fruit that fights the flu



Elderberry has a long tradition throughout Europe and North America as a treatment primarily for respiratory conditions including influenza, colds, coughs, fevers and sinusitis, and as a diuretic. Black elderberry is reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex virus in both test tube and preliminary human studies, and to significantly shorten the duration of the flu. Elderberries contain several active constituents, including polyphenols, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids.

Flu, Immunity and Inflammation Studies
In a preliminary human trial published in the Journal of International Medical Research, elderberry syrup significantly shortened the duration of flu symptoms by an average of four days in 60 patients with influenza, as compared to placebo.

A test tube study appearing in European Cytokine Network studied several formulations of Sambucol (a proprietary standardized black elderberry extract) on cells from healthy human donors. All the preparations had immune-activating effects.

Elderberry flower extract is thought to reduce inflammation of the gingiva in periodontal disease. Test tube research published in February 2006 in the Journal of Periodontology found that elder flower decreased the production of inflammatory cells by certain bacteria known to cause periodontal disease.

Side Effects and Cautions
Elderberry preparations are considered to be without side effects when taken in the suggested amounts. Safety during pregnancy has not been established.

There are no known drug interactions with elderberry. However, preparations made from the flower may enhance insulin release, and people with diabetes should monitor blood sugar closely when taking elder flower preparations, as they may need to reduce insulin intake.

Which Type and How Much to Take?
Black elderberry is available as a syrup, capsule, liquid extract and lozenge. Sugar-free syrups and lozenges are also available. Syrups are generally used for upper respiratory infections with cough, while the lozenges are often indicated for sore throats. Capsules (or tablets) are generally recommended for overall immune support. Take as directed by your health care practitioner or as indicated on the label. The general recommendation for acute viral infections is 1 tablespoon (15ml) of the liquid form, or 500mg of the powdered encapsulated form, three times daily for at least 3-5 days.

NATURE'S ANSWER SAMBUCUS BLACK ELDER BERRY EXTRACT is alcohol-free and offers a stronger natural flavor than products with alcohol.

ZAND ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES BLEND HERBAL LOZENGES, sweetened with organic brown rice syrup, contain elderberry and 200% of the daily value of vitamin C.

QUANTUM HEALTH ELDERBERRY LIQUID EXTRACT is a fast-acting liquid targeting the immune system that can be added to tea.

NATURE'S WAY SAMBUCOL SUGAR-FREE SYRUP was developed by a prominent virologist to promote upper respiratory health.

QUICK TIP: Outsmart Allergies
Elderberry products made from the flowering tops are thought to help ease allergies if taken daily for a few months before hay fever season.

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