What is it?: The extract comes from the flowers and berries of a shrub, Sambucus nigra, (black elder), commonly found across regions of Europe and North America. Elderberry shows up in many common over the counter flu and cold remedies. Syrup is the most common form, but it can be also be prepared in lozenges, jams, jellies and wine.
What is does: Studies confirm Elderberry has antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. It contains antioxidants to help relieve colds, fight the flu, and boost the immune system.
How it works: Elderberry has shown to have antiviral and antibacterial properties. It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells. In an already infected cell, it also prevents the virus from propagating. In addition, Elderberry boosts the bodies virus fighting resources.
History: 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.
Safety and Side Effects: Care should be taken when ingesting homemade preparations because raw elderberries contain a bitter alkaloid that can produce hydrocyanic acid,” which is a type of cyanide. This substance is safely removed by cooking. We also caution pregnant and lactating women and children 18 and younger.