Well, when I say it’s new – Elderberry has been used for centuries to treat various ailments. However, in the past couple of years, this herb has become popular for treatment of cold, flu and viral illnesses especially when included with other great immune herbs such as Andrographis.
Elderberry is believed to be particularly beneficial for treating upper respiratory symptoms associated with colds and flu. It is also thought to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms and is best taken at the onset of symptoms.
There’s been some very interesting studies on the effectiveness of Elderberry. A 2016 Australian study found taking Elderberry prior to flying overseas could protect against cold viruses which we often dread when travelling. This study over 20 months monitored 312 international travellers who were either given a placebo or 600mg to 900mg of Elderberry extract in capsules, commencing 10 days prior to their flight. The Elderberry or placebo were taken throughout their trip, ceasing 4 to 5 days after returning. Whilst more placebo participants contracted colds there wasn’t a major difference (17 vs 12) between the placebo participants and those taking Elderberry. The big difference was the longer duration of days suffered from colds (117 vs 57) and the severity of symptoms (583 vs 247). The study found there was a significant reduction in the duration and the severity of the colds when taking Elderberry (1).
Another 2004 study was undertaken of 60 participants who had been suffering flu like symptoms for 48 hours. On average the participants taking Elderberry for the following 5 days found on average those taking Elderberry found their symptoms diminished 4 days sooner than those taking the placebo (2).
I have often written about the benefits of Andrographis especially when it comes to prevention and treatment of colds and flu. As with Elderberry, Andrographis is believed to help in shortening the duration of cold and flu symptoms including coughs. It has traditionally been used to help alleviate symptoms of respiratory infections and boost immunity. Research has found this herb contains antiviral properties and may curb virus replication. As well it has been found to lower fevers.
With so many of us suffering from the winter ills at the moment, it is logical therefore a combination of Elderberry and Andrographis may be a great option in treating colds, flu and viruses.
For more information call down to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St in Batemans Bay or call us on 0244729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev every Wednesday on 2EC at 12.30pm for Go Get Healthy.
(1) Evelin Tiralongo; Shirley S Wee; Rodney A Lea. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients 2016 Apr 8(4) :182 PMC4848661 PMID 27023596
(2) Z Zakay-Rones, E Thorn, T Wollan, J Wadstein. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. PMID 15080016 DOI: 10.1177/147323000400300205