Elderberry: An Ancient Remedy
Elderberry has been used for centuries by numerous populations, from the Ancient Egyptians to the Native Americans, as a remedy for a variety of conditions. Today, it is still cultivated in many parts of the world as an essential component of folk medicine.
In recent years, elderberry has surfaced as a popular supplement for the prevention of the flu or a common cold. If a person has already succumbed to the flu or a common cold, elderberry supplements are revered for their ability to shorten the severity and duration of symptoms associated with these illnesses.
Several studies have been conducted that confirm that the elderberry does show superior efficacy in shortening the duration and severity of the flu or a common cold. It is thought that this is mostly due to specific substances known as flavonoids that exist within the berry. These flavonoids exhibit anti-viral properties which hinder the virus’s ability to infect cells by binding to the viral cells themselves. These substances are also known to be powerful antioxidants.
There are minimal, if any, side effects to using elderberry supplements. If you are taking immunosuppressants for an autoimmune condition, it is important to talk with your primary care physician before using any form of elderberry as is a potential for interaction.
Elderberry supplements are available in pharmacies and health food stores everywhere.