Elderberry: Health Benefits, Risks, Uses, Effectiveness

What is Elderberry

Elderberry or Sambucus nigra is a fruit of the Sambucus tree. It is known as one of the medical plants in the world. Ancient Greeks are known as the first user of this plant. They used it for their pharmacy.

In general, Elderberry sprouted in Europe and North America. The Ancient Egyptians, Native Americans and Hippocrates used it for medical treatment. Europeans and Native Americans used it to treat respiratory issues, infections respectively.

It is considered a supplementary treatment element for treating flu and cold symptoms. Though Elderberry is good for health, raw berries, bark, and leaves are poisonous to the human body.

The main contents of this article:

  • Nature & Growth of Elderberry
  • Nutrient of Elderberry
  • Benefits of Elderberry
  • Risk Factors & Remedies

Nature & Growth

The Sambucus tree is a medicinal plant with clusters of small white or cream elderflowers. It is a wild-growing plant. It produces black or red berries, which are small in size. Moist,well-drained and moderately acidic soil is the best for the growth of Elderberry plants. It is grown up to approximately 30 feet. Good air circulation and whole sunlight are preferable for it. This plant comes from North and South America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. It can be planted in Spring or in the Fall.

Nutreint of Elderberry

What is Elderberry
What is Elderberry

Elderberries contain low-calorie food .145 grams of fresh elderberries have 106 calories,26.7 grams of carbs and less than 1 gram of fat and protein.

The barries and the flowers of Elderberries contain antioxidants, Minerals and Vitamins that boost the human immune System.

Benefits of Elderberry

Elderberries are full of nutrient and treated as superfood, which has some benefits for the human body:

  • Vitamin C.-Per cup of fruit contains 52 mg of Vitamin C, which covers 57% of daily use.
  • Dietary fiber-Per cup of berries contains 10 grams of fibre, covering 36% of daily use.
  • Phenolic acids-Elderberries are an excellent source of Phenolic acids that can help to protect us from oxidative stress.
  • Flavonols: Elderberry refers to a good source of flavonols. It contains the antioxidant flavonols quercetin, isorhamnetin,and kaempferol.
  • It acts as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. The flowers and leaves have been used To eliminate pain, swelling, and inflammation, stimulate urine production, and induce sweating. The flowers and leaves of Elderberry are mainly used as a diuretic, Using bark is remarkable as a diuretic and a laxative.
  • As a folk medicine, berries (dry or juice form) are used to treat influenza, infections, headaches, dental pain, heart pain, and nerve pain.
  • People can eat it by cooking or making juice, jams, chutneys, pies, and elderberry wine. A sweet syrup can be prepared by boiling elderberry flowers with sugar.
  •  Elderberry reduces the level of cholesterol and also decreases the fat level. Additionally, it reduces the risk of heart disease due to anthocyanins.
  • Elderberry increases blood sugar levels.

Risk Factors & Remedies

Benefits of Elderberry
Benefits of Elderberry

Without any doubt, Elderberries have few potential benefits. But like other plants, Elderberries have some side effects associated with their consumption. These are as follows:

Diarrhoea and Nausea

The gastrointestinal System might be irritated by anthocyanins, flavonoids and tannins. Diarrhoea, stomach ache, and abdominal cramping might arise due to consuming large amounts of elderberries. 

Allergic Reactions

Elderberry allergies may cause itchy skin. It might be the cause of anaphylactic shock.

If someone faces allergies after Elderberry consumption, immediately stop having it and consult with allergic professionals. Also should avoid all foods which have Elderberry extract.

Skin Irritation

The consumption of large amounts of Elderberry can cause skin irritation. Symptoms of skin irritations are redness, itching, and small bumps or hives. Antihistamines and steroid creams can be prescribed to reduce the itch. It is recommended to avoid the consumption of elderberries.

Interactions with Medication

People must consult with a doctor before mixing Elderberries with prescribed medications. Because it has few adverse effects though clinically not determined.


Symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, fatigue, and dry mouth, which may cause excessive Elderberry consumption. Suppose anyone shows any sign of dehydration is recommended to consult a doctor. It is better to drink plenty of fluids before eating Elderberry or after eating.

Disturbance of Sleep

Overconsumption of Elderberry may cause a disturbance in sleep. Consumer May face insomnia. It mainly affects children, lactating, pregnant women and older people having sleeping disorders. It is recommended to consult with a doctor before eating Elderberry.

Imbalance of Blood Sugar

Elderberries contain high sugar levels, which may affect blood sugar levels. Due to this, serious health problems like diabetes and other physical complications may arise.

In addition, some medications may lose effectiveness due to containing compounds in Elderberry. While many health benefits are gained from eating elderberries, we need to be aware of the risk and monitor the blood sugar level before eating the amount of elderberries. Anyone also must consult the doctor if already taking any medications.

Risk of Bleeding

Elderberries contain Anticoagulants; compound elderberries might be the cause of bleeding risk. It also affects blood clotting if large doses are taken or mixed with other medications.

It is recommended to consult with a doctor who has bleeding disorders before taking elderberry supplements.

Blood Pressure

Due to several potential health benefits, elderberries have been considered a treatment element for centuries. Elderberries may affect high blood pressure. Cyanogenic glycosides acting as a vasoconstrictor may cause sudden rising blood pressure.

People having already high blood pressure should avoid taking elderberry supplements. If anyone wishes to use the elderberry supplement, it is essential to take advice from a doctor.

Overflow of Vitamin A

Elderberries contain a high level of retinol, the active Vitamin A form. Eating too many elderberries can lead to vitamin A toxicity, which can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, double vision, and skin problems.

To avoid these risk factors, you should monitor your intake. In addition, you must consult your healthcare consultant to ensure a sufficient level of Vitamin A remains in range if you are taking any other medications.

Kidney Problem

Although it is shallow in ratio, sometimes elderberry consumption can cause kidney problems. Oxalates, the compound of elderberries, can cause kidney stones in a few cases. Additionally, Elderberry has a combination which is called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. It can also be harmful to the kidneys.

If you are a kidney patient in the short term or long term, it is better to avoid elderberry consumption or consult your doctor before taking it.


Elderberries contain compounds called bioflavonoids, which can act as mild stimulants. It may cause headaches. Taking elderberries at a moderate level is necessary to reduce the risk of headaches.

If you have a headache after consuming elderberries, stop consuming them. Drinking plenty of water may help reduce the risk of headaches. Avoiding other stimulants, such as caffeine, can also help reducing headaches’ risk.

Consuming Level of Elderberry

Uncooked leaves, stems, or fruit consumed are unsafe for the human body. If consumed in large quantities, a chemical in the Elderberry leaves that produces cyanide can cause gastrointestinal discomforts like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, elderberry for flu or more severe side effects. We can get it with different from like elderberry jelly and elderberry juice.

What Do Elderberries Taste Like?

If we say about the taste of Elderberry, It is bitter, tart, and potent with toxins on the side.


Based on the discussion detailed above, elderberries are said to be most popular and demanding for their nutrient values and ability to boost the immune System. Although, it is essential to consider the risk factors of overconsuming elderberries.

Eating organic, additive-free products is a safe way. Overdose can cause digestive discomfort, headache, blood pressure rise, dehydration, and vitamin A toxicity.

Finally, it is most important to give attention to dosage management while consuming elderberry or elderberry supplements. Healthcare consultation is mandatory before taking or increasing the dose if You want to ensure a sound and healthy life.


My name is Selina, a medical specialist blogger helping people access treatment for 5+ years. Although blogging awhile, only recently deeply engaged. This past year my most productive, providing hospital reviews and info on symptoms, diagnoses and diseases. Also offer guidelines to help readers navigate healthcare. Goal to continue increased content pace to assist many. Aim to facilitate treatment and empower advocacy through writing.

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