedies, that also happens to taste great, is Elderberry (Sambucus sp.)

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Also, research on diabetic rats given elderberry showed improved blood sugar control (4, 15 , 28 ). Given that type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for heart and vascular disease, blood sugar control is important in preventing these conditions (4, 8 ). Elderberries have been praised for healing everything from influenza to kidney and bladder infections. Today, elderberry is most often taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. How should I store fresh elderberries? Also, be sure to remove any bark or leaves before use. Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world.

That said, a few watchdog organizations, such as U.

To preserve quality and freshness, keep tightly sealed and keep in a cool, dry place. Chicken soup, but sometimes it fails:. In line with the research, she suggests 15 milliliters of Sambucol syrup four times a day for adults and twice a day for children for up to five days. Other people may be able to consume up to 2 ounces per day before they experience gastrointestinal symptoms; the point is that elderberry should be consumed by the teaspoon, not by the glass.

So where does the truth lie?

More research is needed in this area.


Part of the plant that was used for this specific product. On occasion, manufacturers may improve or change their product formulas and update their labels. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. In fact, science has just recently verified what folk medicine has known for centuries, Black Elderberry ‘Laciniata’ is a potent antiviral medicine and works against some strains of bacteria as well. Derived from the berries of European black elder trees, the elderberry has been used to fight upper-respiratory infections for centuries. So, we stick to using it in supplement-form. A 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients found that air travelers who dosed themselves with elderberry syrup had a shorter and less intense illness compared to those who didn’t.

Click to purchase Frontier black elderberries from

8 Oz(Pack of 1) Dietary Supplement. The cytokines communicate with other parts of the immune system and influence levels of inflammation in the body. A double-blind, randomized control trial looked at whether elderberry extract could prevent people from experiencing cold-like symptoms after traveling on an airplane. Elderberry has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria like Helicobacter pylori and may improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis ( ). It's also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and can make symptoms worse for anyone who already has an autoimmune condition. A growing number of consumers are hitting the health food store for elderberry products to reduce their risk of picking up a cold or the flu.

Elderberries were listed in the CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs as early as 1985, and listed in the 2020 Mosby’s Nursing Drug Reference for colds, flu, yeast infections, nasal and chest congestion, and hay fever. Bottle in sterilized glass. Probiotics, before learning exactly how to boost your immune system, first understand that most immune disorders result from either an excessive immune response or an autoimmune attack. You might as well retire your original Airborne because this one is far superior with the addition of elderberry to boost its antioxidant blend of vitamin D and zinc. Each year as winter approaches, I reliably find my patients asking me about the best herbal remedies to use during the cold weather months. Like a lot of natural remedies, people will tell you elderberry can cure almost anything.

This is a toxin also found in apricot seeds and almonds ( 1 , 34). Elderberries are the fruit of the Sambucus tree. Elderberry juice has also been used to improve vision, especially night vision. A small, randomized trial looked at a compound commonly used in Brazil to treat constipation. If going with another brand, read the ingredients list and look for the botanical name (Sambucus nigra) along with the common name (elderberry) to ensure that it’s the right species of elderberry. She recommends the supplement to her patients who are suffering from cold or flu like symptoms. Many people assume that because elderberry is a fruit, the liquid expressed through the extraction process is a juice, and that it can be consumed just like a juice. The latter are available in many forms, including syrups, teas, capsules, gummies, tonics, tinctures, and topical ointments.

The wide range of medical benefits (from flu and colds to debilitating asthma, diabetes, and weight loss) is probably due to the enhancement of each individual's immune system.

Written by Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., R.H. on September 5, 2020

There is some concern, she said, that elderberry may interact with medications that suppress the immune system. The vegetarian capsules are a three-way immune booster that use elderberry, zinc and vitamin C to keep you feeling your best all year or at the first signs of sickness. Oh, and let’s not forget about the dreaded cold and flu season. 5ml (1 teaspoon). Elderberry supplementation reduces cold duration and symptoms in air-travelers: Trusted by millions worldwide, Sambucol can be taken every day for continuous immune system support. We work diligently to forecast and produce product throughout the year to maintain sufficient inventory.

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Ulbricht, Catherine & Basch, Ethan & Cheung, Lisa & Goldberg, Harley & Hammerness, Paul & Isaac, Richard & Purkh Singh Khalsa, Karta & Romm, Aviva & Mills, Edward & Rychlik, Idalia & Varghese, Minney & Weissner, Wendy & C Windsor, Regina & Wortley, Jayme. Like the Zarbees, Sambucus Elderberry Capsules are also free from allergens and are made with all-natural, GMO-free ingredients. Eat foods with probiotics., get enough essential vitamins. Elderberry inhibits neuraminidase, the enzyme used by viruses to spread infection to host cells.

High in vitamin C:

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“It’s definitely not an alternative to the flu shot,” he said. Raspberry (Rubus idaeus), Acidity Regulator: Elderberry syrup can be made with dried elderberries, available for purchase online and in specialty health food stores. Used for its antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. So, I obviously can not say 100% that this product did the trick, but we all felt better within two days. Button mushrooms, in fact, holy basil is another amazing herb to help relieve stress and support your adrenal glands, which indirectly helps support your immune system. Studies have shown elderberry juice may reduce the level of fat in the blood and decrease cholesterol. People have used elderberry for its health benefits for hundreds of years. Elderberry has to be cooked.

Scientifically tested. The team also found that the elderberry's antiviral activity can be attributed to its anthocyanidin compounds -- phytonutrients responsible for giving the fruit its vivid purple colouring. “I work in a hospital and I haven't been sick in five years,” said Teubel. I’ve been hearing more and more about elderberry as a cold and flu remedy. As always, please consult with your doctor before starting any kind of medical protocol. Fortunately, there is a rising star in elderberry that meets these criteria and plays well in the worlds of functional foods as well as dietary supplements.

It’s packed with.

So be creative with your syrups! Elderberry is high in vitamin C, something that has health benefits year-round but is especially important to consume when your immune system is in a comprised state, including during travel and cold and flu season. Keep out of reach of children. If you prefer a liquid vitamin, opt for this vegan and non-GMO formula enriched with organic elderberry.

What Does Elderberry Do For the Immune System?

Your best bet, Dr. Researchers found that this compound may improve the skin’s structure and condition. If you are collecting the flowers or berries yourself, ensure that you have correctly identified the plant as American or European elderberry, as other types of elderberry may be more toxic. All those improvisations add extra goodness anyway! High in Antioxidants During normal metabolism, reactive molecules may be released that can accumulate in the body. The most common variety is Sambucus nigra, also known as European elderberry or black elderberry. Talk with your doctor if you’re thinking about taking elderberry.

By using a proprietary method of extraction, only Sambucol can guarantee consistent, immune supporting properties in every serving. That’s why these supplements can help give your system a germ-fighting boost while you do your best not to get sick. These uses have been tested in humans or animals. A type of fiber, our pectin comes from apple cores and we use it to thicken and set our gummies.

Tips for Making Elderberry Syrup

“Cancer patients and transplant patients are often people who are taking those types of medications and they should not use elderberry without talking with their doctor first,” Pierce continued. Elderberry juice extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 12 weeks. In another study, elderberry appeared to improve cough, fever, headache, mucus discharge, muscle aches, and nasal congestion.

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A systematic review from 2020 concluded that elderberries might have antioxidant and antiviral effects, though the authors state that more research is needed. This added preservative can potentially allow you to enjoy your syrup all season long, but many people also appreciate how the honey or other sweetener helps mask the liquor’s flavor. Strain berries and herbs using a funnel overlaid with doubled cheesecloth or undyed cotton muslin bag and squeeze out liquid (careful, liquid will likely still be hot!) There are probably many mechanisms of action, but a prime one is that elderberries contain hemagglutinin protein. People who took the combination did better compared to those who did not take Sinupret at all. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic.

As we covered above, syrups that are shelf stable, meaning that they are able to sit out at room temperature for a long period of time without spoiling, require more sugar, alcohol, or a combination of the two. When shopping for elderberry, Todorov suggests Sambucol, the proprietary extract that’s been studied the most. Also found in rhubarb and senna, anthraquinone inhibits the absorption of water in the intestines. Discussion, who should not take antibiotics? In one randomized study of 60 adults with flu-like symptoms, those who took 15 mL of the elderberry syrup four times a day saw symptoms clear up on average four days earlier than those who took a placebo syrup. However, the study was small, and it should be noted that the berries must be cooked to prevent nausea or poisoning. Your best bet is to buy an organic, high-quality syrup or extract. C Elderberry has been studied for possible weight loss benefits.

Conducted by Professor Fariba Deghani, Dr Golnoosh Torabian and Dr Peter Valtchev as part of the ARC Training Centre for the Australian Food Processing Industry that was established in the Faculty of Engineering and IT, the study showed that compounds from elderberries can directly inhibit the virus's entry and replication in human cells, and can help strengthen a person's immune response to the virus.


Product formulators must understand consumer need and demand, identify the most efficacious ingredients that support year-long immunity, and create novel products that appeal to mass market consumers. Among just over 300 participants, more colds did occur in the placebo group, but the difference was not statistically significant. More information is needed. Elderberry has been used by traditional cultures throughout the world for a variety of health issues. One has to be careful with the leaves, twigs, branches, seeds and roots of this plant as they are toxic and can cause a build-up of cyanide in the body.

Dating back to 2020, a study of 60 adults published in The Journal of Internal Medicine Research reported that people who sipped 15 mL of elderberry syrup four times daily for five days shortened the duration of their illness by four days compared to those who took a placebo syrup. Over 100 Quality Control Checkpoints In Every Bottle, 4. As the cold and flu season is upon us, we should have our bottle of elderberry extract ready. A Potent Cold and Flu Remedy? Before jumping into making the classic elderberry syrup recipe below, there are a few common questions I’d like to address: Pharmacologic studies demonstrate that the powerful antioxidant capacity of elderberry matches the power of blueberry to put excess free radicals, which are associated with accelerated aging and chronic diseases, out of commission. If you get a rash or have trouble breathing after you have some, you might be allergic to it.

Because elderberry is an immune modulator rather than an immune stimulator, it is safe to take daily as a preventative against cold and flu viruses, as well as to treat symptoms of cold and flu. Elderberry contains an anti-viral agent called “antivirin” which helps prevent viruses from invading our cells. Evidence-based health benefits of elderberries The elderberry contains certain compounds and substances that might have a beneficial impact on health.


After all, huddling indoors with folks who are coughing, sneezing and wheezing is essentially like swimming in a petri dish of germs. Pay attention to ingredient lists to see what manufacturers are adding to the supplement. Studies also demonstrate that elderberry reduces low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation—the free radical attacks on "bad" LDL cholesterol that make it even more hazardous to your heart's health.

Pierce said to look for the following: Elderberry use may have favourable effects on glucose metabolism, insulin secretion, cholesterol, blood lipids, and blood pressure (4). A 2020 study randomized patients into two groups: As is the case with most herbs, the exact mechanisms haven’t been observed in human trials, but laboratory studies offer a few clues.

The elderberry plant is native to Europe, though it also grows in other parts of the world. American elderberry (Sambucuscanadensis) has not been grown or promoted as a medicinal plant like its European relative. This recipe is easy to multiply if you’d like to make a big batch to store or give as gifts (glass pantry jars and amber bottles are great choices!) Elderberry is a highly perishable fruit and, if not preserved in alcohol or syrup, will quickly ferment or spoil. So how does elderberry work? We've done some of the research work for you in our summary below. Once opened, keep tightly sealed and store in a dry place below 25C.

  • Havasu contains some organic elements, but not all ingredients used are organic.
  • This does not affect the quality of the product.
  • These flavonoids help fend off pathogens and allergens.
  • Elderberry has been recommended for boosting weakened immune systems, for warding off colds and flu, and for many other health issues including constipation, and not surprisingly, most people want to know “how much elderberry should I take”?
  • The ripe berry is tart and typically sweetened (like cranberries).

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Our favorite is Elderberry Wellness Tea. Never miss a sale - sign up for holland & barrett emails. It’s also been shown to reduce sick time for travelers and reduce sick time for flu sufferers. Elliott says, is getting your flu shot. Sambucol contains natural ingredients and may change color over time.

Trusted by millions worldwide, Sambucol® can be taken every day for continuous immune system support. By using a proprietary method of extraction, only Sambucol® can guarantee consistent, immune supporting properties in every serving. All natural berry flavor. There are several different species of. We all do our best to stay healthy during flu season and with more and more people getting diagnosed with Coronavirus, it’s more important than ever. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge on the person cutting down the tree. Boosting the immune system, read on for the science of what helps strengthen the immune system and what doesn't. Elderberry is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when the leaves, stems, unripened fruit, or uncooked fruit is consumed.