WTF are elderberries?

Our “WTF” series will focus on one elusive health term that maybe you’ve heard of but never fully understood. So, please, allow us to clear things up and break it all down for you.

Elderberries, which have been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries, are berries similar in appearance to blueberries that have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating and antidepressant properties. They also contain high levels vitamin C, amino acids and flavonoids, among other components. This means that the fruit is highly effective at reducing cold and flu symptoms (especially those that are more respiratory in nature) because all of these properties are what rid our bodies of toxins and the effects they have on us.

For these reasons elderberries can be a tremendous help when it comes to both preventing and alleviating allergic rhinitis, hay fever, bacterial infections and viral infections.

This study in particular found that participants who took an elderberry extract 10 days before traveling up until four or five days after arriving at their destination experienced cold symptoms for two less days than those in the placebo group. They also experienced less severity with their symptoms.


How should you add elderberries to your immune-boosting routine?

Additionally, if not preparing an elderberry tincture, make sure any product purchased is organic and being sold at a reputable retailer. Whole Foods is a great place to start.

Finally, anyone with kidney problems or allergies to plants in the honeysuckle family is not advised to use elderberry products as they may exacerbate certain problems or reactions.


Cold and flu sufferers are typically advised by doctors to let the illness run its course.