Elderberries are known for their healing properties against colds, but many may not know the potential side effects they carry. One TikToker walks viewers through their shock at learning more about these potent berries—and how she was almost “un-alived” by them.
“Not the grocery store almost un-aliving me with these poisonous berries,” the creator says in the clip.
In the video, user Herb Bae (@noniherbiana) shows a fresh batch of elderberries they say they just got from the grocery store. It was only after buying the elderberries they say they learned about the risks consumers can endure if the berries are not prepared properly.
“Apparently, fresh elderberries are filled with cyanide and you have to cook them down in order to ingest them. I had no clue,” she says. “Like these are just sitting on the shelf with no sign, no warning, no nothing.”
Cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical that can be found in some foods and plants. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cyanide ingestion can lead to chest pain, chest tightness, and confusion. Some more extreme examples of the dangers of cyanide exposure are coma, death, or seizures. A study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirms these dangers in raw elderberries but not in elderberry juices.
Herb Bae also shares some of these side effects in their video as they show a Google search with facts about the danger of cyanide in elderberries.
“You eat a little, you may vomit and you have little diarrhea,” they say. “Eat a lot and you might [dead hand gesture] be up out of here. That would be a really sad way to go.”
The video has 304,000 views as of Friday, with many viewers sharing a similar shock after learning this in the comments section.
@noniherbiana #greenscreen who knew?! #cyanide #poison #poisonous #poisonousplants #elderberry #elderberrysyrup #fyp #becareful #knowledge #knowledgesharing #themoreyouknow #blowthisup #blowthisupforme ♬ original sound – Herb Bae
“Wait, what? In the grocery store just sells them?!!” one user asked.
“I’m glad I saw this bc I got an elderberry plant outside that I was bout to go make medicine with,” another user wrote.
“Wow. Thank you,” echoed yet another TikToker.
Others weren’t as surprised to learn the potentially fatal effects of elderberries.
“YUP YUP, and I’m always BLOWN AWAY when people don’t put a note next to them!!” one user commented.
“I knew it was toxic. however they should definitely have a warning because elder berry isn’t consumed often and many don’t even know it exists!” another wrote.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Herb Bae for comment via TikTok.