Elderberry, or Sambucus nigra, has been used for centuries to help with inflammation, cough, cold, and flu, and as a diuretic, laxative, and emetic to help eliminate the body of toxins. The berries can also be prepared and eaten in syrups, wines, and pies. The flowers and berries of the plant contain flavonoids and are used for their purported antioxidant and immune system enhancing qualities. Scientific studies have been performed to attempt to verify their effectiveness with regard to flu, bacterial sinusitis, bronchitis and cholesterol lowering abilities. There is no clinical evidence to support dosage recommendations at this time so be sure to discuss the use of elderberry extract with your doctor before you try it.
Stimulate the Immune System
The antioxidant properties in elderberry extract may help to reduce symptoms of flu, improve cough, headaches, and fever, as well as reduce excessive sinus mucus secretion in sinusitis. According to Natural News.com, clinical trials done in Norway and Israel showed a more rapid recovery time from flu using elderberry extract when compared to the prescribed medicine Tamiflu. They reported that the flavonoids in elderberry extract helped stimulate the immune system. Anthocyanins in the berries had an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing aches, pains, and fever.