9 Elderberry Flower and Echinacea Tea Benefits (Overdose?)


What are the benefits of Elderberry flower?

Elderberry flower has the following benefits:

  1. It supports the respiratory system
  2. Stimulates and boosts the immune system
  3. It helps reduce the severity of viral respiratory illnesses
  4. It helps relieve sinus infection symptoms
  5. Improve symptoms of constipation
  6. It may help lower blood sugar levels
  7. It may help lower blood cholesterol levels
  8. It may help lower blood pressure
  9. Promotes kidney function by increasing urine production

What are the benefits of Elderberry and Echinacea tea?

Elderberry and Echinacea tea benefit the body’s immune system and have and have a soothing effect. This helps the body to fight off infections and relax. Because of these effects, elderberry and echinacea tea have been used as a great herbal remedy for coughs for centuries. 

Elderberry is also a great source of vitamin A, B complex, and C.

Current research aims to investigate the potential use of elderberry to help treat Parkinson’s disease.

In the video below, Dr. Eric Berg explains the Amazing Benefits of Black Elderberry:

This is our recommended Elderberry supplement (Amazon’s Choice):

Black Elderberry Capsules | 100 Count | Super Concentrated Sambucus Extract | Non-GMO, Gluten Free | by Nature’s Truth

Can Elderberry be used as support medication for herpes?

A study demonstrated that the extracts of medicinal plants such as elderberry possessed antiviral properties and, therefore, had activity against viruses such as herpes simplex virus (HSV). 

HSV-2 is the cause of genital herpes, which is a sexually transmitted infection. Elderberry possesses immune-boosting properties that may help the body contain and fight off herpes infection. Elderberry supports the immune system in the following ways:

  • It provides the body with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins.
  • It helps promote cytokine release in the body. Cytokines regulate white blood cells and help them fight infections.

Elderberry and asthma; is there a benefit?

An old study investigated the link between elderberry and asthma. The study showed that elderberry, because of its immune-boosting properties, may help shorten the duration of viral illnesses such as the common cold. This may be beneficial for patients with asthma who, given their disease, are prone to developing viral infections. 

However, it must be noted that asthma essentially is a disease resulting from an exaggerated immune response against small particles like dust. Elderberry may worsen symptoms in patients with asthma as it activates the immune system. Further evidence is required to support its use in patients with asthma.

Can Elderberry supplement treatment for bronchitis?

Elderberry can supplement treatment for bronchitis. Bronchitis results from inflammation of the airways, commonly due to a viral infection. This condition is usually managed with symptomatic care. 

Elderberry prompts cytokine release that helps the body fight off the infection and prevents viruses from infecting healthy cells. Additionally, anthocyanins found in elderberry help control the inflammatory response in patients with bronchitis. This helps provide symptomatic relief and may improve associated shortness of breath.

Finally, elderberry tea is warm and soothing; this helps ease the sore, typically resulting from all the coughing. 

Can Elderberry be used for treating acne?

Elderberry can be used to treat acne. It is enriched with vitamin A, C, and B complex. Vitamin A, in particular, helps improve skin health and promotes the shedding of old skin. This helps treat acne quicker. Additionally, vitamins A and C are antioxidants and help control the inflammation associated with acne.

Elderberry use also helps in balancing the excess oils the skin produces. Oily skin is believed to be a significant risk factor for developing acne.

Are there benefits to using Elderberry for the hair?

Elderberry provides the following benefits for hair health and growth:

  • Promotes hair growth
  • Reduces hair fall
  • Thickens hair
  • Treats scalp acne
  • Treats dandruff

The antioxidants in elderberries, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and anthocyanins, protect the hair and scalp from free radical damage and reduce hair fall. Micronutrients obtained from elderberry like zinc, potassium, and iron nourish hair follicles and promote the growth of thick luscious hair.

Does Elderberry syrup help kill viruses?

A randomized study investigating the efficacy of elderberry extract has shown that elderberry syrup may help kill viruses. This study looked into elderberry’s efficacy against influenza A and influenza B virus infection. Both these viruses are known for causing the flu in winters.

Sixty patients with influenza infection were recruited as part of this study. Patients were divided into two groups, and everyone was given 15 milliliters of elderberry syrup or placebo 4 times daily for 5 days. At the end of the study, rescue medication use was significantly less in the group of patients that received elderberry syrup than placebo. 

A recently conducted study shows that the elderberry flower may increase the production of inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that activate the body’s white blood cells and prompt them to fight foreign pathogens like bacteria and viruses. In theory, elderberry use during illnesses may help reduce the duration and intensity of infections. This particular study was aimed at investigating the efficacy of elderberry use during COVID-19 infection.

Does Elderberry contain Zinc?

Elderberry does contain Zinc. Sambucol (a black elderberry-based extract) in gummy form contains around 3.75 milligrams of zinc (as zinc citrate) in a 2 gram serving. 

Elderberry syrup (made from elderberry fruit extract) consists of 3.3 milligrams of zinc per serving (30 milliliters). Zinc is a micronutrient essential for the immune system to function properly.

How long does Elderberry stay in your system?

Elderberry stays in your system for 1-2 days at most. The active ingredients in elderberry are mostly water-soluble and should be excreted by the body within 24-48 hours after consuming them.

A study conducted on the absorption and excretion of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) anthocyanins in healthy individuals showed that the active ingredients in elderberries have low bioavailability, meaning that most of the compounds in elderberry are not actively absorbed by the body and get excreted out.

What is the best form of Elderberry?

The best form of Elderberry to consume is syrup form; however, elderberry supplements are available in two more forms: capsules and gummies.

Gummies are mostly made using plant-based ingredients and are available in USDA-certified organic and gluten-free options.

Gummies are preferred by people who like chewy candies and are easier to consume for people who struggle with capsules, but some individuals may prefer capsules as they are lower in sugar.

How much Elderberry syrup to take daily?

Based on the evidence of a randomized study trial, one tablespoon (15 milliliters) of elderberry syrup 4 times daily, taken for 5 days, may provide symptomatic relief in patients suffering from mild upper respiratory tract illnesses. 

What is the appropriate dosage of Elderberry powder?

The appropriate dosage for elderberry powder is no more than 2 teaspoons a day. 

Elderberry powder has a strong concentration of compounds. It is prepared by drying and then crushing elderberries.

The powder may be mixed in drinks such as smoothies or during cooking.

Can taking too much Elderberry result in an overdose?

Taking too much elderberry results in an overdose. The symptoms vary from person to person as some may experience true symptoms due to overdose while others may experience allergic symptoms after exposure to just small amounts of elderberry.

Symptoms of elderberry overdose may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Facial flushing
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

In case of an overdose, one is advised to seek immediate medical care.

Does Elderberry contain Cyanide?

Research shows that the bark, leaves, and roots of elderberry contain sambunigrin, which can release cyanide. Cyanide is a highly toxic compound. It prevents the body from using oxygen and can worsen health and result in death within minutes. A hundred grams of fresh berries are reported to contain 3 milligrams of cyanide. This is just 5% of the estimated fatal dose of cyanide for a 130 lbs (60 kg) individual.

However, commercial preparations and cooked berries have been shown not to contain significant amounts of cyanide. Therefore, there are currently no reports of fatalities from eating these.

Can Elderberry use lead to an allergy and rash?

As with any herbal remedy, some people might experience an allergy and develop a rash upon exposure to black elderberry. The range of allergic symptoms experienced by individuals is likely to include the following:

  • Itchy rash
  • Runny nose
  • Breath difficulties
  • Stomach pain
  • Facial redness
  • Facial swelling

A study investigating the allergic potential of elderberry shows that 0.6% of 3668 randomly recruited healthy individuals demonstrated a positive skin prick test, i.e., the potential for an allergic reaction.

Is Elderberry safe to use while pregnant?

Elderberry is not considered safe to consume while pregnant.

A study investigating past data regarding elderberry and echinacea tea use during pregnancy has not found any reported malformations in the babies of pregnant women who consumed elderberry during their pregnancy. However, because of the limited scope of this data, elderberry use during pregnancy is not advised.

Is Elderberry safe to use while breastfeeding?

Currently, there is no evidence that shows that elderberry is safe to use while breastfeeding. 

Given the poor absorption of elderberry by the body, i.e., low bioavailability, it is possible that large amounts of elderberry nutrients do not concentrate in breast milk. However, this is just speculative information, and elderberry should not be used while breastfeeding without consulting a health care professional.

Is Elderberry a blood thinner?

Elderberry is not a blood thinner, and there is currently no research that provides evidence that elderberry may help thin blood. It is considered to be an immunostimulant and boosts the body’s immune system.

Elderberry may have some positive effects on the overall cardiovascular health of an individual, given that it is a good source of antioxidants.

There is also no evidence supporting elderberry’s interaction with antiplatelet medication (blood thinner) like low-dose aspirin.

Can you take Elderberry with high blood pressure?

Patients with high blood pressure can take elderberry.

A study has shown that elderberry extract could lower blood pressure. Elderberries contain antioxidants such as polyphenols that lower blood pressure by reducing oxidative stress. This study investigated the use of elderberry in combination with a class of drugs known as “renin inhibitors.” The study concluded that this combination might help lower arterial blood pressure and improve quality of life. 

Another study provides evidence that elderberry extract may also help lower blood cholesterol and fat levels.


This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  1. Wieland LS, Piechotta V, Feinberg T, Ludeman E, Hutton B, Kanji S, Seely D, Garritty C. Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: a systematic review. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Apr 7;21(1):112. doi: 10.1186/s12906-021-03283-5. PMID: 33827515; PMCID: PMC8026097.
  2. Mendes D, Valentão P, Oliveira MM, Andrade P, Videira RA. A nanophytosomes formulation based on elderberry anthocyanins and Codium lipids to mitigate mitochondrial dysfunctions. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Nov;143:112157. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112157. Epub 2021 Sep 10. PMID: 34517282.
  3. Akram M, Tahir IM, Shah SMA, Mahmood Z, Altaf A, Ahmad K, Munir N, Daniyal M, Nasir S, Mehboob H. Antiviral potential of medicinal plants against HIV, HSV, influenza, hepatitis, and coxsackievirus: A systematic review. Phytother Res. 2018 May;32(5):811-822. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6024. Epub 2018 Jan 22. PMID: 29356205.
  4. Alrumaihi F, Almatroudi A, Allemailem KS, Rahmani AH, Khan A, Khan MA. Therapeutic Effect of Bilsaan, Sambucus nigra Stem Exudate, on the OVA-Induced Allergic Asthma in Mice. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020 Jun 14;2020:3620192. doi: 10.1155/2020/3620192. PMID: 32617136; PMCID: PMC7313152.
  5. Frank T, Janssen M, Netzet G, Christian B, Bitsch I, Netzel M. Absorption and excretion of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) anthocyanins in healthy humans. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Oct;29(8):525-33. doi: 10.1358/mf.2007.29.8.1116309. PMID: 18040528.
  6. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006–. Elderberry. 2021 Jun 21. PMID: 30000895.
  7. Förster-Waldl E, Marchetti M, Schöll I, Focke M, Radauer C, Kinaciyan T, Nentwich I, Jäger S, Schmid ER, Boltz-Nitulescu G, Scheiner O, Jensen-Jarolim E. Type I allergy to elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is elicited by a 33.2 kDa allergen with significant homology to ribosomal inactivating proteins. Clin Exp Allergy. 2003 Dec;33(12):1703-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2003.01811.x. PMID: 14656358.
  8. Holst L, Havnen GC, Nordeng H. Echinacea and elderberry-should they be used against upper respiratory tract infections during pregnancy? Front Pharmacol. 2014 Mar 4;5:31. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2014.00031. PMID: 24624087; PMCID: PMC3941201.
  9. Ciocoiu M, Badescu M, Badulescu O, Badescu L. The beneficial effects on blood pressure, dyslipidemia and oxidative stress of Sambucus nigra extract associated with renin inhibitors. Pharm Biol. 2016 Dec;54(12):3063-3067. doi: 10.1080/13880209.2016.1207088. Epub 2016 Jul 14. PMID: 27417664.
  10. Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40. doi: 10.1177/147323000403200205. PMID: 15080016.
9 Elderberry Flower and Echinacea Tea Benefits (Overdose?)
Scroll to top