It's a gummy vitamin market right now and while some smirk at the gummy’s transition from junk food to health food, projections are only in favor of further market dominance.
Even still, some may remark at the opportunistic graduation of gummies, but their triumph is not without merit. Gagging on chalky, horse pill vitamins isn't enjoyable and gummies are delicious. Taking supplements to boost optimal health is great and getting sick isn’t.
So, just in time for flu season, it’s time to take a look at one of the most popular gummy supplements available right now: Elderberry gummies.
Elderberry gummies are making waves as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powerhouse combination, most with added vitamin C and other nutrients. They are touted as offering maximum protection against the common cold and flu, as well as reducing symptom duration when battling said illnesses.
Although elderberry gummies may sound new, it's not the elderberry that has recently debuted. Many nutrition buffs will recognize the name as a mainstay of health store offerings, usually in teas, syrups, tinctures, and capsules. Today, with illness known and new looming about, grabbing the prized herbal berry with the yummy-gummy makeover might just make sense.
Elderberry: Yesterday and Today
Elderberry has a name that denotes its history and breadth of use all around the world. While the plant recently rose to modern vogue as a supplement to treat and prevent cold and flu symptoms, elderberries have a colorful past of versatile claims.
Natural growth ranged across Europe and Asia for centuries, always to bloom in the summer with tiny white flowers that give way to glossy black fruit, the elderberry itself.
Being of a certain abundance, it is not surprising that numerous cultures mixed elderberry into food, drink, and healing tinctures alike. European folk medicine still touts elderberry elixirs for the treatment of headache, cough, upset stomach, fever, and a variety of infections.
Several other natural therapies have equally long practical histories and applications in modern medicine today. Considering the storied archives of elderberry use, it’s no surprise the plant’s retained a therapeutic reputation.
Best for Immune Health
Looking at in-depth nutrient profiles validates elderberry allure through history and now; they’re loaded with antioxidants. With another cold and flu season approaching, preventative elderberry supplements appear an excellent way to stay well this winter.
Most upper-respiratory illnesses aren’t caused by bacteria nor treatable with antibiotics, but due to viruses that take time and our body’s innate immunities to fight off.
Elderberry supplements and gummies offer a most concentrated form of the berry, with high doses of Vitamin C, phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins--all potent antioxidants that seek and destroy invasive pathogens and cellular distress.
When the body is fighting off disease, inflammation occurs in the process and is often confused as a symptom of the illness itself. Powerful antioxidants can impact the ailing we feel by taming oxidative stress.
Just like with vitamins, there are a variety of antioxidants we get from different foods and some are stronger than others. Anthocyanins are a particularly potent antioxidant available in elderberries, as well as other dark hued fruits, which contain several times the antioxidant power of Vitamin E.
Stimulating our immune system’s potential with robust antioxidants to overcome inflammation means our vital organs and muscles stay unburdened while fighting off disease.
Current Elderberry Research
Two research groups recently tested elderberry supplements to tackle common viral concerns: flu symptom duration and colds acquired during travel. In the first study, those experiencing flu symptoms for less than 48 hours were either given elderberry supplements or a placebo for five days.1
In the elderberry group, flu symptoms subsided an average of four days earlier than in the placebo group. As many people know too well, four days is significantly more time to continue fighting a flu.
In the second study, elderberry was given as a preventative measure for air travelers.2 Again, half the group was given elderberry supplements and the other half, a placebo.
Those in the placebo group not only experienced more colds, but had a longer duration of cold symptoms.
While these studies display notable effects of elderberry in strengthening immune response, both prior to and once becoming ill, they starkly remind us how valuable avoiding illness is altogether.
Safe Choice, Easy Choice
When considering cold and flu prevention for the whole family, it's obviously a group effort. Getting enough sleep, eating fruits and vegetables, washing hands, and taking supplemental vitamins all fall under best practices to model these days.
Despite how beneficial these precautions are though, the occasional illness can still occur.
Some parents choose to call in a prescription for Tamiflu (drug name Oseltamivir) to control symptoms. However, Tamiflu can be an expensive option, coming in at around $50 per bottle even with insurance.
It’s also not advised for women breastfeeding or pregnant. Added ingredients like saccharin, known to cause bloating and diarrhea, can further belabor the mayhem of sick care.
Considering this commercial option asserts the same recovery time as elderberry, we’ve got to question spending twice as much on a prescription drug that’s not safe for the whole family.
Committing to immune-boosting prevention and sick care offers security for the family and approaching flu season.
Elderberry can still be taken as a syrup or by capsule, but lest we forget, it's elderberry gummies that are the new cornerstone of kid-friendly vitamins these days.
Families are finding they provide an easy addition to the most harried routines, have a desirable taste, and a soft, chewable texture safe for little ones. When mornings are busy and everyone needs an extra vitamin boost, elderberry gummies can be a welcome treat.
Most people agree that immune health offers a desirable, lasting impact, but also that the pursuit needs to fit our daily lives, as well.
Finely Tuned Supplements: Echinacea and Propolis
Certain foods are seemingly always paired together, like rice and beans or yogurt and honey.
Beyond the flavor and texture profiles that make them inseparable, it turns out these foods have balancing properties to make them more nutritious when eaten together.
Rice and beans contain all of the amino acids for a “complete” source of protein. Natural sugars, like honey, help to effectively absorb protein in yogurt.
Recently, researchers wanted to test the benefits of a similarly, oft-paired tincture duo: echinacea and propolis. Echinacea is an herb from the coneflower and most known for its high antioxidant content, while propolis is a resinous anti-inflammatory produced by honeybees that can be taken orally or applied topically.
Echinacea and propolis have been studied separately as immune boosters and in the treatment of upper-respiratory illnesses with somewhat mixed results. Now, they are being offered as a combined supplement declaring mutually improved potency.
One study decided to test the joint preventative power against the common cold in young children.3 Over a 12-week period, children were either given an echinacea-propolis mixture or a placebo.
Tracking occurred throughout the study and results were impressive to the profound differences in the two groups.
Of the 328 children participating, the total number of upper-respiratory infections and duration of infections were both nearly 60% lower in the echinacea-propolis group.
These results point to a significant benefit in taking the immune-stimulating combination echinacea and propolis together for maximum preventive effect.
Compare and Contrast
Finding elderberry gummies and supplements that tout cold and flu prevention is an easy task even for the un-savvy shopper.
They’re wildly popular and the metadata supports their antioxidant benefit. Plus, almost every supplement can be found in gummy form now.
For those who want to know which elderberry gummy or supplement to trust though, those with added nutrients Vitamin C, echinacea, and propolis should top the list.
Research supports their success as a combined nutrient-herbal compound.
Not only have the gritty chewables of some 30 years ago all but been replaced, supplements are now more targeted, potent, effective, and satisfying, as well.
Proactive health measures for the whole family come in many forms, but immune health is solidly bolstered with antioxidants.
After considering the dichotomy of elderberry gummies’ rich wellness history, strong antioxidant profile, and chirpy, new, palatable texture, we’re happy to short-list them as a craze worth keeping around, even after cold and flu season ends.