The elderberry nutritional science summary is written by Dr. Cathy Stein specifically for Trisha’s Elderberries. All rights reserved. Dr. Cathy Stein has a PhD in epidemiology and her research focuses on infectious disease susceptibility. She currently holds a tenured faculty position.
Note: all randomized controlled trials were double-blinded with a placebo
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation eﬀectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2019)
- Meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs), included 4 studies (which are all summarized in this document)
- Conclusion of meta-analysis: elderberry supplementation was more effective at reducing duration and severity of symptoms associated with influenza than those associated with common cold.
- Good discussion of safety, making the point that homemade elderberry recipes might not use enough heat.
- Some of the studies included in this analysis allowed subjects to take the influenza vaccine, and the analysts of this meta-analysis concluded that the flu shot did not influence the effectiveness of elderberry in reducing symptoms. However, the sample size here was small (only 2 studies) and the confidence intervals quite wide, so there is less confidence in this conclusion.