What is Elderberry?

Elderberry is a type of fruit that comes from the elder tree, which is native to Europe, but can also be found in other parts of the world, including North America. The scientific name for elderberry is Sambucus nigra.

The fruit of the elderberry is small and dark purple in color, and it grows in clusters on the tree. Elderberries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and they have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as colds, flu, and inflammation.

Elderberry is also used in the food and beverage industry to make products such as jams, syrups, and wine. In recent years, elderberry has gained popularity as a natural remedy for boosting the immune system and reducing the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. However, it's important to note that more research is needed to confirm these health benefits and to determine the proper dosage and potential side effects.

What are the benefits of Elderberry?

Elderberry, also known as Sambucus nigra, is a small, dark purple berry that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Some of the potential benefits of elderberry include:

  1. Boosts the immune system: Elderberry is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which can help boost the immune system and protect the body against infections and diseases.
  2. Reduces inflammation: Elderberry has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the body, which may be helpful for conditions such as arthritis.
  3. Relieves cold and flu symptoms: Elderberry has been shown to help reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms such as cough, congestion, and fever.
  4. May help lower blood sugar levels: Some studies have shown that elderberry may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  5. May have anti-cancer properties: Elderberry contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, although more research is needed in this area.

It's important to note that while elderberry is generally considered safe, it may interact with certain medications or cause side effects in some people. It's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before adding any new supplement to your diet.

What research is on Elderberry?

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been the subject of several research studies due to its potential health benefits. Here are some areas of research on elderberry:

  1. Immune Support: Elderberry has been shown to boost the immune system by increasing the production of cytokines, which are proteins that help regulate immune response.
  2. Anti-viral Effects: Elderberry has been found to inhibit the replication of certain viruses, including influenza A and B, herpes simplex virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  3. Respiratory Health: Elderberry has been shown to improve symptoms of respiratory infections such as the common cold and flu, by reducing the severity and duration of symptoms.
  4. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Elderberry contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce inflammation in the body and improve overall health.
  5. Cardiovascular Health: Elderberry has been found to have antioxidant properties, which may help protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  6. Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that elderberry may have anti-cancer properties, but more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Overall, elderberry shows promise as a natural remedy for various health conditions, but more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and to determine the optimal dosage and duration of use.

What is the mechanism of action of Elderberry?

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a plant that has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is believed to have several health benefits, including boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.

The mechanism of action of elderberry is thought to be due to its high content of flavonoids, which are plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Elderberry also contains anthocyanins, which are pigments responsible for the plant's dark purple color, and have been found to have antiviral properties.

When consumed, elderberry is believed to stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that help to regulate the immune response. Additionally, elderberry has been shown to inhibit the activity of certain enzymes involved in inflammation, such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and lipoxygenase (LOX).

Research has also suggested that elderberry may have antiviral properties. In vitro studies have found that elderberry extracts can inhibit the replication of influenza viruses and other respiratory viruses by preventing the virus from entering the host cells or inhibiting the release of viral particles from infected cells.

In summary, elderberry's mechanism of action is thought to involve its high content of flavonoids and anthocyanins, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties, and may stimulate the immune system by increasing cytokine production.

What is the typical dosage of Elderberry?

The typical dosage of elderberry can vary depending on the specific product being used, the concentration of the active ingredients, and the purpose for which it is being taken. It's always best to follow the dosage instructions on the product label, as well as to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

That being said, the typical recommended dosage of elderberry extract for adults is usually 500-1000 milligrams, taken one to three times per day. For children, the dosage will depend on their age and weight, and it's important to consult with a pediatrician or other healthcare provider before giving elderberry to a child.

Elderberry can come in various forms including syrups, gummies, capsules, and teas, so it's important to follow the specific dosage instructions for the product you are using. Additionally, it's worth noting that elderberry is not intended as a replacement for medical treatment, and anyone experiencing severe symptoms should seek medical attention promptly.

What food are rich in Elderberry?

Elderberry is a small dark purple berry that grows on the elder tree. It is a rich source of antioxidants and is known to have various health benefits. Some foods that are rich in elderberry include:

  1. Elderberry Syrup: Elderberry syrup is a concentrated form of elderberry that is often used to make drinks or as a topping for pancakes or waffles.
  2. Elderberry Tea: Elderberry tea is made by steeping elderberries in hot water. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and is often sweetened with honey or other natural sweeteners.
  3. Elderberry Jam or Jelly: Elderberry jam or jelly can be made by cooking elderberries with sugar and pectin. It can be used as a spread on toast or added to yogurt or oatmeal.
  4. Elderberry Wine: Elderberry wine is a fermented beverage made from elderberries. It can be enjoyed as a dessert wine or used as a cooking ingredient.
  5. Elderberry Supplements: Elderberry supplements are available in the form of capsules, gummies, or liquid extracts. They can be used to boost the immune system or treat cold and flu symptoms.

Overall, elderberries and elderberry-based products are a great way to incorporate this nutritious fruit into your diet.


Liu, Dan et al. “Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.): Bioactive Compounds, Health Functions, and Applications.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry vol. 70,14 (2022): 4202-4220. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.2c00010