- Elderberry is a plant. The berries are used to make medicine. Do not confuse elderberry with American Elder, Elderflower, or Dwarf Elder.
- Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) .
- Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating.
- Elderberry fruit is also used for making wine and as a food flavoring.
- Elderberry might affect the immune system. Elderberry seems to have activity against viruses including the flu, and might reduce inflammation.
- Taking an elderberry juice extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 12 weeks. It’s not known if taking elderberry juice extract is safe when used for long periods of time.
- Elderberry is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when the leaves, stems, unripened fruit, or uncooked fruit is consumed. The cooked elderberry fruit seems to be safe, but raw and unripe fruit might cause nausea, vomiting, or severe diarrhea.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using elderberry during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- “Autoimmune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Elderberry might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using elderberry.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination:
- ‘Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ELDERBERRY: Elderberry can increase the immune system. Taking elderberry along with some medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
- Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
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Source: WebMD, “Elderberry”, www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/