Elderberry is a popular berry and there are new products out there almost every day. This is not an advertisement for our own Elderberry Apple Shots, but rather a helpful tip on how to choose an elderberry syrup.
Spend Your Money on Elderberry
If you want to spend your money on ELDERBERRY (rather than another ingredient), here's how to make the best choice. Of course you may have other requirements (for example, gluten-free or honey-free or child approved), but this is a great starting point. IF YOU DISLIKE MATH, SKIP TO THE CONCLUSION "Survey Says!" BELOW.
1. Find three numbers on the elderberry product label you are looking at:
- the number of servings in the entire product ("A")
- the number of grams of elderberry in a serving ("B")
- the price (include shipping if applicable) ("C")
2. Calculate the price per gram ("D") this way: D = C ÷ (A x B)
Let's Calculate the Example in the Photo
1. In the Elderberry Syrup pictured above, there are 30 servings in a bottle.
2. There are 1.5 grams of elderberry in a serving, or 1,500 milligrams.
3. It costs $26.39 (on October 28, 2019) and $0 for shipping.
So -- $26.39 ÷ (30 x 1.5) = $0.5864 per gram of elderberry.
Keep in mind that most labels show elderberry (also called sambucus) as milligrams per serving. If that's the case you will need to make the following adjustment to convert milligrams into grams:
D = C ÷ (A x (B ÷ 1,000))
In my on-line research I have found a price range of $0.15 per gram of elderberry (Fat Stone Farm, $22 for a 9.3 oz bottle) up to $1.49 per gram of elderberry (Elderberry Queen, $19.99 for a 12 oz bottle). If the bottle seems like a bargain, it probably has very little elderberry in it.
If you need any help doing a formula or deciphering a label, you can DM me on Facebook (@fatstonefarm) or send me an email (liz at fatstonefarm.com). I honestly don't care what brand you have, where you got it, or what you plan to do with it.
If you are looking at our Elderberry Apple Shots, you may notice that our label looks different than many other brands. We sell our "Shots" (like a syrup, but slightly too thin to call it syrup) as a regular food item, not a supplement. I've written a short article about why we did that.
What About Homemade Elderberry Syrup?
Most homemade elderberry syrups call for dried berries, which reconstitute in hot/boiling water. Even some commercially available syrups use dried berries. I cannot find any information about how many milligrams of elderberry are present after the boiling phase. I have doubts that the dried berries have more nutrition after all that boiling, and so a homemade syrup may end up being more expensive on an elderberry-per-gram basis than a purchased one made from fresh/frozen berries.
Would love to hear your comments or suggestions! (due to bots/spam issues, the comments are moderated so you won't see your comment right away)