The black elderberry plant is a deciduous shrub found mostly in North America and Europe. Most of the scientific research on the medicinal benefits of the plant has been conducted on the European species, Sambucus nigra. The plant produces white flowers that are used for both health and flavor applications and dark purple-black berries that are packed with phytonutrients. Elderberries have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat everything from skin disorders to colds and flus. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, even referred to elderberry as “nature’s medicine chest.” Today, elderberry is used both as a natural red food colorant and as a top nutraceutical/functional food for its potent flavonoid profile and its multitude of health benefits.

Phytonutrient Profile

  • Contains nearly four times the anthocyanins as other commonly consumed berries
  • Unique anthocyanin profile containing cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin-3-sambubioside, cyanidin-3-sambubioside-5-glucoside, cyanidin-3-rhamnoglucoside, cyanidin-3-xyloglucoside
  • Rich in flavonoids like isoquercetin and catechins

Elderberry Benefits

  • One of the highest ORAC antioxidant values compared to other fruit (2007 USDA study)
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Eases physical stress and enhances athletic performance
  • Promotes a healthy cardiovascular system
  • Promotes healthy aging and inflammation responses
  • All-natural and food-grade

Product Applications

Artemis’ elderberry powders and extracts are ideal for a variety of applications including functional foods and beverages, dietary supplements, and as natural colorants. They are suitable for use in capsules, tablets, drink mixes, cosmetics, and more.

Artemis Elderberry Products

Standardized Elderberry 3.2% Liquid

A standardized liquid concentrate made from whole European elderberries. This deeply colored concentrate has a unique, aromatic scent containing a minimum ORAC value of 700, a minimum of 3.2% anthocyanins and a minimum phenol level of 4.2%. The concentrate is produced via a physical process only, no solvent is used.

Standardized Elderberry 6.5% Powder

A dark, purple-red powder that is extracted via a solvent-free physical process. The extract contains a minimum ORAC value of 1500, a minimum of 6.5% anthocyanins and a minimum phenol level of 8.4%.

Standardized Elderberry 13% Powder

A dark, purple-red powder that is extracted via a physical process and contains a minimum ORAC value of 3000, a minimum of 13% anthocyanins and a minimum phenol level of 17%.

Elderberry Juice Powder

A pink-purple powder that is perfect for enhancing products naturally. Pure elderberry fruit solids are spray-dried onto a GMO-free maltodextrin excipient. All the goodness of elderberries is packed into this versatile fruit powder.

Elderberry Juice Concentrate

A deep red-purple concentrate that is all-natural and packed with antioxidants. This 65 Brix concentrate is the foundation for a multitude of functional foods, supplements, and color applications.

Health Benefits

Elderberry has been extensively studied for bioavailability. In one particular human study by Cao et al. (2001), elderly women consumed an acute dosage of Artemis’ standardized elderberry extract, and anthocyanins were detected as glycosides in both plasma and urine. Further analysis of the urine by HPLC-MS/MS confirmed the existence of two main anthocyanins in elderberry (cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-sambubioside) as well as four metabolites. Other studies by Milbury and his team (2002) confirmed the absorption of anthocyanins in their glycosylated forms and identified various metabolized forms. Wu et al. (2002) discussed the fact that absorption from an extract will likely be better than from the raw plant where the anthocyanins have not been extracted from the plant cell.
Elderberry’s historical role in the treatment of colds and flu has stimulated much research interest. In a clinical trial conducted by Israeli scientists (Zakay-Rones et al., 1995), elderberry was administered to influenza-infected patients. Elderberry treatment resulted in reduced severity and longevity of flu symptoms. Also, research out of Germany (Krawitz et al., 2011) reported that Artemis’ elderberry extract inhibits the growth of influenza A and B viruses and bacteria associated with upper respiratory tract infections in humans. Artemis’ standardized elderberry extracts have been shown, in vitro, to possess additional antiviral activity, most notably against replication of HSV-1, HSV-2, and HCMV viruses. De Benito et al. (1998) isolated ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIP) in elderberries as well. RIPs may serve as a potential immunotoxin and can be used both as an antiviral and an antitumor agent. In studies by Blumenthal et al. (pending publication) it was shown that Artemis’ elderberry extracts enhance the immune system through increased levels of T cells, B cells, and IFN and IL-2 cytokines, resulting in an increased resistance to viral infection that was even more pronounced in older animals. This work also suggested that elderberry’s effect on enhancing the immune response may involve activation of genes that produce IL-2 and IFN and can act directly on viruses to inhibit their ability to replicate.
Using a model for monitoring critical care patients, researchers in Austria showed elderberry extracts reduced stress by mediating changes in blood parameters. When an elderberry extract was administered to athletes and highly stressed emergency responders, the results showed a positive impact on the subjects’ stress responses and exercise regimens. In effect, elderberry reduced the production of stress hormones, delayed and reduced lactic acid production, and kept the body in a state of oxidative phosphorylation longer, enabling longer/harder workouts.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a critical role in the impairment of nitric oxide-mediated vascular functions and overall pathogenesis associated with cardiovascular disease. Abuja et al. (1998) showed that Artemis’ elderberry extract reduced the oxidation rates of low-density lipoprotein (LDL is known as the “bad cholesterol” as it generates free radicals when oxidation occurs). Additional
studies have shown the effects of elderberry anthocyanins on vascular endothelium, which plays a crucial role in blood flow regulation and vascular tone. Studies by Youdim et al. (2000) revealed that enrichment of endothelial cells with Artemis’ elderberry anthocyanins conferred significant protective effects against diverse oxidative stressors—which can have important implications on preserving endothelial cell functions and preventing against vascular diseases. Bell et al. (2005) found that elderberry anthocyanins produced endothelium-dependent relaxation in porcine coronary arteries. Extract concentrations too low to directly alter coronary vascular tone protected coronary arteries from ROS without altering vasorelaxation to endogenous or exogenous nitric oxide. Tsuda et al. (1999) have also reported that elderberry anthocyanins suppressed oxidative stress in mouse models of liver ischemia. Researchers in Austria conducted a pilot study to look specifically at the potential effects of elderberry extract on fasting and postprandial risk profiles. They (Murkovic et al., 2000) found that anthocyanins from elderberry showed a total cholesterol lowering effect. Elderberry’s role in diabetes was also investigated by Gray et al. (2000) and subsequently by Ciocoiu et al. (2009). They reported that the anthocyanins stimulated insulin production and exhibited hypoglycemiant, hypolipemiant and antioxidant effects.

All elderberry products are also available in NOP certified organic upon request.