Elderberry Smashes the Flu Virus

Colds and flu flourish in humid climates while elderberry brings relief

Colds and flu are transmitted and flourish in mildly humid climates at low to medium temperatures[i], and in-vitro studies[ii] show that the European elderberry (Sambucus nigra) – one of the oldest traditional remedies for treating coughs, colds and flu – could be an effective medicinal tool.

Research suggests that in high density places like Mexico City, Seoul or Taipeh where air conditioned environments are the norm, people are more likely to contract colds and flu. The reason being that low humidities coupled with mild temperatures, both of which are achieved with air conditioning systems provide an optimal environment for virus transmission. Since air conditioning is used all year round, having alternative, side effect-free treatment choices for colds and flu is important.

As only a few small inconclusive studies previously existed to support elderberry’s efficacy claim, Iprona AG  – an Italian specialist in red fruit extraction and Europe’s largest processor of European Elderberry– funded an in-vitro clinical trial to examine the effect of elderberry on both flu viruses and bacteria which cause upper respiratory tract infections. The results of that study were very promising (see infographic).

elderberry-iprona_flu_IG-v0.6 Iprona´s Technical Director, Anthony Jacobs said the in-vitro results were encouraging enough for the company to fund the largest ever human study on the effectiveness of elderberry to reduce upper respiratory infections. The soon-to-be-released study investigated elderberry´s efficacy in fighting infections during and after long haul flights.

“If it works on a plane where the ventilation system is similar to air-conditioning, it will work in schools, offices, metros and every other place, where people come together and `share’ their bugs,” he said.

“For centuries, elderberry has been known to have healing and strengthening powers. However, it is only recently that we have been able to concentrate these health-giving fruits into different forms which are then calibrated and standardised, giving elderberry even greater effectiveness” Mr. Jacobs continued.

“In fact” he added, “the Global Information Hub On Integrated Medicinewhich was set up after the 12th Meeting of Commonwealth Health Ministers in Malaysia has presented elderberry dosages against flu viruses, and for immune support, on their website because it is supported by scientific evidence”

The initial in-vitro study, which was the precursor to the long haul flight human study was conducted and published by Dr. Christian Kravitz and his team in Germany at the University of Giessen.  Here, in-vitro tests were conducted on the two major flu viruses, Influenza A and B viruses, as well as on four bacteria known to cause upper respiratory infections. The authors concluded: “elderberry liquid extract is active against human pathogenic bacteria as well as influenza viruses.”

Overall the research has shown that in a concentrated form, elderberry extract can counter both bacterial and viral infections as well as support overall health by reducing oxidative stress throughout the body. The substances doing most of the work are natural plant pigments known as anthocyanins which are powerful anti-oxidants found in abundance in dark-colored (and therefore heavily pigmented) elderberries.

The human trial, of which results will be released this month, was designed by the Griffith University, School of Pharmacy in Queensland, Australia.

To be the first to receive the results, register at the red fruit health portal the-berry-room.com

Lastly to find out more about the ancient uses of elderberry, read Anatomy of the Elderwhich was originally written in 1677 by Dr. Martin Blochwich and re-edited into modern English language in 2010 by Anthony Jacobs and Fredrik Stipps and published by BerryPharma®.  The book is a great reference with all the recipes from the early centuries to make a variety of curatives from the the common cold to stomach ailments.

Contact us to get a soft copy of the book.

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