Fall and winter bring with them the changing of the leaves and the possibility of snow and ice. They bring the magic of the holidays and cozying up by the fire. One less appealing aspect of fall and winter is the seemingly constant looming fear of cold and flu viruses making their way into our homes and bodies and wreaking havoc. Many people will try most anything to try to shield themselves from cold and flu viruses in the wintertime. It is important to find preventatives and remedies that are safe, researched and proven effective. One such remedy is the elderberry.
For thousands of years the elderberry has been used in various forms for preventing influenza and cold viruses among other ailments. Not only can it help to ward off an infection altogether, but if a viral infection already exists it can also help to reduce the intensity and duration of the symptoms. The research that exists on the efficacy of elderberries is not just anecdotal- in fact studies have shown that there are noticeable differences when elderberry is taken during an influenza infection compared to fighting off the infection without it. In multiple studies, those patients who took elderberry syrup reported significant decrease in symptoms 4 days sooner than those who received only placebo.
The elderberry’s anti viral qualities also have been shown to prevent the influenza virus from making sick those who have regularly consumed an elderberry supplement. The fact that the elderberry has been shown to both treat the symptoms of the flu virus and also to prevent an infection from occurring makes it an immune powerhouse during cold and flu season.
Elderberries are available in syrups, gummies, powders, teas and many other forms. The greatest benefit seems to be from taking a supplement daily during cold and flu season in hopes of preventing an infection before it start, but it is certainly useful after the fact as well to reduce the intensity and duration of an influenza infection.
There are many options when it comes to warding off the cold and flu that we often dread in the winter, but elderberry is very high on the list. It just might be worth adding to your wellness regiment this winter.