Elderberry is a popular ingredient in supplements. It might affect the immune system, and also seems to have activity against viruses, including the flu.
Elderberry is commonly used for the common cold, flu, high cholesterol, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using elderberry for COVID-19.
Don't confuse elderberry with American Elder, Elderflower, or Dwarf Elder. These aren't the same and have different effects.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
It is possibly unsafe to consume elder leaves or stems, or unripe or uncooked elderberries. Cooked elderberry seems to be safe, but raw and unripe fruit might cause nausea, vomiting, or severe diarrhea.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if elderberry extract is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
"Autoimmune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Elderberry might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using elderberry.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ELDERBERRY
Elderberry can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking elderberry along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.
Be cautious with this combination
Don't consume green, unripe, uncooked elderberries. They contain toxins and can be poisonous.
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.