Elderberry for Cold and Flu Season

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog

Black elderberry is often used to combat colds and congestion, but several studies in humans show that black elderberries can reduce the severity of influenza.

— Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.

This is the time of year that patients come in with many questions about the cold and flu. Should I get the flu shot? What happens if I get the flu? What do I do for the common cold? Though there are many things you can do to avoid catching these nasty viruses this winter, there is one remedy in particular that I think everyone should know about. Black elderberry has a long history of use in colds, and several studies in humans have shown that black elderberries not only reduces the severity, but also the duration of influenza. As a matter of fact, when the H1N1 flu was going around, the National Institute of Health screened a wide range of natural products to see if they had antiviral activity, and black elderberry ranked very high. Elderberry can be safe and effective for many of the common respiratory complaints people complain of during the cold and flu season. It’s safe for children, and safe for adults as well, making elderberry an essential member of your medicine chest this winter. Note: If you get sick with the flu and have a high fever and/or body aches, seek medical care.