The berries in the picture may look like blueberries but they are actually elderberries. These berries may be the key to avoiding the flu or stopping it in its tracks this winter. With the temperatures dropping and the flu season upon us, it is time to be thinking about how to arm your body to battle the threat of sickness.
Elderberries have long been used in “folk” medicine for many years. They contain a compound called flavanoids, which have been shown to have anti-viral characteristics against parainfluenza and influenzae viruses. Typically the flu (influenza) lasts 5-7 and include symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat and a cough.
A 2004 study examined the effectiveness of taking an elderberry extract while having the flu. There were 60 participants, half receiving the elderberry syrup (ES) and the others receiving a placebo. According to the article. “a complete cure was achieved within 2-3 days in nearly 90% of the elderberry treated group compared to at least 6 days in the placebo group.”
Consuming an elderberry syrup may be an effective way to expedite the recovery from the flu and other seasonal illnesses. Pre-made extracts can be found at natural health food stores. You can also make your own. Keep reading for more information on how to do so!
Resources: 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. Journal of International Medical Research. 2004;32:132–140.