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When is the Best Time to Take Elderberry?

Michael Gonzales
December 9, 2023
When is the Best Time to Take Elderberry

Elderberry can help prevent illness or boost immunity when feeling under the weather, and is available as syrup, gummies or capsules for daily consumption.

One study demonstrated that when people took elderberry extract before and during air travel, their cold symptoms lasted less long and were milder in severity.


People have used elderberry for centuries to enhance immune function and fight colds and flu. Today it remains one of the most widely available natural supplements on the market – available as syrups, liquid extracts, gummies, etc. It often works well when combined with herbal antivirals like Echinacea for an effective germ-busting combination – not surprising given research supporting its immune-enhancing* benefits and ability to support healthy inflammation levels.

What’s the ideal time and duration of elderberry consumption? Should it be consumed morning or nighttime, and for how long is safe take elderberry supplements?

No single answer exists when it comes to using elderberry, as the optimal strategy will depend on your goals and health needs as well as which supplement type and dosage you’re taking. Before beginning any new supplements such as elderberry, such as registered dietitians, pharmacists or physicians should always be consulted in order to ensure safety as well as following any recommended dosage recommendations.

Most experts advise beginning each day right with a teaspoon of elderberry syrup as an immune-enhancing* boost, or taking an elderberry supplement such as liquid extract or gummy that’s readily available at most grocery stores and online. When selecting an elderberry supplement it’s essential to choose high quality brands with limited sugar intake as excess can compromise its immune-enhancing capabilities, according to Foroutan.

NCCAM rates elderberry juice extract as POSSIBLE SAFE when taken by mouth up to 12 weeks; more evidence may be required, however. Elderberry cannot treat or prevent diseases; thus it should be combined with healthy diet and physical exercise in order to achieve maximum effectiveness for health benefits.

People of all ages can safely take elderberry, with children particularly benefiting during cold and flu season or travel. However, for any specific health concerns it’s wise to check with their pediatrician or family physician first before giving any supplements to young children.


Elderberry has long been used as a natural remedy to relieve cold and flu symptoms. Sambucus nigra (European or black elderberry), part of the Adoxaceae family, can be found throughout temperate regions worldwide and its blossoms and dark purple or blue berries used for medicine production as well as beverages like syrup, jam and wine production.

Fruit is widely known to possess antiviral properties, with clinical studies proving its efficacy against influenza symptoms in terms of both length and severity. Not only can you find this powerful immunity booster in syrups, lozenges, gummies and liquid herbal supplements – it even comes in fruit leather!

Elderberry products can be found at most health food stores and online retailers, and should ideally contain minimal ingredients including low levels of added sugar to maximize its immune-enhancing potential. Some elderberry supplements even feature other antiviral compounds like zinc and echinacea for an effective combination of germ-fighting power.

Add elderberry to your daily regimen is safe, though the dose will depend on its intended use. “Foroutan suggests consulting a registered dietitian or nutritional specialist to find out the right dose.”

Elderberry does not come with a set dietary recommendation, and the appropriate dosage depends on your age and purpose for taking it. Some take it regularly to boost immunity; others use it at the first sign of illness, according to experts.

As some individuals can have allergic reactions to raw berries and seeds, you should try consuming only cooked versions. Also, as uncooked leaves, bark and roots of plants contain cyanide which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, it’s essential that these items be cooked before being consumed. Those allergic to honeysuckle or ragweed should consult their physician prior to taking elderberry.

In Between

Elderberry can help when an illness strikes by shortening both its length and severity of symptoms, according to research. Early intervention is key when using elderberry for immune support; taking elderberry daily may not.

Elderberry syrup or liquid extract should be taken four times per day when experiencing symptoms of flu or cold and flu-like illnesses. Some elderberry products also contain zinc and other supportive herbs for added support; talk to your healthcare provider about determining an individualized dosage plan for both children and adults.

Elderberry capsules may be easier on your stomach than syrups and concentrates, and can be found both online and at health food stores. Just be sure that any supplements purchased come from reputable companies with USP, DSVP, CL or NSF certification – these will show that your supplement meets its claims accurately and is being dosed appropriately.

Elderberry-infused gummies for children aged four years or older are an excellent way to introduce the fruit’s many health benefits, with its naturally sweet taste appealing to kids. You may also find elderberry in other forms such as teas or jellies.

Elderberry can add an interesting berry punch to any baking recipe, just be sure to consume only after they are fully ripened as unripened elderberries contain chemicals which could potentially lead to cyanide poisoning. Furthermore, it is not advised to consume seeds or roots from Sambucus plants as these contain toxic materials that should remain within them.

Though long-term studies of elderberry’s safety are limited, most available data indicates it should be safe for most healthy people when taken at recommended doses. Due to possible interactions with certain medications and medical conditions such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, it’s wise to speak to your healthcare provider regarding any concerns, particularly if any have an autoimmune disease such as Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Side Effects

Consumption of uncooked elderberries or the plant’s leaves, stems, seeds and bark may lead to abdominal distress in the form of stomach pain, bloating, nausea and changes in bowel movements. Consuming too many elderberries could also impede digestion of other food items.

Elderberry may help shorten the duration and symptoms associated with colds and flus, while also relieving associated discomforts like headache, muscle ache, and sinus pressure. Furthermore, elderberry could prevent some strains of influenza virus from replicating by inhibiting an enzyme necessary for infection across cell membranes.

Research on the efficacy of elderberry against influenza has been mixed, though some studies demonstrate its benefits when taken within 48 hours of first symptoms (for instance Sambucol by Nature’s Way) significantly alleviate and shorten how long symptoms last. Furthermore, elderberry extracts may support heart health but more research needs to be conducted on this aspect.

If you have a chronic condition, it is wise to consult your physician or dietitian prior to taking supplements, including elderberry products. This is especially true if pregnant or breastfeeding, have an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, take medications for diabetes or high blood pressure (elderberry products can lower your blood sugar and interact with certain medications), have had organ transplant surgery or have had organ rejection treatment.

As with any supplement, always read and follow the directions on its label. Elderberry should be taken either morning or night; if taking it at different times is difficult for you, short bursts are acceptable — for instance when sick symptoms need an extra boost. Consult your physician first if using alternative remedies as this could provide valuable guidance; stay hydrated!


  • Michael Gonzales

    Michael has a diverse set of skills and passions, with a full-time career as an airline pilot and a dedicated focus on health and fitness consulting. He understands the importance of balancing a busy lifestyle with maintaining a healthy mind and body, and is committed to helping others achieve the same success. Michael's expertise in health and fitness is not just limited to physical training, but also extends to nutrition, stress management, and overall wellbeing. He takes a holistic approach to health and fitness, helping clients to achieve their goals in a sustainable and fulfilling way. With a strong desire to inspire and motivate others, Michael is always ready to share his time and knowledge with those who seek his guidance. Whether in the air or on the ground, Michael is dedicated to helping others live their best lives.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gonzales-07bb4b31/ [email protected] Gonzales Michael


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