Does Elderberry Really Work?
If you are reading this post, you are likely interested in the effects of Elderberry (at least modestly interested). We have all seen the posts on Facebook and other social media during flu season, claiming it as a natural flu remedy - but, does it really work? Or is this all just a bunch of hokum? Let's explore together!
First, we will look at the objective, scientific research behind the effects of Elderberry. Second, I will lull you to sleep with anecdotal evidence from my own experiences - which is the very reason I decided to start this company.
There are a number of clinical studies that have evaluated the effects of Elderberry, most of which concentrate on it's impact regarding the flu. Below is a list of a few of them, with recorded results:
- During the flu season of 1999-2000, a team of scientists in Norway ran a randomized study of sixty patients suffering from influenza for 48 hours or less. They ran a test of two groups - one that received 15 ml (1 TBSP) of Elderberry Syrup 4 times daily, for 5 days. The other group received a placebo syrup. The results? The patients receiving Elderberry Syrup showed symptom relief an average of 4 days earlier than the placebo group. 4 days! That's almost a full work week.
- In another study related to air travelers and cold symptoms, based out of Australia from April 2013 - December 2014, 312 patients were put through a similar blind study. There is a lot of information that can be obtained from the article link, but in a nutshell, the control group using Elderberry showed symptom relief 2 days sooner than the Placebo group. Additionally, the severity of cold symptoms were less in the Elderberry group.
There are other studies and evidence outlining the benefits of Elderberry, so if this isn't enough to convince you, a little google research will give you some more studies to evaluate.
Now - my personal story. For several years, I have had a depleted immune system for a variety of reasons. I would get a cold and it would deteriorate into a hacking cough, and finally laryngitis and/or bronchitis. This would occur over a 4-8 week period, and nothing I did would stop it. Perhaps it was stubbornness, but I couldn't get myself to go to the doctor for a cold, so I would only go when it got to the Laryngitis point. I figured my body would fight off the cold more often than not, but over the course of several years, I probably had 6-8 colds that without a doubt would linger, and worsen over an extended period.
I would pump myself full of Vitamin C and other immune related vitamins to no avail. The only thing that would work was prescription medicine, but again, I would only take that route when it worsened to the point I lost my voice, etc.
Two years ago, my family started taking Elderberry Syrup (store bought). It tasted gross and was full of added sugars, but I noticed it was actually working! My colds would actually stop there - at a cold - and not deteriorate into a worse condition. The year before using Elderberry, my son got strep throat that turned into scarlet fever (yes, apparently that is still a thing). The next year, he got strep throat and we did a "sick" elderberry dosage immediately. Within 36 hours, he was healthy and back to himself.
So, does Elderberry really work? Yes, without a doubt - it works. And for much more than just the flu and cold, which we will dive into in another post!