While physical ailments aren’t the trendiest of topics, some remedies like elderberry can actually find themselves thrust into something approaching celebrity status…
Kind of funny.
At this point, elderberry syrup has probably popped up on every retail pharmacy’s shelf throughout the United States. Over the past few years, plenty of periodicals have also touted it as the best chance you and your family have during cold and flu season.
We’re willing to bet you’ve heard about the elderberry craze.
Indeed, it would be hard to have missed it.
But, is elderberry really as magical as the media proclaims?
According to research…the answer is Yes.
Keep reading to learn more about the powerful benefits of elderberry and how it can potentially protect you from the flu and other potent viruses – this winter, and every winter.
A History with Hippocrates
No doubt about it: elderberry is an herb with a history.
For thousands of years, across many different cultures and civilizations, elderberry has been recognized, noted and utilized for its medicinal qualities. In ancient Egypt, for example, the herb was used as a primary ingredient in various skin salves and burn treatments.
Elderberry is also believed to have been actively cultivated since approximately 2000 B.C.E. throughout the European continent, as well as parts of Asia. Native American tribes also reportedly found use for elderberry as a treatment for fever and rheumatism (source).
Hippocrates (460 – 370 BCE), the Father of Modern Medicine, reportedly referred to elderberry as the medicine chest of all healing herbs. As in so many medicinal matters, he pioneered its uses in the treatment of a variety of illnesses in ancient Greece.
With this amount of history behind it, it may be difficult to understand how elderberry has been relatively ignored for so long. Still, it’s been well worth the wait.
Indeed – despite it’s only recently finding its way to mainstream pharmaceuticals, all recent evidence suggests an open-and-shut case of better late than never…
Staying Healthy with Homeopathy
So: what’s impressive about this small, purple berry?
Primarily, it’s another example of the fantastic benefits offered by naturally occurring antioxidants.
The elderberry contains exceptionally high concentrations of phytochemicals that can help mediate viral activity. More than that, it may even be able to eliminate certain viruses from your body.
For example, once the flu virus gains access to a single cell, the virus can utilize that cell’s mechanisms to replicate itself and wreak further havoc.
Impressively, elderberry has been shown to put this entire process to a halt…
In one study (source), researchers found that elderberry can directly inhibit the influenza virus from entering your cells. The study continued to state it can actually trigger an immune response signal from any of your already-infected cells…
That signal, in turn, allows your immune system to mount a robust defensive response, eradicating the virus from your body.
A Spoonful of Medicine
Another promising research study was published in 2016 (source). It followed 312 overseas travelers who routinely traveled on potentially germ-filled planes…
(regular air travelers know airplanes inadvertently cause numerous flu and respiratory infections each year)
According to this study, however, while elderberry didn’t completely prevent infection from occurring, preventative dosing by the passengers was amazingly helpful. Just as some will take Dramamine or a Sleep Aid for flying, they popped a few capsules of elderberry…
While the study participants didn’t escape colds and flu entirely, those passengers who took elderberry reported one-half the amount of cold and flu occurrences. Even better news: when they did catch something, they reported less than half the amount of days sick.
Bottom Line: travelers with the forethought to take some elderberry got sick half as often, and it lasted less than half as long.
Again, not bad for a couple of lozenges!
So, you’re convinced…
Imagine you’ve stepped into your neighborhood pharmacy, only to find yourself bedazzled by the vast number of elderberry supplements available to you.
Elderberry tablets, capsules, lozenges, syrup and even tea.
They just stare back at you from the shelves – how do you choose?
Easy. Let’s discuss…
The first step in choosing the best form is to determine how you plan to use it. Do you plan to supplement daily with elderberry as a preventative measure? Are you looking to keep a form of elderberry handy in your home for a while?
The most popular method is taking elderberry in its syrup form; a sensible approach. Liquids absorb very readily and there are many tasty formulations (almost like fresh recipes) to choose from…
However, what makes the liquid form appealing can also work against it. Elderberry syrups often need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness, and even then, they still have a limited shelf life.
You may not have plans to supplement with elderberry regularly (and we’re also guessing you’re probably not deliberately making plans to get sick either) …
If you aren’t planning on going through a bottle fairly quickly, work in close quarters with office mates, travel often or just want greater convenience, consider lozenges or capsules. They’re easy to take, convenient, and typically have a long and stable shelf life.
Both versions can get the job done. It’s important to select a brand you trust and make sure the formula has an appropriate dosage (typically 15ml for syrup, and about 175mg of active ingredient for a lozenge).
Choose the elderberry product that matches your plan to ensure you stay healthy throughout the winter!