Elderberries are such a deep purple they often look black. These small berries grow on the Sambucus nigra shrub which can grow up to 13 feet tall. In June and July, the shrub has beautiful white flowers, and the elderberries ripen from August to September.
The fruit must be cooked and not eaten raw and is used to make jams and preserves. However, the most popular use of elderberries is as a dietary supplement to support the immune system. It’s well-known that a strong immune system is key to seasonal wellness.
What Does Elderberry Do for the Immune System?
As a dietary supplement, elderberry extract is often combined with other nutrients and herbs such as mushrooms, garlic, and vitamin C. When elderberry is combined with vitamin C in particular it may offer important immune system support. Vitamin C is a key antioxidant nutrient and research indicates that its antioxidant activity can help support immune function.*
Defender C not only contains elderberry and vitamin C, but it also contains mushrooms, garlic, and other herbs for added synergistic support.
Zinc is another nutrient that elderberry is often combined with because zinc has also been shown to support immune function.*
Best Natural Elderberry Supplement
If you are considering taking a supplement, the best natural elderberry supplement will contain a berry extract from the Sambucus nigra shrub supplying 13 mg (13%) of anthocyanins, which are active compounds found in the berries.
Elderberry is available in many formats, like a tablet with Defender C, or as a yummy gummy like Jurassic Elderberry, which is made with organic elderberry extract, vitamin C, and zinc for the kiddos.
If you are looking for extra support, consider taking elderberry extract combined with other nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc to help support immune function.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Taylor D. American black elderberry (Sambucus nigra L. ssp. Canadensis (L.) R. Bolli). US Forest Service. Accessed 2023, Nov 14. https://www.fs.usda.gov/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/sambucus_nigra_l.shtml
- Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
- Wessels I, Fischer HJ, Rink L. Dietary and physiological effects of zinc on the immune system. Annual Review of Nutrition. 2021;41:133-175. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-nutr-122019-120635