Elderberry gummies are rich in antioxidants and possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. They boost immune system function and are often recommended by doctors during cold and flu season.
Elderberry gummies are more than just a shield, protecting you from the flu, they can also lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and more.
Our panel of experts put scores of elderberry gummies to the test and determined that the following represent the 10 best of 2021.
1. Essential Elements Elderberry Gummies
Essential Elements Elderberry Gummies are produced from black elderberries. Black elderberries possess the most potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in the elderberry family. For robust cold and flu protection, these gummies are hard to beat.
What we like: Essential Elements bolsters the effectiveness of their concentrated black elderberry gummies (200mg per serving) with echinacea, vitamin C, and the underappreciated propolis. Propolis is a sticky substance bees gather from a variety of plant materials to help seal their hive. Elderberry, echinacea and vitamin C, and propolis is a powerful combination for immune support, more so than standard multivitamins
Flaws: Propolis allergies are rare but not unheard of. The product also contains corn syrup as a sweetener, though not high fructose corn syrup. This is one of the more expensive elderberry products in this list.
2. Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Gummies
Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Gummies are some of the tastiest on the market. Each serving provides 500 mg of high potency black elderberry with complementary zinc and vitamin C to round out the immune-boosting ingredient list.
What we like: Nature’s Way gummies are made from black elderberries and contain no artificial ingredients, or colors. They are certified vegetarian and are low in sugar and sodium.
Flaws: Contains both sugar (2 types) and palm oil.
3. Nature Made Elderberry Gummies
Nature Made Elderberry Gummies are a reflection of the company’s long-standing commitment to quality. This is an effective elderberry supplement in the form of a tasty, all-natural gummy that will appeal to everyone from 8 to 88.
What we like: You won’t find any artificial preservatives, fillers or flavors in Nature Made Elderberry Gummies. Just 100 mg of elderberry extract per 2-gummy serving along with complementary vitamin C and zinc.
Flaws: Not the cheapest elderberry gummies out there.
4. Staunch Labs Elderberry Gummies
Staunch Labs does not have the name recognition of some other supplement makers. But their Elderberry Gummies stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of them. They provide the gold standard trio of elderberry, zinc, and vitamin C for optimal immune system support.
What we like: Stauch Labs uses black elderberries that are GMO-free at all stages of the cultivation process. They’re vegan-friendly, affordable and produced in a GMP facility in the US under FDA supervision. The daily serving of 3 gummies provides 90mg of elderberry.
Flaws: Taking 3 per day as recommended may seem a bit much for some folks.
5. Zhou Elder-Mune Elderberry Gummies
Each serving of Zhou Elder-Mune Elderberry Gummies provides a generous dose of premium European black elderberry. They’re low in sugar, low in sodium and rich in vitamin C and have a mild, appealing taste that’s not too sweet, not too tart.
What we like: With 125 mg of black elderberry per 2-gummy serving you get all the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power you need to ward off colds and flu. They also provide an array of long term benefits for both heart and mind.
Flaws: Since Zhou was sold, some have mentioned that customer service has suffered a bit.
6. Nature’s Bounty Elderberry Gummies
Nature’s Bounty Elderberry Gummies provide a rich dose of black elderberry (125mg per 2 gummies) and an array of vitamins and minerals that round out the benefit package. You’ll enjoy enhanced immune system function, more energy, better-looking skin, improved cardio health, and more.
What we like: These gummies are made using only the highest quality black elderberries and add in a wider range of vitamins so this one product can take the place of multiple supplements. They are free of GMOs, common food allergens, and artificial sweeteners. They’re also low in sugar, use grape juice concentrate for color rather than artificial ones, and are produced in a GMP facility.
Flaws: There’s only 40 in a bottle and they suggest you take 2 per day, so you will run out in less than three weeks.
7. Airborne Elderberry Gummies
Airborne Elderberry Gummies provide an impressive 300 mg of black elderberry extract in each serving, along with 130 mg of vitamin C. The Airborne brand has gone through a lot of owners but has managed to retain their focus on quality the whole time.
What we like: Airborne Elderberries Gummies are a relatively new product for the company, but they’ve obviously done their homework. There’s plenty of antioxidant-rich black elderberry and vitamin C, along with zinc to enhance immune function.
Flaws: They contain a small of amount of added sugar, so diabetics beware.
8. MegaFood Elderberry Gummies
MegaFood Elderberry Gummies contain a variety of all-natural ingredients that boost immune system function, help stabilize blood sugars, and lower blood pressure. They’re free of artificial ingredients and rigorously tested for pesticides.
What we like: These are vegan-friendly, very concentrated elderberry gummies (400mg per 2 gummies) that are low in sugar, free of artificial flavors, and produced in a good manufacturing practices facility in the US. Take them any time of the day with food or without.
Flaws: Not the best tasting elderberry gummies out there.
9. Garden of Life MyKind Elderberry Gummy
Garden of Life can always be counted on to provide a well-considered list of ingredients for their supplements. And their MyKind Elderberry Gummy is no exception. This is a pure, potent (355mg elderberry per 4 gummies), all-natural chewable supplement that’s ideal for the whole family.
What we like: Echinacea provides powerful immune system support. Including it here bolsters the effectiveness of the elderberry. The powerful antioxidant vitamin C, as well as zinc, put even more wind in the sails of your immune system.
Flaws: 4 gummies provides 7g sugar which may be a bit much for some.
10. Sambucol Elderberry Gummies
Sambucol Elderberry Gummies are aimed squarely at kids. But there is nothing stopping adults from partaking of these tasty elderberry supplements too. With almost no sugar (only 1g!) and a light, refreshing taste, they’re sure to be a hit.
What we like: It should go without saying that a small person does not require as much black elderberry as a full-sized person. Each 1 gummy serving provides 50mg elderberry, which is why these Sambucol Elderberry Gummies perfect for kids. They’re also tasty and certified vegetarian.
Flaws: Not quite as ‘gummy’ as we would expect them to be. That is, they’re pretty hard at first.
Who Needs Elderberry Gummies?
Due to the wide array of benefits they provide, elderberry gummies can be a valuable addition to just about anyone’s dietary routine. In short, they can shorten the duration of viruses and bacterial infections like the flu and sinusitis (and possibly even COVID-19), may reduce cancer and heart disease risks due to their high antioxidant concentrations, may improve mood, and more.
Their potent combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties mean they are good for your heart, good for your mind and good for your immune system. And if you suffer from acne, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or other inflammatory conditions or diseases, they can help you too.
Elderberry gummies are virtually free of side effects, are non-addictive, non-narcotic, and contain only a handful of calories. They are also affordable and delicious. If you are searching for a way to bolster your immune system and enjoy better overall health, elderberry gummies should be on your radar.
How We Ranked
A few considerations were of paramount importance to our team when assessing elderberry gummies: the amount of elderberry extract in each gummy, the type of elderberries used, and the type and amount of other ingredients added to the mix.
There is no scientifically established dose of elderberry to point to as the gold standard. In addition, elderberry produces few side effects and a multitude of benefits. The opinion of the experts we consulted is that anything less than 50 mg of elderberry extract per gummy likely won’t offer enough benefits.
As for the type of elderberry used, the overwhelming consensus is that black elderberry is the preferred type. It contains more of the flavonoids that provide the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that people want from elderberry gummies.
Additional ingredients, such as sugar, were a concern for a couple of reasons. First of all, some people are using elderberry gummies to help control their blood sugars. Yet some manufacturers add sugar to make their gummies more palatable. If sugar was added, we made note of it. If more than a very modest amount was added, the gummy did not make our list. Even if you are not diabetic, too much sugar is not a good thing.
Finally, a lot of supplement makers add zinc and sodium to their elderberry gummies. These ingredients can also be harmful if taken in large doses. If there was too much zinc or sodium the gummy did not make our list. Finally, we deducted points for artificial ingredients and prices that seemed unreasonably high.
Q: What is elderberry?
A: The elderberry is the fruit of the Sambucus plant. It has been recognized by traditional healers for centuries for its ability to combat viruses and for its anti-inflammatory abilities. In recent years those medicinal qualities have been confirmed by numerous animal and human studies. As a result, elderberry-related products have flooded the marketplace, including elderberry syrups and elderberry gummies for kids and adults.
Q: Can elderberry gummies be used to treat arthritis pain?
A: This is not the primary reason most people take elderberry gummies. Still, they can likely provide some level of relief from the pain and stiffness of arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and stiffness and wearing down of joints over time, leading to worsening symptoms. Elderberry has anti-inflammatory abilities (1) that may provide relief from arthritis-related inflammation.
Q: Should I take elderberry gummies every day?
A: How often you take elderberry gummies is up to you. Some people take them every day for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits they provide. Others take them only during cold and flu season. While raw berries, leaves and bark from the elderberry plant carry potential toxin risks, elderberry gummies do not fall in the same risk category. So how often you take them is up to you and may be consumed regularly by most people. Elderberry is not recommended for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or for children or adolescents due to a lack of safety data.
Q: Do elderberry gummies cause allergic reactions?
A: It is possible to have an allergic reaction to elderberry gummies (2), but it is not common. Most every type of food will cause an allergic reaction in someone, somewhere. The important thing is that elderberry allergies are rare.
Q: Will elderberry gummies prevent me from getting the flu?
A: A lot of ‘natural’ products claim the ability to stave off the common cold, though research is lacking for many such claims. Elderberries are the notable exception. They have withstood the cold, uncompromising light of scientific inquiry and made believers of many researchers (3). This doesn’t mean elderberry gummies are a cure for the common cold, but they may help prevent you from catching it, or hasten your recovery time if you do.
Q: Do elderberry gummies lower blood pressure?
A: Elderberries have proven their immense worth in both animal (4) and human research. There is now convincing evidence of their ability to have a positive effect on blood pressure (5). Many of those same studies have trumpeted the robust antioxidant capabilities of elderberry and its role in reducing the oxidative stress behind so many health conditions and serious diseases.
Q: Where do elderberries come from?
A: Elderberries are native to much of North and South America as far north as Quebec and as far south as Bolivia. Elderberries are also widely cultivated in Europe. Although most elderberries in US-based products are from US farms, a significant percentage of black elderberries in syrups and gummies are actually of European origin.
Q: Is one type of elderberry better than another?
A: Being that there are black, red, blue, and ornamental elderberries, the question arises whether one variety possesses more medicinal qualities than the others. And the answer is, yes. Black elderberries are generally considered to be most abundant in flavonoids. These compounds give elderberry its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. So when looking for elderberry gummies, look for ones made from Sambucus Nigra, or black elderberry.
Q: What are flavonoids?
A: Flavonoids (6) are a type of antioxidant found in several types of fruit, including elderberries, as well as in wine, vegetables, and other foods. Despite the name, they don’t have a lot to do with flavor. They do, however, possess potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Those properties alone make elderberry gummies, which are rich in flavonoids, worth considering.
Q: At what time of the day should I take elderberry gummies?
A: There is no right or wrong time to take an elderberry gummy. Most people like to make them part of an everyday routine, such as breakfast or lunch. Some swear that taking them before going to bed helps them avoid sniffles and stuffy noses during the night. The bottom line is to find a time that works for you and stick with it.
Q: Why not just eat raw elderberries?
A: Raw elderberries, especially those that have not fully ripened, can be poisonous (7) and produce nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even a kind of mental stupor. Elderberries need to be cooked. Cooking removes the cyanogenic glycosides (8) and other toxins and makes them safe for consumption. While there have been instances of people eating ripe elderberries and not suffering as a result, these are the exception, not the rule.
Q: Do elderberry gummies contain sugar?
A: Some do and some do not. Sugar is used to counteract the naturally bitter taste of elderberry. Without some sort of sweetener, elderberry gummies would be difficult for many people to handle. Of course, manufacturers could use artificial sweeteners, and some do. There is, however, just as much hew and cry against those products as there is against sugar. So supplement makers are in a tough spot. Typically though, the amount of sugar is small (4 grams or 1 teaspoon or less per serving).
Q: Are elderberry gummies safe for pregnant women?
A: When it comes to pregnancy the conventional wisdom is ‘better safe than sorry’. That goes for elderberries as well. Research into the subject of whether elderberry gummies are safe for pregnant women is very limited and has not offered enough safety data for any conclusions (9). As such, they are generally advised not to consume elderberry products, including gummies, while pregnant. The same goes for women who are breastfeeding.
Q: Do elderberry gummies contain animal products?
A: None of the elderberry gummies on our list contain animal products of any kind. It is indeed rare to find gummies from any manufacturer that contain animal products. Gummies are not like gelcaps, which can sometimes be made from animal-derived gelatin. Gummies typically include plant-based ingredients like tapioca and pectin.
Q: Does elderberry react negatively with medications?
A: Elderberry gummies are typically well-tolerated by most people. However, because elderberry has the ability to lower blood pressure, people taking medication for high blood pressure should consult their doctor before using elderberry gummies, or any other type of elderberry product. Since elderberry can also affect blood glucose levels, diabetics should discuss the matter with their doctor before eating elderberry gummies.
Q: What are the side effects of elderberries?
A: Sometimes you will read that elderberries can cause nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea, and more. Those are not side effects of eating elderberry gummies. Instead, those are the potential side effects of eating raw unripe elderberries. Cooking with, or otherwise consuming the leaves, roots, or other materials of the elderberry plant, also produces a bitter alkaloid that can trigger nasty side effects. None of these concerns apply to elderberry gummies.
Q: Are elderberry gummies safe for kids?
A: While practitioners may recommend elderberry to kids, there is limited safety data available on children. The primary reason most parents give their kids elderberry gummies is to boost their immune system during cold and flu season. For years the notion that elderberries could somehow ward off the cold or flu was dismissed as an old wive’s tale. Turns out, research indicates those old wives were on to something (10). So giving elderberry gummies to your kids is likely a smart thing to do.
Q: Can any adult take elderberry gummies?
A: Any reasonably healthy adult should be able to consume elderberry gummies. As with virtually all supplements, however, if a person is under a doctor’s care for a particular health condition, they should discuss the matter with that doctor before adding elderberry gummies to their diet. This is particularly true if the person is taking prescription drugs for any reason, particularly high blood pressure or diabetes.
Q: Will elderberry gummies interfere with insulin?
A: Because elderberry has the ability to modulate blood glucose levels, it may interfere with the activity of insulin injected to help control diabetes. If you suffer from diabetes and are currently taking insulin to maintain stable blood glucose levels, you should discuss the matter with your doctor before you start taking elderberry gummies, or any other elderberry-related product.
Q: Is there a right way to store elderberry gummies?
A: The right way to store elderberry gummies is to keep them in a cool place out of direct sunlight. If you store them in a hot place or leave them in the sun, you will likely find them stuck together next time you try to take some.
Elderberry gummies are rich in antioxidants and possess potent anti-inflammatory capabilities. As such, they provide an array of short and long term benefits for old and young alike.
Elderberry gummies bolster the immune system, shorten the time it takes to recover from a cold or the flu and provide relief from inflammatory conditions like arthritis. They can also help stabilize blood sugars and reduce blood pressure, among other things.
All of the elderberry gummies on our list have been thoroughly vetted by our team of experts. Use the above information to determine which elderberry gummy is right for you.
For cpoe.org’s #1 recommended elderberry gummies, click here.