If there ever was a time to focus on caring for your immune system, it’s now!
Not only is there a pandemic to contend with, but we’re still on the tail end of the flu and cold season. Plus, these ailments can be urged on or exacerbated by the drastically changing weather as we falter from spring into the heat of summer.
While invigorating and nourishing your body with a plant-based diet is an excellent way to support your immune system naturally, why not invest in another little boost such as elderberry?
Elderberry is one of the most trustworthy herbs in a natural medicine cabinet! In fact, elderberry happens to be “one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world.” From the ancient Egyptians to Native Americans, Elderberry has been used to treat infections, heal burns, improve skin clarity, and speed recovery from ailments such as the common cold and the flu.
What’s so great about this wonderful little berry?
First off, the flowers have been used for a wide variety of ailments — from “pain relief, swelling, inflammation, to [stimulation of] the production of urine and [induceing] sweating.” Secondly, the berries are filled with nutrients — including vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants such as phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. Plus, the berries are also rich with immune-boosting agents.
The immune system supporting powers of elderberry have been tested thoroughly in a variety of studies, always coming out the other end with positive results.
How does it work?
Based on research, the immune-boosting properties rely on a few different components of black elderberry, the first of which is an extract called Sambucol. Sambucol is a “natural [remedy] with antiviral properties, especially against strains of influenza virus.” It’s been found that Sambucol and “its formulations activate the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production,” as well as contain “immunoprotective or immunostimulatory [effects].”
Alright, looking to get your hands on some vegan-friendly elderberry supplements? Here are a few to give a try!
This Seattle Elderberry Vegan Organic Elderberry Syrup with Maple is crafted from wild-grown, organic elderberries. Each batch is created in small batches which makes and preserves high-quality Elderberry extract. Plus, this syrup is vegan, gluten-free, contains zero natural flavors, citric acid, and is naturally sweetened with a dash of maple syrup! A 16-ounce bottle costs $33.00.
Kenzie says “I just wanted to say how amazing this product is and to thank this amazing company! My little twins, because they are preemie seemed to catch everything that came around. We were in and out of the hospital the first 10 months of their lives. We are going on 5 months on elderberry and only two times being sick and both of those only lasted a couple of days each. It’s no coincidence that they’ve been doing better since we started giving them elderberry! This product tastes so good too! My kids beg for more. We always brag about how wonderful this company is to all our friends!”
You can’t go wrong with Gaia Herbs! They are a highly trusted brand offering a slew of vegan herbal supplement options. This Gaia Herbs Vegan Organic Black Elderberry Extract for Daily Immune and Antioxidant Support was created from high-quality, fresh, organic, vegan ingredients. They don’t use any fillers or sweeteners and take allergies into consideration nixing gluten, soy, and dairy as well! On top of that, this elderberry supplement has been combined with Acerola fruit for a second helping of antioxidants and flavonoids. A 60-capsule bottle costs $23.19.
GardenParty says “These capsules have kept all the yucky viruses affecting those around us, from attacking us! People coughing all around us especially at work and these little gems have kept us healthy from day one! Wouldn’t be without it during the flu/allergy/cold seasons 😁”
If you’re looking for a great immune booster for the kids, these Go Healthy Natural Vegan Sambucus Elderberry Gummies for Kids are a great option! They’re 100 percent vegan, made from all-natural ingredients, and source their “gumminess” from citrus fruit pectin. These hand-crafted gummy supplements are hand-crafted — assuring a high-quality product — and they’re also nut-free! A 30-serving bottle costs $14.99.
Tiffany says “I bought these gummies for my first grader who has had a few colds since the start of the school year in hopes of upping her immune system. She really likes the taste of them and I was excited to find a natural product with no GMO’s or Corn Syrup in them. Since I only purchased them recently, I cannot tell yet if I find she is getting sick less often (and of course I know they won’t stop every cold) but I will definitely buy again if I do notice a difference. They are a bit more than I would normally pay for a month supply of vitamins, but worth the extra cost if they help keep her healthy.”
Another trusted vegan supplement brand offering up pretty much whatever you can think of to the vegan community! This MaryRuth’s Organic Vegan Elderberry Syrup is a special blend of elderberries “designed for easy absorption to ensure that your body can harness all of the astounding benefits.” Even though it’s a small business, MaryRuth’s Organics always offers up the best quality with organic, non-GMO, and chemical-free supplements. A 1-ounce bottle costs $23.95.
Lana says “I am a nurse in the ER and I’m exposed to all kinds of germs and illnesses. I purchased this product to help build my immunity to fight against everything I’m exposed to. When I received the bottle I opened it to smell of it first. It smells like blueberries. I love blueberries so I was excited to try it. The directions say you can add it to water or just take it straight. I took it straight since I love blueberries. It’s a little strong but still has a good flavor. It is sugar-free, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO so that’s all a big plus. Only time will tell if it works. Here’s to hoping I don’t catch any ‘bugs!’”
One of the last truly great supplement brands! This Garden of Life MyKind Organics Vegan Elderberry Immune Gummy supplement is made with organic elderberry, echinacea, zinc, and vitamin C for a powerful dose of immune system-boosters. Garden of Life promises their product is made with real fruit and real food! A 120-bulk bottle costs $40.50.
Another great brand offering a slew of vegan supplements! This Nature’s Way Black Elderberry supplement is rich in therapeutic berry and flower derived flavonoids, which have been Tru-ID Certified. This product is also non-GMO project verified, vegan-friendly, and is free of artificial coloring, flavoring, corn, dairy products, gluten, preservatives, salt, soy, sugar, wheat, and yeast. A great on-demand supplement to have for the sniffles, the flu, or any other ailment that you may come down with! A 100-count bottle costs $8.48.
TJ Shopaholic says “We used to catch EVERY SINGLE COLD that came along. Flu, strep, sinus infections, you name it. Every month or two, one of our family was sick with something. We’ve been buying and taking this for over a year now, and have only had a mild cold. Knock on wood. We start taking it at the first symptoms and take it till the symptoms are gone. Tastes a little “herby” but I will take that over the flu any day!!!”
These NOW Foods Elderberry Supplements promotes their elderberry as a free radical scavenger that also happens to have a high nutritive value! This supplement provides a 10:1 concentrate, as strong as an herbal tonic, in order to maintain overall health, well-being, and help boost the immune system. NOW Foods offers products that are non-GMO, kosher, soy-free, GMP Quality Assured, and vegan-friendly. A 60-capsule bottle costs $9.90.
Crysta/Karen/Mike says “Well this isn’t my normal brand but I couldn’t find elderberry anywhere there is a shortage, it’s extinct! I’m glad I tried this. I woke up with the flu on Tuesday, now I don’t recommend this but I took 3 of these a day Tuesday to today with nothing else. No cough meds no Tylenol no nothing other than some cough drops for my sore throat and I am 90% better today! I’m shocked! Shocked. So I will continue at 1 a day (the suggested amount which, I love) forever. But I’m super happy with this product. Never took these on an empty stomach but once I ate and took them I never had any stomach pains or aches. Highly recommended.”
If supplements simply aren’t your thing, give a liquid extract or syrup a try! This NutraChamps Organic Double Strength Elderberry Syrup Extract offers a potent delivery of antioxidant-rich elderberry in a lovely, delicious liquid form. These fast-acting organic drops absorb quickly into the body allowing for better defense against ailments. Along with being powerful for your immune system, this liquid extract is also a great anti-inflammatory agent. A 2-fluid ounce bottle costs $23.95.
Lea says “Whenever I get the back of throat itchys like a cold is coming on, I’ll start taking this for a day or three and it seems to knock it out pretty quickly without me actually getting sick. The taste is delicious and the dropper portions out for you so there’s no guesswork or messy cup to deal with.”
Another dependable and vegan-friendly Gaia Herbs product! This Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup is 100 percent plant-based and free of allergens such as peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, and yeast. Gaia Herbs promises their syrup extract is sourced from the highest-quality elderberry offering a super-concentrated delivery in every serving. This product is vegan, gluten-free, organic, and purity tested! A 5.4-fluid ounce bottle costs $22.99.
Loren Ivey says “This is by far the best elderberry syrup on the market for potency and for taste. I work as an ER nurse and everyone has been coming in with the flu. I had a patient that we didn’t know had the flu and he was coughing in my face prior to us finding out. I bought this syrup and didn’t get the flu. I bought more on amazon because I loved it so much! It’s also way cheaper than Whole Foods! Great buy!”
Think gummies are just for kids? Think again! These Havasu Nutrition Elderberry Gummies are perfect for adults who hate supplements and can’t stand liquid extracts. These gummies aim to strengthen your natural bodily defenses naturally through an infusion of premium elderberry. Plus, these supplements are rich in zinc and vitamin C — two nutrients that support your immune system. These gummies are vegan-friendly, so no worries about that nasty gelatin! A 60-gummy bottle costs $16.95.
Delilah says “I’m a mother of 4 and we have been taking Elderberry gummies for the last year. I tried this brand to see if I could find a gummy that had a naturally great taste that my children would love to take. We have been through many different brands and there was always an issue with texture or flavor . They said that this was the best tasting elderberry gummy that they have had. I was thrilled because they taste great and very reasonably priced!”
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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