Elderberry: What is it and could it help boost your immune system?

Elderberry has been enjoying its moment in the sun lately, despite the fact that teas, syrups and extracts made from the flowers and berries of the Sambucus Nigra – the European elderberry or black elder – have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used elderberry to treat burns, and Native Americans and Europeans have used it to prevent and treat infections.

So why the recent popularity?

Lately, elderberry has been touted as a way to reduce the length and severity of the flu, by preventing the release of the virus from infected cells. It has been shown to have a similar effect on COVID-like viruses; a 2019 study in the journal Virus Research showed elderberry can significantly inhibit the binding of COVID-like viruses to cells and prevented it from replicating in a test tube.

Additionally, a 2011 study found elderberry to support immune function by increasing the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. Then, a 2017 study discussed elderberry’s antiviral and anti-microbial properties and found it to inhibit the growth of bacteria like H. Pylori and improve the symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis.

What do the experts say?

“Research has found elderberry to help reduce the severity of flus and other illnesses, but volume and frequency of dosage has not been consistent, so more research is needed,” says Jenn Gargiulo, RDN, CSSD. “However, elderberry is also a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants like flavanols and anthocyanins, which are generally beneficial to your health.”

What’s so beneficial about elderberry containing flavonoids and anthocyanins?

Flavonoids are the phytochemicals responsible for the vivid colors and aromas of fruits and vegetables, and anthocyanins are the specific type of flavonoid that give elderberries their dark purple color. They are anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant, and are rich in micro-nutrients. They reduce oxidative stress on the body, which can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes and neurodegenerative disease.

Kore Immune Boost contains 100 mg of elderberry extract in each three-tablet serving. Add to a balanced diet to maintain health and well-being.