Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in every part of the world, with its history of healing going all the way back to ancient Egyptians. For millennia this plant has been used to treat skin issues, including burns and infections. Because of their high antioxidant properties, elderberry supplements are now most commonly used to help boost immunity, with the goal of warding off colds and viral infections like the flu.
With its many beneficial properties, it may seem like elderberry should simply be eaten whole like strawberries or blueberries, but raw elderberries, along with the bark and leaves of the plant, are poisonous and can cause serious stomach issues. So, we’ll stick to taking them in supplement-form, thank you very much.
Elderberry is high in vitamin C, something that has health benefits year-round but is especially important to consume when your immune system is in a comprised state, including while traveling. Elderberry also contains dietary fiber and phenolic acids, an antioxidant that can help to reduce damage from oxidative stress, which if left unchecked can result in pathogens that lead to infections like the dreaded common cold.
Limitations and Risks
Like all supplements, elderberry is not studied by the FDA, meaning that you take it at your own risk. For example, elderberry can potentially induce an upset stomach or nausea, although most of these risks are associated with raw elderberry as opposed to commercially available supplements. Elderberry is also not a panacea for reducing bacteria or viral risks — there’s no replacement for hand-washing and good hygiene practices.
How to Take Elderberry
Elderberry supplements come in three forms — capsules, chews and syrups. Gummies and chews can be easier for people who struggle with capsules, but some may prefer the flavorlessness of capsules, which are likely to be less sugary. Many gummies are made using plant-based ingredients, as opposed to gelatin, and you can also find USDA-certified organic and gluten-free options.
1. Nature Made Elderberry 100mg with Vitamin C & Zinc Gummies
Vitamin C provides vital health benefits, and these gummies provide your daily serving of Vitamin C as well as 68% of your daily supply of zinc. They also have 100mg of elderberry per serving. The serving suggestion is two gummies per day for adults. There are 60 gummies in the bottle, meaning that this makes for a one-month supply. The gummies have a pleasant raspberry taste.
Pros: Pleasant flavor, with no artificial flavors. Gluten-free.
Cons: Can have a somewhat tough texture.
2. Gaia Herbs Everyday Elderberry Gummies
Gaia offers a syrup version of their elderberry supplements. If you’d prefer a more portable option that you can take on the go or keep at your desk, this bottle of gummies from Gaia is a good option to get. The bottle includes 40 gummies, and the nutritional values are given for a serving size of two gummies. That’s because the recommended serving is two gummies per day. The elderberry is organic, and the gummies are made using plant-based ingredients, so the product is vegan as well.
Pros: USDA organic and vegan. Convenient and easy to enjoy gummies.
Cons: If you take two a day, these gummies make for less than a month’s supply.
3. Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support Gummies
Using real elderberry extract and a combination of ingredients that include vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc, the Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support Gummies are a great overall immunity support supplement that is rich in antioxidants. Allergen-free and made with vegetarian pectin for a gummy that is soft and delicious, Zarbee’s are the perfect cold and flu-fighter. Each jar comes with 60 gummies that can be taken daily.
Pros: Made with a pleasing berry flavor, Zarbee’s are safe to be taken by children ages 12 years and older.
Cons: One serving of Zarbee’s gummies contain 7g of sugar, which is more than twice the amount of the 3g of sugar in the Havasu gummies.
4. Airborne Elderberry Immune Support Gummies
Airborne may have gotten in trouble in the past for overpromising when it came to the benefits of its product, but they’re still a good source of immune-boosting supplements. These supplements provide elderberry with vitamin C and zinc, and they come in easy to chew gummy form. The gummies are designed to be taken twice daily. 60 gummies are included, so it’s a month’s serving.
Pros: Gluten-free, gelatin-free and free of artificial sweeteners.
Cons: Not listed as organic.
5. Havasu Nutrition Elderberry Gummies
Give your immune system the support it needs with a combination of vitamin C, zinc and elderberry in the Havasu Nutrition Elderberry Gummies. Gentle enough to be taken daily but powerful enough to be used only when you feel a cold coming on, Havasu can be used by both adults and kids. One jar includes 60 delicious gummies, enough for a two-month supply.
Pros: The delicious and all-natural Havasu gummies contain only a limited amount of sugar and are free from preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings.
Cons: Havasu contains some organic elements, but not all ingredients used are organic.
6. Bio Schwartz Sambucus Elderberry
The versatile Bio Schwartz Sambucus Elderberry Capsules are designed to support not just your immune system, but also your skin. The vegetarian capsules are a three-way immunity booster that uses elderberry, zinc and vitamin C to keep you feeling your best all year or at the first signs of sickness. The capsules are made without any unnecessary fillers or binders. The veggie capsules can be taken daily to help ward off sickness year-round.
Pros: Like the Zarbees, the Bio Schwartz Sambucus Elderberry Capsules are also free from allergens and are made with all-natural, GMO-free ingredients.
Cons: Some may find it more difficult to swallow capsules than chew gummies.
7. Zhou Nutrition Elder-Mune Sambucus Elderberry Gummies
Up your antioxidant intake with the Zhou Nutrition Elder-Mune Sambucus Elderberry Gummies. The affordable elderberry supplement includes vitamin C and zinc for a triple immunity boost combination. The vegan gummies are made with non-GMO ingredients and help to fight off free radicals in your body. Each naturally flavored serving contains 125 mg of Sambucus elderberry extract, 150 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and 50 percent of your daily value of zinc.
Pros: The Zhou gummies are safe for use by adults and children ages four and up.
Cons: Zhou recommends taking two gummies a day, which means their jar of 60 gummies will only last one month compared to other options like Havasu, which comes with 60 gummies and only require one gummy per day.
8. Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup
For a plant-based liquid option using organic ingredients, we recommend the Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup. Made with Certified USDA-organic Sambucus nigra elderberries, Gaia is a highly concentrated juice that packs 14.5 grams of elderberries into one teaspoon, making it one of the most concentrated elderberry syrups available. One bottle equals a four-week supply of the purity-tested, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and vegan syrup. Safe for children ages one and up, the syrup can be ingested alone or added to water.
Pros: Gaia sells its syrup in frustration-free packaging, making it more accessible to those with mobility issues and the elderly.
Cons: The Gaia syrup has a high price tag. The syrup should be refrigerated after opening, making this a less travel-friendly option than gummies and capsules.
9. Mary Ruth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup
If capsules are difficult to swallow and gummies contain too much sugar, we suggest Mary Ruth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup. Fight infections and improve your immune system with the blueberry and raspberry-flavored syrup from Mary Ruth’s. Featuring organic ingredients that are also vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO, the antioxidant-rich syrup can be absorbed quickly and is high in flavonoid levels. The family-run business was created by certified health educator Mary Ruth Ghiyam and all products are made in the U.S.
Pros: Users can ingest the syrup daily either directly by placing a small amount of liquid in their mouth, or by adding it to water. Easier to administer to small children, the elderly or those with limited mobility.
Cons: Mary Ruth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup comes with a big price tag.
10. Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Kid’s Gummies
Want to help keep the whole family healthy without having to stock multiple supplements at once? Try the Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Kid’s Gummies, which is safe for children as young as two and can be used by adults. Designed to help support healthy immunity, the gummies are gluten and gelatin-free and don’t contain artificial coloring or flavoring. Vitamin C and zinc are included with the elderberry as a triple-action immunity blend for a delicious gummy that kids will enjoy taking.
Pros: Nature’s Way gummies can be used by the whole family simply by adjusting the dosage. Children ages two to three should take one gummy per day, while children ages four and older should take two gummies daily.
Cons: The gummies are slightly hard, which can be difficult for younger children to chew.
11. mykind Organics Elderberry Gummies
mykind Organics elderberry immune support gummies come in a jar of 120, each of which contains black elderberry syrup, echinacea, zinc and vitamin C. These are made with real fruit and contain no gelatin despite the gummy form they come in. There’s also no dyes, artificial chemicals or sweeteners. The nutrients come from real fruit and have been removed via gentle water extraction so you know they’re nutritious, and they’re certified USDA organic.
Pros: Packed with nutrients, comes with hefty supply in each jar, all-natural, nothing artificial.
Cons: Elderberry gummies come in a plastic jar rather than a more environmentally-friendly option.
12. NOW Foods Elderberry Capsules
These supplements from NOW Foods come in the form of 10:1 concentrate capsules packed with high nutritional value. These elderberry supplements have been recognized for their high nutritional value, potent free-radical scavenging vitamins and anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid with antioxidant effects. The free-radical scavengers may aid in healthy cellular function amidst the daily stress of life put on the body, and the brand is independent and family-owned.
Pros: Incredibly nutritious and beneficial for the body, straight forward formula, aids in the body with stress.
Cons: Potent formula is only for adults and not for children.
13. Viva Naturals Elderberry 5 in 1 Daily Immune Support
Rather than just being poured elderberry, this option from Viva Naturals provides a diverse mix of immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients. Each serving has 100 mg of elderberry, as well as vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D and ginger. They come in capsule form, and, like many of the options on this list, are designed to be taken twice a day.
Pros: Five-in-one formula includes elderberry, zinc, ginger and vitamins C and D. 120 capsules are included, making for a two-month supply.
Cons: Unlike some options, this is not certified organic.
14. Puritan’s Pride Vitamin C with Elderberry & Zinc
These affordable supplements from Puritan’s Pride are primarily a vitamin C supplement, and each serving provides 90 mg of vitamin C and 12 mg of zinc. There’s also 100 mg of elderberry, so this supplement combines the benefits of different antioxidants. Instead of gummies, these supplements come in chewable tablet form.
Pros: Designed to be taken once a day, rather than twice, making these more convenient. Good source of antioxidants.
Cons: Chewable tablets are often not as pleasant as gummies.
15. NutraChamps Vitamin C 1000mg with Elderberry
This supplement from Nutra Champs provides a high potency dose of vitamin C, totaling 1000 mg per serving. In addition to vitamin C, these supplements provide elderberry, rose hips and citrus bioflavonoids. The capsules are vegan and non-GMO.
Pros: Blend of vitamin C, elderberry and other beneficial nutrients.
Cons: Dosage may be too high for some.