Elderberry is one of the lesser-known sources of bioactive chemicals, and its use can help prevent and treat a variety of ailments. Bioactive substances in food have been the subject of much research in recent years. You can find many compounds affecting the human organism’s operation in plants. [1].

There are around 30 different varieties of elder plants and trees found worldwide. The European form is the one that is most closely tied to your health and healing (also known as Sambucus nigra).

An Insight Into The History Of Elderberry


The ancient Egyptians utilized elderberries to improve their complexions and heal burns and scars. Fever, headaches, dental discomfort, and rheumatism have also all been treated with these vivid, multipurpose berries in Indigenous tradition. Plus, they’re a helpful amulet against evil (although no modern studies support this).

Despite the lack of convincing studies, many individuals swear by elderberries’ healing and health-promoting benefits. Moreover, they use this medicinal herb to strengthen their immune systems and protect themselves from infections and illnesses like colds and flu.

In addition, the acidic berries are cooked down to form delectable elderberries.

What Is Elderberry Good For?


Elderberries have been shown to have a variety of health benefits. It includes chemicals and substances that may have a health-promoting effect.

Let’s examine the evidence for some of the most often touted benefits of Elderberry, including:

Rich in Nutrients

Elderberries are a low-calorie meal high in antioxidants. Fresh berries include 106 calories, 26.7 grams of carbs, and less than 1 gram of fat and protein per cup. They also offer numerous nutritional advantages like:

  • High Vitamin C content: A cup of elderberries contains 52 milligrams of vitamin C, 57 percent of the daily intake (3Trusted Source, 4).
  • Abundant Dietary fiber: Elderberries provide 10 grams of fiber per cup, roughly 36% of the daily recommended amount (5).
  • Phenolic acids are abundant in this food. These chemicals are potent antioxidants that can aid in the reduction of oxidative stress-related damage in the body (4, 6).

Getting Rid of Colds and Flu

Although the current studies are modest, there is some evidence to support the idea that Elderberry can help treat colds and flu.

Moreover, elderberries may have antioxidant and antiviral properties, according to a systematic study [3] published in 2010:

  • Sixty patients with flu-like symptoms were given 15 milliliters (ml) of elderberry syrup four times a day. Their symptoms improved four days faster than those who received a placebo. [4]
  • Thirty-two participants with flu-like symptoms got tablets containing 175 milligrams of elderberry extract four times a day for two days in another trial. Fever, headache, muscle aches, and nasal congestion improved within 24 hours. [5]

Treat Acne

Flavonoids are abundant in elderberry fruit, suggesting that they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. These aid in the protection of healthy cells from free radicals that cause skin issues.

Because of its antiseptic properties, the American Nutrition Association (ANA) suggests that using an elderberry face wash can help combat acne.

Elderberry and Covid-19

While elderberry supplements may help improve your immune system and relieve cold and flu symptoms, there is no proof that they can help with COVID-19 at the time.

Part of the problem is that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is so new that there isn’t a lot of research on supplements like Elderberry.

The National Institute of HealthTrusted Source and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health do not recommend consuming Elderberry to treat or prevent COVID-19 due to a lack of scientific evidence. [7]

Such views aren’t limited to berries. To date, no supplements have demonstrated any capacity to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms or protect you from contracting the virus in the first place, according to Trusted Source.

Other Health Benefits of Elderberry

Elderberry berries and blooms are high in antioxidants and vitamins, which may help to enhance your immune system. They may be able to reduce inflammation, reduce stress, and protect your heart.

According to specialists, elderberry supplements are said to help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms. They have also been used to treat the following conditions:

  • Constipation
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Lung Infections 
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Kidney problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Minor skin conditions
  • Stress
  • HIV and AIDS

Elderberry Risks

Elderberry is widely consumed in foods when taken by mouth. When finished for up to 12 weeks, elderberry extract is safe. There isn’t enough reliable data to say whether it’s safe to use for more than 12 weeks.

Elderberry leaves and stems, as well as unripe or uncooked elderberries, may be hazardous to consume. Cooked elderberries appear harmless; however, unripe and raw fruit might cause nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea.

How to Use Elderberry

Several elderberry capsules, tablets, and syrups are on the market for treating a cold or the flu. Some retailers also sell skin care products made with elderberries.

People should not eat uncooked elderberries since they are harmful. There is a variety of ways to prepare elderberries.


How to make Elderberry Syrup

(Alt text: Bottles of elderberry syrup mixed with lavender and cherries)

To create elderberry syrup, follow these steps:

  • Remove the stalks
  • Cook the berries in water with the sugar
  • Reduce the liquid until it has a syrup-like consistency.

You can also drizzle the syrup over plain yogurt or blend it into a smoothie.

How to make Elderberry tea

  • Remove the stems from the fresh berries and thoroughly wash them before covering them with water.
  • It’s preferable to soak them overnight; cooking elderberries will release their therapeutic components.
  • Cook for at least 20 minutes on low heat.

You need one tablespoon of fresh berries and 1 cup of water to make one cup of elderberry tea.

Side Effects Of Elderberry

Raw elderberries can produce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It’s also worth mentioning that elderberry syrup frequently has high sugar content.

Elderberry extract is not safe to use during pregnancy because there isn’t enough credible research done on the topic. To be on the safe side, limit your food intake.

The Bottomline: The Benefits And Side Effects Of Elderberry

Elderberry may help to lessen the length and intensity of flu symptoms is supported by reasonable evidence. [8]

It may also benefit heart health, boost antioxidant levels, and have anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and anti-inflammatory properties. Elderberry is also a tasty complement to a balanced diet and an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Sidor, A., & Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2015). Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food – a review. Journal of Functional Foods, 18, 941–958. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2014.07.012
  • Vlachojannis, J. E., Cameron, M., & Chrubasik, S. (2010). A systematic review on the sambuci fructus effect and efficacy profiles. Phytotherapy research : PTR24(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2729
  • Zakay-Rones, Z., Thom, E., Wollan, T., & Wadstein, J. (2004). Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. The Journal of international medical research32(2), 132–140. https://doi.org/10.1177/147323000403200205
  • NCCIH. (2020). Elderberry. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/elderberry
  • Tiralongo, E., Wee, S. S., & Lea, R. A. (2016). Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients8(4), 182. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8040182


  • Farah Jassawalla

    Farah is a veteran writer, season journalist, and copywriting expert with over six years of professional experience in the content creation field. Her forte lies in translating medical jargon and complicated health terms into easy-to-understand language for readers who may not have a medical background. LinkedIn


Farah is a veteran writer, season journalist, and copywriting expert with over six years of professional experience in the content creation field. Her forte lies in translating medical jargon and complicated health terms into easy-to-understand language for readers who may not have a medical background. LinkedIn