Let’s chat Elderberry!

Let’s chat Elderberry!

As we ease our way into fall, you may be wondering what the deal is with our newly re-formulated Elderberry Protect immune tonic blend. So we decided to go straight to the source and ask Ben (our co-founder and Chief Herbalist) to find out about the blend, why it was developed, and how he loves to enjoy it.

Let’s go!

What was the inspiration behind making this blend? Why these herbs?

The inspiration was my own desire for a daily immune tonic. I asked myself: If I only take one herbal supplement this winter, what would be essential? Which herbs support me and my immune system comprehensively from the most angles? I started with elderberry, an immune-boosting deep purple superstar full of antioxidants. But I didn’t stop there. Immunity is complex and there are many pathways through which we can support it.

So I blended in some more of my favorites. From medicinal mushrooms like turkey tail to circulatory stimulants like ginger, from astragalus root with it's immune-regulating polysaccharides to echinacea and it's tingly alkalamides, Elderberry is truly a one stop immune shop.

What makes elderberries a good choice for an immunity-supporting supplement?

This deep purple berry has long been celebrated during cold winter months. And for good reason— its immunomodulating properties make elderberry a useful and tasty ally to support you during the winter. Powerful polyphenols and polysaccharides provide a well-rounded, multi-targeted approach to healthy immunity.

How does Elderberry Protect boost immunity? // How does the combination of ingredients in Elderberry Protect work together to enhance health benefits?

Building deep immunity is about more than just quick-fixes and good seasonal luck. It entails a rounded approach of resourcing our bodies from a place of relationship and filling the lake of our adaptive energy from multiple streams. Nutrition, sleep, exercise, emotional well-being, spiritual vitality— these are all important. And plants play a big role as well! The herbs in Elderberry Protect work together to create a comprehensive immune tonic. Beyond elderberry, here are some of the ways this blend works its magic:

Immunomodulating polysaccharides— Echinacea aerial parts (leaves and flowers), astragalus, and turkey tail are rich in these polysaccharides that strengthen the immune system and support our internal balance.

Adaptogens like codonopsis and eleuthero smooth out our stress response and support our innate vitality. This has cascading benefits for our immune system. In addition, both of these adaptogens are traditionally used to boost the immune system, and studies show that they stimulate the healthy production of immune cells.

Circulatory stimulants— Warming and spicy Ginger is an excellent circulatory stimulant and diaphoretic that helps to move stuck and stagnant energy. Cardamom, while cooling instead of hot like ginger, also supports circulation and respiratory health. Both are helpful in maintaining healthy levels of inflammation.


We interrupt this interview for a brief message from Lopa about the blends she likes to mix Elderberry Protect with (for fun, and increased functionality):

  • Elderberry + Bold = Bolderberry, which is great for when I feel stress compromising my immune system
  • Elderberry + Dirty = Dirtyberry, which sounds funny but I like it 😁 and it gives me that slight caffeine boost + delicious coffee taste
  • Elderberry + Cacao = Just freaking delicious and needs no name or explaining 😛
  • Elderberry + Calm = ElderCalm, it’s such a delicious & supportive nightcap!


Who can benefit most from using Elderberry Protect and how should they incorporate it into their daily routine?

This blend was formulated with daily use in mind. Some immune products are intended for acute use here and there, but because of the beautiful ritual of Rasa (and the taste, of course) we wanted a blend that leaned more towards longer-term immune building. I'm starting to drink this most mornings, and I mix in Bold (Bolderberry!) when I want an extra adaptogen boost. Find a deeper dive on why the complex phytochemistry of these immune herbs is best enjoyed daily over months here.

Are there any unique features of Elderberry Protect that set it apart from other immunity-boosting products on the market?

My favorite thing about Elderberry Protect is that I look forward to drinking it! Unlike other products on the market, Elderberry is a ritual that can be enjoyed every day for months. The blend is a rare combination of potent, delicious, and easy. I often see pills on the market that have the proper potency, or drinks that taste good but have tiny amounts of elderberry (we call this fairy dusting and it’s unfortunately a very common practice). I don’t often see products that are a delight to consume and pack an immune-boosting punch.

With Elderberry Protect, you can be confident that you’re getting the full packaging. In fact, we just reworked several of our extracts to make them much more potent. The elderberry extract, for instance, is the most potent extract on the market. It’s a 64:1 extraction, meaning it takes 64 lbs of elderberries to make 1 lbs of this deep purple extract powder. It’s also standardized to 14% anthocyanins (the flavanoids that power the berries immune action).

Any last thoughts?

Unlike modern drugs, which act on us, plants interact with us in an ongoing conversation that is our heath. This dialogue between our cells and the phytochemicals from herbs has been going on for millenia, influencing diverse aspects of our physiology from immunity to epigenetics to mood. By encouraging and enhancing our innate capacity for resilience, herbs can help shift our relationship with our bodies away from one of control towards one of trust, respect, and support. Elderberry Protect’s immune and respiratory tonics, in addition to the stress-reducing adaptogens, can help us dance gracefully and sure-footedly through the changing seasons.