The 9 Best Elderberry Supplements of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Support your immune system with antioxidant-rich elderberry

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Our Top Picks
"Safe and effective for the entire family (age 1+)."
"500 milligrams of elderberry at an affordable price."
"This USDA Organic product contains only five whole-food ingredients."
"Uses organic agave syrup instead of honey or sugar."
"Specially formulated for children ages 2 and up to boost immunity without questionable ingredients."
"A great option, especially for those who don’t like to drink syrup or take capsules."
"Convenient, concentrated immune support."
"The lozenges contain a blend of elderberry, vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea."
"A blend of echinacea, elderberry, ginger, chamomile, yarrow, and peppermint."

Known as Sambucus nigra, elderberry has been used throughout history as a folk remedy to fight cold and flu symptoms. Research shows that elderberry is somewhat protective against the flu virus and cold-causing bacteria, so adding this supplement to your flu-season routine (or any time throughout the year) may be beneficial. The berries are now commercially made into various remedies with cold-busting potential, including syrups, lozenges, gummies, teas, and capsules.

Here are the best elderberry supplements for you.

Best Overall: Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup

Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup is a great-tasting, organic, super-concentrated syrup that can be used daily to support the immune system during flu season and throughout the year. The plant-based supplement is safe and effective for the entire family (age 1+). 

The syrup is vegan and also free of corn, dairy, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and yeast. According to Gaia, each teaspoon of the syrup contains the equivalent of 14.5 grams of fresh elderberries. In addition to elderberry, the Gaia product contains acerola, an immunity-boosting fruit with very high vitamin C content.

Gaia Herbs’ Black Elderberry Syrup is not only tasty, but it’s also high quality. The USDA Organic product is produced in Italy by Aboca, a trusted partner of Gaia. The product is purity tested to ensure that it is free of pesticides, microbes and heavy metals. Gaia also supports traceability by sharing the results of product screenings online at meetyourherbs.com.

Best Budget: NOW Supplements Elderberry Capsules

The Now Foods Elderberry Supplements are the best budget find, as they provide a great dose of elderberry at an affordable price. Each bottle contains 60 vegetarian capsules full of 500 milligrams of elderberry in a 10:1 concentrate. The brand highlights the powers of elderberry beyond cold and flu, especially the high antioxidant potential that helps to scavenge free radicals to reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage.

NOW is a USA-based, family-owned and operated business that has been making supplements since 1968. With a mission to provide value in products to empower people to lead healthier lives, NOW is a leader in the natural products industry. 

The elderberry capsules are GMP quality-assured, meaning that they are tested for stability, potency, and product formula. What you see on the label is what you get in the product. Reviewers rave about the flu-fighting power of these capsules, which are easier to swallow than sticky syrup.

Best Syrup for Kids: Gaia Kids Black Elderberry Syrup

The well-known Gaia brand makes their Black Elderberry Syrup (our overall top pick), just for kids! The delicious, kid-friendly elderberry syrup can help to support children’s immune systems all year long. The product contains honey, so it is recommended for use in children over the age of 1. It can be used once daily as immune support, or up to twice daily for additional support when a child is feeling under the weather.

This USDA Organic product contains only five whole-food ingredients (plus water): elderberry fruit juice concentrate, acerola fruit extract, organic cane sugar, organic honey, and lemon fruit juice. The sugar and honey add a hint of sweetness to make the syrup more palatable, while the lemon juice helps to preserve freshness. Acerola fruit is very high in vitamin C (even more than oranges ), so it adds an extra immune boost.

Gaia recommends adding the syrup to water or juice for a great-tasting, immune-supporting beverage.

Best Syrup: Nature's Way Standardized Elderberry Syrup

Nature’s Way provides a delicious-tasting syrup that is organic, kosher certified, gluten-free, and vegan. The syrup is also free of dairy, soy, nuts, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. This delicious-tasting syrup formulated for children and adults offers traditional immune support full of Sambucus nigra L., or elderberry.

While most syrups are sweetened with honey or sugar, Nature’s Way uses organic agave syrup to create a great-tasting supplement. Each 2-teaspoon serving provides 100 milligrams of powerful, organic black elder extract (Sambucus nigra L.). Nature’s Way makes their syrup from a premium cultivar of organic elderberries grown in Austria, and they use a gentle, solvent-free extraction method to create the elderberry extract.

This process ensures maximum flavonoid potential, meaning you will reap all the antioxidant and immune-boosting benefits. The Nature’s Way elderberry extract is tested for bioavailability, so you know you are getting a high-quality, active supplement.

Best Gummies for Kids: New Chapter Kids Organic Elderberry Gummies

If your child isn't a fan of liquid but loves gummies, these Organic Elderberry Whole-Food Gummies from New Chapter are an excellent way to support your little one's immune system. The great-tasting gummies are specially formulated for children ages 2 and up to boost immunity without questionable ingredients. Unlike other gummies on the market, New Chapter Kids Elderberry gummies are made with real fruit and no cane sugar, corn syrup, or agave.

The naturally sweet supplements are made with real organic apple juice and sustainably-sourced black elderberry from Austria. The high-quality elderberry is highly concentrated in a solvent-free process, resulting in pure extract concentrated 64 times for optimal benefit. The USDA Organic gummies are vegan, NSF-Certified Gluten-Free, non-GMO, and kosher.

Best Gummies: Zarbee's Naturals Elderberry Immune Support Gummies

Gummies are an easy, fun, and delicious way for adults and children to take supplements. The Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support Gummies are no exception. Each colorful bottle contains 42 gummies that can be chewed—and enjoyed—any time of day. These are a great option, especially for those who don’t like to drink syrup or take capsules. 

Zarbee’s Naturals uses plant-based pectin (from apples) to thicken and set their gummies, as opposed to animal-based gelatin that other companies use. This makes the gummies both vegan and vegetarian-friendly. Zarbee’s boosts the elderberry gummies with additional immune system support by adding vitamins A, C, E, D3, and zinc. The product is free from alcohol, so it’s great for ages 12 and up, or those who prefer alcohol-free supplements.

As a company, Zarbee’s aims to provide wholesome, safe, and chemical-free immune support options for children and their parents. The company sources elderberries from Austria to provide high quality, great-tasting gummies.

Best Capsules: Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Capsules

The organic, plant-based Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry capsules provide convenient, concentrated immune support. Capsules are a great way to get the immune-boosting benefits of elderberry, especially for those who don’t like to drink syrup or chew gummies. The vegan capsules are also gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free. They’re purity-tested to provide the highest quality supplement, and Gaia ensures that no fillers or sweeteners are used.

Each bottle provides a 30-day supply of the potent black elderberry extract and acerola fruit combination. Acerola is incredibly high in immune-boosting vitamin C and works synergistically with elderberry to provide daily and seasonal immune support. 

The capsules provide all the benefits of the trusted Gaia Herbs elderberry syrup in an easy, less messy format. The black elderberry extract is concentrated to provide 10,112 milligrams of fresh herb equivalent per serving.

Best Lozenges: Nature's Way Elderberry Immune Lozenges

The renowned Nature’s Way brand provides powerful immune support in lozenge form. Nature’s Way Elderberry Immune Lozenge contains a blend of elderberry, vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea to help support the immune system of children (age 5+) and adults. Vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea are all research-backed, cold-fighting ingredients that make the elderberry lozenge an even more effective remedy.

The lozenges dissolve slowly in the mouth and are another way to reap the benefits of elderberry on the go. The lozenges can be used in place of syrup, capsules, or gummies and contain very small amounts of sugar when compared with syrup (in the form of sucrose and fructose). 

The lozenges contain the same high-quality elderberry extract as the syrup, which is extracted from the berries using a solvent-free method to ensure maximum flavonoid potency. Nature’s Way recommends that adults take one lozenge up to four times daily, whereas children age 5 and older take one lozenge one to two times daily. With 30 lozenges per package, the lozenges may not provide as many servings as capsules or syrup, but the convenient package can be a great immune booster while on the go.

Best Tea: Traditional Medicinals Organic Echinacea Plus Elderberry Tea

Drink up the benefits of elderberry by brewing up a cup of delicious, warming herbal tea. Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus Elderberry Herbal Tea. This naturally caffeine-free tea is non-GMO and USDA Organic. Each box of tea provides sixteen individually wrapped tea bags, so you can brew up a cup of tea to support immune function anywhere and anytime.

Each tea bag combines with 8 ounces of water to provide a blend of echinacea, elderberry, ginger, chamomile, yarrow, and peppermint. Fans of the tea love the mild, distinct flavor and report that they love to sip on it all day long.

Final Verdict

For a great-tasting, organic, super-concentrated syrup that can be used daily to support the immune system during flu season and throughout the year, try Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup. For a more budget-friendly option, consider NOW Supplements' Elderberry Capsules.

What to Look for in an Elderberry Supplement

Form: Elderberry supplements are available in various forms, such as capsules, teas, lozenges, and liquids. If you have trouble swallowing pills, you may prefer a liquid, chewable, or gummy supplement. If you're looking to bring your elderberry with you while traveling, capsules or tea may be easier to pack.

Type: Look for a supplement that is made with the highest quality elderberry you can find and that fits within your budgetary constraints. Choosing a USDA Organic elderberry supplement ensures that you're getting a product made with top quality ingredients. Always take a look at the ingredient list to ensure that the top ingredient is elderberry, also known as Sambucus nigra. It may be listed as elderberry syrup, elderberry juice, or black elderberry extract.

Dosage: It's important to note that elderberry supplements may optimize and bolster your immunity; however, it's always a good idea to check with your physician before adding any supplement to your routine. Specifically, ask your health care provider about the specific supplement you intend to add and the dosage that is right for you.

What Experts Say

"Elderberry syrup is an essential part of a well-stocked natural medicine cabinet. It provides safe and effective support for many respiratory complaints that commonly arise during cold and flu season. There are multiple double-blind, randomized controlled trials—the gold standard of research studies—that suggest elderberry may be effective for fighting influenza."—Kiran Khaira, ND, MA

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am careful to recommend supplements, including herbal products such as elderberry. I spent time reviewing the most current research on elderberry, and I looked at multiple brands and products. I believe the supplements in the round-up are made by trusted brands that are devoted to product purity and are composed of high-quality ingredients.

Personally, I take elderberry during cold and flu season to boost my immune system. — Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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