Elderberry (Sambucus Spp.)

Daniel Hill

New Member
Several herbalists I know have reported some reactions to elderberry from some clients with autoimmune conditions. I don't remember reading about that in the literature, anyone?

Matthew Capowski

Staff member
Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016

"What our study has shown is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus. It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells." – One of the study's authors.

Abstract: Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18-54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999-2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study.