Benefits Of Elderberry

Updated: Sep 16

Scientific name: Sambucus nigra

Common name: elder, elderberry, European elderberry, black elder, black elderberry, Sambucus.

Elderberries come in several varieties from the Sambucus tree, a flowering plant that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. The most familiar type is Sambucus nigra, also known as European elderberry or black elderberry, which usually grows up to 30 feet tall and has clusters of white or cream-colored flowers often referred to as elderflowers with small bunches of black or blue-black berries. Although elderberries are one of the most commonly used medicinal plants throughout the world and history and are even used for culinary purposes, the berries of the plant must be cooked to be eaten. In contrast, the flower can be eaten raw or cooked (1).

Benefits of Elderberry

Contraindications & Interactions

Products Recommended with Elderberry Ingredients


Benefits of Elderberry

May Support The Immune System

The immune system protects the body from outside invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other toxins (2). When you support your immune system, you potentially support your body's ability to fight off sickness. One study found that the elderberry polyphenols helped the rat's immune defense by increasing the number of white blood cells (3).

Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help fight damage from harmful free radicals. The buildup of free radicals has been linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. The elderberry plant's flowers, berries, and even leaves are an excellent source of antioxidants, with 3.5 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E (4).

May Improve Cold & Flu Symptoms

Due to elderberries' ability to support the immune system and being rich in antioxidants, it only makes sense to improve cold and flu symptoms. Elderberries have been shown to reduce the severity and length of influenza (5). Another study determined elderberry may also play a role in preventing influenza (6). I highly recommend Earthley's Immune-Biotic for cold and flu relief.

May Be Good For Heart Health

Elderberries may also have positive effects on your overall heart health. Studies have shown that elderberry juice may reduce the blood fat level and decrease cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease (7). Another study on rats found elderberry to lower their blood pressure and make them less susceptible to organ damage caused by high blood pressure (8). I highly recommend Earthley's Heart Healthy for heart health benefits.

May Help Fight Cancer

Statistics say that 158.3 out of every 100,000 individuals will die from cancer, but what if they didn't have to (9)? European and American elderberry was studied in a test tube and was found to have some cancer-inhibiting properties (10).

May Lower Blood Sugar Levels & Insulin Dependence

Throughout traditional history, Sambucus nigra has been documented as a treatment for diabetes. One study found Sambucus nigra significantly increased 2-deoxy-glucose transport, glucose oxidation, and glycogenesis of mouse abdominal muscle in the absence of added insulin (11). In another study, they found that elderberry polar extract reduced fasting blood glucose while lipophilic extract decreased insulin levels, both lowering insulin resistance (12). I highly recommend Earthley's Elderberry Elixir for blood sugar and insulin benefits.

Support Skin Health

Elderberries have been shown to have significant bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamin A, perfect for healthy skin. One study found that elderberry can improve skin conditions after a 12-week trial of post-menopausal women with their skin's structure and appearance measured with state-of-the-art equipment (13).

May Improve Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms occur when your body’s immune system responds to foreign objects by releasing histamines, causing inflammation and attracting white blood cells to isolate the culprit and fight it off (14). Since allergies involve an overreaction of the immune system and inflammation, elderberry’s ability to improve the immune system and calm inflammation can help provide allergy relief (15). I highly recommend Earthley's Sinus Saver for allergy relief.

To learn more about Elderberries, download Earthley's guide, What You Need to Know About Elderberries, which I co-wrote and designed here.

⚠️ Warning: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this herb is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.

Contraindications & Interactions

Some medical professionals caution against using elderberries in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Allopathy considers it unethical would be unethical to study elderberry usage in these women, not because there has been documented evidence of harm. Additionally, there is a long history of safe use in this population.

Notably, a trusted herbalist since 1989, Richard Whelan, states elder leaves and bark will be purgative and cathartic if taken in any quantity. Likewise, unripe Elderberries may cause nausea and vomiting. Aside from that, the medicinal use of the flowers and the ripe berries in teas or tinctures is considered very safe and may be taken by the young and old while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Additionally, if you are taking medications to suppress your immune system, you should use elderberry with caution since it is known to have immune system-enhancing effects. This is also why people with autoimmune diseases should proceed with caution. If you have a condition like Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or Rheumatoid Arthritis, be on the lookout for flares in your condition if you are trialing the use of elderberries, and stop immediately if your condition worsens (16).

Products Recommended with Elderberry Ingredients

  • Earthley's Elderberry Elixir is a liquid supplement that combines elderberries and other immune-supporting herbs for everyday wellness. It’s an elderberry tincture (not syrup) that’s a potent cold and flu fighter, shelf-stable for up to 2 years, and super concentrated, which makes it the most cost-effective option.

  • Earthley's Elderberry Syrup DIY Kits make it easier than ever! No need to overbuy herbs or spend time researching for the best recipe. Simply boil in water and add honey, syrup, or a sweetener of your choice.

  • Earthley's Heart Healthy is an herbal supplement that supports the heart and a proper immune response. This tincture is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and vitamin C. It can help to lower blood sugar and blood pressure, increase insulin activity, and can even help with symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

  • Earthley's Immune-Biotic is the perfect go-to herbal remedy for when you are feeling under the weather and need something fast. This tincture uses the natural power of immune-supporting herbs to give your body a jump start to fight off a cold. Take for three to seven days and kick sickness to the curb.

  • Earthley's Lunamore is for special metabolic support and a woman’s moon cycle. This tincture provides herbal support for hormone balance, helps to reduce cramps and cysts, and supports healthy blood sugar levels.

  • Earthley's Sinus Saver is an herbal tincture that provides natural support during allergy season and beyond! Enjoy relief from sneezes, sniffles, sinus pressure, watery eyes, and other annoying allergy symptoms. Sinus Saver uses the power of herbs to help clear the body of excess histamines and calm allergic reactions.

  • Earthley's Thyroid Support is an herbal formula for thyroid support and total body wellness. The herbs include ashwagandha, amla berry, licorice root, Brahmi leaf, and milk thistle seed. It also supports a healthy liver and stress response and is rich in vitamin C.

What's your favorite way to use elderberry?


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