Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in every part of the world, with its history of healing going all the way back to ancient Egyptians. For millennia this plant has been used to treat skin issues, including burns and infections. Because of its high antioxidant properties, elderberry is now most commonly used to help boost immunity, with the goal of warding off colds and viral infections like the flu.
With its many beneficial properties, it may seem like elderberry should simply be eaten whole like strawberries or blueberries, but raw elderberries, along with the bark and leaves of the plant, are poisonous and can cause serious stomach issues. So, we’ll stick to taking them in supplement-form, thank you very much.
Elderberry is high in vitamin C, something that has health benefits year-round but is especially important to consume when your immune system is in a comprised state, including while traveling. Elderberry also contains dietary fiber and phenolic acids, an antioxidant that can help to reduce damage from oxidative stress, which if left unchecked can result in pathogens that lead to infections like the dreaded common cold.
The best elderberry supplements come in three forms — capsules, chews and syrups — but they all give your immune system the vitamin C and antioxidants it craves.
1. Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support Gummie
Using real elderberry extract and a combination of ingredients that include vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc, the Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support Gummies are a great overall immunity support supplement that is rich in antioxidants. Allergen-free and made with vegetarian pectin for a gummy that is soft and delicious, Zarbee’s are the perfect cold and flu-fighter. Each jar comes with 60 gummies that can be taken daily.
Pros: Made with a pleasing berry flavor, Zarbee’s are safe to be taken by children ages 12 years and older.
Cons: One serving of Zarbee’s gummies contain 7g of sugar, which is more than twice the amount of the 3g of sugar in the Havasu gummies.
2. Havasu Nutrition Elderberry Gummies
Give your immune system the support it needs with a combination of vitamin C, zinc and elderberry in the Havasu Nutrition Elderberry Gummies. Gentle enough to be taken daily but powerful enough to be used only when you feel a cold coming on, Havasu can be used by both adults and kids. One jar includes 60 delicious gummies, enough for a two-month supply.
Pros: The delicious and all-natural Havasu gummies contain only a limited amount of sugar and are free from preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings.
Cons: Havasu contains some organic elements, but not all ingredients used are organic.
3. Bio Schwartz Sambucus Elderberry Capsules
The versatile Bio Schwartz Sambucus Elderberry Capsules are designed to support not just your immune system, but also your skin. The vegetarian capsules are a three-way immunity booster that use elderberry, zinc and vitamin C to keep you feeling your best all year or at the first signs of sickness. The capsules are made without any unnecessary fillers or binders. The veggie capsules can be taken daily to help ward off sickness year-round.
Pros: Like the Zarbees, the Bio Schwartz Sambucus Elderberry Capsules are also free from allergens and are made with all-natural, GMO-free ingredients.
Cons: Some may find it more difficult to swallow capsules than chew gummies.
4. Mary Ruth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup
If capsules are difficult to swallow and gummies contain too much sugar, we suggest Mary Ruth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup. Fight infections and improve your immune system with the blueberry and raspberry-flavored syrup from Mary Ruth’s. Featuring organic ingredients that are also vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO, the antioxidant-rich syrup can be absorbed quickly and is high in flavonoid levels. The family-run business was created by certified health educator Mary Ruth Ghiyam and all products are made in the U.S.
Pros: Users can ingest the syrup daily either directly by placing a small amount of liquid in their mouth, or by adding it to water. Easier to administer to small children, the elderly or those with limited mobility.
Cons: Mary Ruth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup comes with a big price tag.
5. Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Kid’s Gummies
Want to help keep the whole family healthy without having to stock multiple supplements at once? Try the Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Kid’s Gummies, which is safe for children as young as two and can be used by adults. Designed to help support healthy immunity, the gummies are gluten and gelatin free and don’t contain artificial coloring or flavoring. Vitamin C and zinc are included with the elderberry as a triple-action immunity blend for a delicious gummy that kids will enjoy taking.
Pros: The Nature’s Way gummies can be used by the whole family simply by adjusting the dosage. Children ages two to three should take one gummy per day, while children ages four and older should take two gummies daily.
Cons: The gummies are slightly hard, which can be difficult for younger children to chew.
6. Zhou Nutrition Elder-Mune Sambucus Elderberry Gummies
Up your antioxidant intake with the Zhou Nutrition Elder-Mune Sambucus Elderberry Gummies. The affordable elderberry supplement includes vitamin C and zinc for a triple immunity boost combination. The vegan gummies are made with non-GMO ingredients and help to fight off free radicals in your body. Each naturally flavored serving contains 125 mg of Sambucus elderberry extract, 150 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and 50 percent of your daily value of zinc.
Pros: The Zhou gummies are safe for use by adults and children ages four and up.
Cons: Zhou recommends taking two gummies a day, which means their jar of 60 gummies will only last one month compared to other options like Havasu, which come with 60 gummies and only require one gummy per day.
7. Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup
For a plant-based liquid option using organic ingredients, we recommend the Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup. Made with Certified USDA-organic Sambucus nigra elderberries, Gaia is a highly concentrated juice that packs 14.5 grams of elderberries into one teaspoon, making it one of the most concentrated elderberry syrups available. One bottle equals a four-week supply of the purity-tested, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and vegan syrup. Safe for children ages one and up, the syrup can be ingested alone or added to water.
Pros: Gaia sells its syrup in frustration-free packaging, making it more accessible to those with mobility issues and the elderly.
Cons: The Gaia syrup has a high price tag. The syrup should be refrigerated after opening, making this a less travel-friendly option than gummies and capsules.