What are elderberries?
You may have heard of elderberries, especially if you try to stay healthy with natural foods and supplements over medications. Elderberries are small dark berries found on elder trees called Sambucus trees. These trees grow in warmer climates in Europe, North America, and Asia. After processing, they come in the form of syrups, lozenges, powders, whole berries, gummies, immunity shots, or in food or drinks as flavoring. However, the most common way to ingest them is through syrup. This can be purchased pre-formulated or you can make the syrup yourself (recipe linked here!).
Why should you consume them?
Elderberries are used to potentially treat cold and flu symptoms, sinus or upper respiratory infections, treat headaches and joint or muscle pain, and boost immunity. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, some say their real value lies in its antiviral abilities. As a result, the sambucus supplements are most commonly taken during the autumn season (aka. cold and flu season) to help fight off viruses. Though there is not a lot of scientific studies that have been conducted, there is a strong correlation between using elderberries and heightened immune systems.
What is the best way to take elderberries?
There is not a consensus on the best way to ingest elderberries, although most people prefer the syrup. This is because the syrup is the least processed form and could potentially have the most vitamins and antioxidants compared to gummies or powders. It is important to make sure you are taking supplements from a trusted and reliable brand to ensure high quality ingredients. Additionally, you can also make the syrup yourself to ensure there are no added ingredients in the syrup.
Below are our staff’s favorite elderberry picks. Find them in-store or on our website.
- Frontier Co-op Organic Dried Elderberries
- Nature’s Way Sambucus Gummies
- Nature’s Way Sambucus Syrup (Original)
- Garden of Life Kids Elderberry and Sleep Immune Syrup
- Life Seasons Immunity Elderberry Drink Mix
*It is not safe to consume uncooked sambucus berries, stems, or leaves. These contain toxins that may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. With this in mind, only consume berries after cooking thoroughly.*
*Elderberries may decrease the effectiveness of immuno-suppressants or worsen autoimmune symptoms. Therefore, people with autoimmune disorders or those taking immuno-suppressants should be careful ingesting.*
*The FDA has not evaluated these claims. Always consult your primary care doctor before starting a new supplement.*