Elderberry for colds & flu

Elderberry has been proven in many studies to reduce the effects and duration of colds, flu and Streptococcus which is known to cause sore throats{1}.


A controlled study was carried out, where Elderberry was shown to be effective for treating Influenza B. The people using the Elderberry extract recovered much faster than those only on a placebo. This is partially due to the fact that Elderberry inhibits neuraminidase, the enzyme used by the virus to spread infection to host cells. elderberry

The study showed that 93% of flu patients given extract were completely symptom-free within two days, whereas those taking a placebo took about six days to recover.

Patients in the extract group had “pronounced improvements” in flu symptoms after just three days: Nearly 90% of patients had complete cure within two to three days. Also, the extract group had no drowsiness, which is the downside of many flu treatments.

It’s likely that antioxidants called flavonoids—which are contained in the extract—stimulate the immune system.  Also, other compounds in elderberry, called anthocyanins, have an anti-inflammatory effect; this could explain the effect on aches, pains, and fever normally associated with the flu.{2}

Elder reduces cold symptoms and duration

An Australian clinical trial showing Elderberry is a supportive agent against the common cold while travelling internationally was carried out on 312 economy class passengers.  

17 people from the placebo group contracted the common cold, while 12 people taking the elderberry extract did.

The study showed a 50% reduction in the number of sick days of participants taking Elderberry compared with the placebo group.  The symptoms were also scored 50% less in this group compared to the placebo group.{3}


Nepean Naturopathic Centre – making health easy

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21352539
  2. ^ Kelly, Greg and D’Adamo, Peter. “Blood Groups and Influenza” (2000-2009). http://www.dadamo.com/txt/index.pl?3002
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27023596