What are elderberries & elderflowers?

Native to North America, elderberries are a true superfruit.  They are one of the highest sources of antioxidants with an impressive list of possible immune boosting benefits, and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.  Our Elderberry Syrup uses Sambucus Canadensis and Sambucus Caerulea, both species native to North America.  Lightly sweetened and with a dash of fresh lemon juice, our Elderberry Syrup is pure deliciousness.

Elderflowers have a delicate, subtly floral bouquet.  In addition to the berry’s juice, the flowers are the only other edible part of the elderberry plant!  Traditional cultures use elderflowers to address respiratory, viral, and skin infections.  The blossoms are believed to be both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, when taken as a tea or applied as a topical salve.  Our Elderflower Cordial is a refreshing simple syrup infusion of Monterey County elderflowers and meyer lemons grown in Big Sur.  We recommend our Elderflower Syrup ONLY for the fun and flavor since it is not strong enough to provide the phytonutrients of the flowers.


Check out the research...

What are the facts on Elderberry and COVID-19?  The internet is awash in misinformation and elderberry is no exception with posts claiming that elderberry could cause a severe immune reaction called a cytokine storm.  The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence that consuming elderberry could cause a cytokine storm.

If you want the full story we highly recommend reading this thorough summary explaining how the research on cytokines was misinterpreted, a comprehensive analysis of elderberry and inflammatory responses, and how the existing research indicates elderberry could play a positive role against COVID-19 with low overall risk in otherwise healthy individuals.   Additionally, below are links to three of the many studies referenced above that investigate elderberry’s affect on virus inhibition and respiratory symptom relief.

Elderberry vs INFLUENZA.  Here’s a good summary  and here’s the actual study. “Elderberries have potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus. They inhibit the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells.”  -Study’s first author Dr. Golnoosh Torabian

Elderberry inhibits a strain of avian coronavirus (not the current corona virus but a different strain found in chickens) at an early stage of infection.  An in-vitro study showed that elderberry extract inhibited an avian coronavirus (IBV) at an early point of infection, possibly by rendering the virus non-infectious.

Elderberry significantly reduces upper-respiratory symptoms in an analysis of multiple studies involving clinical trials with humans.

Of course, if you have underlying health or auto-immune diseases or are pregnant or nursing you should always check with your health care provider as the information we provide is in no way medical advice, but informational only.

Other good research on Elderberries!

(1) Elderberry Benefits

(2) Summaries of Studies on Elderberry’s Effects on Colds and Flus

(3) Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro.

(4) Elderberry and Human Health

(5) Another good synopsis of health benefits

(6) Elderberry ranks #2 in antioxidant rich berries according to their ORAC Score

(7) Raw elderberries nutrition data from USDA

(8) Elderberries ranked #1 most nutritious berry


5 Fun Elderberry Facts


From berry to syrup...

Elderberries have a sweet and tart flavor, similar to a blueberry or cranberry.  By juicing and cooking elderberries, we create our Elderberry Syrup.  It’s delicious sipped on its own or as a base for sparkling sodas and artisan cocktails.


From folk remedies to tools...

Elderberries have deep traditions in native cultures, making everything from tools and musical instruments to folk remedies for viral and bacterial infections, eye and skin irritations, and many more. (1)


Right here in California...

Elderberries grow naturally in many parts of the world, including California.  Carmel Berry Company locally sources our elderberries right here in beautiful California as well as from small farms in the midwest.  We personally handcraft our syrups, to create irresistible products that meet our exacting values of local, sustainable, and delicious.


Packed with vital nutrition...

The juice of these tiny berries is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins C, A, B6, iron, and beta carotene.  Recent studies have examined elderberry’s possible effects on everything from colds and flus to diabetes and cancer. (2) (3)


Don't eat the leaves...

The elderberry is a unique plant.  Except for the juice and the flowers, every other part of the elderberry plant — the leaves, stems, seeds — is toxic.  While making our Syrup, Carmel Berry Company safely extracts the juice, keeping it pure and delicious.

Join us for extra elderberry inspiration!

Receive fresh ideas, little know facts, step-by-step recipes, & extra resources in your inbox!