Is Elderberry Really Antiviral?

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Is Elderberry Really Antiviral?

What is Elderberry?

Elderberries are obtained from a tree variety called Sambucus. The most prevalent trees in this variety are of the European elder. However, it is important to know that these berries are not fit for human consumption in raw form. They must be cooked properly otherwise instead of getting the benefits; you will end up with severe diarrhea and nausea.

Uses of Elderberry?

Historically, elderberry has been used for various types of treatments particularly focusing on treating flu and cold. The following are the list of conditions that can or known to help treat using elderberries:

  1. Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs)
  2. Sinus
  3. Constipation
  4. Headaches
  5. Fatigue
  6. Toothache
  7. Hyperlipidemia
  8. Sciatica

Antiviral Properties

Researchers have been working on elderberries for decades; to understand how these berries are effective in treating common infections such as cold and flu. The aim of conducting all these studies is to come up with a way to produce an elderberry immune boost honey gardens which will be able to boost your immunity and help fight flu.

To be precise, the berries mostly show efficacy towards the Influenza A and B viruses; responsible for causing the flu. It was reported that in most of the cases, the fly symptoms vanished on average 4 days earlier than expected. This leads to the conclusion that; it is effective in reducing the virulence and the duration of a disease such as flu.

Another research showed that these berries when given to patients in syrup form; within the 24-48 hrs of the first symptoms; reduced the intensity of the flu. Hence leading to the conclusion that these berries do have significant antiviral properties at least against flu.

Elderberry VS COVID-19

By now, many of us would be wondering if these berries are effective against COVID-19. The first thing one needs to know is that the word novel, in the term novel coronavirus; means new. Meaning that this virus was not known to the researchers in the past and is completely new. It is not known whether COVID-19 can be treated with elderberry or not; because there are no published research papers in this domain.

However, there is a chance that it might be effective because like any other antiviral substance; it also releases cytokines that might help. Moreover, previous strains of the coronavirus have had their lipid coating broken down using berries; but it is too early to prove something like that.

Updated Research

The latest research has shown mixed results; with one study showing effectiveness against the flu virus. Suggesting that elderberries can shorten the duration of the flu symptoms. Another study, however, shows that elderberries are not effective in treating flu and report that it took even 2 more days to relieve the symptoms. This leads to the fact that it is not always necessary that everyone shows the same kind of immune response, therefore, the results vary.

Even though medicines are unable to treat you completely, you mustn’t miss your flu shots because currently, that is the best defence you got.


Isabella is an experienced content and copywriter. She specializes in writing about health and nutrition-related topics.

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