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Learn About Elderberry Extract in 5 Minutes

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What is elderberry extract?

Elderberry extract, which is derived from the berries of the Sambucus nigra plant, has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years as a natural cure for infectious illnesses. The elderberry plant is prevalent throughout Europe and North America, and when cooked, elderberries can also be used to make jams, jellies, and juice.

In recent years, researchers have applied contemporary scientific methods to determine whether elderberry extract has genuine immune benefits. As a result, we’ve learned that elderberries appear to have potent antioxidant properties that may improve immunity, help with cardiovascular conditions, protect against UV radiation, and even exert antidepressant properties.

Is elderberry water-soluble or fat-soluble?

The main active components in elderberry extract are anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These substances are all water-soluble, which means that they absorb into your body’s tissues rapidly.

Where can elderberries be found naturally? Common sources of elderberry extract:

While some of the beneficial substances found in elderberries are also present in other natural sources, the exact ratio and concentration of these substances found in elderberry extract is not present anywhere else in nature.

What is the recommended daily value for elderberry extract?

Experts recommend that approximately 1 tablespoon of elderberry extract per day is a safe and effective dose. However, there is no official nutrient reference value (NRV) for this substance.

Can you absorb enough elderberry from food?

Elderberry extract is not commonly used in food, and elderberries are poisonous when eaten raw. Therefore, it is much more convenient to consume the beneficial substances present in elderberry extract in supplement form.

Why is elderberry necessary for your body?

Elderberry extract appears to offer one of the most potent concentrations of anthocyanins and other beneficial antioxidants commonly found in berries. Scientists aren’t quite sure why, but the unique ratio of potential antioxidants and other beneficial substances found in elderberry extract appears to be especially effective against infectious disease. Antioxidants are beneficial regardless of your health status, but if you’re concerned about viral or bacterial infections, adding elderberry extract to your daily antioxidant intake may be even more desirable.

Functions of elderberry

  • Potential antioxidant benefits: Due to its high vitamin C, anthocyanin, flavonoid, and phenolic acid content, elderberry extract is generally considered to have impressive antioxidant potential that may also exert anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Potential immune benefits: Research indicates that elderberry extract may reduce the incidence of the common cold and flu while also reducing the symptoms and duration of these common illnesses.
  • Potential cardiovascular benefits: Elderberry extract appears to reduce both cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which means that this substance could be useful for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Potential UV benefits: Research indicates that the polyphenols in elderberry extract may protect your skin from UV radiation.
  • Potential waste elimination benefits: Studies show that elderberries may improve the rate of urine excretion and increase urine salt content. Elderberries may also relieve the symptoms of constipation.
  • Potential mood benefits: Limited studies indicate that elderberry extract may have antidepressant qualities, but the potential mechanisms at work have not been identified.

When should you take elderberry extract?

Some research indicates that the antioxidants found in elderberries have cumulative effects, so you shouldn’t wait until you feel the symptoms of infectious disease to try elderberry extract. Instead, you might want to take this promising substance as a prophylactic against infectious disease, and given the fact that elderberry extract appears to have a number of benefits beyond potentially protecting you from infectious disease, there’s never a wrong time to add this natural substance to your diet.

How long do you need to take elderberry to start experiencing its benefits?

The active ingredients in elderberry extract are water-soluble, so they should take effect quickly. Like many supplements, however, elderberry extract commonly has a cumulative effect that builds over the course of 1-2 weeks.

How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb elderberry extract?

The water-soluble substances in elderberry extract have high absorption rates, and they should absorb into your tissues at close to 100% bioavailability within around 24 hours.

How long does elderberry extract stay in your body after you take it?

The water-soluble components in elderberry extract only stay in your body for 1-2 days before being excreted.

Is elderberry an antioxidant?

Research indicates that the flavonoids, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids in elderberry extract may have incredibly potent direct antioxidant properties.

Can you overdose on elderberry? What are the effects?

Elderberries are poisonous when eaten raw. When prepared properly, however, elderberry extract is not known to cause any major side effects or pose any overdose risk.

Does elderberry dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

After dissolving into your tissues, the active components in elderberry extract generally flush out of your body within 1-2 days.

Can you take elderberry extract during a diet?

Elderberry extract does not interfere with weight loss, and this natural, plant-based substance is non-GMO, vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.

Are there synthetic forms of elderberry?

No efforts have been made to synthesise the exact medley of potential antioxidants present in elderberry extract. Some of the individual antioxidants in elderberry extract have, however, been synthesised.

Absorption rate of synthetic elderberry

No data are available on the potential bioavailability of synthetic elderberry extract.

Why might natural forms of elderberry be better?

Natural elderberry extract is the only source of the exact medley of potential antioxidants present in this substance.

How to take elderberry

Elderberry extract is generally taken orally in the form of a tincture, capsule, or tablet.

Elderberry trends in medicine

In 2020, a study took a close look at the chemical composition of elderberry extract to determine this substance’s antioxidant potential, and the researchers found that elderberry extract is abundant in rutin, quercetin, gallic acid, and gentisic acid. Also in 2020, a brand-new study took a look at the antiviral properties of elderberry extract, and the researchers concluded that this substance shows promise as a potential treatment for coronavirus.


1. Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food – a review

2. Anti-Influenza Virus Effects of Elderberry Juice and Its Fractions

3. Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections

4. A Review of the Antiviral Properties of Black Elder (Sambucus Nigra L.) Products

5. Skin Photoprotection by Natural Polyphenols: Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant and DNA Repair Mechanisms

6. Effect of extracts of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth, Hieracium pilosella L., Sambucus nigra L. and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. in rats

7. Constipation and Botanical Medicines: An Overview

8. Antidepressant Activities of Sambucus Ebulus and Sambucus Nigra

9. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) as potential source of antioxidants. Characterization, optimization of extraction parameters and bioactive properties

10. Antiviral properties of Elderberry

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WeAreFeel Nutrition Team - All content provided on our blog is created exclusively for our readers by our research and nutrition team. We try to provide as much scientific backing as possible with references to support any claims made.
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