Elderberry Syrup Stops Cold & Flu Symptoms Within 48 Hours!

elderberry syrup with berries and cinnamon stick

According to various studies, Elderberry syrup stops cold and flu symptoms within 48 hours! A study performed and published by the Journal of International Medical Research in 2004 concluded the following –

Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18-54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48hrs or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999-2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study.

So according to this study, many of the subjects had their symptoms eradicated within 48 hours. The majority had their symptoms reduced by half the usual recovery time. On average, the symptoms were reduced to 4 days. That is really something, considering the flu normally lasts a week or more. Proof that Elderberry syrup can stop flu symptoms within 48 hours, which is seriously impressive. I know I will be reaching for Elderberry syrup should I get the flu in future!

Elder is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-influenza and may have anti-cancer properties. Elderberry contains flavonoids with antioxidants and could prevent damage to cells. Elderberry even provides more benefit than goji berries, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries for its flavonol content.

There are various different kinds of Elder, but Sambucus nigra or European Elder (aka black elder) is most commonly used for medicinal purposes.

Dwarf Elder (aka Sambucus ebulus) is not to be used as it contains properties which can be toxic.

Take caution when preparing Elderberry because raw or unripe fruit, including the leaves, seeds and bark contain a chemical related to cyanide, which is poisonous.

black elderberries

Rubini elderberry liquid extract is active against human pathogenic bacteria as well as influenza viruses. The activities shown suggest that additional and alternative approaches to combat infections might be provided by this natural product.

A more recent study in 2011, concluded that on top of effectively treating influenza A and B viruses, Elderberry syrup also fights against respiratory bacterial pathogens. In fact, it worked better than scientific medicine in certain cases where immunity to antibiotics were apparent. Read the full study here – Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses.

According to a study from the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research in 2010, aqueous elder extracts demonstrated a notable inhibition of E. coli 0157 growth. The elder flower (S. nigra L.) extracts were most toxic to all the bacteria tested compared to the other extracts. It also exhibited a larger zone of inhibitions when challenged against a wide range of bacteria and the highest inhibitory activity was towards MRSA (17 mm) and the lowest being environmental pathogens (e.g.Pseudomonas aeroginosa (9 mm). The ‘potent’ TLCband-derived extracts from either Elder flower or berry. See the full article here.

Ever suffered from a cold after flying long distance? As an avid traveller, I have done many a long haul flight. Unfortunately I often end up with a cold after being on a flight, which I used to put down to air conditioning. There are in fact many and varied factors involved and it is quite common. Read more about that here –

A recent study in 2009 showed that Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers.

Studies have shown that passengers’ well-being is influenced by the cabin environment such as cabin ozone concentration and oxygen pressure, motion or vibration and oil additives used in aircraft engines. NCBI.

I will definitely be taking Elderberry syrup in the run up to and after a long haul flight in future. I hate that feeling of a stuffy nose and sore throat that comes after a long flight and stays for days after. It certainly puts a dampener on that holiday buzz as it takes a few days to recover. Here’s hoping Elderberry syrup can help keep that at bay. Definitely worth a try! According to research, you should take it for 10 days prior to travelling and for 4-5 days after arrival.

Elderberry has shown antiviral activity meaning it may be useful for some people with common colds. Elder flowers are an ancient traditional remedy for helping to break fevers and promote sweating during a cold.

In a double-blind trial, administration of an elderberry extract decreased the number of days with cold symptoms by 52% and decreased average symptom severity by 58%, compared with a placebo, in people travelling on intercontinental flights. The amount used was 600 to 900 mg per day of an extract standardized to contain 22% polyphenols and 15% anthocyanins. Treatment was begun ten days prior to the flight and was continued for four to five days after arrival at the destination.

Some precautions to heed before taking Elderberry supplements –

If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should talk to your health care provider before taking Elderberry –

Diuretics (water pills). Diuretics help the body get rid of excess fluid and increase the amount of urine your body makes. Elderberry may also act as a diuretic, so taking it along with a diuretic could make that drug stronger and raise your risk of dehydration. Diuretics include:

  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Bumetanide (Burinex)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Amiloride (Midamor)
  • Metolazone (Zaroxolyn)

Diabetes medications. Elderberry may lower blood sugar levels. If you are also taking drugs for diabetes, taking elderberry may increase your risk of developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

Chemotherapy. Elderberry may interact with some chemotherapy drugs. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, ask your oncologist before taking any herb or supplement.

Laxatives. Elderberry may act like a laxative and should not be taken at the same time as other laxatives.

Theophylline (TheoDur). Elderberry may reduce levels of theophylline, a drug taken for asthma and other respiratory conditions. That could make the drug not work as well.

Drugs that suppress the immune system. Because elderberry may stimulate the immune system, it could interfere with medications taken to suppress the immune system. These medications include corticosteroids (prednisone) and medications used to treat autoimmune diseases. People with organ transplants should also avoid elderberry.

  • Advice from The Milton S Hershey Medical Centre. See the full article here.

You can find Elderberry syrup at most health stores and if you want you can even make it yourself at home. I have found a recipe online here.

I know I will be stocking up on Elderberry syrup for the winter months. Have you tried it before? Let us know in the comments!

Ps I am doing a digital detox this week so wish me luck! I will report back next week how it goes. I have had a break from blogging the last few weeks over Christmas but I missed my writing, however, it was nice to relax and be off my computer while family and friends took centre stage. This years resolution is to cut down on screen time and spend less time on social media. 

Do you have any New Years resolutions? I would love to hear them.

Chat soon!

Ciara xxx


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