Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra)

Sambucus nigra, Elderberry

Elderberry, also known as Sambucus nigra, is great for colds and may help invoke sweating and diuresis. It helps induce sweat and relieves joint and muscle pain during fevers. There are small studies to support antiviral properties, immune modulation and antioxidant properties.

Studies involving patients with influenza have shown a reduction in symptoms when taking Elderberry. The studies reported Elderberry shortens the duration of flu symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, sore throat, cough and body aches. These studies concluded that further larger studies are needed to confirm the results.

In addition, in vitro studies (not humans) have proven Elderberry to be effective against numerous strains of influenza. It is thought that the constituents help neutralize the activity of the hemagglutin. Hemagglutin is found on the surface of the virus and by neutralizing the activity of hemagglutin the virus becomes inactive and is unable to infect cells.

Elderberry can be used during active flu (optimally combined with Oregano Oil or Echinacea Goldenseal), or used as a preventative to avoid getting sick during the flu season.

Elderberry has a high concentration of anthocyanins. These are purple pigments (also what gives Elderberry its color) serve as antioxidants and enhance immune function (by immune modulation) stimulating the innate immune system and boosting the production of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that regulate the immune response. Elderberry is also rich in flavonoids, quercetin (thought to be a natural antihistamine) and vitamin A and C.  It can be taken daily to help strengthen a person’s immune system. Stronger immune systems have a better chance of fighting infections.

Elderberry may also offer cardiovascular protection. This is thought to be due to its oxidative properties and reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. LDL is bad cholesterol and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. By helping to reduce LDL it may benefit people with high cholesterol. In addition, it has the ability to potentially improve endothelial cells to help with vascular function.  Studies have been very small and larger studies are needed to warrant the effect on LDL and the cardiovascular system.

At Rancho Pharmacy we carry Elderberry, both for adults and kids! Stop by today to get your bottle of Elderberry!


1.  V. Barak, T. Halperin, I. Kalickman. The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. European Cytokine Network. 2001;12(2):290-6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11399518Accessed on March 23, 2020

2. http://www.altmedrev.com/archive/publications/10/1/51.pdf. Accessed on March 23, 2020

3. Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Altern Complement Med. 1995;1(4):361–369. doi:10 Access on March 23, 2020