Herb Notes: The Benefits of Elderberry

Even if you’re not a total herb nerd, chances are you’ve probably heard of elderberry. Elderberry (Sambucus cerulea, S. nigra, S. canadensis) boasts many benefits and is most well-known as a gentle immune-supporting, antiviral herb. The benefits of elderberries go way beyond its immune-bolstering properties, though. What’s more, the flowers of elder also boast many healing gifts.

Want to learn more about the gifts of elder?

Let’s dive into three key health benefits of elder…

1.Elderberry for Immune Support

Traditional knowledge and modern research show that elderberry can both help prevent colds and flu and also shorten their duration. Many of these studies have been done with elderberry syrup, which is a simple preparation that also happens to taste delicious.

During cold and flu season, I like to take a daily shot of elderberry syrup to help bolster my immune system. If I’m in the mood for a less-sweet preparation, I like to make a decoction with the berries and sip on this throughout the day — you can also freeze this decoction using an ice cube tray, and then conveniently add these ice cubes to your water or tea on days when you don’t have the time to simmer a decoction.

2. Elderberry as an Anti-Inflammatory

In addition to supporting immune health, elderberry can also act as a systemic anti-inflammatory. The berries are a rich source of flavonoids and have traditionally been used to help address arthritic pain.1

A syrup or tea of elderberry is a great way to enjoy these benefits, or you can also easily make elderberry gummies

3. Elderflower for Skin Health

Just as elderberries are anti-inflammatory, elderflowers also have a particular affinity for addressing inflammation in the skin. Topical applications of elderflower in the forms of washes, creams, or lotions can help support minor rashes and sunburns. And elderflower tea makes for a wonderfully soothing daily face wash.

Want to Learn More About The Benefits of Elderberry?

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the health benefits of elderberry, you might be wondering how you can learn more about the medicinal properties of this powerful plant.

Well, here’s the easy way to get more info about elderberry: download a FREE deck of our top 12 Herb Notes here. You’ll learn all about the medicinal properties of elderberry plus 11 other common herbs like echinacea, dandelion, and more.

PS… And before I go, I couldn’t help but answer a few frequently asked questions about elderberry...


Discover Elderberry with our
Free Herb Notes Flashcards


What can I make with elderberry?

There are so many wonderful things you can make with elderberry. Some of my favorite folk medicine recipes include an elderberry cough syrup blend, a simple elderberry syrup, elderberry gummies, elderberry sore throat spray, and an elderberry tea.

Once you have an elderberry syrup you can also experiment with adding this to other things. I often like to add a spoonful of elderberry syrup to a cocktail or mocktail, and it also tastes lovely swirled into a cup of tea.

What form of elderberry is most effective?

All of the recipes I’ve mentioned above are effective ways to intake elderberry. When working with elderberry, it’s important to prepare it properly as raw elderberries and undercooked elderberries can make some people nauseous. (This applies for all of the elder species mentioned above, including Sambucus cerulea, S. nigra, S. canadensis.)

It’s also important to note that while elderflowers and elderberries are gentle herbs, the bark, twigs, roots, and leaves of elder should not be ingested

Does elderberry help if you are already sick with the common cold?

Yes, if taken while sick with a cold, elderberry can help shorten the duration of the cold.

onion syrup

Show 1 footnote

  1. de la Forêt, Rosalee “Elder Monograph.” HerbMentor. Accessed January 5th, 2024. https://learningherbs.com/herbmentor/

Comments are closed.

Get 23 Of Our Very Best Herbal Recipe Cards… FREE!

Printable one-page recipe cards are uniquely designed for kitchen remedy making…

  • Body Butter
  • Elderberry Gummies
  • Evergreen Lip Balm
  • Garden Incense
  • Cinnamon Milk
  • Spice & Tea Blends
  • Whole Food Vitamin C Pills
  • …and 15 more of our most popular recipes!

Scroll to Top

HerbMentor hosts many courses including Getting Started with Herbs, Herbal Basics, Wildcrafter’s Toolkit & Cultivating Wellness… our Community Forum… Plant Walks, Exclusive Herbal Monographs and more.

This site hosts Apothecary, Herb Fairies, the Herbal Remedy Kit videos, Herbal Cold Care and Taste of Herbs.