Elderberry products are still as popular now as they were 2,500 years ago when first used. Scientific research has now confirmed that the elderberry is in fact rich in essential vitamins (A, C and E), boosts the immune system, contains powerful antioxidants and is an excellent source of bioflavonoid. As studies continue, researchers are finding that elderberry may help fight the effects of flu and fever (read more below). Elderberry products come in various forms, most containing the elderberry extract from Sambuca Nigra, the species of elderberry found in Europe and Asia, also known as Black Elder. Elderberry capsules for example, include elderberry extract in powder form. Elderberry capsules are usually used to promote health and avoid various illnesses. Elderberry extract can also be found in liquid extract form. The benefit of any liquid extract is that it is absorbed by the body quickest. People will sometimes use this liquid extract to provide an immediate immune system boost. Because many elderberry products are used to boost immune response, new elderberry products are available in syrups and lozenge forms. This provides both the medicinal properties of elderberry along with symptom relieving properties.
What is Elderberry?
Elderberries (genus Sambuca) are small, dark berries that grow in clusters on Elderberry shrubs and trees. They are known to grow in many different climates around the globe, are fast growing, and are quite robust in comparison to other plants and trees. In the spring, Elderberry shrubs produce clusters of flowers, usually cream-colored or white. These flowers are then followed by large clusters of the small dark Elderberry. Colors can vary slightly between black, dark blue/purple and dark red. Elderberries are safe to eat and are provide numerous health benefits. They are rich in Vitamin A, C and E and contain powerful antioxidants. Elderberries are also an excellent source of bioflavonoid, which promote blood vessel strength and are used to treat a variety of conditions including vessel diseases, lymph diseases, ulcers and more. Elderberry trees can grow a variety of sizes and heights depending on the species and climate. Typical Elderberry shrubs grow anywhere from 10ft - 40ft tall.
History of Elderberry
Elderberry has been growing since prehistoric man and was quickly discovered as a source of food. Evidence shows that as early as Ancient Egyptian times, people may have been using elderberries for medicinal purposes. By about 400 BC, we know that that Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine", was using elderberry to treat numerous ailments. Where some cultures used the Elderberry strictly for research and medicinal purposes, other cultures (particularly English and Scandinavian) developed superstitions and rituals surrounding it. In some cultures, cutting down and Elderberry tree without chanting a special ritualistic song meant revenge from a witch like apparition called the Elder Mother. Although the extent of the Elderberries healing abilities have not been fully explored, it has been used to treat a massive spectrum of ailments in the past, including the flu, fevers, burns, the plague, toothaches, immunodeficiency diseases, auto-inflammatory diseases, and countless other conditions.
Elderberry and the Flu
The elderberry has been used to treat many illnesses and conditions throughout past centuries, one of those illnesses being the flu. Recently the flu has become the number 1 talked about illness in the news and throughout households worldwide due to the recent flu epidemics. As the flu becomes more prevalent, people look toward alternative treatments for flu avoidance and flu symptoms.
Elderberry Flu Studies
Studies worldwide have shown that ingesting elderberry extract will help your body build and strengthen its immune system. By doing so, you may not only protect yourself from contracting the influenza virus, but you may help your body fight off the flu if you do contract it. People with strong immune systems tend to have fewer symptoms, and tend to "beat" their cold much faster than those with weaker immune systems.
Although the elderberry can build your immune system, thus indirectly preventing the flu, studies show that it is amazingly efficient for those already infected with the flu: by shutting down the flu virus and eradicating symptoms. Studies in 1998 showed that patients with the influenza B virus who were administered an elderberry extract solution were symptom free in 2 days. Those who received the placebo were symptom free on an average of 6 days. More recent studies show the same effects for the influenza A and B virus, conducted by the University of Oslo. In this study, 90% of patients who took elderberry extract were symptom free in 2 days, while those taking the placebo were symptoms free in an average of six days. A Wikipedia article provides many references and links. Additionally, this article about the study published in the US National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports the findings while suggesting follow through with larger studies.
Besides its ability to eradicate flu symptoms, the elderberry is an attractive form of symptom relief for other reasons. One main property is that elderberry extract does not cause drowsiness, and side effects extremely common in prescription medication. Further, the elderberry is perfectly safe for people of all ages, including the elderly and the young (always speak to your pediatrician before administering to children less than 5 years of age). Not only is it safe, but if provides extra essential vitamins, bioflavonoid, antioxidants and anthocyanins.
Elderberry and the Swine Flu
Recent outbreaks of the swine flu epidemic have led consumers worldwide on a search for the best products to help them avoid swine flu. Because elderberry is a powerful remedy, it has garnered a lot of recent focus. Some people who have contracted the swine flu and ingested Elderberry syrup report they have noticed significant improvement in symptoms is a short period of time. However, it is still not fully known if Elderberry works definitely on swine flu symptoms, or if there is a chance it may even be dangerous - some of the recent swine flu fatalities are thought to be a result of what is called a cytokine storm (a condition where the immune system produces a sudden and potentially fatal amount of cytokines in reaction to an invading virus). Since the elderberry bolsters the immune system, some believe it may make the immune system over aggressive, resulting in a higher risk of a cytokine storm. There is an in-vitro study from Britain showing promise, but in-vitro means in a "test tube" not in the human body. There do not appear to be any human studies at this time validating its effectiveness. Cytokine storms are only caused by swine and avian flu viruses and are not related to the seasonal flu.
Studies show elderberry is effective during the oppressive winter season. Fight the winter symptoms using this complete line of Sambucus Nigra products - syrup, herbal extract capsules, liquid extract for fast absorption and elderberry lozenges with raspberry flavoring..
Delicious tasting elderberry syrup also known as Sambucus Nigra, is the most potent available. A top quality product at an affordable price.
The tasty way to take elderberry throughout the day. Natural raspberry flavor.
A winning combination of zinc lozenges and elderberry lozenges, rolled into one. Natural raspberry flavor.
Thera Zinc Oral Spray - Powerful and Easy
If you don’t like lozenges, Thera Zinc Oral Spray is the answer. Using the same therapeutic dose as the lozenges, this spray can cut the duration and severity while soothing your throat.
Herbal Trio with Vit C Boosts Cold Fighting Immunity
Goldenseal, Echinacea, Elderberry and Vitamin C are combined in this unique and powerful herbal formula. Take daily to support immune function.