How to Take Elderberry Syrup—The Ultimate 2024 Guide

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Although its popularity is relatively recent, elderberry has been used to treat flu and cold symptoms for centuries. And with the coronavirus pandemic still plaguing the world, who doesn’t want to strengthen their health?

However, after you get your hands on this natural medicine, you might be confused about the best way to use it. Fortunately for you, this guide on how to take elderberry syrup will explain everything there is to know about this nourishing plant—from its many healing benefits to the potential side effects and proper dosage. Keep on scrolling to find out more.

The Uses of Elderberry Syrup

For decades, the leaves and the flowers of the Sambucus nigra tree have been used for inflammation, pain relief, swelling, and other ailments. Besides serving as a diuretic and a mild laxative, the berries and their juice have been utilized in treating infections, dental pain, influenza, and migraines.

The following is a breakdown of the most basic elderberry syrup benefits:

  • Elderberry is one of the popular vitamin C foods, and it’s also rich in B6 and A.
  • 100 g of elderberries contain up to 60% of your daily vitamin C intake (36 mg).
  • It’s low in calories but high in antioxidants and fiber (so, it will keep you full).

Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at the most common health benefits of elderberry syrup.

Elderberry and Flu/Cold Symptoms

Although elderberry may not be able to prevent the flu, it may be an excellent natural treatment choice if you already have it. If you start your treatment within the first 24 hours of getting the flu, elderberry can shorten the length of the condition by up to four days. What about elderberry and COVID? Well, truth be told, there is no COVID-specific research that proves that elderberry syrup can be of any help.

That being said, since elderberries have been shown to strengthen the immune system, there are some indications they might be useful in preventing and treating some of the symptoms of the virus. However, make sure to immediately consult a healthcare professional if you notice signs of COVID-19. So, what’s the verdict? Although using elderberry syrup for colds may be effective, more research on COVID is required.

Elderberry and Sore Throat/Inflammation

Previously, we mentioned that elderberry syrup has anti-inflammatory properties. That being said, limited research has shown that using elderberry for sore throat issues can be effective. If you have older kids, or you want to make things more fun, you can freeze the elderberry syrup and make delicious popsicles. This way, you’ll reap the benefits of elderberry syrup and have a delightful treat!

On the topic of children, keep this in mind—according to experts, children above the age of 12 can supplement with elderberry syrup from a trusted supplement brand. However, for children below this age, there is not enough adequate safety information.

Here are some other black elderberry syrup benefits you should know about:

  • The available data on diabetes, elderberry might help manage the condition, but it might clash with insulin.
  • It acts as a natural laxative and diuretic.
  • It promotes mental wellbeing (may be a natural antidepressant).
  • It reduces pain.
  • It prevents herpes outbreaks.
  • It promotes healthy-looking skin.
  • It may be effective for weight loss.
  • It may be effective for gingivitis.

How to Take Elderberry Syrup—Different Ways to Incorporate It Into Your Daily Life

Taking elderberry syrup by the spoonful is perfectly fine (just remember to follow the recommended daily intake). However, if you want to make things more interesting, we recommend taking a look at the following ways to add elderberry syrup to a well-balanced diet. 

Whether you are taking this natural medicine to prevent a disease or to treat it, these tips on how to take elderberry syrup may be just what you are looking for. 

Here are our top 10 favorite ways to add elderberry syrup to your diet:

  • On a bowl of oats or porridge of your choice.
  • On waffles and pancakes as a substitute for maple syrup or honey.
  • Mixed in unsweetened dairy or non-dairy yogurt.
  • Frozen into ice cubes (by mixing with water and adding it to tea or lemonade).
  • By preparing elderberry tea (just simply stir it into a mug).
  • By mixing it in condiments (expert tip: add it to your favorite barbecue sauce for a slightly sweet aroma).
  • In your favorite morning smoothie.
  • On ice cream.
  • On fruit (it works best on tart fruit like Granny Smith apples).
  • In orange juice (you can put a spoonful on the bottom of the glass and pour the juice on top for impressive color contrast).

Elderberry Syrup Side Effects

Everything has its perks and downsides. In the case of elderberry syrup, the downsides are minimal and very rare. Nevertheless, it is important to mention these possible adverse effects, so you can be 100% safe. 

Typical side effects of elderberry syrup include:

  • weakness
  • numbness
  • stupor
  • vomiting and nausea (in case you consumed raw berries)

A word of warning: Raw elderberries are toxic and must not be consumed. By cooking the berries, the toxin in the seeds is released, making them safe. However, if you are new to elderberries and have never prepared them before, we recommend buying from a reliable source. This way, the chances of black elderberry syrup side effects cropping up will be minimized or non-existent.

What about possible allergic reactions? Well, there is a slight chance of that too. Namely, people who experience an allergic reaction to elderberry syrup can find it challenging to breathe and may develop a rash. If you notice any of these side effects, immediately discontinue use and seek out professional help.

Finally, does elderberry interact with medications? Yes, unfortunately, elderberry syrup supplements may be unsuitable for people who use certain drugs, such as immunosuppressants and medications meant to regulate blood sugar. As always, make sure to reach out to a healthcare professional for expert advice.

Can You Drink Elderberry Juice Every Day?

Yes, you can take elderberry products daily and even multiple times per day. However, keep in mind, this only refers to elderberry from reputable brands. Check the label on the product or the company’s official website to find out the precise dosage instructions.

With that being said, here is the typical elderberry syrup dosage:

  • For children above 12: 1 tablespoon or 15 ml twice per day for three days.
  • For adults: 1 tablespoon or 15 ml four times per day for up to five days.

How to Choose an Elderberry Supplement

There are some elderberry syrup products on the market claiming to do wonders. Some have only a few ingredients, while others barely fit the ingredient list on the packaging. So, what do you need to be on the lookout for when shopping? Here is a brief guideline on choosing the best elderberry syrup for you and your family.

Pure Ingredients

Ingredient purity is crucial when choosing an elderberry supplement—you want to stay away from products containing additives, fillers, and other potentially harmful substances. Hence, your best bet is sticking with organic elderberry syrup with as few added ingredients as possible (that being said, syrups with added zinc or Echinacea get a bonus point).

Company Transparency

We love brands that have nothing to hide, and we bet you do too. So, go for products by brands that offer insights into lab tests, certificates, and awards. Also, take a quick look at the customer reviews.

What Is the Best Elderberry Supplement to Take

Looking for a quick preview of our favorite elderberry syrup products? Here they are in no particular order:

  • RD Naturals Elderberry Syrup
  • NOW Foods Elderberry Liquid
  • Mary Ruth’s Liquid Elderberry Immunity
  • Elderberry Queen Elderberry Syrup
  • Maine Medicinals Elderberry Syrup
  • Nutrachamps Elderberry Liquid Drops
  • Zarbee’s Children’s Black Elderberry Syrup
  • Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup
  • Garden of Life Elderberry Syrup

If you want to read about them in more detail and find out which of them might best suit your particular needs, we recommend you take a look at our list of the best elderberry syrups of 2022.  

Bottom Line

So, that’s it, our dear reader—all that you need to know about uses for elderberry syrup and how to take it. Based on the countless user testimonials by elderberry lovers, we can conclude that this natural medicine has deserved its title of the next big thing in the superfood world. Hopefully, you’ve found this guide valuable and informative.


What is the best way to take elderberry syrup?

There is no single best way to take elderberry syrup. Whether you take it straight from the spoon or drizzle it over coconut ice cream, you will make your body stronger and happier. Of course, stay within the recommended dosage guidelines.

Should you take elderberry syrup on an empty stomach?

Yes, you may. However, ask your healthcare specialist for the most accurate recommendation.

Can you take elderberry daily?

Yes, you can take elderberry daily if the product is from a reputable company. We said this a million times before, but we will repeat it—consult with a professional first, not only on how to take elderberry syrup, but also on whether you should do so at all.

Table of Contents
The Uses of Elderberry Syrup How to Take Elderberry Syrup—Different Ways to Incorporate It Into Your Daily Life Elderberry Syrup Side Effects Can You Drink Elderberry Juice Every Day? How to Choose an Elderberry Supplement What Is the Best Elderberry Supplement to Take Bottom Line
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