As a particularly severe flu epidemic sweeps across the United States, with nearly 4,000 hospitalized since the beginning of October, people are increasingly being affected by the disease.
We urge people to take measures to prevent from getting infected and we offer a blend of 3 herbs that helps the immune system in doing so. The main herb in this formula has demonstrated in two separate studies that it reduces the time needed to recover from influenza (type A & B) and it has shown significant immune system support benefits.
The main herb :
Black Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra L.)
Background on Elderberry:
Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries in continental Europe to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis. For centuries it has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza. Modern day medicine has investigated the matter with two conclusive studies on its health benefits.
The most recent double blinded placebo study was conducted on Sixty patients (aged 18 – 54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less .This study was lead by researcher Erling Thom of the University of Oslo in Norway and shows it works for type A flu. (ZAKAY-RONES, et al , 2004)
The Norwegian study:
After careful screening, only patients whom had the current episode of influenza but otherwise generally healthy individuals were selected.Then to further filter the candidates, only those with verified influenza were enrolled in the study. All candidates had a fever with temperature above 38.0 °C ( above 100F) and at least one respiratory influenza symptom.
Exclusion from the study included the following groups:
- [X] Pregnant women or breastfeeding
- [X] Suspected with bacterial infection
- [X] Recent antiviral therapy
- [X] Vaccinated patients against influenza
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. (see figure 1)
On the other hand, the placebo group didn't recover until at least day six; they also took more painkillers and nasal sprays.
*Graph from ZAKAY-RONES, et al, 2004 study
The second smaller study done in 2001:
“The black Elderberry was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Elderberry syrup reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days.
It has also been reported that the production of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-8) was significantly increased, mostly by the Black Elderberry Extract (2-45 fold), as compared to LPS, a known monocyte activator (3.6-10.7 fold). The most striking increase was noted in TNF-alpha production (44.9 fold).” (Barak V et al, 2001)
The conclusion from this second study is that the black Elderberry Extract has antiviral properties and taking a supplement of it “activate the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production.” (Barak V et al, 2001)
Barak, V; Halperin, T; Kalickman, I (2001). "The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines". European cytokine network 12 (2): 290–6.
Zakay-Rones, Z; Thom, E; Wollan, T; Wadstein, J (2004). "Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections.". The Journal of international medical research 32 (2): 132–40.