Have you heard of elderberry? It seems to be all over the internet these days. Many claim it to have amazing immune protecting properties and use it as a natural cold and flu remedy.
So what is it and does it live up to the hype?
Elderberry comes from the sambucus tree. It is a tart, glossy, deep-purple fruit that is native to Europe and also grows across America, Asia, and North Africa today. Elderberries are naturally high in vitamins and essential nutrients including Vitamin C, A, B6, iron, and potassium.
Cold, Flu, and Virus Fighter Extraordinaire
Elderberry is most studied for its ability to improve immune system function. The berries contain anthocyanidins (antioxidants), which are a class of organic chemical compounds known to support the immune system.
In multiple clinical studies, patients with influenza A or B were relieved 4 days sooner compared to a placebo group by taking elderberry syrup.
In another study, 312 travelers (flying overseas to Australia) used elderberry to help reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms.
Regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, research published in 2019 states elderberry may support the body in fighting coronavirus strains and possess multiple anti-viral benefits.
You can find elderberry supplements in a variety of forms from powders, syrups, tablets, lozenges, and even teas.
Caution should be taken for children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, but is otherwise safe for the general population as a standardized extract or cooked berries.
The stem, bark, leaves, and raw berries can be toxic so make sure you get your elderberry from a reputable source like ours!
Written by: Nicole Miller, M.S.
Edited by: Jaclyn Jacobsen, M.S., CPT