Not all supplements that are great before pregnancy are good during it. So, can you take elderberry while pregnant? Let’s take a look.
Feeling a little under the weather and warned away from the medications you’d usually turn to?
If so, you may be wondering, can you take elderberry while pregnant?
It has, after all, been used for centuries to boost immune systems and combat colds and flu.
But is elderberry safe during pregnancy?
Or are there reasons to be cautious?
We’ll take you through the details.
In this article: 📝
- Is elderberry OK while pregnant?
- Can you take Sambucol black elderberry while pregnant?
- Who should not take elderberry?
- How can I boost my immune system while pregnant?
Is elderberry OK while pregnant?
Even if you’ve heard other mamas singing the praises of this tiny purple berry, you may want to give elderberry a miss when you have a baby on board.
Research shows elderberry is a great remedy for colds and flu, reducing the length and severity of illness.
Even so, it’s not been passed by the FDA as safe to use through pregnancy.
The main issue is the lack of evidence showing elderberry as a safe and effective treatment for pregnant women.
It’s also regarded as a supplement rather than a drug, so it’s not regulated in the same way as medication.
But that’s not the whole story.
Elderberry has loads of great properties.
Vitamins B6, polyphenols, phenolic acid, iron, potassium, and flavonoids all boost our immune system and help fight off colds and flu — even if we’ve already caught one.
But the berry also has some potentially alarming components.
The most concerning is something called cyanogenic glycoside, which can generate cyanide when broken down.
Cyanogenic glycoside is found mainly in the elder tree’s unripe berries, bark, twigs, and leaves. Ripe berries have relatively low levels of this compound.
But there’s a possibility that even low levels could be harmful to you or your unborn baby.
So because the research isn’t there, it’s impossible to be 100% sure that taking elderberry during pregnancy is safe.
Can you take Sambucol black elderberry while pregnant?
Sambucol is the brand name for an elderberry extract supplement.
Sadly, it hasn’t been proven safe during pregnancy yet.
It’s important to note that there’s not enough research to prove it isn’t safe either.
Some herbalists and naturopathic doctors say elderberry could be safe during pregnancy, although they still urge caution.
Most recommend speaking with a practitioner before taking any elderberry treatments or limiting use to just five to seven days.
So if you do decide to try it and are wondering if you can take elderberry daily while pregnant, your best bet is to speak with your doctor first.
And because of the potential dangers and the lack of research proving the safety of elderberry during pregnancy, you may want to err on the side of caution.
Who should not take elderberry?
It’s not just pregnancy that makes elderberry syrup and other treatments worth a careful look.
Certain health conditions can make elderberry a bad choice for boosting your immune system or battling respiratory ailments.
Plus, people with immune system disorders and diabetes may find that elderberry interacts adversely with their medication.
So it’s best to avoid elderberry if you take immunosuppressant medication or diabetic medications.
We also don’t know enough about the safety of elderberry for breastfeeding mamas.
So it’s a good idea to steer clear — or at least limit your use — until more research is available.
And because the few studies that have been done on the effectiveness and safety of elderberries have been carried out with adults, there’s no hard evidence to show elderberry is safe for small children either.
How can I boost my immune system while pregnant?
Making sure you get the full range of vitamins and minerals you need when pregnant is a good place to start boosting your immune system.
Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, managing your stress levels and factoring in some gentle exercise all go a long way to keeping you healthy while you’re pregnant.
Keeping your fluid intake up is also a good idea.
And if you do get a cold, talk to your doctor about medication options.
Sudafed is suitable in some pregnancies.
As are some decongestants.
But it’s all about what’s right for your specific pregnancy — so that’s why it’s best to check in with a healthcare professional first.
And if you need support along the way, your Peanut community is here to navigate the journey with you.
All the best, mama. ❤️