Research suggests that black elderberries could offer significant benefits as a natural immune tonic and cold and flu remedy (1). Black elderberries have antiviral properties and may specifically help shorten influenza. In one study, those who took a black elderberry supplement showed improvement in flu symptoms after 2-4 days, where the control group improved after 8 days (1).
Other studies report that black elderberry extract inhibited the replication and reduced the viral load in several viral diseases such as influenza A, influenza B, HIV, herpes simplex-1 viruses, and others (2).
Black elderberry is high in powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants (namely phenols, anthocyanins, and flavonols), and one of the strongest antioxidant berries (3). Studies show the antioxidant content of black elderberry may benefit the immune system by reducing systemic inflammation (4). In one study, antioxidant levels improved after just one hour of ingesting black elderberry juice (5).
Black elderberry is rich in anthocyanins, which studies show can significantly and positively alter the gut bacteria (10).
Studies suggest that black elderberry could be a potential alternative treatment to antibiotics for managing upper respiratory infections, specifically viral infections (6).
Diets high in flavonoids and anthocyanins (both found in high concentration in black elderberry) have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood lipids, and reduce cholesterol (7).
Studies show polyphenols extracted from elderberries could reduce blood pressure (8).
Other studies show a reduction in uric acid levels in the blood with elderberry intake, which could reduce damage to the cardiovascular system (4,9).
Black elderberry may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and manage blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion (4).
One study suggests a potential mood-enhancing and antidepressant effect of black elderberry extract (13).
Antioxidants in black elderberry help to fight oxidative stress to the body’s cells and tissues by neutralizing free radicals that cause damage, inflammation, and fatigue. Reducing oxidative stress may help to boost immunity and improve energy levels (11). Other studies suggest that elderberry is effective in reducing the fatigue that comes with the common cold (12).