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Elderberry Confirmed as Immunity Booster

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

elderberries confirmed as immunity booster

Story at-a-glance -

  • Research found compounds in black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) could directly inhibit viral entry into cells and subsequent replication, in part attributed to the anthocyanidin responsible for the vivid purple coloring of the fruit
  • Flu is caused by the influenza virus, triggering fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue lasting five to seven days; you may be infectious up to 24 hours before your first symptom
  • Flu vaccines are produced before the first seasonal outbreak, so manufacturers can only estimate which viruses to include in the vaccine; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine has been less than 50% effective more than half the time in the past 14 years
  • Elderberries are high in phytonutrients but must be cooked thoroughly before use as they contain a poisonous cyanide-producing chemical. In addition to elderberry, using quercetin during a viral illness may reduce the length of your illness

Elderberries have been used for hundreds of years for their health benefits. Many believe the high number of antioxidants in the berries contribute to its ability to fight the flu, support the immune system and relieve colds. Elderberries are the fruit of the Sambucus tree, the most common of which is Sambucus nigra.

The plant, also known as black elderberry, European elderberry and European elder, has documented origins dating as far back as 2000 B.C. in Switzerland, where there is evidence that the ancient Swiss cultivated it. However, since it’s also believed to be native to North America, historians speculate that it’s possible its seeds were spread by the retreating Ice Age more than 10,000 years ago.

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