The elderberry has a long medicinal and culinary history. They make great jams and pies, and its flowers can be boiled into a tea or syrup. They’re nutritious and have been used in folk and alternative natural medicine to treat a variety of ailments.
Benefits of Elderberries
Elderberry refers to several different varieties of the Sambucus tree. The most common is Sambucus nigra also known as the European elderberry or black elder. While the plant’s berries are most commonly used, all parts of the plant have been historically used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Its flowers (elderflowers) and leaves can be used to treat pain, swelling and inflammation, and more while the bark could be used as a laxative.
As a result of their high levels of vitamin C, elderberries are popular for their antibacterial and antiviral properties. Although vitamin C cannot cure colds on its own, it may protect against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. Elderberries are also rich in antioxidants, most notably, phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins.
Phenolic acids are antioxidants that can help reduce and defend against various environmental stresses such as toxic free radicals in the air.
Flavonols are antioxidants, but are also antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. They have been considered as a potential anti-cancer agent.
Anthocyanins are strong antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects.
- Studies show a direct antiviral effect against influenza by blocking key viral proteins responsible for viral attachment and entry into host cell
- Most research has only been conducted in a lab setting and has not been tested extensively in humans.
How much elderberry should you take?
There is no standard dose for elderberry, although a common recommendation for elderberry syrup extract is up to 4 teaspoons per day until cold or flu symptoms subside. We recommend following the manufacturer's recommendations.
Does elderberry contain Zinc?
Elderberries naturally do not contain zinc, although many elderberry supplements include zinc in them since zinc, aside from vitamin C, is a key immune system support nutrient.
Supplementing with Elderberry
Elderberries come in a vast variety of supplement forms including: gummies, vitamins, lozenges, syrup, dissolvable tablets, and capsules.
Many Elderberry products include some form of Zinc or extra Vitamin C to further enhance elderberries’ natural immune support.
Elderberry Elite by ProFormulations contains Eldermune and Sunfiber. At 65g of pure elderberry fruit in every one gram of Eldermune, it has more polyphenol content when compared to other Elderberry capsule products. As such, no extra Zinc or Vitamin C is needed. Further, Sunfiber is a prebiotic dietary fiber that will ensure easier digestion and absorption of the high levels of elderberry.