Flu Season? No Problem – Elderberry Has You Covered!
Elderberry is a small dark red to blue-black berry that has been used by healers since ancient times as an effective medicine for a myriad of ailments. Many ancient healers considered elderberry a panacea, or a remedy and ‘cure-all’ for nearly all ills.1 Even modern-day rock and rollers make reference to the powerful berry as heard in the 1974 song by The Rolling Stones titled, “Till the Next Goodbye”, where they sing,
“Some cider vinegar and some elderberry wine, may cure all your ills but it can’t cure mine.”2
In modern times, elderberry is still used as a potent herbal medicinal to help fight bacterial and viral infections like the cold and flu. It has also been shown to help boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, improve respiratory issues, increase sweat and urine production, and relieve pain and inflammation.3,4,5
Common Uses for Elderberry include:
ü Antiviral - Cold and Flu
ü Sinus Infections
ü Upper Respiratory Infections
ü High Cholesterol
ü Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
ü Anti-Inflammatory & Antioxidant
Conquer Flu Season with Elderberry
It’s flu season again – that time of year when temperatures drop and daylight hours shorten, contributing to weakened immune systems that leave many vulnerable to infections like the flu. The flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory disease that infects millions of Americans every year. It can manifest as anywhere from mild illness with symptoms like runny nose and sore throat, to severe disease with shortness of breath, seizures, and death.6
Avoiding the flu starts with being proactive in its prevention, especially for those more at risk, like the immune compromised, pregnant, and elderly.
Elderberry is loaded with essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C that help bolster our bodies capacity to combat viral invaders.7 In a recent study by the Journal of Functional Foods it was found that the unique composition of elderberries, particularly the anthocyanins that contribute to their pigment, help stimulate and boost the functioning of the immune system to inhibit key viral proteins necessary for influenza to enter and replicate within our cells and establish infection.8
Another fascinating study showed that daily dosing of elderberry can shorten the duration of the flu by four days by helping the body speed up healing and limit viral replication.
Major Nutrient Composition of Elderberry
ü Vitamin A
ü Vitamin B
ü Vitamin C
Take Caution with This Potent Berry
In general, elderberry is safe to use in both adults and children – but due to its potency, it does come with some warnings. Elderberries can be toxic if consumed raw, so always make sure you are purchasing your products from reputable companies in appropriate formulations like gummies, teas and lozenges to avoid toxic reactions.10 They should be used with caution in people with disorders of the immune system because they tend to stimulate this system, which can increase symptoms of certain autoimmune disorders and disrupt immune modulating medications.3
Fortunately, elderberry has been a popular natural and effective remedy for the flu for centuries, and today there are a plethora of safe and effective formulations available to help us enter the flu season better protected.
1. Lugg, A. (2012, October 13). Elderberry. Herb Society of America: Pioneer Unit. Retrieved from: https://www.herbsocietypioneer.org/elderberry/#:~:text=Origin%20%E2%80%93%20Europe%2C%20from%20southern%20Scandinavia,of%20western%20and%20central%20Asia.
2. Till the Next Goodbye Lyrics. (n.d.). Lyrics.com. Retrieved from: https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/806674/The+Rolling+Stones/Till+the+Next+Goodbye.
3. Elderberry – Uses, Side Effects, and More. (2018). WebMD. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-434/elderberry.
4. Barrell, A. (2023, July 25). Health Benefits of Elderberry. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323288.
5. Mandl, E. (2023, February 2). Elderberry: Benefits and Dangers. Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/elderberry.
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htmInfluenza (Flu). (2022, October 24). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from:
7. Elderberries, raw. (2023). Nutrition Value. Retrieved from: https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Elderberries%2C_raw_nutritional_value.html
8. Adil, Q., Dehghani, F., Torabian, G., & Valtchev, P. (2019, March). Anti-influenza activity of elderberry (Sambucus nigra). Journal of Functional Foods, 54: 353-360. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2019.01.031
9. Thom, E., Wadstein, J., & Zakay-Rones, Z. (2004, April). 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, 32(2): 132-140. https://doi.org/10.1177/147323000403200205
10. Wilson, D. R. (2021, February 3). Is Elderberry an Effective Treatment for Colds and the Flu? Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/elderberry-for-flu.