If you have not heard of elderberries yet, they are one of the most popular and commonly used plants for medicinal purposes around the world.
This berry, just like other medicinal herbs and plants, was discovered hundreds of years ago and has been used since ancient times. Specifically, ancient Egyptians used elderberries to heal burns and improve their complexions, while Native Americans commonly used it to treat various infections. Today, it is still planted and used for medicinal purposes across the world.
However, one of the popular ways elderberries are consumed today is in the form of supplements, which we will talk about today. If you have no idea what elderberries are, keep on reading because this article will serve as your brief guide about them. It will also include our choices for best elderberry supplements – and most importantly, how can you use them for your own health.
What Are Elderberry Supplements?
Elderberries are a dark purple fruit that comes from the elderberry shrub. It is widely known for being a rich source of antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Elderberries are known for treating infections, the common cold, flu, hay fever, and a variety of other things. Others claim that elderberries can cure problems such as burns and toothaches, though these claims have yet to be researched at length.
Black elderberry (or Sambucus nigra, European elder) is the elderberry species that are mostly used in supplements. Because raw berries are poisonous and can cause stomach problems when not properly prepared, supplements are usually a great and safe way to consume elderberries.
Elderberry supplements, as with many types of supplements, come in either pill or capsule form, though it can also come in other variety of ways – syrups, lozenges, gummies, and even teas.
Elderberry Supplement Benefits
Elderberry supplements offer some great health benefits, which is why they are worth checking out. Here are some of the health benefits you can get when you take elderberry supplements:
1) Elderberries Can Help Against The Flu And The Common Cold
For years, elderberries have been widely known to help fight against the common cold and the flu. Specifically, elderberry is great to take when symptoms first appear, as it can lessen the blow of sickness and help get rid of it more quickly. These claims are backed by some modern research; however, it is shown that while it can fight the symptoms of flu and the common cold, it seems not to stop or prevents its occurrence.
In 2012, a study on elderberries was completed, and the conclusion suggested that elderberries can prevent influenza infection by triggering an immune response against it.
2) Elderberries Are Rich In Antioxidants
Elderberries, like many other fruits, are loaded with antioxidants, which is helpful in preventing and dealing with oxidative stress, one factor that plays a role in major diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
However, according to research, the antioxidant effects of elderberries show little effect on humans compared to other antioxidant sources. Furthermore, processing elderberries will reduce its antioxidant properties, which makes its impact questionable.
3) Elderberries Are High In Nutrients
Part of the reason elderberries are great in fighting things like the flu is that they are rich in nutrients. These are just some of the nutrients that can be found in elderberries:
- Anthocyanins – a compound that has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
- Vitamin C – known for benefiting our immune system, among other benefits.
- Fiber – Known for helping with indigestion. Also good for maintaining a healthy weight, regulation of blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol levels.
- Phenolic acid – Another good antioxidant.
- Flavonoids – a good anti-inflammatory compound. Also good for reducing the risk of heart-related diseases and cancer.
4) Elderberries Benefit Health In A Variety Of Ways
Aside from the ones mentioned above, elderberries can also benefit our health in some other ways, including (but not necessarily limited to):
- Fighting off harmful bacteria
- Helps reduce and fight cancer
- Very good for improving our immune system
- Can help in urination (which is good for clearing out dirt in our systems)
- Can help us against depression
- Can possibly protect us against UV radiation
How To Take Elderberry Supplements
Elderberry supplements, like many other types of supplements, often come in capsule or pill form. Therefore, to take it, simply take it the way you would take your capsule or pill medicine. Elderberry supplements, as mentioned earlier, can also come in other forms such as lozenges, syrups, gummies, and even teas.
Lastly, be sure to be mindful of the dosage you are taking. Your recommended dosage could be changed if you are dealing with a specific medical condition. In this case, it is best you ask your doctor before taking the supplement.
Do Elderberry Supplements Really Work?
Like most supplements, elderberry supplements do work. Just be sure to check the label and see what is specifically inside the particular supplement that you are planning to buy.
One way to differentiate between good products and bad products is by checking for reviews and see if people actually like the product or not. If you have a trusted source who uses a particular elderberry supplement – be it a friend, family member, or a blog/YouTube channel that you think you can trust – then those reviews can be more valuable than browsing Amazon reviews.
Basically, elderberry supplements do work, but it takes some digging before you get the right product.
Are Elderberry Supplements Right for You?
Under normal circumstances, elderberry supplements work fine with most people, so chances are it will work well with you, too. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a certain medical condition, seek the advice of your doctor before taking the supplement to see if it’s best to take them while you’re having a baby or undergoing a particular health condition.
Best Elderberry Supplements
Black Elderberry by Gaia Herbs ($16)
This elderberry supplement is both easy to take and affordable. Every 2 capsules serving has the equivalent of 10,112 mg fresh Black Elderberries, or 3,050 mg dried Black Elderberries, making it a great source for immune support.
Sambucus, Standardized Elderberry Gummies by Nature’s Way ($30)
If you are not a big pill person, these elderberry gummies can be a great alternative to capsules. Nature’s Way uses a full-spectrum black elderberry extract that promises Flavonoid BioActives content, which is active within the human body. Each serving also delivers 50 mg of black elderberry extract, vitamin C and Zinc, making it a great option.
Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup Original Formula ($10)
If you prefer syrup to capsules or gummies, this syrup from Sambucol provides an excellent source of elderberry support for consumers. This elderberry formula uses antioxidant-rich black elderberries to provide support for a consumer’s immune system, general health, & wellbeing.
Elderberry Capsules Extra Strength from Nature’s Nutrition ($15)
If you are looking for a supplement to provide immune support year-round, these elderberry capsules from Nature’s Nutrition are a great and affordable option. They’re made from premium elderberries, and provide the support you need to stay healthy!
Elderberry Supplement Alternatives
Elderberry supplements are mainly used to boost immune function. While elderberries are a great source of antioxidants and can help boost your immune system, there are a variety of other supplements that have a similar impact, including Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Echinacea. These supplements are all notorious for their assistance, especially if you are dealing with an infection. Other alternatives include immune support supplements, such as Curcumin 2000, or antioxidant supplements, like Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer.
Final Thoughts: Elderberry Supplements
If you are thinking about adding an elderberry supplement to your diet, now is a great time to try it out. Elderberry supplements bring a wide variety of benefits, including immune system support. If you start taking an elderberry supplement, and experience any negative symptoms, contact a medical professional for help.