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Home » Fighting the Flu » Why Elderberry Is So Crucial for Immune System Protection

A strong immune system can help people stay healthy. Many consumers are working to boost their immunity through good habits like proper nutrition, regular exercise, and sleep — as well as supplements.

One supplement, black elderberry, known scientifically as sambucus nigra, has been an ancient traditional remedy for colds, coughs, and upper respiratory infections.

Egyptians used black elderberry to improve their skin and heal burns and Native Americans used the medicinal plant to treat infections. While the raw berries are not safe to consume, they can be processed and used in teas or as a syrup.

According to scientific studies, black elderberries are rich in phytochemicals called anthocyanins, helping stimulate the immune system and supporting cell health. Elderberries have among the highest concentration values of anthocyanins, almost double the amount found in most fruits.

Immune support

Recognized as strong antioxidants, black elderberries and black elderberry extracts are often used in dietary supplements and natural health products.

But not all black elderberry extracts are the same. Sambucol Black Elderberry, the original black elderberry extract first introduced in 1991, contains the same proprietary, naturally balanced elderberry extract used in published scientific studies. Meanwhile, other manufacturers use a concentrated, standardized elderberry extract, with fundamentally different ingredients.

“This is an immune support product,” says Art Rowe-Cerveny, vice president of marketing for PharmaCare, the parent company of Sambucol. “What this does is allow your body to use everything to work better.”

Sambucol Black Elderberry products, including original syrup, immune drink powder, and gummies, capsules, tablets, and throat lozenges, contain natural black elderberry extract. Many of the products, which have a sweet and slightly tangy berry flavor, contain vitamin C.

The company developed a proprietary formulation and extraction process for their elderberry products, which helps preserve and maximize the naturally occurring immunity benefits of the berry.

Nutritional powerhouse

Sambucol Black Elderberry products are backed by over 20 years of scientific research, with their products being one of the most extensively researched black elderberry product in the world.

Rowe-Cerveny, who calls the fruit “a nutritional powerhouse,” says it might be a household staple, especially during cold and flu season, when people often feel powerless.

“The one thing you can do is take control of your health,” he says. “And that means doing all the things that you should be doing things to support your immune system and stay healthy and [support] your mental health, including using black elderberry.”

Consumers can take the product daily and ramp up dosages to four or five times a day at the first sign of feeling sick.

“You can actually use black elderberry every day to help support your immune system. What research has shown is that the anthocyanin and the polyphenol content might actually help support the immune system on a daily basis.”

People can take the supplement whenever it’s convenient for them, anytime of day or night. The black elderberry syrup can be added to food and drinks, including smoothies, yogurt or with pancakes.

“It’s a very easy year-round immune support solution that your family will love,” says Rowe-Cerveny, who encourages people to ask their doctor about taking health supplements, such as black elderberry.

To learn more about Sambucol’s black elderberry and daily immune support, visit

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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