Dwarf elder
Dwarf elder


Dwarf elder (Sambucus ebulus) is a plant native to parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Its fruit contains chemicals that can be toxic when consumed.

Dwarf elder leaf contains chemicals that might reduce swelling when applied to the skin.

People use dwarf elder for eczema, skin irritation, wound healing, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don't confuse dwarf elder with elderberry, American elder, or elderflower. These are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Large amounts of any part of the dwarf elder plant are likely unsafe. It can cause loss of consciousness and death. There isn't enough reliable information to know if consuming small amounts of dwarf elder is safe.

When applied to the skin: Dwarf elder leaf extract is possibly safe. Gels, creams, and solutions that contain up to 10% dwarf elder leaf extract have been used for up to 4 weeks without serious side effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Consuming large amounts of any part of the dwarf elder plant is likely unsafe while pregnant or breast-feeding. It can cause loss of consciousness and death. Avoid use.


There is interest in using dwarf elder for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Dwarf elder has most often been used by adults in topical products such as creams, gels, and solutions. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition. Consuming any part of the dwarf elder plant by mouth can be unsafe.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if Dwarf Elder interacts with any medicines. Before taking Dwarf Elder, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 07/12/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 11/10/2022 06:54:29. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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