Elderberry for Winter Wellness: Research Roundup


This time of year, it seems no matter where you go—grocery stores, elevators, public transportation—someone is sneezing or coughing. Not to mention preschool pickup! Did that kid really just wipe his runny nose with his hand and then grab the doorknob? It’s enough to make you want to retreat into your house with a bottle of sanitizer and stay inside until spring. Well, there is an alternative plan that might leave you and your family a little less stir-crazy. Elderberry!

Lots of different cultures, from Native Americans to Russians to Germans, have used these sweet, dark-purple berries in their traditional folk remedies. What’s really notable is they all used them for the same thing: to bolster immune function.* That doesn’t sound like a coincidence.

Modern research agrees: Elderberry supercharges immunity!

Multiple human clinical studies from researchers all over the world have proven elderberry’s immune-supporting power.* Here’s a rundown of the results:

Here’s a rundown of the results:

  • A Chinese study found that when college students felt out of sorts, taking elderberry helped keep their body temperature in the normal range while supporting nasal and respiratory comfort.*<1> The placebo-takers weren’t so fortunate.
  • In an Israeli study that took place in a kibbutz, where people live in close contact with each other, people who were feeling off took either elderberry or a placebo. Nearly all the volunteers who took elderberry were feeling better within three days, while those who got placebos took at least six days to get back on their feet.*<2>
  • Another study, conducted in Norway, had very similar results to the Israeli study. The patients who took elderberry felt better on average four days quicker than those taking sugar pills. The researchers concluded that elderberry seems to be “efficient, safe, and cost-effective.”*<3>
  • The most recent study recruited Australians who were feeling well but were about to travel by air, a notorious breeding ground for the nasties. Some of the volunteers took elderberry starting ten days before their flight plus five days after they landed, while others took a placebo for the same time period. Among folks who felt run down after the flight, the lucky ducks who took elderberry had milder discomfort and, just as in the studies above, were feeling better about twice as fast as those who didn’t.*<4>

The science behind the superhero

One reason elderberries love your immune system is their high vitamin C content.* One cup of the fresh berries provides an impressive 87 percent of the Daily Value (DV). Another reason is the superstar phytonutrients they naturally contain. Elderberry boasts several antioxidant phytonutrients such as anthocyanins and flavonoids. Based on laboratory research, scientists think elderberry’s flavonoids in particular may zap foreign invaders.*<5>

All the glory, without all the glucose

The most common form of elderberry on the store shelves is a syrup. But as you can imagine, syrups are full of sugar—the last thing your immune system needs when it’s fighting a battle (sugar depresses immunity). The good news is there’s another way to get your elderberry on.

Flora’s Elderberry Crystals are a convenient, great-tasting way to support immune health this winter. They contain just one ingredient: pure, vacuum-dried, organic elderberry juice powder. Mix the fast-dissolving crystals into your favorite juice, smoothie, or beverage for a delicious daily boost, or take them at the first sign of discomfort.* There’s a version for grownups and a version for kids, so the whole family’s covered. Both products are gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. Now that’s sweet!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

  • <1> King HF. Online J Pharmacol Pharmacokinetics. 2009;5:32-43.
  • <2> Zakay-Rones Z, et al. J Altern Complement Med 1995 Winter; 1(4):361-9.
  • <3> Zakay-Rones Z, et al. J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40.
  • <4> Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Nutrients. 2016 Apr;8(4):182.
  • <5> Roschek B Jr, et al. Phytochem. 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61.