The 2000 year-old Flu Remedy You’ve Been Looking for?

by | Feb 25, 2024 | Uncategorized

Is there a 2000 year-old flu remedy that still works today? The Hippocratic Oath is a pledge taken by most doctors in the US when they enter the profession. It’s a pledge of ethics which includes phrases like “do no harm,” one most of us rely on as a promise when we go to see our doctor, and named after the “Father of Medicine,” Greek physician Hippocrates. In 400 BCE, this same Father of Medicine referred to one single tree as his “medicine chest.” He wasn’t the only one. Many ancient healers including Theophrastus, Dioscorides and Galen, widely considered this plant as one of nature’s greatest healers in nature.

Have you ever heard of elderberry?

This small, dark berry, especially the black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), is not just any fruit. It’s been used for ages to help fight off colds and flu. Let’s dive into what research says about elderberry and how it might help you during cold and flu season.

What Does the Research Say?

Several studies have looked into elderberry’s effects on our health, especially when it comes to treating viral respiratory illnesses like the common cold and the flu. Here’s what they found:

  • Reducing symptom intensity: According to a 2021 meta-analysis, Elderberry might not stop you from catching a cold, but it could make it easier on you if you do. Some research suggests that taking elderberry can reduce how long you’re sick and how bad you feel​​.
  • Reducing symptom duration: When it comes to the flu, elderberry could help shorten how long you’re under the weather. In fact, a study compared elderberry to oseltamivir (the active ingredient in Tamiflu) and found that elderberry-containing products were linked to fewer flu complications and side effects​​.
  • Blocking virus reproduction: Beyond these benefits, elderberry has shown promise in the lab, too. It can block flu viruses and boost our immune cells’ ability to fight flu​​.
  • Great for air travel: In a study with air travelers, those who took elderberry saw their cold symptoms ease up faster than those who didn’t. However, elderberry didn’t prevent these symptoms entirely​​.

A Word of Caution

While elderberry has its perks, it’s not without risks. There’s been a case linking elderberry extract to acute pancreatitis. Plus, eating raw elderberries can lead to severe nausea because of the cyanide they contain. Always make sure any elderberry you consume is cooked or processed in supplements​​.

Elderberry Supplements: An Alternative to Antibiotics?

With concerns over antibiotic misuse for viral infections like colds and flu, elderberry supplements offer a promising alternative. A meta-analysis of studies found that elderberry significantly reduces upper respiratory symptoms. This suggests elderberry could be a safer option for managing common cold and flu symptoms, compared to prescription drugs​​.

Ask your provider about Elderberry Syrup from Gaia at your next appointment. It’s a wonderful, easy to take addition to your immune support regimen, and there is a nighttime version that also supports sleep!

Final Thoughts

Elderberry is a 2000 year-old flu remedy that still packs a wallop to this day. It can be a supportive treatment for managing cold and flu symptoms. It’s important to approach elderberry use with an understanding of both its potential benefits and its risks. As with any supplement, it’s a good idea to talk with your provider here at NWIM to see if elderberry is right for you, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Remember, the journey to good health is a combination of good habits. Stay healthy and informed this cold and flu season!

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