Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on March 15, 2023
Folk medicine largely embraced elderberry as one of nature’s most versatile products for enhancing the immune system. Today, sufficient research backs up the claims, and elderberry appears to be the household name for treating various ailments.
Given that raw elderberry fruit is inedible, we have several more viable options for consumption readily emerging. They include gummies, tea, and elderberry syrup.
Naturally, the growing popularity of elderberry syrups, and even gummies, brings a lot of questions regarding their rumored advantages. Before we discuss how to make elderberry syrup, let’s review the information regarding its health benefits.
1. Boosts Immune System
Elderberry is a power-packed antioxidant that contains a unique blend of nutrients. Research on its nutrient composition shows that the high amounts of vitamins, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and polyphenols grant it unique immunological capabilities.
Polyphenols are naturally-occurring antioxidants found in elderberries. Elderberry polyphenols can make up for white blood cell deficiencies in the system. They help make the body less vulnerable to infections by controlling blood sugar levels and inflammation.
- Read the studies on elderberry immune support.
Colds and Flu
Elderberry’s robust respiratory tract defense is useful in treating colds and flu. It takes power from its immune-boosting nutrients and efficiently fights off viruses. It can shorten the duration of cold symptoms, prevent infections, and treat them. The effect of black elderberry on sinuses also shows many therapeutic implications for elderberry in medicine.
- Read the studies on elderberry cold and flu.
The increasingly encouraging results regarding the antiviral properties of elderberry also make it a potential treatment for COVID-19. Research suggests that its immune support capacity can help reduce the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is also an effective agent to reduce the possibility of a cytokine storm during the period of exposure to the virus.
- Read the studies on elderberry and COVID.
2. Reduces Bodily Inflammation
Elderberry extract is the ideal supplement choice for getting rid of inflammation. It comes packed with a high antioxidant capacity to fight the free radicals in the body and reduce systemic oxidative stress.
Ultimately, it helps the body combat inflammatory diseases and associated pains. Research has also specifically addressed its efficacy in reducing arthritis and joint inflammation.
- Read the studies on elderberry and inflammation.
Allergies & Asthma
It is not uncommon to turn to a plant-based supplement for allergies, and elderberry is the best among all. It has a unique immunomodulatory effect on the symptomatology of allergies. The effect also extends to asthmatic patients. Elderberry can significantly improve lung health and reduce the risk of declining lung function.
- Read the studies on elderberry for allergies.
3. Supports Digestion
Research has shown that after elderberry consumption, more than 75% of its phenolic content absorbs into the digestive tract to stimulate the growth of good bacteria. This bacteria promotes smooth digestion and improved gut health.
- Read the studies on elderberry for digestion.
Constipation & IBS
Elderberry extract can significantly improve daily bowel evacuation and reduce constipation. Anthocyanins are also regarded as a potential treatment option for inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis. The dietary fiber from elderberries also supplies the body with pectin, which can relieve the body from the symptomatology of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Read the studies on elderberry for constipation.
4. Improves Heart Health
Many common bodily ailments, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, directly impact heart health. Fortunately, elderberries can effectively reduce the risk factors associated with these problems and lower the chances of cardiovascular problems.
Numerous studies have shown that polyphenol-rich diets can have a positive impact on blood pressure levels. Elderberry uses this to its advantage with a high anthocyanin and flavonoid composition. The elderberry extract can lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients by relaxing the blood vessels.
- Read the studies on elderberry and blood pressure.
Cholesterol & Triglycerides
Elderberry’s composition works to bring the body’s HDL and LDL function to an optimum ratio. This means it can ensure the body has adequate amounts of good and bad cholesterol. It is also helpful in controlling the number of triglycerides in the body and avoiding metabolic disorders.
- Read the studies on elderberry for cholesterol.
Diabetes & Blood Sugar
Trials with elderberry extract have shown that it can significantly reduce fasting glucose and insulin resistance in the body. This effect on glucose metabolism eventually leads to balanced levels of blood sugar and reduced risk of type II diabetes.
- Read the studies on elderberry and diabetes.
5. Fights Chronic Diseases
Elderberry is a valuable addition to the list of cancer-inhibiting natural supplements. Studies have evaluated its impact on various kinds of tumors with some success. They conclude that it may be able to reduce tumor cell proliferation to control the growth and expansion of cancer.
- Read the studies on elderberry for cancer.
6. Enhances Skin Health
The anthocyanins and antioxidants from elderberries are the skin’s best friend. They have much to contribute towards its health, hydration, color, and aging. Elderberry can slow down skin photoaging, accelerate acne scar treatment and enhance overall skin health. That also includes scalp health through topical application, which ultimately leads to improved hair growth.
- Read the studies on elderberry benefits for skin.
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
Apart from water and elderberry being the two most obvious ingredients, elderberry syrup is open to some customization. You can beef it up a bit by adding cinnamon and ginger to make a product rich in natural anti-inflammatory nutrients.
However, you may add or subtract these additional ingredients depending upon availability. For instance, a dash of turmeric can lend some extra immune support, or a few drops of lemon juice can enhance the flavor.
The elderberry syrup recipe is simple and inexpensive compared to store-bought elderberry syrup. It only uses a few basic pantry staples and is open to customization.
- Pour 3.5 cups of water, 2 cups of dried elderberries, and other spices and herbs into a pan. Preferably, use a stick of cinnamon and 2 tsp of ginger.
- Wait for the mixture to boil and lower the heat to medium flame.
- Cover the pan and let it simmer for 45 mins to an hour.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.
- Grab a spoon or a potato ricer to mash the berries in the mixture. This ensures that no extract is left behind.
- Pour through a strainer and discard the leftover berries.
- Once it is completely cool, add a cup of raw honey and gently stir.
- Transfer to a bottle or jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Other Ways to Take Elderberry
Elderberry gummies are a great way to escape the hassle of making syrup at home and obtain a thoroughly beneficial supplement. The elderberry gummy benefits originate from the combination of the rich nutrient base of elderberry extract with additional vitamin C and zinc to provide unparalleled immunity.
You may also skip elderberry syrup to make a cup of warm, healthy elderberry tea at home. While it may not be as effective as gummies, it’s a quick recipe for escaping mild symptoms.
Lastly, you may consider elderberry pills if you prefer capsules over other options.
Side Effects and Dosage
How much elderberry should you take per day? You should only consume 150-300 mg of elderberry extract per day. If you have a homemade syrup, you should only consume 1-2 tablespoons a day. As for gummies, this equates to about 2-4 gummies per day.
If you buy an elderberry supplement from a health store, make sure to check the elderberry content on the back of the product.
What are the side effects of elderberry syrup? You are at no risk of side effects if you consume elderberry as a supplement with the recommended dosage. However, ingesting raw elder fruit can be toxic and lead to digestive issues.
Who should not take elderberry? Women should not take elderberry during pregnancy as we lack research to support its safety during pregnancy. People with thyroid disease should also avoid elderberry until they speak with a medical professional.
- Learn More: Is Elderberry Safe for Kids?
Final Thoughts on Health Benefits of Elderberry Syrup
There is substantial evidence available to award elderberry syrup as the gatekeeper of human health. The plant derivative relieves the human body of many different ailments and maintains the healthy functioning of the immune system.
The berries can be prepared and consumed in various ways, adding to their versatility. The benefits of elderberry syrup make it a practical and inexpensive approach for daily consumption.
Yet, if you’re looking for a more power-packed product, consider using elderberry gummies so you can get the added vitamin C and zinc for maximum immune support.
- Our Picks: Best Elderberry Gummies