Elderberry/European Elderberry

Black Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a tall shrub native to Europe. The extract is prepared from the ripe, black berries that contain flavonoid compounds such as anthocyanidins.

Elderberries contains essential oils, flavonoids, glycosides (rutin, isoquercitrin, hyperoside and quercitrin), chlorogenic acid, tannins, and mucilage.1 These components are extracted, concentrated under a vacuum, then spray-dried and standardized for anthocyanidin content.

Health Benefits

Elderberry has traditionally been used to fight against flu or cold symptoms, such as: fever, cough, and sinus infections as well as constipation and pain relief.2 Elderberries may work as an antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and possibly anti-inflammatory agent.3 Elderberry may also prevent constipation and work as a laxative.1 Elderberries may aid in reducing the symptoms associated with influenza (flu) and colds.3,4


Unripe or raw Elderberries may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some individuals.5


  1. Picon PD, Picon RV, Costa AF, Sander GB, Amaral KM, Aboy AL, Henriques AT. Randomized clinical trial of a phytotherapic compound containing Pimpinella anisum, Foeniculum vulgare, Sambucus nigra, and Cassia augustifolia for chronic constipation. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Apr 30;10:17. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-17. PubMed PMID: 20433751.
  2. European Elder. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. NIH. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/euroelder Accessed in Jul 2015.
  3. Vlachojannis JE, Cameron M, Chrubasik S. A systematic review on the sambuci fructus effect and efficacy profiles. Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):1-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2729. Review. PubMed PMID: 19548290.
  4. Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. 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 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40. PubMed PMID: 15080016.
  5. Elderberry. American Botanical Council. (pp. 4, Adverse Effects) http://abc.herbalgram.org/site/DocServer/Elderberry-scr.pdf?docID=165 Accessed in Jul 2015.