Elderberry has a lot going for it—and for you—during cold and flu season. Its dense antioxidant levels may keep you from getting sick. If you do succumb, it can help relieve symptoms.
One recent study showed that patients with flu symptoms who took elderberry lozenges for two days showed statistically significant decreases in fever, headache, and nasal congestion than those taking placebo.
Clinical trials of patients with the flu suggest taking the herb at the first sign of illness and to continue doing so for three to five days. People given elderberry syrup in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that their flu symptoms ended an average of four days sooner than those given a placebo syrup.
“The American Botanical Council Clinical Guide to Elderberry,” The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs, edited by Mark Blumenthal, et al., 2003
“Colds and Influenza: A Review of Diagnosis and Conventional, Botanical, and Nutritional Considerations” by M. Roxas and J. Jurenka, Altern Med Rev, 3/07
“Elderberry Extract for Treating Influenza Symptoms” by Marissa Oppel-Sutter, 11/09; “Flavonoids in Elderberry Bind H1N1 Virus and Block Its Host Cell Entry in Vitro” by Marissa Oppel-Sutter, 1/10; “Review of Pharmacology and Clinical Benefits of European Elderberry” by Mariann Garner-Wizard, HerbClip, 1/06
“Inhibitory Activity of a Standardized Elderberry Liquid Extract Against Clinically-Relevant Human Respiratory Bacterial Pathogens and Influenza A and B Viruses” by C. Krawitz et al., BMC Complement Altern Med, 2/11