Echinacea vs. Elderberry: A Comprehensive Comparison for Wellness

Echinacea vs. Elderberry: A Comprehensive Comparison for Wellness

Echinacea vs Elderberry: What’s More Effective for Cold & Flu?

Throughout history, people have turned to natural remedies to stay healthy. Elderberry and echinacea are among these remedies. They've been part of traditional medicine for centuries and are still popular today, especially for boosting the immune system. While both elderberry and echinacea are valued for their health benefits, it's important to compare them closely to see how they differ and what each one offers.

In this article, we'll dive into the world of elderberry and echinacea. We want to understand what makes them unique and how they might work together to keep us healthy. By looking closely at their qualities, we hope to provide you with a clear picture of how elderberry and echinacea are similar, how they're different, and how they each contribute to our health and well-being. Let’s get started!

What Is Echinacea?

Echinacea, also known as the purple or pale coneflower, is a plant found mainly in the United States and Canada. Its various parts, including leaves, stems, flowers, and roots, are used by manufacturers to create supplements like immune defense, extracts, and teas. 

A white bottle of Immune Defense


These products are believed to tap into echinacea's healing properties, particularly in treating common illnesses like colds and the flu. Listed below are the main benefits of echinacea:

Boosts the immune system

Echinacea is thought to improve the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and viruses — a process known as phagocytosis. It may also stimulate the production of macrophages, which play an important role in the body's immune and inflammatory responses.

Inflammation control

Echinacea's strong anti-inflammatory effects could potentially help people manage conditions like arthritis, which is great news!

Prevents the flu

Some research suggests that echinacea may lower the risk of catching the flu by as much as 58% and reduce the duration of flu symptoms. It’s also worth noting that combining echinacea with elderberry in tea provides a blend of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s an excellent choice for those who are looking to give their immune system an extra boost.

What Is Elderberry?

Elderberry is the fruit that grows on the Sambucus tree, which is primarily found in Europe and North America. While other parts of the tree are toxic, the white flowers and dark purple berries are safe for consumption.

A cluster of elderberries


These berries are quite delicious and are commonly used in pastries, preserves, and sweet sauces. They have a tangy and sour taste to them with a slightly bitter undertone. Here are some benefits of eating elderberries:

Loaded with antioxidants

Elderberries are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins. Clinical trials show that anthocyanins have an antioxidant strength of up to 3.5 times that of vitamin E.

Relieves flu and cold symptoms

Elderberries have been traditionally used to alleviate the severity of cold and flu symptoms, especially when taken within 48 hours of symptom onset. Research suggests that regular intake of elderberry extract may reduce the intensity of respiratory symptoms during infection.

Alleviates constipation

The anthraquinone compound found in elderberries acts as a natural laxative. However, it's recommended to avoid prolonged use for more than five days.

Anti-inflammatory benefits

Elderberries contain anthocyanins that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins inhibit the production of nitric oxide, which causes inflammation. For this reason, eating elderberries may help reduce pain.

A bee on an echinacea flower


Echinacea vs Elderberry: Which Is Better for Wellness?

When it comes to boosting immunity, fighting viral infections, and improving overall health, choosing between elderberry and echinacea isn't all that straightforward. Both herbs offer significant benefits! While each can be effective individually, they can also complement each other as natural infection fighters.

Echinacea is ideal for preventive measures since it helps to boost the immune system before you get sick, while elderberry is best suited for when you're already feeling under the weather. You can find these herbal supplements available on Revive MD’s website, so don’t hesitate to check them out! Let’s talk about the specific benefits of echinacea and elderberry below:

Echinacea for before you get sick

Echinacea is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system, which can be helpful when you're starting to feel sick. This plant helps your immune system get rid of bacteria and fight infections more effectively. It also helps white blood cells move around your body faster to fight off bacteria.

Another good thing about echinacea is that it can fight off harmful molecules called free radicals in your body. These molecules can cause damage and make you feel sick. Echinacea's antioxidant properties help keep your body healthy and may even reduce symptoms caused by stress on your body. It's important to remember, though, that echinacea works best when you start taking it as soon as you start to feel like you're getting sick.

Using it for too long, more than 5-7 days, might not be as effective because your body might get used to it. So, it's best to use echinacea for short periods to get the most out of its benefits and help your body fight off sickness.

Elderberry for when you’re already sick

For many years now, elderberry has been valued for its health benefits. It's packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, so it’s an especially popular choice for both foodies and those who are trying to improve their wellness.

People have used elderberries in various forms — like wine, pie, lemonade, and jam — which just goes to show how versatile they are. Besides being a kitchen staple, elderberry is also found in medicinal products like syrups and lozenges because of its potential health benefits.

A human study from 2018 found that elderberry can help ease symptoms of upper respiratory infections, like the common cold and flu. This suggests that elderberry could be a helpful natural remedy for managing these types of illnesses.

Elderberry is also believed to improve how different parts of our immune system communicate with each other, which might make our bodies better at fighting off harmful bacteria.

What Else Can You Take to Support Your Immune System?

Maintaining a strong immune system can be a challenge. Your immune system needs to strike a delicate balance, as both an overactive and underactive immune response can cause problems. A healthy body relies on a healthy immune system, and taking care of yourself means taking care of your body's defenses.

Along with cutting out harmful habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and lack of sleep, it's essential to reduce stress and remove toxins from your lifestyle. Adding these superfoods for immunity to your diet can support your body's natural defenses and keep you healthy throughout the year.


This strong-flavored root doesn't just enhance the taste of your dishes; it also strengthens your immune system. Ginger is well-known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. It’s an excellent natural remedy to boost your body's defenses.

Often called the "spice of life," ginger has proven effective in relieving nausea and supporting digestion. Relevant studies show that the various compounds in ginger can positively affect the stomach, nervous system, and intestines.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant that plays an important role in supporting your immune system. It serves as a frontline defense against damage caused by free radicals and aids in the function of key immune cells like neutrophils, natural killer cells (NK), antibodies, and lymphocytes. These cells work together to combat bacterial infections and eliminate harmful pathogens.

Studies have consistently shown that vitamin C can help reduce the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections, the common cold, and other health conditions. Since your body doesn't store vitamin C for long, it's essential to consume it regularly through your diet. That’s right — drink your orange juice!

Foods that are rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes. Additionally, pairing vitamin C-rich foods with sources of iron, such as beans, spinach, or quinoa, can enhance its absorption and further support your immune system.


This popular spice is getting attention for good reason. With its strong antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, turmeric can be a valuable addition to your immunity toolkit. Research suggests that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, may offer some protection against cardiovascular issues, metabolic syndrome, and even cognitive decline.

For better absorption, it's recommended to eat turmeric with foods that contain fat. A simple way to enjoy turmeric is by making golden milk, a soothing beverage that’s made by mixing turmeric, cinnamon, and your choice of milk (coconut milk is a popular option).


Zinc is more important than you might think (rhyme not intended). Even a slight shortage of this mineral can weaken your immune function, causing a decrease in natural killer cells, T cells, antibodies, and overall immune cell responses.

Similar to vitamin C, your body doesn't store zinc efficiently, so it's essential to get an adequate amount daily to maintain your nutrient levels. Foods like legumes, eggs, shellfish, meat, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are especially rich sources of zinc, but you can also take zinc supplements.

A white bottle of Zinc immune system support



Did you know that a significant portion — about 70 to 80 percent — of your body's immune tissue resides in your digestive system? That's right, a well-functioning gut and a robust immune system are closely intertwined.

When you consider that your gut is responsible for processing and combating pathogens present in everything you eat, it becomes clear why it needs strong defenses to fend off illnesses and thwart infectious attacks.

Various strains of beneficial bacteria in your gut play a major role in supporting your immune function, highlighting the importance of having an ample supply of "good" bacteria. A healthy gut isn't just about digestion; it can also help combat a wide range of health issues, from the common cold to autoimmune conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Incorporating more fermented foods — such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha — into your diet could be a great way to introduce a healthy dose of friendly bacteria to your gut, thereby strengthening your immune health.

Boost Your Immune System With Revive’s Supplements!

Revive MD’s Immune Defense supplement is a great choice if you’re looking to get your daily dose of elderberry, vitamin C, and zinc. Both echinacea and elderberry have been proven to be great for overall health, so you definitely can’t go wrong with incorporating these natural remedies into your diet!

The information being presented in this blog is intended to be used as educational or resource information only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. This content should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider. You should call 911 for all medical emergencies. Revive MD is not liable for any advice or information provided on this blog, which advice or information is provided on an “as-is” basis, and assumes no liability for diagnosis, treatment, decisions, or actions made in reliance upon any advice or information contained on this blog. No warranties, express or implied, are made on the information that is provided.

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