Elderberry is a centuries-old natural remedy.
Hippocrates, the Greek physician and father of medicine, called the elder tree his “medicine chest” because of its endless healing properties and uses, and historians believe many parts of the shrub were used before antibiotics for natural ointments and medicines. Elderberries have been praised for healing everything from influenza to kidney and bladder infections. During the nineteenth century, an American soldier visiting Portugal even claimed that drinking port wine mixed with Elderberry juice relieved rheumatic pains.
Elderberries contain powerful antioxidants which work to keep the immune system strong and resilient
fighting colds and flu
improve bowel function
protect against colorectal cancer
reduce blood pressure
protect against cardiovascular disease
The most common variant of the elderberry is the black elder, and it continues to be one of the most esteemed natural remedies today for its immune boosting magic and antioxidant properties. Here are a few ways of the ways you can incorporate this multifunctional berry into your wellness routine.
Where To Buy Elderberries
And How To Prepare Them
Elderberries are not always safe to consume when picked in the wild and you shouldn’t eat them raw. We recommend buying your elderberries online or from a local, reliable source in your community. You can also ask your local grocery store if they can order elderberries for you if they don’t already carry them.
Our favorite online source for elderberries is Frontier, a member-owned and sustainable co-op selling dried organic elderberries. You can use these dried berries to make all of the recipes below.
Price | $21/pound
One of our favorite ways to consume nature’s most potent nutrients is in warm beverage, so we love this immune-boosting tea recipe made with dried elderberries, cinnamon, and turmeric. Even better, this recipe works for iced tea as well for a tasty and refreshing drink in the warmer months. Elderberry tea is wonderful for reducing fevers and aiding stomach discomfort, as well as warding off the cold and flu. Some even believe drinking elderberry tea can clear and soften skin.
If you’d prefer pre-made tea, the organic elderberry tea from Buddha Teas is made with bleach-free, biodegradable bags and it is naturally sourced from Albania. This tea is kosher and is also free from caffeine, GMOs and gluten.
Price | $10/box (18 tea bags)
Elderberry Syrup + Jam
For a natural alternative to cough medicine, try your hand at making an elderberry syrup or jam. Detoxinista has a simple recipe that makes fifty servings—she recommends taking a spoonful within 48 hours of flu or cold symptoms. Alternatively, use the syrup in fizzy drinks or as a natural sweetener in cocktails.
Another delicious way to enjoy the taste and health benefits of elderberry is in homemade jam. Perfect on toast, pancakes, waffles, or by the spoonful, this recipe by Whole New Mom is not only delicious, but vegan, sugar-free, and magically-made using only four ingredients.
Not up for making your own syrup or jam? Pick up a bottle of elderberry syrup from Gaia Herbs. It’s made with immune-boosting whole foods and organic elderberries and can be used to ward off cold-weather sicknesses. They also have a nighttime syrup to aid with sleep.
Price | $22/3 oz bottle
Elderberry Capsules + Gummies
Not all of us are fans of DIY recipes, which is perfectly okay! For our readers who’d rather not experiment with tinctures, jams, or homemade teas, we recommend adding a bottle of elderberry capsules to your medicine cabinet for optimal wellness and antioxidant support.
Havasu Nutrition’s Premium Elderberry Gummies
With more than 600 five-star reviews, Havasu Nutrition’s plant-based pectin gummy is ideal for getting all the health benefits of elderberries in a tiny and tasty chewable. These gummies are made without gelatin, GMOs, corn syrup, or glucose syrup.
Price | $13/bottle
Gaia Herbs’ Elderberry Capsules
Similar to their syrup, Gaia Herbs’ Elderberry Capsules are made with organic black elderberry extract and are just as potent as the syrup. Acerola fruit extract (cherry) is added to the vegan capsules for additional antioxidants and Vitamin C. Take one a day for year-long immune and antioxidant support.
Price | $19/bottle
Kayti Christian, a staff writer for The Good Trade, is a storyteller, creator, activist, and avid traveler hailing from Colorado, now living in London. With 30+ stamps in her passport, she is passionate about responsible tourism and is always looking for new ways to be a more conscious traveler. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at City, University of London.