If you’re looking for an all-natural way to boost your immune system, elderberry supplements might be the answer. Elderberry has been shown to help fight off a variety of infections, including the flu. In this article, we will discuss six of the best elderberry supplements on the market today. We will also highlight two products that you should avoid due to their poor quality.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Benefits Of Taking Elderberry?
- Why Should I Take A Supplement?
- Review Criteria – Best and Worst Picks
- What Type of Elderberry Is Best?
- Best Elderberry Supplements – Syrup Options
- Best Elderberry Supplements – Gummies Options
- Best Elderberry Supplements – Capsules Options
- Two Supplements To Avoid And Why
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Elderberry?
Elderberry is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost your immune system. It has also been shown to be effective in treating a cold and flu, bronchitis, and sinus infections. Elderberry suppements can also help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
Immune System Support
Elderberry is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost your immune system. It has also been shown to be effective in treating the flu, bronchitis, and sinus infections. Elderberry can also help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
Elderberry has been shown to be effective in treating the flu. In one study, people who had been suffering from influenza type symptoms for 48 hours or less were given 15ml of elderberry syrup or a placebo four times a day for 5 days. The end result was that the group given elderberry recovered 4 days faster than the group who received a placebo.
Elderberry has been shown to be effective at preventing the reproduction of infection bronchitis virus. The following study demonstrated that early treatment with elderberry can render the virus non-infectious.
Sinus Infection Treatment
While there have been no direct studies on elderberry and sinus infections, there has been a ton of anecdotal reports of people recovering very quickly after using elderberry. We know that elderberry is a potent antiviral and that it also has antibacterial effects against pathogenic bacteria, so it makes sense that it would help with sinus infections.
Elderberry can help improve circulation and reduce inflammation. These effects can help promote heart health.
Blood Sugar Support
Elderberry can help regulate blood sugar levels. This effect can be helpful for people with diabetes or prediabetes.
High in Nutrients
Elderberry is a good source of iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains flavonoids and other antioxidants. These nutrients are immune supporting and promote overall health.
May Help With Constipation
Elderberry may help relieve constipation since it is full of dietary fiber.
Why Should I Take A Supplement?
While you can get elderberry from eating the berries or drinking the juice, taking a supplement is the best way to ensure you’re getting a consistent dose. Supplements are also more convenient than eating berries. Elderberries are also toxic until cooked, so using a supplement is also a safer option.
Review Criteria – Best and Worst Picks
We have a stringent review criteria for choosing the best elderberry supplements. This includes some of the following criteria:
- Manufacturer’s Reputation
- Potency and Efficacy
- Ingredient Profile
- Ingredient Sourcing
- What we like and dislike about each product
What Type of Elderberry Is Best?
There are a few different forms of elderberry that you’ll find in supplements. These include:
- Elderberry Extract/Concentrate – This is a concentrated form of elderberry and is usually standardized to guarantee a certain amount of flavonoids per dose. Elderberry extract can be thought of as a “concentrated ingredient” and is included in high quality elderberry capsules, syrup, tea, or gummies.
- Elderberry Syrup – Usually made with sugar or honey, high quality syrups contain elderberry extract/concentrate within them.
- Elderberry Capsules – These are the most convenient form of elderberry and are easy to take with you on the go.
- Elderberry Tea – This is a good option if you don’t like taking pills or want to avoid sugar.
- Elderberry Gummies – The most tasty option, but generally the lowest dosed out of all of the above. Elderberry Immune support gummies are good to take year-round.
So, what’s the best form of elderberry? It really depends on your preferences. If you want the most potent form, look for any product containing “elderberry extract”. If you want something that’s easier to take with you on the go, choose capsules or gummies. If you want something that’s sugar-free, go with tea.
Best Elderberry Supplements – Syrup Options
First founded in 1987, Gaia Herbs, is a renowned manufacturer of high-quality herbal goods, including their unique Black Elderberry Syrup. The American manufacturer has the high ratings in terms of reputation and product excellence.
Great sweet taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste which is expected from an elderberry syrup.
Contains 1,903mg of black elderberry concentrate
Excellent minimal ingredient list with no artificial preservatives: Organic sugarcane, water and lemon fruit juice, black elderberry juice concentrate, acerola fruit extract.
Sourced from Austria in Europe. They hand pick these organic elderberries and support sustainable practices.
What We Like Best
Gaia has a “Meet Your Herbs” website where you can type in the ID found on your product bottle and look up where the specific elderberries that went into your product were grown. They are extremely transparent and don’t use proprietary formulas. They offer a high potency product with almost 2 grams of elderberry per serving and have been around for a long time with a great reputation.
What We Don’t Like
This is our top choice for a reason, there’s not much to dislike! If you’re looking for something with zero sugar there are certainly other choices, however the small bit of added organic sugarcane really improves the taste.
Garden of life was founded in 2000 by Jordan Rubin who created the company while trying to recover from his own chronic illness. Since 2000 they have grown into a multi billion dollar supplement company with a great reputation.
Good taste but a bit more bitter. There’s no added sugar so there’s not as much sweetness as other brands.
Contains 1,500mg of black elderberry concentrate and extract.
Contains additional immune boosting herbs such as echinacea, rosemary, and acerola cherry. No artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
Full List: Organic Black Elderberry, Organic Acerola Cherry, Organic Aronia Berry, Organic Psidium Guajava, Purified Water, Organic Tapioca Fiber Syrup, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate, Mandarin Peel Flavor, Organic Flavors, Organic Citrus Extract.
The manufacturer does not disclose where the ingredients are sourced from, but they do guarantee that all ingredients are organic and non-GMO.
What We Like Best
We like that this product contains other immune boosting herbs in addition to just black elderberry. This is a great product for year-round immunity boosting benefits.
What We Don’t Like
The taste is not as good as other brands due to it containing no sugar. There is also a lower dose of elderberry compared to some other brands.
Best Elderberry Supplements – Gummies Options
Nurturing the connection between people and plants, since 1987 Gaia Herbs has remained committed to helping people heal and improving their quality of life with plants. As a Certified B corporation, Gaia Herbs meets the highest standard of environmental and social responsibility, public transparency, and legal accountability of balancing purpose and profit.
Available in two sizes, each bottle offers a 20-40 day supply respectively. As far as value goes, these gummies end up being slightly more expensive than other options that made our list. However, as a Certified B company, you can rest easy knowing that money is going to socially and environmentally conscious efforts. Further, the product’s quality speaks for itself, with plants grown on company-owned farms nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Taste / Flavor
Naturally flavored and fruit-sweetened, these gummies have a superb flavor. Adding depth and a uniqueness to the taste is the addition of natural acai, another powerful antioxidant.
Each serving is loaded up with 12.3 grams of fresh organic black elderberries and 1,364mg of elderberry extract. Although these gummies lack additives such as vitamin C and zinc, each serving contains way more elderberry than most competitors, adding to the effectiveness of the product.
As a Certified B Corporation, the company’s focus is on people, not profit. As such, it is a lesser-known brand with a smaller marketing budget. This has translated to fewer reviews online, with the company boasting just shy of 500 reviews (still significant), and an average rating of 4.6/5 stars.
What We Like Best About This Brand
- Certified B company focused on social causes, sustainability, the environment, and giving back
- Generous 12.3g of elderberry and 1,364mg of elderberry extract per serving
- No artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial ingredients
- USDA certified organic
- Gluten and Soy-free
- Strong track record dating back to 1987
MyKind Organics from Garden of Life is the first Non-GMO verified, certified vegan, certified gluten-free, USDA certified organic project of its kind. The company’s entire like is made from real food with no added flavors, artificial ingredients, added sugar, colors, or chemicals.
As for value, each bottle offers a one-month supply, with a price point that is fair in our opinion. Its not the cheapest, but it's not the most expensive. You get what you pay for and this product really excels in the area of quality, purity, and potency.
Taste / Flavor
Several customers reported this product tasting like candy, and honestly, we have to agree. Unlike some competitors, this product is ‘elderberry/berry’ flavored. Taste is natural, similar to an all-natural gummy snack pack you might have enjoyed as a child.
Here is where the product really shines through. Not only are these gummies packed with elderberry, but they also contain zinc, vitamin C, and an entire proprietary formula of immune boosting herbs including: Organic Aronia Berry, Organic Emblic, Organic Echinacea purpurea, Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract, Organic Guava Fruit, and Leaf, and a whole assortment or organic fruit ingredients.
One of the most popular and highest-rated elderberry gummies we’ve come across to date, this product has over 10,000 reviews with an overall 4.7/5 star rating. That makes this product one of the highest-rated and most popular we’ve had the chance to try out.
What We Like Best About These Elderberry Gummies:
- One of the most robust immune system formulas we’ve seen to date
- All ingredients are sourced from real whole foods
- All-natural certified USDA organic, gluten-free, and vegan
- Incredible candy-like taste
Best Elderberry Supplements – Capsules Options
Sports Research is a company that was founded in 1980 and has been family owned and operated since then. They have an excellent reputation and is even one of the few companies to have hard to manufacture products such as non-oxidized fish oil (a very hard process). This shows they know their stuff and are willing to go the extra mile.
Since these are capsules, there isn't much to report on here. No nasty aftertaste or stomach upset.
One of the most potent supplements on the market. Two capsules contain 500mg of patented ElderCraft® Extract which is equal to 32,000 mg of regular organic elderberry fruit. For comparison, some brands include just 500-1000mg of elderberry fruit. This has 32x-64x that dosage.
This product contains minimal ingredients and has a very short list we love. Only 6 ingredients and no fillers or artificial preservatives.
Full List: Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Zinc, Organic European Black Elderberry Extract, Ginger Root Extract, Veggie Capsule.
ElderCraft® elderberries are processed in the middle of the Italian alps and are grown from nutrient dense berries harvested in Austria.
What We Like Best
We really like this product since you know exactly what you're getting and where it's from. This is one of the highest dosed products on the market and ultra potent. It has a great ingredient list with no extra fillers.
What We Don’t Like
Nothing negative to say about this product, minimal ingredients, high dosage and potency, and ingredient transparency.
Bronson was founded in 1960 and is often recommended by physicians. It has a strong reputation and has been around for a long time.
No aftertaste or anything worth mentioning since these are capsules.
3000mg of a 4:1 extract, resulting in a yield of 12,000mg of regular organic elderberry. Not as potent as the Sports Research brand, but still one of the most potent formulas on the market, and way more than the typical 1000 mg non-extract form of dosage.
Contains purely elderberry with no other active ingredients. The inactive ingredients could be better, especially the magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide.
Full List: Elderberry Powder Extract, Modified cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide.
No information on where the elderberry is sourced, but it is guaranteed non-gmo.
What We Like Best
Contains just elderberry in a very potent and effective dose. The brand is often recommended by physicians.
What We Don’t Like
No disclosure on where the elderberries are harvested from. The inactive ingredients list could be a bit better if they processed the capsules without the use of magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide.
Two Supplements To Avoid And Why
We hate to shed negative light on any product, but there are a couple of products we encountered when doing our tests and research that are definitely worth steering clear of.
Vitalitown Elderberry Gummies
On the surface these gummies seem to be a good choice, they use an extract so they are more potent, and they are very affordable. The two main issues we found with the product were their choice of sweetener, and the makeup of the gummy.
The gummy has a low melting point and seems to go bad very quickly. Reviews for the product contain photos of nasty looking gummies that have either melted or appear disfigured.
The main sweetener used is Maltitol Syrup and Isomalt. These are two sweeteners frequently linked to stomach upset, gas, and diarrhea. We don’t know exactly how much is contained in each gummy, but it’s the first two ingredients on the list, so there is likely a significant amount.
Liviti Organics Sea Moss and Elderberry
While this isn’t technically a pure elderberry supplement, it does contain sea moss, elderberry, and bladderwrack. The main reason we don’t recommend this product is due to the dosage, taste, smell, and appearance.
We were unable to find the exact amount of elderberry contained in the product. In addition, there is a fishy smell and the taste is very salty. The appearance is not very appetizing and makes you wonder if the product has gone bad or not.
What Is The Best Elderberry Supplement For Adults?
This depends on your personal goals and the benefits you hope to achieve from taking a supplement. If you’re looking for a powerful immune booster and highest potency, we recommend trying elderberry syrup or capsules. If you’re looking for a year-round immune booster, elderberry gummies are the best option for convenience and dosage.
How Much Elderberry Should I Take Per Day?
Most studies that have proven the efficacy of elderberry supplements used a dosage of 600mg to 1500mg per day. In one 2016 study researchers used a dosage of 900mg which provided patients with a quicker recovery and less symptoms from the cold virus.
Are Elderberry Capsules Effective?
Yes, elderberry capsules are one of the most potent and effective forms of elderberry. They have been shown in studies to reduce cold and flu symptoms and to help support your immune system. Be sure to look for capsules that contain “elderberry extract” instead of elderberry fruit. This ensures that you are getting a guaranteed minimum amount of flavonoids per dose you take. A supplement containing both Zinc and vitamin c is a great option as well.
When Should I Take Elderberry?
You can take elderberry at any time of day. Some people prefer to take it in the morning, while others prefer to take it at night. Elderberry supplements are generally safe to take on an empty stomach. Double check the label to see if your supplement contains any zinc. Zinc should not be taken on an empty stomach and may cause a stomach ache.
Are Elderberry Gummies or Capsules Better?
Capsules are generally more potent and effective than gummies, but this is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer gummies because they are tastier. Others prefer capsules because they are more convenient and offer higher dosages. The option you choose will depend on the benefit you are looking to get out of taking it.
What Kind of Elderberry Is Best For Immune Support?
All kinds of elderberry supplements are good for immune support, but if you are looking for the most potent and effective option, you should choose elderberry capsules or syrup. Look for a product that contains a standardized “Elderberry Extract” and a total dosage of at least 1000 mg. Most studies found a dosage of 1500mg to be the most effective. Another thing to look for are elderberry supplements that contain vitamin c, zinc, and vitamin D, since these are great immune boosters.
Who Should Not Take Elderberry Supplements?
Elderberry supplements are generally considered safe for most adults. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should speak to your doctor before taking any supplements. Elderberry may also interact with certain medications, so it is important to speak to your doctor if you are taking any prescription drugs. Lastly, if you have any allergies, be sure to check the ingredients list before taking elderberry to ensure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
What Are The Side Effects of Taking Elderberry?
The most common side effect of taking elderberry is mild stomach upset. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking the supplement and speak to your doctor.
Are Elderberry Supplements Worth It?
Elderberry supplements are generally considered to be safe and effective. If you are looking for a way to boost your immune system, elderberry is a good option. As previously mentioned, be sure to choose a product that contains a standardized “elderberry extract” and a total dosage of at least 1000 mg.
Do Elderberry Gummies Work as Well as Syrup?
Elderberry gummies are tastier and more convenient than syrups, but are often less effective. This is purely due to the dosage used in both types of products. In most gummies they use a dosage of 150mg-300mg of elderberry fruit.
Elderberry fruit is not the same as elderberry extract. Elderberry extract is what you find in high quality syrups, and guarantees a minimum amount of flavonoids per dose. This means that something like 20 mg of elderberry extract could be just as potent as 300mg of elderberry fruit.
When you combine this with the fact that most high quality elderberry syrups contain 1000mg or more of elderberry extract, you can see how much more potent a syrup can be.
Elderberry gummies are still effective though and best used as a year-round preventative, or option for picky eaters who don’t enjoy the taste of the syrup.
Elderberry supplements are a great way to boost your immune system and protect yourself from colds and flu. It is available in many forms, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking any medications, or have any allergies. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking elderberry and speak to your doctor.
Adam Shimit is the main author of Chromatin Health Network. Adam is a medical research professional who has published case studies and reviews across many professional journals and websites. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, nature, and anything fitness related. Read more about him here.