Black Elderberry and it's Positive Effects Against Flu

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Black Elderberry Extract Capable of Shortening Flu Duration by Half....

The all-natural, proprietary Black Elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) can reduce symptoms and shorten duration of flu types A & B, as found in a clinical study accepted for publication in The Journal of International Medical Research.

In the study, on average, flu patients given the Black Elderberry extract recovered in 3.1 days compared to 7.1 days for those given a placebo. Fifty-four patients with verified type A flu and six with type B (29 females/31 males aged 18 to 54 years) were enrolled in the double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted through the University of Oslo School of Medicine, Norway. Participants in the study were randomly assigned to two groups, with one given the Black Elderberry extract and the other a placebo four times a day for five days. No significant side effects were reported.

It's likely that antioxidants called flavonoids -- which are contained in the extract -- stimulate the immune system.  Also, other compounds in elderberry, called anthocyanins, have an anti-inflammatory effect; this could explain the effect on aches, pains, and fever.

These clinical studies confirm the efficacy of Black Elderberry extract in shortening the duration and reducing the severity of flu. Black Elderberry has not, however, been tested as a flu preventative, nor is it intended as a substitute for flu vaccine. However, taken at times running up to likely flu epidemics it helps strengthen the bodies natural immune defense mechanisms which may help lessen or prevent symptoms of flu naturally.

This is more evidence that this herbal treatment for flu if taken when flu-like symptoms first appear could help people get through this year's flu invasion a bit easier.

In folk medicine, flowers from the Black Elder bush have been used to ease flu symptoms, colds, and sinus problems.  

In some areas of Switzerland and Italy, researchers have uncovered evidence that the Black Elderberry may have been cultivated by prehistoric man, and there are recipes for elderberry-based medications in the records dating as far back as Ancient Egypt.

However, historians, generally trace the tradition of the Elderberry’s healing power back to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the “father of medicine,” who described this plant as his “medicine chest” for the wide variety of ailments it seemed to cure.

Over the centuries, Elderberry has been used to treat colds, flu, fever, burns, cuts, and more than 70 other maladies, from toothache to the plague. In the 17th century, John Evelyn, a British researcher, declared, “If the medicinal properties of its leaves, bark, and berries were fully known, I cannot tell what our countryman could ail for which he might not fetch a remedy [from the Elderberry], either for sickness or wounds.”

Black Elderberry extract is classified as a dietary supplement, rather than a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention, cure or treatment of flu. It is not intended as a substitute for flu vaccine, which is advisable for children and adults—especially those over age 50 or with compromised immune function.

Summary of the Facts relating to Black Elderberry.

  • Black Elderberries are rich in anthocyanins which are a type of flavonoid –  anthocyanins are antioxidants that may protect cells from free radicals and support your body’s immune system.
  • Black Elderberries have almost 5 times as many anthocyanins as Blueberries and twice the overall antioxidant capability of cranberries.
  • Black Elderberry has a more potent antiviral effect than Echinacea.
  • Black Elderberry extract has been found to be effective against the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu  (Zakay-Rones et al 1995).
  • Black Elderberry extract contains a unique compound called Antivirin® that can help protect healthy cells and inactivate  infectious viruses.
  • When given to patients, scientists have found the Black Elderberry extract, has the ability to ward off flu infections quickly  (Zakay-Rones 2004).



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