Elderberry Extract Natural Flu Remedy, H1N1 Flu Virus & Seasonal Influenza
Black Elderberry Extract Effective in the treatment of flu. Research data from studies around the world have proven black elderberry extract to be effective in shortening the duration of influenza A and B.
A recent published study out of Isreal has identified Elderberry as an excellent weapon for people fighting the flu, including H1N1 flu. If Elderberry extract can bind to the flu virus and thus keep it from infecting the human cells, why wouldn’t one take elderberry instead of a prescription drug or the flu vaccine.
The medicinal benefits of black elderberry have been recognized for years. It’s been used medicinally in Europe for centuries to ward off colds and flu – and for very good reasons. Studies show its ability to fight flu, including the H1N1 flu virus and seasonal influenza. Now there’s more confirmation of its infection-fighting ability to act as a natural anti-bacterial.
In research carried out at Justus-Liebig University in Germany, a black elderberry extract reduced the growth of two bacteria involved in respiratory infections by 70% and by 99% when it was tested in the lab.
What about viruses? They continued on to test extract from black elderberry against the two most common forms of seasonal influenza virus, influenza type A and influenza type B. Again, black elderberry inhibited the growth of both viruses by 25%. It seems to block the ability of influenza viruses to infect cells. Viruses have no impact until they get inside a cell, so this keeps the virus from gaining a foothold.
I for one always have it in my home, I had a bad case of the flu when H1N1 went rampant, I felt like there wasn’t a bone in my body that didn’t pain, fever and headache. I felt like someone had tried to beat me to death! I cannot say I had H1N1 as I did not go to the doctor or leave the house for that matter, but I hope never to experience it again in the near future.
I had watched a segment on the Dr Oz Show, elderberry extract for flu season and it had stuck in my mind, especially when the flu hit. I got my hands on a bottle of it, and literally drank it for 3 days straight out of the bottle. It worked, in 3 days I was right as rain, I do not get the flu shot, nor will I ever get it, it is just my personal decision that I stick with.
Since having the flu elderberry extract has always been my go to natural remedy, when I feel exhausted and my immune system feels low, I take it. I don’t think people are getting enough information when it comes to natural remedies, especially when it comes to superbugs, virus’s, cold and flu’s. Below you will find more about elderberry and the benefits of elderberry extract.
Anthocyanins are flavonoid antioxidant molecules that produce the black, red, purple, and blue colors in produce such as berries, eggplant, and cherries. The deep purple elderberry fruit is especially rich in these phytochemicals, which are thought to be largely responsible for its anti-viral effects. Elderberry has antiviral effects — it binds to influenza virus, preventing it from infecting cells. Accordingly, randomized controlled trials have found that supplementation with black elderberry juice may shorten the duration of influenza symptoms. Therefore elderberry may act as an effective preventive measure and treatment for influenza.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center Elderberry, or elder, has been used for centuries to treat wounds, when applied to the skin. It is also taken by mouth to treat respiratory illnesses such as cold and flu. In many countries, including Germany, elder flower is used to treat colds and flu. Some evidence suggests that chemicals in elder flower and berries may help reduce swelling in mucous membranes, such as the sinuses, and help relieve nasal congestion. Elder may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer properties.
There are several species of elder, but Sambucus nigra, or European elder (also called black elder), is the one used most often for medicinal purposes.
Elderberry For Colds and Flu
Sambucus nigra L. extracted into a product named – Sambucol – are based on a standardized black elderberry extract. They are natural remedies with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus. Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days. Convalescent phase serum showed a higher antibody level to influenza virus in the Sambucol group, than in the control group.
Elderberry Studies: Elderberry may help treat cold and flu symptoms by reducing congestion and possibly making you sweat more. One study suggested that using a standardized elderberry extract, Sambucol, could shorten the duration of flu by about 3 days. Sambucol also contains other herbs plus vitamin C, so no one knows whether elderberry by itself would have the same effect.
Another preliminary study found that a lozenge with elderberry extract (ViraBLOC) helped reduce flu symptoms when taken within 24 hours of symptoms starting. In the lab, one study suggested that elderberry could kill the H1N1 virus (swine flu) in test tubes, but researchers don’t know whether it would be effective against H1N1 in people.
Bacterial Sinusitis (Sinus Infection)
One study examined the use of a proprietary product, Sinupret, to treat bacterial sinusitis along with an antibiotic (doxycycline or Vibramycin) and a decongestant. People who took the combination did better compared to those who did not take Sinupret. However, Sinupret contains other herbs along with elderberry, so no one knows whether taking elderberry alone would work as well.’
If this is not enough to convince you that you should be taking elderberry, then continue to read this next excerpt from pubmed.org
Abstract Sambucus nigra L. products – Sambucol – are based on a standardized black elderberry extract. They are natural remedies with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus. Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days. Convalescent phase serum showed a higher antibody level to influenza virus in the Sambucol group, than in the control group. The present study aimed to assess the effect of Sambucol products on the healthy immune system – namely, its effect on cytokine production. The production of inflammatory cytokines was tested using blood – derived monocytes from 12 healthy human donors. Adherent monocytes were separated from PBL and incubated with different Sambucol preparations i.e., Sambucol Elderberry Extract, Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup, Sambucol Immune System and Sambucol for Kids.
Production of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-8) was significantly increased, mostly by the Sambucol Black Elderberry Extract (2-45 fold), as compared to LPS, a known monocyte activator (3.6-10.7 fold). The most striking increase was noted in TNF-alpha production (44.9 fold). We conclude from this study that, in addition to its antiviral properties, Sambucol Elderberry Extract and its formulations activate the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production. Sambucol might therefore be beneficial to the immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases.
Sambucol could also have an immunoprotective or immunostimulatory effect when administered to cancer or AIDS patients, in conjunction with chemotherapeutic or other treatments. In view of the increasing popularity of botanical supplements, such studies and investigations in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials need to be developed.
Is Black Elderberry Safe
The bottom line here is black elderberry has natural anti-bacterial activity – and helps to stop the growth of viruses too. It’s available at most health food stores and online. The international brand Sambucol, based in Israel, is the most widely used standardized extract of black elderberry and can be found in most health food stores and pharmacies. In addition to their standard line, which provides dosing information for children, they also manufacture Sambucol for Kids, which is specifically formulated for children under three.
The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines.
Barak V, Halperin T, Kalickman I.
Immunology Laboratory for Tumor Diagnosis, Department of Oncology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.
Inflammatory cytokines. Barak V, Halperin T, Kalickman I.(Immunology Laboratory for Tumor Diagnosis, Department of Oncology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel).