Elderberry health benefits

Supplements

Although elderberries provide many health benefits, it’s not advisable to eat them raw. Eating raw elderberries can be toxic and cause vomiting and diarrhea.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Why are elderberries good for you?

Elderberries are a little-known berry that can have a massive impact on your health. Even if you’ve heard of them, you may not have known that ancient and noble cultures have been using elderberries to support their immune system, relieve the symptoms of common colds and touches of flu, help with mental health and leave your skin looking smooth as silk in no time at all. 

Before you start adding them to your diet, it’s important to understand what elderberries are along with some little-known health benefits that could leave you feeling great in no time at all. 

What are elderberries? 

Elderberries come from Sambucus trees in the form of warm purple berries. Sambucus produce various two types of offspring, known as elder and elderberries. The purple color of the elderberry comes from the combination of anthocyanidins, which have a range of health benefits including antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that keep humans healthy. 

Elderberry juice typically has a reddish glow due to the anthocyanins breaking down when reduced to liquid. People can, but are generally not advised, to eat elderberries raw. This is because they can be toxic and can cause diarrhea, vomiting or nausea when consumed in their raw form. 

Elderberries are, however, incredibly nutritious. This is because they are composed of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6, flavonols, phenolic acids, dietary fiber, phenolic acids and iron. Dietary supplements are known to help sufferers of flu, common colds and even chronic constipation. This probably explains why ancient cultures, nutritionists and traditional medicine doctors swear by elderberries. 

In practice, elderberries provide relief from a variety of common colds and infections and boost the immune system. What’s more, elderberries also offer comfort and support to the respiratory system in not only times of distress but also work to bolster its resistance and create an ironman-level immune system. 

The top four benefits of elderberries

Elderberry helps beat cold and flu symptoms

Cold and flu symptoms can be awful. Elderberry helps fight and relieve the symptoms of common colds and touches of flu with its rich combination of vitamins and nutritional properties. The antioxidants help cells revitalize, and the anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve the nasty side effects of cold and touches of flu in the body. 

Studies published by the National Institutes of Health have shown that elderberries, while not effective at preventing the symptoms of colds and flu, can make them less severe and, most importantly, much shorter-lived. Other studies have pointed toward elderberry’s support of the immune system as a pivotal contributor to the increasing number of white blood cells in the body.

Elderberry helps beat acne and contributes to healthy skin

Elderberry skin washes

Elderberry can also help with dermatological issues like acne. This is because elderberries contain a high level of flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. This means that the duration and severity of acne flare-ups may not only be shorter but less severe. 

What’s more, the antioxidants in elderberries help protect the skin’s cells from things like free radicals that contribute to the intensity and duration of skin problems. Things like elderberry skin washes can also help to fight acne because they contain antiseptic properties. Some users of elderberry suggest that it can support the skin through the aging process to reduce the appearance of aging as well.

Elderberry helps support the immune system and overall health

Elderberry, with its antioxidants and vitamin compounds, boosts the overall immune system. Increasingly, more and more diseases the body faces are being attributed to inflammation. This means that the anti-inflammatory properties that elderberries possess are vital to immune support. 

Elderberries have also been attributed to lowering stress levels, with some even pointing toward elderberries being a good supplement for sufferers of depression. 

Elderberry helps the digestive system

For digestive issues like acid reflux, indigestion or even extreme constipation, elderberries can be a fantastic solution and keep your gut healthy. This is because elderberries are rich in dietary fiber and can reduce things like gas and other gastrointestinal issues. If that’s not enough, the increase in fiber that elderberry delivers can help your intestines increase the nutrient uptake in your gut by enabling your intestine to become more absorbent as it becomes healthier. 

How to Include elderberries in your diet

While you can’t eat elderberries in their raw form, manufacturers have found plenty of ways for you to incorporate them into your diet as a supplement.

Pills and gel capsules

Many people choose to incorporate elderberries into their diets in the form of supplementary pills or lozenges. If you already have a supplement plan in place, this is an ideal way to add elderberry into the mix.

Elderberry drops

You can also pick up bottles of elderberry extract. Most of these liquid forms of elderberry come with a built-in dropper in the lid. Drops can be administered in whatever way suits you best. You can drop them directly onto your tongue or into a beverage of your choice.

Elderberry syrups

Another popular method of adding elderberry to your dietary regime is through elderberry syrup. This is usually a viscous liquid, like cough medicine, that you can take directly. Most manufacturers recommend that you take one tablespoon of elderberry syrup three times per day. But it depends on the concentration of elderberry in the mixture, so be sure to read the recommendations carefully.

What you need to buy for elderberry health benefits

Sports Research Elderberry Immune Support with Zinc, Vitamin C + D3

Sports Research Elderberry Immune Support with Zinc, Vitamin C + D3

This elderberry complex is great for active people looking to enhance not only their health but their sporting performance too. This is because you get all the antioxidant and flavonoid benefits with the enhanced anti-inflammatory benefits that will help you recover quickly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and iHerb

 

Nature's Way, Black Elderberry

Nature’s Way, Black Elderberry

This black elderberry supplement is great for vegans who want all the health benefits that elderberry has to offer. The 100-capsule pack means that you won’t be needing to go shopping for elderberry again anytime soon.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories