As far back as ancient Egypt Elderberry-based medicines have been used to treat many ailments as well as a very efficient immune booster. Hippocrates, “the father of medicine” even described it as his “medicine chest”, due to the wide variety of illnesses it seemed to cure. Since then, elderberries have been used to treat many colds, flu, fever, burns, cuts, and more than 70 other conditions. However, Elderberry syrup is most commonly used to help boost the immune system and shorten the length and severity of many common illnesses such as the cold and the flu.
Most of this has to do with the color of the plant. Elderberries get their dark purple, almost black, coloring from flavonoids and anthocyanin that doubles as a powerful antioxidant. When ingested in humans, these compounds can boost the production of cytokines which are proteins that act as messengers within the immune system, thereby boosting your immune system. Elderberries are also believed to contain potent antiviral agents that are even thought to deactivate viruses within your body. It is recommended to consume elderberries after they have been cooked. Often times when raw elderberries are consumed it can cause nausea or even vomiting. However, when cooked down, elderberries are easier to digest and your body can absorb the nutrients more efficiently.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted during an outbreak of influenza B in Panama in 1995, the researchers found that elderberry syrup was very effective as an immune booster. The study found that within 2 days there were significant improvements in symptoms, including fever, among 93.3% of those taking elderberry syrup. 90% of the elderberry group was completely well again within 2 – 3 days compared to 6 days in the placebo group.
Furthermore, in a study done by the School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Australia found that supplementing with elderberry syrup could reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold in those who traveled via airplane. This study found that travelers who used elderberry for 10 days prior to traveling and up to 5 days after arriving overseas experienced an average 2 day shorter duration of their colds, and a noticeable reduction in their symptoms. As someone who gets sick just about every time they step foot on an airplane, this is extremely hopeful news!
Coincidently, the last time I went on a trip and fell sick a few days later, one of the first things I did was reach for was my elderberry syrup because of this reason. It is recommended that when taking elderberry syrup whilst sick, to take up to three tablespoons a day. One thing I noticed while taking the elderberry syrup while I was sick was the lack of congestion I had compared to previous sicknesses I had experienced prior. This is because elderflower is known as an “anti-catarrhal” herb and is very effective at preventing and removing excess mucus and inflammation in your body.
If you are wanting to use elderberry syrup as a preventative supplement to getting sick, It is recommended to take one tablespoon a day compared to the three tablespoons a day while sick. This will give your immune system a much better chance of fighting off any virus before it can make you sick.
I know from now on, any time I travel, or someone at work gets sick, I will be reaching for my elderberry syrup. Boise Juice Co offers elderberry syrup. For more information and to see if they have any available make sure to give either of their stores a call:
Boise Juice Co State Street (208) 853-3330
Boise Juice Co Parkcenter (208) 853-2229
Boise Juice Co Eagle (208) 917-7117