Fully usable in herbal medicine, black elderberry has different therapeutic properties depending on whether its flowers, berries, leaves or bark are used. White and fragrant, its flowers are mainly recognised for their richness in minerals and active principles such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and essential oil. The deciduous leaves of the black elderberry contain valerianic acid, potassium nitrate and tannins. Its fruits, black and shiny berries, represent a source of iron, carotenoids, amino acids, tannins and vitamins A, B6 and C. The bark of the black elderberry is a laxative, sedative and analgesic, and contains the conicine and sambucine alkaloids.
In addition to antioxidant flavonoids, the bioactive principles of Sambucus nigra L. also include lectins which play an important role in promoting immunity and fighting flu-like illnesses and herpes virus. Black elderberry is therefore an excellent natural ingredient for the dietary supplement market, both for its immune system stimulating functions and for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties.
In many Eastern and Northern countries, the tradition is to use the berries of the black elderberry to make jams, juices or jellies and its flowers for the consumption of lemonade, syrups or wine.
 MURUGESAN, Ramesh. Enhancement of antioxidant content of Elderberry («sambucus nigra») fruit by pulsed ultraviolet light followed by spray drying of Elderberry juice. 2010.
 MUMCUOGLU, Madeleine. Recherches sur l'extrait des baies du sureau noir Sambucus nigra L. et de ses lectines: propriétés biologiques de la lectine à activité antivirale. 1983. Thèse de doctorat. ETH Zurich.
 VU-HONG, Mai Quyen. Le Sureau et l'immunité. 2012. Thèse de doctorat.
 ROSCHEK Jr. B et al. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry. 2009 ; 70 (10) : 1255-1261.
 ZAKAY-RONES Z et al. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004 ; 32 (2) : 141-148.