All About Elderberry

A guide to the history, benefits, and many uses of these powerful little berries.

Your immune health is important, and while researching options to help support your system, you may have learned about the power of elderberry.* Elderberries have traditionally been used for immune support, especially in the winter months, and remain a popular option for those looking for plant-based products for traditional immune support.* But in a market that’s flooded with hundreds of elderberry supplements, all claiming to be the best, how do you know which one to choose, and what makes one formula a better option than another?

It all starts with the berry, so let’s dive deep into this powerful plant.

What makes them so powerful 

Select cultivars of elderberry contain a high level of naturally-occurring anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid that are thought to be a key benefit driver behind the traditional immune-supporting properties of the berry. Anthocyanins are what give the berries their intense, dark purple color.

There's a lot more to learn about the world of anthocyanins. You can discover more here.

History & benefits

For centuries, black elderberries have been traditionally used for immune support, especially in the winter months.* Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was a fan, calling the elder tree “nature’s medicine chest.”

Elderberries are also known by their scientific name, Sambucus nigra, as well as “black elder.” They grow in clusters on small flowering shrubs or trees and are unique because of their dark purple-black color. Elderberries grow across Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa and are especially fond of sunny conditions.

Elderberries, which can be poisonous if consumed raw, are most commonly boiled down into syrups or cordials, as well as liqueurs. Elderberry extract is also used in nutritional supplements, like gummies, syrups, and lozenges. They have been used for thousands of years as both a remedy and a sweet and tart treat.

What to look for

The darker the berries, the better. If you’re picking your own berries, opt for dark, ripe berries. If you’re going the supplement route, look for products that are made no artificial colors or flavors. Nature’s Way Sambucus® Original Syrup, for example, contains no artificial colors, and its dark purple color is a great example of the potent anthocyanins contained within.

Adding elderberry to your wellness journey

If you’re interested in making elderberry a part of your wellness routine, there are a few things you can try. If elderberries grow near you, you can channel your inner pioneer and forage the berries, then boil them down into your own syrups and cordials. Just make sure to thoroughly cook them first!

However, if outdoor adventures aren’t your thing, you can easily supplement with elderberry. Our Sambucus Original Syrup is a great place to start; it’s a simple, high-quality elderberry extract in a deliciously flavorful syrup.

The Nature’s Way® difference

At Nature’s Way, we believe that blending traditional wisdom with modern science makes for the best elderberry products possible. We work hard to ensure every Sambucus elderberry product is created to our high standards, because you and your family deserve the best for your wellness journey.

Our unique extract is made from select elderberry cultivars, including the Haschberg variety, which contain high levels of naturally-occurring anthocyanins. The berries are handled and extracted using technology designed to collect and retain anthocyanins, along with other natural properties of the berry.

Our favorite elderberry products

We’re so passionate about elderberries that we created an entire product line, Sambucus, to fit every well-being need. Everyone’s on a unique wellness journey and one product definitely does not fit all! These are a few of our favorite formulas:

If you love gummies …

Try Sambucus Gummies, which feature a triple-action immune blend of vitamin C, zinc, and elderberry extract to support your immune health.* (We also offer the Gummies in a kid-friendly version!)

If you’re all about convenience …

For on-the-go immune support, try Sambucus Zinc or Vitamin C Lozenges; they taste great and are easy to stash in your purse, work bag, or gym bag.*

If you prefer to sip your Sambucus …

Try Sambucus Hot Drink Mix, a soothing honey-lemon-berry flavored blend of vitamin C, black elderberry, and echinacea to support the immune system.*

No matter your lifestyle, there’s a Sambucus solution for you. Discover the entire line of elderberry products.


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