3 Powerful Health Benefits Of Elderberry + What To Look For In A Supplement

Autumn is here and that means elderberry season. This plant is not only delicious but incredibly good for you, with a whole array of health benefits. If you’re wanting some natural protection from the ills and chills or simply looking to do a bit of your own wild foraging, then you have come to the right place.

This blog summarises all the amazing health benefits that elderberry has to offer, how to make your own elderberry jam as well as what to look for in an elderberry supplement.


Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a common European hedge tree or shrub that was introduced to New Zealand. Both the flowers and the berries hold medicinal value. The small white flowers (elderflowers) emerge around spring when things start to warm up.

These beautiful flowers have some amazing health benefits of their own. The berries follow in the later part of spring and early autumn. They are small, shiny and purplish black and should not be eaten raw as they contain lectins which can cause gastrointestinal upsets, but the lectins are destroyed when the berries are heated.


1. Elderberry has therapeutic uses and actions

Due to the incredible health benefits of elderberry it is utilised in a multitude of different ways like tinctures, teas, tonics and syrups.

You will find an abundance of recipes online that include elderberry. But if you’re looking to have all the hard work done for you then our Immunity Tonic and Switchel hero this amazing plant and it’s a must in every household to help support healthy immune systems.


The elderflowers have the following actions and health benefits:

- Diaphoretic (help with fever management)
- Diuretic (can help with excess fluid)
- Anti catarrhal (reduces runny nose symptoms)
- Anti-inflammatory (reducing inflammation)

🌿Related: 5 Incredible Elderflower Health Benefits

The elderberries have the following actions and health benefits:

  • High in flavonoids (like quercetin and rutin which are used to support healthy inflammation levels and also can help with immune modulation (evening out the immune system).
  • High in Vitamin A and Vitamin C which support healthy mucous membranes, eyes, immune system and support healthy heart, lungs and kidneys.
  • Anthocyanins - this helps as an antioxidant so reduces the effect of free radical damage from pollution, stress, and life.


2. Elderberry can help support your immune system

Records of elderberry's health benefits and medicinal use date back to over a thousand years ago. Today however the internal use of elderberry has been approved by the German Commission E. This is a scientific advisory board of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices formed in 1978. They give scientific expertise for the approval of substances used in traditional, folk and herbal medicine.

Elderberry has been shown to be effective at inhibiting the proliferation of 10 strains of influenza virus types A and B. It also holds promise in supporting anti viral actions with HSV-1.


The antiviral action comes from the ability of agglutinin (a substance in the blood that causes particles to coagulate) which interacts the viral coat-protein which then prevents the virus from entering cells and then replicating. Basically it stops the bad guy from getting in.

3. Elderberry can help when you have the ills and chills

Elderberry health benefits even extend to helping you when you have ills and chills by supporting the body to increase cytokine production. Basically it helps you fight things off more efficiently. Elderberry seems to help strengthen the cell membranes to prevent viruses from being able to penetrate our body cells (as we stated above) therefore stopping it from getting in and replicating - and then making us ill.

Elderberries have one the highest antioxidants of all the berries - which is important as we are often subject to free radical damage (FRD) which is a fancy term for just living. FRD is from stress, pollution, poor diet or un-wellness and can make us feel fatigued or just generally average.

They also impart an anti-inflammatory action which is of great help when we are under the weather. This action seems to come from the ursolic acid present within the plant. Elderberry health benefits don’t stop there, as they can also help with rheumatism and also assist with coughs, making this a powerhouse plant.

How to make elderberry jam

Obviously we love elderberry for its amazing health benefits and our Immunity Tonic and Switchel hold a high dose of our favourite berry. We have done all the picking and processing for you - you just have to decide how to have it - hot, cold or neat! But if you are lucky to have elderberries - you could try making an elderberry jam:

Elderberry Jam

1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of redcurrants
1 cup of elderberries
1/2 cup rosehips
1 Tbsp honey
Cinnamon to taste

  1. Place all berries and rosehips in a saucepan. Cover with a few centimetres of water and place a lid on top and bring to boil. Turn down to simmer until water has evaporated and berries are soft. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  2. Puree the berries and add honey and cinnamon.
  3. Put in sterilised jar in the fridge for 2 weeks or give to a friend or family member.

What to look for in an elderberry supplement

There are many different types of elderberry supplements on the market, some are made with dried berries others are added to gummies or chews, or more synthetic products. While this may be more convenient, the medicinal effect may be reduced. Many gummies on the market have little to no elderberry content, making them less than effective and unlikely that you’ll reap the health benefits of elderberry.

We use fresh, local berries grown in Aotearoa. We know exactly where the berries you are drinking came from and we are proud of being able to trace it back to exact farms, places and trees. Plus we jam pack them into our products so you and your family get the best and the most potent elderberry content to support wellbeing.



Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40. doi: 10.1177/147323000403200205. PMID: 15080016.

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
Yay! Now check your inbox to confirm your subscription
This email has been registered