What is Sambucol elderberry good for?

Sambucol is a popular brand of elderberry syrup and lozenges made from black elderberry extract. Elderberries have been used medicinally for centuries, and Sambucol aims to provide a convenient way to enjoy their benefits. But what exactly is Sambucol good for? Here’s a look at the science behind using Sambucol and elderberries.

Does Sambucol help fight colds and flu?

One of the main uses of Sambucol is to help prevent and shorten the duration of colds and flu. In particular, it is often taken at the first signs of illness to try to stop the virus in its tracks.

Several studies have shown elderberry preparations like Sambucol may have benefits against influenza viruses. A randomized study published in the Journal of International Medical Research found that regularly taking elderberry extract syrup decreased flu symptoms by an average of 4 days compared to a placebo.

Sambucol also contains vitamin C, zinc, and proanthocyanidins, which all have antiviral and immune-boosting effects that may help ward off illness.

Does Sambucol relieve flu and cold symptoms?

In addition to shortening the duration of a cold or flu, Sambucol may help relieve common symptoms that accompany these viral infections like:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue

The anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of black elderberry are thought to be responsible for easing these miserable symptoms. The vitamin C and zinc in Sambucol provide added immune support.

Does Sambucol help sinus and respiratory infections?

Due to its antiviral and immune-boosting abilities, Sambucol may be helpful for certain sinus and respiratory infections like bronchitis, tonsillitis, and sinusitis. The anthocyanins in elderberry have anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce swelling and mucus production.

One study found taking elderberry syrup 4 times a day relieved nasal congestion and reduced inflammation in sinus infections more quickly than a placebo. More research is needed, but Sambucol shows promise for alleviating respiratory illness.

Does Sambucol have antibacterial benefits?

In addition to antiviral effects, early research suggests elderberry extracts like Sambucol may have antibacterial properties against certain bacteria. Specifically, black elderberry has shown activity against strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which cause issues like strep throat, pneumonia, and sinus infections.

One lab study also showed activity against Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria implicated in stomach ulcers. The antibacterial powers of Sambucol are not as well-researched as the antiviral benefits, but it may offer added protection against some common infections.

Does Sambucol relieve constipation?

Constipation and other digestive issues are common complaints with colds and flu. The anthraquinones found in elderberry are natural laxatives that may help get things moving again.

Sambucol also contains vitamin C, which acts as a gentle laxative and stool softener as well. Drinking Sambucol may help provide constipation relief when ill or as part of a regular bowel regimen.

Does Sambucol improve heart health?

Some research indicates that black elderberry extract may offer benefits for heart health. It contains flavonols like quercetin that have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities.

These compounds may help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and decrease oxidative stress and inflammation related to heart disease. More human studies are needed, but Sambucol may boost heart health with regular use.

Does Sambucol have anticancer effects?

The anthocyanins that give elderberries their deep purple color are powerful antioxidants that may help protect against cancer. These plant pigments can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.

Some test-tube studies have found black elderberry extracts like Sambucol inhibit the spread and reproduction of cervical, prostate, breast and colon cancer cells. Animal and human studies are still needed to confirm these anticancer effects.

Is Sambucol safe?

For most people, Sambucol is very safe when used at recommended dosages. However, it may cause some mild side effects like:

  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Sambucol is not recommended for children under age 12, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those taking immunosuppressants or anti-inflammatory medications unless under medical supervision.

Elderberry may interact with cancer chemotherapy drugs, so those patients should also exercise caution with Sambucol. As with any supplement, consult your doctor before use if you have any medical conditions or take medications.

Is Sambucol better than generic elderberry?

Sambucol is produced by a well-known and trusted supplement company that takes care in elderberry cultivation, extraction methods, and quality control. Generic elderberry products found online or in stores are more likely to have questionable purity, potency, and sourcing.

The black elderberry extract in Sambucol is produced with a unique extraction method to maximize anthocyanin content. It also adds vitamin C, zinc, and other immune-supporting ingredients not found in basic elderberry syrups.

While less expensive generic elderberry products are available, Sambucol’s superior quality make it a better choice for immune protection and health.

What is the best way to take Sambucol?

Sambucol is available as syrups and lozenges to suit different needs and preferences. For general immune support, the standard dosing is:

  • Adults: Take 2 teaspoons (10 ml) per day.
  • Children over 2 years: Take 1 teaspoon (5 ml) per day.

When sick, double this dose to 4 teaspoons for adults and 2 for kids daily. The syrup can be taken straight off the spoon or mixed with water, juice, smoothies, or other beverages.

The lozenges can be dissolved in the mouth slowly several times per day. Follow individual product instructions for proper dosing. For best results, take Sambucol consistently for immune protection and at the first sign of illness.

How long does Sambucol last when opened?

Once opened, Sambucol syrup should be refrigerated and consumed within 2 months before quality may start to decline. Keeping it cold will help preserve potency.

The Sambucol lozenges can be stored in a cool, dry place and should last up to 9 months after opening. As with any supplement, check products for expiration dates and signs of spoilage prior to use.

Is Sambucol gluten-free and vegan?

Sambucol syrup and lozenges are gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. They contain no gluten ingredients or animal products.

The black elderberry extract and other ingredients should be safe for those avoiding gluten or animal foods due to diet preferences or celiac disease and veganism.

Where to buy Sambucol

Sambucol products can be found at many pharmacies, health food stores, and online retailers including:

  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Amazon
  • iHerb
  • Vitamin Shoppe
  • Walmart

It may also be available for purchase from natural health practitioners like nutritionists, naturopaths, and herbalists.

Look for the standard black elderberry syrup as well as supplementary products like Sambucol gummies, sprays, and lozenges. Prices range from $15 to $30 for a 4-ounce bottle of the syrup containing approximately 40 servings.

Is Sambucol the best elderberry supplement?

When looking for a quality elderberry supplement, Sambucol remains one of the top choices. It has strong evidence behind it and has been subject to more clinical research than other brands.

Some other reputable elderberry supplement companies include Nature’s Way, Gaia Herbs, Herb Pharm, and New Chapter. Look for standardized extracts with at least 600-1,500 mg of black elderberry per serving.

Due to stringent quality control and elderberry expertise, Sambucol continues to be one of the most trusted and recommended elderberry supplements among both health professionals and consumers.

Is there a difference between Sambucol for kids and adults?

Sambucol offers syrup formulations specifically for kids ages 2-12 and also for adult use. The pediatric version has a lower recommended dosage for younger children. It is also mixed with tasty flavors like raspberry and strawberry to increase palatability.

Adult Sambucol features higher potencies better suited to grown immune systems. It comes in plain Original, as well as mixed Berry flavors. Both the children’s and adult’s syrups deliver powerful immune protection.

Sambucol side effects

When taken as directed, Sambucol is unlikely to cause side effects in most people. However, some individuals may experience:

  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Rash

Discontinue use if any severe reactions occur. Sambucol may also interact with certain medications like chemotherapy drugs, immunosuppressants, diuretics, and others. Speak with your healthcare provider before taking.

Is Sambucol FDA approved?

Currently, Sambucol is not approved by the FDA. As a dietary supplement, it does not undergo the same rigorous approval process as prescription medications. However, the FDA does regulate its manufacturing for safety and quality.

The black elderberry syrup from Sambucol conforms to all supplement manufacturing best practices enforced by the FDA including cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) for identity, purity, strength, and composition. While not FDA approved, Sambucol abides by all federal supplement regulations.

Sambucol dosage

The recommended Sambucol dosage depends on your age and reason for use:

Age Preventative Dose Acute Illness Dose
Adults over 12 10 ml (2 tsp) per day 20 ml (4 tsp) per day
Kids 2-12 years 5 ml (1 tsp) per day 10 ml (2 tsp) per day

Double dosing is recommended only for short periods of acute illness. Do not exceed 4 teaspoons daily long-term without medical approval. Always follow package directions and consult your doctor for dosage recommendations.


Sambucol offers a safe, effective way to utilize the immune-enhancing powers of black elderberry. Science supports its use for prevention and relief of viral infections like colds, flu, and sinusitis. It also provides antioxidant benefits for overall health.

When purchasing elderberry supplements, Sambucol remains a top choice for its purity, potency, and backing by research. Follow dosage guidelines carefully and speak with your healthcare provider to determine if Sambucol can be a beneficial addition to your wellness routine.

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