Elderberry is a berry that is harvested from trees and has been used as a medicine and as a supplement commonly used during cold and flu season due to its high amount of antioxidants. Most recently, individuals have been taking it to boost their immune system against COVID-19. You can eat elderberries on their own; however, please be aware the leaves and stems are toxic. WebMD says the nutrition facts are: “Elderberries are high in vitamin C (52.2 milligrams per cup) and dietary fiber (10.2 grams per cup). One cup of elderberries also has: 26.7 grams of carbs, 0.7 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein.” Elderberry is mostly found in stores as a syrup, gummies, teas or capsules. Make sure you buy it from a trusted source.

The Benefits 

There are numerous benefits of taking an elderberry supplement. However, always contact your doctor before taking any new medication or supplement. Most commonly, elderberry is taken when someone has a cold to alleviate the symptoms within the first 48 hours. Also, people take it before and after they travel in order to prevent or reduce their sickness. Very Well Health reported: “A 2016 study from Australia reported that, among 312 long-haul airline passengers, those who used elderberry extract 10 days before and five days after their flight had 50 percent fewer sick days resulting from a cold than those who didn’t. In addition, passengers who used elderberry had less severe colds based on a scoring of upper respiratory tract symptoms.” 

Other benefits include: relieves constipation, pain relief, aids headaches, stops fevers, stress relief, and reduces inflammation. For every person it is different and might not affect you as the person who recommended you for you to try it, but as long as your doctor approves—try it out! There are still studies being conducted but elderberry might be effective and alleviate symptoms when it comes to HIV/AIDS and epilepsy. 

Plants as Medicine 

Before we had modern medicine, people depended on plants for everything since it is all that they had. Socrates, who was known as the Man of Medicine, died from mistakenly drinking hemlock which is often confused with elderberry. Just like everything else, there are risks in trying plants as medicine since you have to make sure that the source is authentic. Not only that, but you need to make sure that the person has a strong background in agriculture and herbal medicine. Take the time to do extensive research on where to buy it, ask questions, and do not be afraid to reach out to your doctor or a holistic teacher about where to buy them. 

Elderberry is just one of the few ways you can boost your immune system, though! Check out this previous article where we talk about how you can boost your immune system to prepare for flu season! Stay happy, stay healthy.