Elderberry: Store bought vs Natural

Is there really a difference?

When you hear the word Elderberry, what comes to mind? Do you think of a sweet jam or syrup that you drizzle over fluffy pancakes? Or, do you think of a small berry that has bountiful health properties and is packed full of antioxidants? And, would you believe me if I said that 100 grams of European Elderberries contain 60% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C?


European Elderberry, also known as Sambucus nigra, is all these of things and more!


Having four kids, all in the school system, cold and flu germs come through my home regularly. It feels like as soon as we get rid of one, here comes another. 


My mom was the first person to tell me about this pill you can get that is filled with Elderberry. I remembered hearing other people talk about Elderberries and how it was this “magical” fruit that they would take when they weren’t feeling well, but I had never really thought to try it, or even to read up on it. But, when your mom tells you something, you listen up (or at least pretend to).


When I got to the store to buy this “magical” pill I could only find it in syrup-form. I figured it was just as good, right? And better yet, my kids could take it—no problem. My 15-year-old was the one who was sick at the time, so I figured he could be my guinea pig. I filled up that little plastic cup and watched as he gulped it down. I was shocked by his reaction as he almost spit it out! He said it was way too sweet and that he almost couldn’t drink it. Thinking he was being dramatic, I tried some for myself. Turns out he wasn’t being dramatic. It was disgustingly sweet. It tasted like I had just put a spoon full of concentrated liquid sugar in my mouth and my stomach was queasy for hours afterwards. The rest of the bottle ended up sitting unused in my cupboard for years. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s still in there, banished to the back corner.  


That was my first and last experience with Elderberries, and I went back to buying the same old cold medicine that I knew my kids would at least take and not spit back out. That is, until I discovered Mountain Meadow Herbs and started to learn more about the benefits of herbs and their leaves, berries, flowers, roots, and even their bark. I also discovered that if there is one thing MMH customers love, it’s their Elderberries; so I decided to give it another chance. 


I quickly learned that pure European Elderberry extract isn’t this intolerably-sweet syrup. While still on the sweeter-side, it is not at all overpowering and is quite pleasant-tasting. When I took the bottle home to give to my sick teenager, the same one who almost spit out the syrup, his eyes just about doubled in size and he refused to try it. After basically forcing it into his mouth, his scrunched-up face of disgust soon relaxed. He looked at me and said, “Oh, not bad.” 


Finally! Something my kids will take willingly—almost happily—that is all-natural and just as effective as the drugstore remedies. 


While new to my family, the Elderberry is far from new to the scene of health and healing remedies. For thousands of years people have used this fruit and its flowers for medicinal purposes. Native Americans used them to treat infections and the ancient Egyptians used them to improve their complexion and to heal burns. In folk medicine, they were thought to be a cure all for anything that ails you. Today, the Elderberry is mostly taken as a supplement to help boost the immune system. 


Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, phenolic acids, flavanols, and anthocyanins, it’s not surprising that this plant is used in many Mountain Meadow Herbs products—especially those for immune support. So, before you reach for that bottle of over-the-counter medicine and start the inevitable battle of trying to get your kids to take it, why not give nature a try?

Elderberry Extract

Concentrated Immune Support

• Symptom relief

• Antioxidant-rich

• Tastes great!

For centuries, Elderberries have been recognized for supporting the immune system.  Extracts from this berry are also high in antioxidants and may benefit heart health and vision. Safe for all ages, this extract may also help alleviate seasonal discomforts and keep you healthy when those around you are not.


Shop Now

Check out our latest posts!