Can You Take Elderberry Daily? The Pros and Cons
- Elderberry has been used as a natural remedy for many years.
- It’s well-known as an immune booster that combats colds and flu.
- It’s important to know how to take it safely, as it can be toxic if not used correctly.
- Elderberry supplements are one of the safest ways to boost your health.
- Can you take elderberry daily? Absolutely — provided you’re generally healthy, and not pregnant or breastfeeding.
Elderberry is a traditional folk remedy that’s been used for centuries as an immune-boosting and antiviral supplement, and as a treatment for the common cold. It has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, protects against heart disease, and supports digestive health.
With all these benefits, you may be wondering, “Can you take elderberry daily?”
Let’s explore what elderberry is and its many benefits. We’ll also look at how to make sure you get your daily dose of elderberry safely and effectively.
What Is Elderberry?
Elderberry is extracted from elderberry fruit. The black elderberry plant, or Sambucus nigra, most commonly produces dark blue, purple, or black berries that are packed with immune-boosting vitamins, like vitamin A and vitamin C.
You probably want to avoid eating raw elderberries straight from a black elder tree, as they can be poisonous, but once the raw berries are processed, they’re perfectly safe. In fact, they’re extremely good for you, which is why you’ll find elderberry in many dietary supplements. Can you take elderberry daily as a supplement? Yes — in fact, we recommend it.
Other popular elderberry products include elderflower or elderberry juice, wine, tea, and jam, all of which are delicious — although they may also contain added sugar, which detracts somewhat from their healthy properties. You’ll also find elderberry in certain body care products, like creams and lotions.
Elderberry Health Benefits
There are centuries of anecdotal evidence to support the many health benefits of elderberry, especially when it comes to the immune system. That’s now being backed up by ongoing scientific research into the effects of elderberry. More research is needed, but this is what we know for sure:
- Elderberry contains high levels of antioxidants — particularly flavonoids and anthocyanins — which fight off disease and viral infection, especially upper respiratory tract and sinus infections. Antioxidants help to counteract the damage caused to cells by free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and the inflammation and other conditions that result from it.
- Elderberry can reduce flu symptoms and duration, and a study on air travelers found that it does the same for cold symptoms.
- Elderberry is also high in fiber and therefore good for the digestive system. It acts as a laxative to relieve constipation and boosts the effects of prebiotic and probiotic supplements. The support it offers to the digestive system, plus its anti-inflammatory effects, may even contribute to weight loss.
- There’s also preliminary evidence to show that elderberry may be helpful in managing blood sugar levels, as well as supporting heart health by reducing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Side Effects of Elderberry
Can you take elderberry daily? There are some circumstances in which the answer may be “it depends.”
As we’ve mentioned, raw elderberries are toxic — and so are the bark, seeds, and leaves of the tree. If you eat them, you may end up with unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, or even dizziness or numbness. You may also experience similar gastric effects if you take too much of an elderberry dietary supplement.
There’s no standard dose of elderberry since it depends on the form in which you take it. For example, the concentration of active compounds in syrup is different from that in juice. So make sure you read the dosage instructions carefully. If you follow those instructions and are taking a reputable brand, elderberry is likely to be perfectly safe under normal conditions.
There are some important exceptions though:
- If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s probably best to avoid elderberry. There’s simply not enough evidence yet to prove that elderberry is safe in the long-term for those conditions.
- If you’re on any kind of treatment or medication, especially if it’s related to the immune system, it’s best to check with your healthcare professional before taking an elderberry supplement. It may interfere with some drugs.
- And of course, you should always check with your child’s healthcare provider before giving them supplements, especially if they have any kind of medical condition.
If you feel like your family’s health could do with a boost, it’s worth considering elderberry supplements.
Can you take elderberry daily? As we’ve seen, most people can (with some exceptions), and you have a wide range of options to choose from. This ranges from elderberry extract, elderberry tinctures, or elderberry syrup, which are great for younger kids, to elderberry gummies, capsules, and lozenges for slightly older kids and adults.
Elderberry dietary supplements also often contain other immune-boosting ingredients too, like zinc and/or vitamin C.
Some elderberry supplements are formulated for kids while others are for adults — and it’s important to know that there’s a difference. Because of their smaller, still-developing bodies, kids need a lower daily dose than adults. Always read the label to check who the supplement is for and what the correct dosage is.
There are homemade elderberry remedies available, but you should exercise extreme caution with those. Without proper regulation, you can’t be sure how they’ve been made, what their concentration is, or if they’re safe for your child.
And while we’re on the subject of regulation, be aware that dietary supplements are regulated differently than food and drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Protect your child’s health by making sure you buy a reputable brand that follows good manufacturing practices, and that the product has been independently tested.
The Best Elderberry Gummies
When you’re wondering if you can take elderberry daily, quality matters. You want all the nutrients — without the sugar, preservatives, and other artificial nasties found in many dietary supplements.
Look out for top-quality supplements, like Llama Naturals Whole Fruit Elderberry Gummies. They contain elderberry extract plus vitamin C, zinc chelate, and beta glucan for an extra dose of immune support. Llama Naturals Elderberry Gummies for Kids are specially formulated for little bodies, while the adult gummies give your body all the support it needs.
Llama Naturals gummies are made from real fruit, simmered slowly to preserve all the goodness. They’re free of sugar and artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, and flavors. You’ll also find no gelatin, gluten, or other common allergens in these little bundles of health.
Can You Take Elderberry Daily?
It seems that elderberry is effective both as a preventative measure and as a treatment for illness. It supports the immune and digestive systems and is a powerful antiviral agent. And if taken correctly, it has very few side effects.
So the answer to the question “can you take elderberry daily?” is definitely “yes” — as long as you do it correctly, you’re generally in good health, and you check with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Just make sure you buy a high-quality brand you can rely on to support your health and that of your child. You might just save yourself from some sick days this year.
Llama Naturals is a plant-based nutrition brand that has created the World's First Whole Fruit Gummy Vitamins that are made with no added sugar and whole-food vitamins. They are USDA Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free, free of common allergens, and are slow-cooked on low heat to retain rich phytonutrients & fruit flavor. It’s a win-win gummy vitamin that the whole family will love.