Health Benefits of Elderberry and Our Top 4 Picks of Elderberry Gummy Supplements


Elderberry is the fruit of the European elder plant (Sambucus nigra) and it is widely used in folk medicine. Research suggests that elderberry extract may help shorten the duration of a cold and alleviate symptoms such as fever, pain, and congestion. However, the results of studies have been inconsistent. Elderberry has also been promoted for treating COVID-19, but there is currently no evidence to support its effectiveness.

Elderberry is commonly sold as a dietary supplement and comes in various forms, with gummies being a popular choice. Gummies often contain added sugar or sweeteners, making them more enjoyable to eat. The text provides detailed information about the health benefits and safety of elderberry extract, and recommends four good options of elderberry gummy supplements for consideration when making a purchase.

Nutritional Value

Elderberries offer great nutritional value as a low-calorie food, packed with a variety of antioxidants:

  • Rich in Vitamin C: Just one cup (about 145g) of fresh elderberries contains 52mg of vitamin C, which covers approximately 57% of the recommended daily intake.
  • High in Dietary Fiber: A single cup of fresh elderberries provides 10g of dietary fiber, roughly equivalent to 36% of the recommended daily intake.
  • Excellent Source of Phenolic Acids: Elderberries are a great natural source of phenolic acids, potent antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress in the body.
  • Antioxidant Flavonoids: Elderberries contain a group of antioxidants called flavonoids, including anthocyanins, quercetin, and isoflavones. Interestingly, the elderberry flowers contain 10 times more flavonoids than the berries themselves.
  • Abundant Anthocyanins: These compounds give elderberries their unique deep black-purple color and act as powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.

However, the nutritional composition of elderberries may vary depending on the specific cultivar, ripeness of the fruit, and variances in environmental and climatic conditions. As a result, the nutritional value of elderberries can differ among various types.

The fruit, flowers, leaves, stems, and roots of the elderberry plant all contain toxins and should not be consumed directly.

7 Health Benefits

Cold and Flu Relief

Early research suggests that elderberry extract may help alleviate symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold and flu.

  • According to a study conducted during the 1999-2000 influenza season in Norway, the experiment involved 60 patients aged 18 to 54 who had flu symptoms for less than 48 hours. These patients were given 15ml of elderberry extract syrup four times a day for five consecutive days. The study found that the average duration of flu symptoms was reduced by 4 days in the group taking elderberry extract compared to the placebo group.[1] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
  • In another double-blind clinical trial, researchers examined the respiratory health benefits of elderberry extract in 312 economy class passengers flying from Australia to overseas destinations. The participants were divided into two groups, with one group receiving three capsules of elderberry extract containing 300mg each per day. The study found that the group taking elderberry extract experienced a shorter duration and milder symptoms of common cold onset.[2] Trusted Website NCBI, US National Center for Biotechnology Information, is a trusted source of biotechnology and biomedicine information. Open the link →

However, the latest research from the Cleveland Clinic shows that there is no significant difference between elderberry extract and a placebo in terms of relieving the severity or shortening the duration of flu symptoms. Additionally, the study found that participants who took elderberry extract but did not receive the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) actually took two more days to experience symptom relief compared to the placebo group. This study, led by Dr. Michael Macknin, an honorary professor of pediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, is the largest-scale research to date on the efficacy of elderberry for treating the flu. Dr. Macknin emphasizes that getting a flu vaccine is still the best way to prevent the flu.

  • The study involved a total of 87 flu patients aged 5 and above, conducted from January 2018 to April 2019. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either elderberry extract or a placebo treatment for a period of 5 days. For participants aged 5 to 12, they received either a placebo or 15mg of elderberry extract twice a day. Participants aged 12 and above received 15ml of elderberry extract four times a day. The participants had the option to choose whether or not to take oseltamivir (Tamiflu) alongside the treatment. Only 33% of all participants received the flu vaccine.[3]

Furthermore, elderberry has been promoted for use in COVID-19, but there is a lack of evidence to support its effectiveness.

Heart Health

Elderberry extract may have potential benefits for cardiovascular health, such as reducing cholesterol, uric acid, and blood sugar levels. However, research studies have not yet reached a consensus on these effects.

  • Some studies have found that elderberry extract can reduce fat content in the blood and lower cholesterol levels. The high concentration of flavonoids in elderberries may be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.[4] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link → However, another study found that taking 400mg of elderberry extract twice a day for three weeks did not lead to a significant reduction in cholesterol levels.[5] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
  • Multiple animal studies have found that feeding elderberries can reduce cholesterol levels in the liver and aorta of mice. However, it does not lead to a decrease in cholesterol levels in the blood.[6] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
  • Elderberry extract may help lower uric acid levels in the blood. Epidemiological and experimental evidence suggests a link between hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels) and hypertension (high blood pressure).[7] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
  • Furthermore, animal experiments have shown that black elderberry extract contains insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity. Feeding elderberry extract to rats has been found to improve blood glucose levels.[8]

Inflammation and Chronic Diseases

Metabolic processes can lead to an accumulation of excessive free radicals, resulting in oxidative stress. It has been suggested that oxidative stress is associated with various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Foods rich in antioxidants can help delay and prevent oxidative stress, alleviate inflammation, and contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases.[9] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →

  • Elderberries contain anthocyanins, flavonoids, and other polyphenolic compounds that contribute to their antioxidant capacity. Limited laboratory studies have shown that elderberry extract exhibits strong antioxidant properties. One study found that consuming 400ml of elderberry juice led to a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity within one hour.[10] Trusted Website is a trusted database of scientific and medical publications. Open the link →

However, the antioxidant activity of elderberries can be reduced during food processing. Therefore, products such as syrups, juices, teas, and jams derived from elderberries may have limited health benefits compared to consuming fresh elderberries.


  • In vitro studies suggest that elderberry extract may possess properties that could inhibit cancer.[11] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →

Bacterial Infections

  • In vitro studies have shown that extracts containing six types of berries, including elderberry, may have inhibitory effects on bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori. [12] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link → Helicobacter pylori is known to cause conditions like gastritis, peptic ulcers, and gastric cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), has classified H. pylori infection as a Group 1 carcinogen and a definite cause of human gastric cancer.

UV Radiation

  • Animal studies have suggested that the polyphenolic compounds found in elderberries have a protective effect on the skin against UV radiation. These compounds may be beneficial for skin conditions such as inflammation caused by UV radiation. [13] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →


  • Some researchers suggest that the elderberry plant may serve as a natural source of antidepressant properties. Animal experiments have shown that mice fed with elderberry extract exhibit improvements in their behavioral abilities and emotional indicators. [14] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →

Safety and Risks

Generally, it is considered safe to consume elderberry extract in small doses.

The fruits, flowers, leaves, stems, and roots of the elderberry plant are toxic and should not be consumed directly. Elderberry plants contain a substance called cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide under certain conditions. Cyanide is a toxin also found in almonds and apricot kernels. Cooking can safely remove the toxic substances from the berries. However, the branches, bark, or leaves should not be used for cooking or juicing. Consuming raw, uncooked elderberries may cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Large doses can lead to severe poisoning and illness.

Commercial preparations and cooked berries do not contain cyanide, so there have been no reports of fatal incidents from consuming these.

Children and adolescents under 18 years old, as well as women during pregnancy or breastfeeding, should not take elderberry supplements. If you are taking diuretic medications, caution should be exercised when taking elderberry extract, as it may interact with these medications. Elderberry can also cause allergic reactions.

Elderberry supplements are generally considered safe, but some mild side effects may occur, such as gastrointestinal discomfort.

Overall Best: New Chapter

New Chapter Organic Elderberry Gummies are recommended to be taken 2 gummies per day. Each 2 gummies contain 150mg of black elderberry extract and 1g of sugar. One thing we particularly like about this gummy product is that it uses organic fruit blend to enhance the sweetness, which improves the taste while reducing the sugar content. Additionally, it is free from cane sugar, artificial flavors, and colors, making it suitable for vegetarians.

We have noticed some user feedback reporting adverse reactions such as dizziness and nausea after taking this supplement. There are also comments mentioning that the taste is average.

*All prices are at the time of writing.


  • USDA Organic Certified.
  • Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • NSF Gluten-Free Certified.
  • Vegan Certified.
  • Each serving of 2 gummies contains 1g of sugar, sourced exclusively from organic fruits.


  • Not third-party tested.
  • Negative feedback includes reported side effects such as dizziness and nausea.
  • Some users have mentioned that the taste is average.

New Chapter is a company dedicated to providing comprehensive and innovative health and wellness products. Their product line includes vitamins, minerals, botanical extracts, fish oils, and herbal supplements. All of their products are manufactured according to strict quality standards. Additionally, New Chapter places a strong emphasis on organic and non-GMO ingredients. Many of their products are USDA Organic Certified and are free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Best for Vegetarians: Garden of Life

Most gummy supplements on the market contain gelatin, making them unsuitable for vegetarians. However, Garden of Life mykind Organic Elderberry Gummies are gelatin-free and have received both vegan and kosher certifications, making them an ideal choice for vegetarians. Additionally, this product is USDA Organic certified and gluten-free.

Although this product comes at a slightly higher price point, each bottle contains 120 gummies, with a serving size of 4 gummies providing 355mg of organic black elderberry fruit extract. The product does not use artificial sweeteners and contains 7g of sugar per serving, sourced exclusively from organic fruits, providing a natural sweetness through the use of fruit puree and concentrated fruit juice.

However, it’s worth noting that the recommended daily dosage for this product is higher compared to other products mentioned in this article. Some individuals may prefer lower-dose supplements to avoid potential side effects.

*All prices are at the time of writing.


  • Free from dairy and soy.
  • NSF Gluten-Free Certified.
  • USDA Organic Certified.
  • Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • Vegan certified, gelatin-free.
  • Kosher food certified.
  • Each serving (4 gummies) contains 7g of sugar. No artificial sweeteners.
  • Added vitamin C (40mg) and zinc (1.5mg).


  • Recommended dosage is higher compared to most similar products.

Garden of Life is a company committed to providing high-quality, all-natural, organic, and non-GMO health products. Their product range is extensive and includes protein powders, enzymes, probiotics, fish oils, and various vitamins, among others. mykind is a product line by Garden of Life that is based on 100% organic and non-GMO plant-based ingredients, offering a range of nutritional supplements including liquid and solid vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, plant protein powders, and children’s nutrition supplements, among others.

Best for Kids: Zarbee’s

Zarbee’s Children’s Immune Support Elderberry Gummies are a nutritional supplement specifically designed to enhance children’s daily immune support. Each bottle of this product contains 42 gummies, with 45mg of organic black elderberry extract per gummy, along with added vitamins A, C, E, D, and zinc. For children aged 2-3 years, it is recommended to take 1 gummy per day, while for children aged 4 and above, 2 gummies per day are recommended.

This product is formulated with the health and safety of children in mind, avoiding ingredients that may cause allergies or discomfort. It is free from high fructose corn syrup, added flavors, gelatin, and artificial sweeteners, with all sugars derived from natural sources.

However, it is worth noting that some user reviews mention discomfort symptoms such as abdominal pain and vomiting in children after taking this supplement. Parents should carefully consider and consult with a doctor before using this product.

*All prices are at the time of writing.


  • Free from high fructose corn syrup.
  • Free from artificial flavors and colors.
  • Gelatin-free.
  • Free from artificial sweeteners.
  • Contains vitamins A, C, E, D, and zinc.


  • Negative reviews mentioning side effects, including abdominal pain and vomiting symptoms.

Zarbee’s Naturals is an American health product company founded by a pediatrician, focusing on providing natural, healthy, and nutritional supplements for children and adults. Zarbee’s offers a wide range of products, including cough syrups for relief, immune-boosting supplements, sleep aids for children and adults, allergy prevention products, and various vitamin and mineral supplements. It is worth mentioning that all of Zarbee’s products are free from artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, or alcohol, aiming to provide consumers with the purest and most nutritious products. Zarbee’s particularly emphasizes the development of children’s products, aiming to improve children’s health with the help of natural ingredients.

Best Taste: Zeal Naturals

Zeal Naturals Elderberry Gummies are known for their excellent taste, and many users have provided positive feedback in this regard. Numerous online reviews mention that these gummies have a delicious flavor and are easy to chew.

Each bottle contains 60 gummies, with 50mg of black elderberry extract per gummy. These gummies are free from corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. However, it’s important to note that they use organic tapioca syrup and cane sugar as sweeteners, resulting in 2g of sugar per gummy. The product has undergone third-party testing to ensure its quality and effectiveness, although it does not currently hold any certifications.

$19.99 at Amazon
Also at Walmart


  • Third-party tested.
  • Free from corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.
  • Each gummy contains 2g of sugar.
  • Added vitamin C (45mg) and zinc (3.45mg).
  • Positive user feedback on taste and chewability.


  • No certifications obtained.

Zeal Naturals is a well-known brand that specializes in producing natural and organic health products. The company focuses on providing pure and additive-free nutritional supplements, including various vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts. Their products adhere to strict quality standards.

14 references

[1]. Z Zakay-Rones, et al. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004.

[2]. E Tiralongo, et al. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016.

[3]. Michael Macknin MD, et al. Elderberry Extract Outpatient Influenza Treatment for Emergency Room Patients Ages 5 and Above: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2020.

[4]. X Wang, et al. Flavonoid intake and risk of CVD: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Br J Nutr. 2014.

[5]. M Murkovic, et al. Effects of elderberry juice on fasting and postprandial serum lipids and low-density lipoprotein oxidation in healthy volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004.

[6]. N Farrell, et al. Anthocyanin-rich black elderberry extract improves markers of HDL function and reduces aortic cholesterol in hyperlipidemic mice. Food Funct. 2015.

[7]. Chii-Min Hwu, et al. Uric acid and the development of hypertension. Med Sci Monit. 2010.

[8]. Alison M. Gray, et al. The Traditional Plant Treatment, Sambucus nigra (elder), Exhibits Insulin-Like and Insulin-Releasing Actions In Vitro. The Journal of Nutrition. 2000.

[9]. Joye K Willcox, et al. Antioxidants and prevention of chronic disease. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2004.

[10]. M. Netzel, et al. The excretion and biological antioxidant activity of elderberry antioxidants in healthy humans. Food Research International. 2005.

[11]. Julie M Thole, et al. A comparative evaluation of the anticancer properties of European and American elderberry fruits. J Med Food. 2006.

[12]. A Chatterjee, et al. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori in vitro by various berry extracts, with enhanced susceptibility to clarithromycin. Mol Cell Biochem. 2004.

[13]. A Jarzycka, et al. Assessment of extracts of Helichrysum arenarium, Crataegus monogyna, Sambucus nigra in photoprotective UVA and UVB; photostability in cosmetic emulsions. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2013.

[14]. M Mahmoudi, et al. Antidepressant activities of Sambucus ebulus and Sambucus nigra. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014.

Angela Liu

Love reading, love running, love binge-watching shows, love vegetarian food.

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