Elderberry Extract to Battle Flu

‘Tis the season to be jolly unless, of course, you get the flu. For an easy shortcut to making fruit cake, contract that dandy little stomach bug that’s been merrily popping from person to person. But if you, like me, would like to avoid getting the flu or lessen its effects, I have a easy, inexpensive aid for you: Elderberry extract.

Elderberry is a bluish black or red berry that’s often used in making syrups and grows on a bush. The proposed flu fighting component, according to a 2009 study conducted by HerbalScience Group LLC, is the flavonoids within the fruit. Flavonoids give the berry its color and are  powerful anti-oxidants.

I put it to the test last week! Our eldest son was sick and throwing up all over the house one day and my loving wife was doing her best to care for him until she started getting nausea with all the explosive joy that comes with the flu. One day later I began having the same nausea, headache, fatigue that she started with so I hopped in my car, drove to the nearest Meijer and started an intensive dose of elderberry syrup. 2 tsp, 4 times a day. After 3 doses of the syrup, the nausea went away completely and I finished out the next day with a headache, fatigue and body chills….minus puking. The next day, my body was completely normal! Haaaaaallelujah! Everyone else I know with this bug has had 2-4 days of general sickness but I was back up and running in almost exactly 24 hours with no upchuck.

There are several studies that show elderberry may have positive effects on preventing and decreasing viral symptoms. Length and severity seems to decrease if elderberry is taken within 24 – 48 hours, according to WebMD.

A bottle cost about $15 and will last three days if taken on an intensive course…plus…it taste delicious!

WebMD: Elderberry

HerbalScience, LLC study

Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and nutritional considerations. Altern Med Rev. 2007 Mar;12(1):25-48. Review.

Uncini Manganelli RE, Zaccaro L, Tomei PE. Antiviral activity in vitro of Urtica dioica L., Parietaria diffusa M. et K. and Sambucus nigra L. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):323-7.

Vlachojannis JE, Cameron M, Chrubasik S. A systematic review on the sambuci fructus effect and efficacy profiles. Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):1-8. Review.

Wright CI, Van-Buren L, Kroner CI, Koning MM. Herbal medicines as diuretics: A review of the scientific evidence. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Oct 8;114(1):1-31.

Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004;32:132-40.

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