Flu Fighter: Elderberry Boosts Immune and Battles the Flu Symptoms

Looking for ways to fight the flu? With cold and flu season still in full swing, elderberry is one option.

Elderberry contains concentrated amounts of vitamin C, flavinoids, fruit acids, and anthocyanic pigments. Elderberries contain more vitamin C than any other herbs except rosehips and black currant. Elderberr yalso outranks blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and blackberries in terms of total flavonol content. Flavonoids have antioxidant properties and may help prevent damage to the body’s cells.

Recent studies have also indicated that elderberry may have antiviral activity, increasing its value as a preventative measure.

Flu Fighting

The Herbal Information Center reports elderberry has remarkable value in fighting flu and similar viruses. One study suggested that the elderberry extract called Sambucol could shorten flu duration by up to three days.

An additional benefit of elderberry is its ability to help break fevers. It promotes profuse sweating. These properties help make elderberry valuable as an “after the fact” supplement to speed the healing process.

How Elderberry is Used

For health care, elderberry is available as a liquid, syrup, and tincture It can also be found in capsule and lozenge forms.

Raw berries should not be eaten.

Cautions for Using Elderberry

Viewed as an immune booster, elderberry should be avoided by those with autoimmune diseases. These include MS, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis as well as others. Taking elderberry could increase symptoms of those diseases.

Always consultant with your health care provider before taking any supplements and if you have any health concerns or illnesses.

Historical Notes

elderberry flower flu fighter


Elderberry is a common, shrubby tree, produces creamy flowers in early summer, followed by deep wine-colored berries in the fall. Native Americans used the flower water for eye and skin lotions. The berries were common additives for jams, pies, teas, and later wines. Elderberry wine was quite common in Colonial America. The elderberry was nick-named the “country medicine chest” because of its varied uses.