• Kristen

Elderberry


The berries and flowers of elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They could help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help protect your heart, too. Some experts recommend elderberry to help prevent and ease cold and flu symptoms.


Elderberries contain: 

  • Vitamin C, which helps several important cells in the immune system (such as T cells) perform their jobs.

  • Vitamin A, which helps regulate immune responses.

  • Powerful plant chemicals (phytochemicals) called flavonoids that appear to help health in many ways. For example, flavonoids may help fight inflammation and cancer.

Vitamins and phytochemicals are also powerful antioxidants – compounds that fight free radicals (molecules that damage cells). Elderberries also contain properties that actually help to prevent viral reproduction in the body with infected cells. This will lead to lessening the amount of cells infected in our body. Just like any supplement, unfortunately we do not have regulations on these products. Because of this it is important to find good sources of these products that aren't stuffed with fillers or synthetic products that are less absorbent than natural found products.


Research: Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18-54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999-2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study. Upper respiratory symptoms are often treated with over the counter drugs, antibiotics, and antiviral medications. Due to concerns about safety and efficacy, there is a demand for an alternative solution. Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been used to treat cold and flu symptoms, but there are no large-scale studies or meta-analyses. This meta-analysis quantifies the effects of elderberry supplementation and evaluates moderators including vaccination status and the underlying pathology. This analysis included a total of 180 participants and evaluates moderators such as vaccination status and cause of the upper respiratory symptoms. Supplementation with elderberry was found to substantially reduce upper respiratory symptoms. The quantitative synthesis of the effects yielded a large mean effect size. These findings present an alternative to antibiotic misuse for upper respiratory symptoms due to viral infections, and a potentially safer alternative to prescription drugs for routine cases of the common cold and influenza

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