Black Elderberry Extract Shortens Flu Duration by Half
UT, 10 December 2003
an all-natural, proprietary black elderberry extract (Sambucus
nigra L.) distributed by Nature's Way Products, Inc., reduces
symptoms and shortens duration of flu types A & B, finds a clinical
study accepted for publication in The Journal of International
average, flu patients given Sambucol recovered in 3.1 days compared
to 7.1 days for those given placebo. Fifty-four patients with verified
type A flu and six with type B (29 females/31 males aged 18 to 54
years) were enrolled in the double-blind, placebo-controlled study
conducted through the University of Oslo School of Medicine, Norway.
Study participants were randomly assigned to two groups, with one
given Sambucol (1 tbsp) and the other placebo four times a day for
five days. No significant side effects were reported.
previous study published by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary
Medicine found that nearly 90 percent of flu patients given
Sambucol were completely free of symptoms within two to three days,
as compared to at least six days with placebo.
clinical studies confirm the effectiveness of Sambucol black elderberry
extract in shortening the duration and reducing the severity of
flu. Black elderberry has not, however, been tested as a flu preventative,
nor is it intended as a substitute for flu vaccine.
is one of our best treatments for the flu, especially when taken
at first sign of symptoms," says Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, a prominent
Israeli virologist and developer of the Sambucol extract. "Flu viruses
are covered by tiny protein spikes of hemagglutinin, which they
use to attach to, and infect, healthy human cells," she says. "While
working on my doctoral thesis we isolated key active substances
within black elderberry that disarm hemagglutinin and thus stop
the first step of viral invasion."
Russell Greenfield, a leading American practitioner of integrative
medicine and Medical Director of Carolina's Integrative Health,
also advocates treating flu with black elderberry. "It can be given
to children and adults, and with no known side effects or negative
interactions," he says. But don't expect grandma's elderberry jam
to ease flu-related body aches, cough and fever warns Dr. Greenfield.
"Sambucol is the only black elderberry preparation shown effective
in clinical studies."
in formulas for children and adults, Sambucol is sold in health
and nutrition stores nationwide. Nature's Way Products, Inc., of
Springville UT, distributes Sambucol throughout the United States
and Canada. Nature's Way is a leading manufacturer and marketer
of dietary supplements and homeopathic medicines.
is classified as a dietary supplement, rather than a drug approved
by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention, cure or
treatment of the flu. It is not intended as a substitute for flu
vaccine, which is advisable for children and adultsespecially
those over age 50 or with compromised immune function.
Z, et al. "Inhibition of Several Strains of Influenza Virus in Vitro
and Reduction of Symptoms by an Elderberry Extract (Sambucus
nigra L.) during an Outbreak of Influenza B Panama." Journal
of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1995;1:361-369.
Way Products, Inc.