Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on March 3, 2023
Elderberry, known for its various health benefits, comes with prudently devised dosage recommendations like every other medicine. The amount of elderberry you should take daily in the form of gummies, syrup, or tea, varies with factors such as age, chronic conditions, and overall health.
In this article, we’ll discuss how much elderberry per day you should take, its health benefits, side effects, and other factors to consider.
What is Elderberry?
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a dark purple berry that is high in antioxidants, commonly known as anthocyanins. Its anthocyanin and flavonoid content is primarily responsible for giving these berries their medicinal characteristics, most significantly for their role in improving immune system function.
The reasons for the expanding use of elderberry are its origins in historical natural medicine, its good taste, immune support, and its ability to be transformed into several enjoyable products.
Elderberry Benefits and Uses
Elderberries have extensive health benefits such as:
- Boosts Immune System: Elderberry provides immune support against multiple infections by temporarily activating the immune system through cytokine production. Elderberries inhibit the replication of viruses and reduce the duration and severity of cold and flu It may also help curtail COVID by providing a long-term anti-inflammatory benefit and improving lung function.
- Reduces Bodily Inflammation: These flavonoid and antioxidant-rich berries are great at reducing swelling and inflammation. Its natural anti-inflammatory effects also help to soothe allergies and may even be able to reduce the severity of asthma attacks, similar to other renowned herbs like turmeric. Learn more about the benefits of turmeric.
- Supports Digestion: Elderberries can promote digestion and maintain overall gut health. Elderberry is high in fiber content, allowing patients with chronic constipation to experience some relief in their symptoms.
- Improves Heart Health: Elderberry can lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients by relaxing the blood vessels. Studies show that this superfruit also contributes to lower cholesterol. Additionally, a diet rich in anthocyanins diminishes the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Fights Chronic Diseases: Research suggests that diets high in antioxidants may help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer. These antioxidant-packed berries combat systemic oxidative stress which may lead to cancer if left unchecked.
- Enhances Skin Health: Elderberry appears to work wonders dermatologically by helping prevent the development of wrinkles on the skin. It also improves skin health by lessening the appearance of acne scars and reducing skin photoaging.
This popular natural remedy is quite novel to the herbal medicinal world. Dosing information is formed upon evidence from clinical trials and the general well-tolerated nature of elderberry.
How much elderberry should you take a day? The recommended elderberry dosage is 150 to 300 mg of elderberry extract per day for immune support. For elderberry gummies, this equates to roughly 2-4 gummies per day. If using syrups, it’s a bit ambiguous. Make sure to read the precise measurements on the tincture’s label.
For short durations (2 weeks or less), you can increase your daily intake to 1,200 mg per day to combat severe cold and flu symptoms. However, dosages this high are not recommended for long-term use.
Can you take elderberry daily?
Yes, you can take elderberry every day. Elderberry supplements do not appear to have many risks. At the very least, it’s likely a safe companion to take into battle during a long cold and flu season. However, prior consultation from a doctor is always preferred and consumption should never increase beyond the recommended dose.
Is elderberry safe for children?
Yes, elderberry is safe for children. For ages 5 and up, elderberry for kids is considered possibly safe if taken orally for short durations (as needed). For infants and toddlers, we still lack adequate evidence to suggest that elderberry is perfectly safe or side effect free. Use with caution.
Elderberry syrups marketed to children are usually less potent for relatively safer consumption by kids. Discussion with a pediatrician before adding elderberry to your child’s diet is recommended.
Is elderberry safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
No, elderberry is likely unsafe to take during pregnancy. Due to lack of evidence, healthcare personnel advises against the use of elderberry while pregnant as it may result in hyperactivity of the immune system which may complicate existing autoimmune disorders. For breastfeeding mothers, it is likely safe in very small quantities only.
Can you take too much elderberry?
Yes, too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. As long as elderberries are ripe, there is no serious harm in consuming them. However, you need to keep in mind that it is a high-fiber fruit. Consuming too much of it can cause stomachache, diarrhea, nausea, and cramps in the abdomen.
For elderberry supplements, always stick to the dosage recommendations above.
Potential Side Effects
Taking elderberries is generally safe and side effects are rare. However, we highly recommend checking the ingredients thoroughly to ensure you are not allergic to anything on the label. With that said, here are a few things to be aware of regarding elderberry side effects:
- Unripe elderberry is unsafe and consumption may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Elderberry consumption can impact insulin and blood sugar levels. Diabetics should use extra caution.
Best Way to Take Elderberry
You may try any of the following three methods to consume elderberry.
Elderberry with zinc and vitamin C is a powerful immune-boosting combination. These three natural antioxidants work together to provide elevated levels of immunity and potent anti-inflammatory benefits.
Most gummies available in the market combine a range of ingredients to target the full potential of the berries. Elderberry gummies are popular for their chewy and enjoyable method of intake and are safe for adults and children, and are often preferred over swallowing pills.
You can also use elderberry syrup from one of your local health stores. Elderberry syrup provides the same benefits as elderberry but usually contains lesser added nutrients such as zinc and vitamin C which are critical for immunity. Therefore, it may not provide the same level of protection.
If all you seek is a warm, healthy cup of tea to improve your health, elderberry tea may help you. This alternative provides a relaxing way to increase your body’s antioxidant and anthocyanin content. Like syrup, it typically lacks additional vitamin C and zinc content, making it slightly less effective than gummies.
Final Thoughts on Elderberry Dosage Recommendations
How much elderberry per day should you take? The answer is between 150-300 mg of elderberry extract daily. For short durations (2 weeks or less) it’s okay to increase the dosage to 1,200 mg per day to combat more severe viral infections. Consult a doctor and discontinue use if you face any allergies or side effects.
Elderberry is a remarkable natural medicine with a rich history of use in Ayurveda. Like any health and wellness routine, don’t rely on supplements alone. Getting the correct amount of sleep, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, and incorporating regular exercise will always be the best way to stay healthy. But, if you need a short-term immune system boost, using the elderberry dosage above should be a reliable way to get you over the hump.
- Our Picks: Best Elderberry Gummies