As opposed to homemade versions of elderberry syrup, the versions you see at big box retailers will often be loaded with junk ingredients that serve as unnecessary buffers. These junk ingredients do more harm than good.
For example, look at Nature’s Way Sambucus Standardized Elderberry Original Syrup which is sold at Kroger. At first glance its ingredients sound harmless, but reading the label, citric acid should jump out at you. Excessive consumption of citric acid can lead to health problems ¹ like respiratory issues, allergies, and chronic illness. The sugar added to the black mold to make citric acid mainly comes from beets and corn, which are some of the most commonly produced genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Another great example of misleading ingredients would be those found in Sambucol Black Elderberry Immune Support Syrup, which is sold at Costco. In particular, glucose syrup is a red flag. This substance is primarily used as a sweetener in commercial foods, including canned and premade baked goods, and candy. Glucose syrup is similar to high fructose corn syrup and offers very few health benefits ², containing very small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
When you shop at a big box retailer, pay attention to the prices at which commercial elderberry syrups are sold. You will quickly realize that investing in homemade elderberry syrup will be more beneficial than the commercial brands.
The Nature’s Way brand you find at Kroger costs $32. You would be paying the same amount of $32 for a bottle of New Chapter Elderberry Syrup at CVS Pharmacy. Planetary Formulas Echinacea-Elderberry Syrup is sold at Walmart for $30.79, but if you read its label, it is not worth the price overall. One harmful ingredient this product contains is potassium benzoate, which is a preservative commonly found in food, beauty, and skin care products. The intent of this preservative is to help extend the shelf life of products by preventing mold, yeast, and bacteria growth. However, foods containing potassium benzoate may cause hives or severe allergic reactions ³, especially in people who are vulnerable to itchy skin, eczema, or a chronically runny or stuffy nose.
If you go to Costco instead and look at the Sambucol brand, you would be spending $29 for that elderberry syrup. You may find that even the elderberry syrup products made for children are too expensive. For example, Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Elderberry Syrup costs $12 at Target, which may not sound too expensive, but its ingredients of potassium sorbate and citric acid make the $12 price tag misleading.
It has been suggested that elderberry extracts have been used as either undeclared color additives to wine, or as adulterants to bilberry extracts. Back in 2016, an analysis of commercial elderberry products was conducted, and according to Dr. Joseph Galetti ⁴, elderberry product adulteration was common. A total of 29 commercial elderberry dietary supplements, 3 bulk fruit samples, and 1 bulk powder sample were analyzed by Galetti. Out of 14 syrups, 5 tinctures, 4 lozenges, 3 concentrates, and 3 capsule products, 8 were found to contain peonidin, peonidin-3-O-glucoside, or peonidin-3-O-galactoside. These are anthocyanins that can’t be found in elderberries.
Support Small Businesses
Among the uncertainty that comes with commercial elderberry syrups, it is wise to support small businesses that sell elderberry syrup products that are more healthier and safe in comparison. If you purchase our elderberry syrup in our shop, either the Signature or Seasonal Blend, you are guaranteed to have organic ingredients that are healthy for your body and safe to consume. Cinnamon, cloves and ginger are just some of the great ingredients our Signature Blend has. Astragalus, stinging nettles and marshmallow root are included in our amazing Seasonal Blend.
A single bottle of our 16-ounce elderberry syrup costs as low as $26.10 per month if you are subscribed, and $29 for a one-time purchase. No artificial additives, no preservatives, and no junk ingredients. This is an organic elderberry syrup that will help you get better!
¹ Joseph H,. Brewer, Jack D. Thrasher, and Dennis Hooper (December 24, 2013) Chronic Illness Associated with Mold and Mycotoxins: Is Naso-Sinus Fungal Biofilm the Culprit? ncbi.nlm.nih.gov https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3920250/
² U.S. Department of Agriculture (April 1, 2019) usda.gov https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168837/nutrients
³ Isabel J. Skypala, M. Williams, L. Reeves, R. Meyer, and C. Venter (October 13, 2015) Sensitivity to food additives, vaso-active amines and salicylates: a review of the evidence ncbi.nlm.nih.gov https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604636/
⁴ Joseph A. Galetti (May 6, 2016) umaine.edu https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3467&context=etd