Winter has arrived. And what usually follows closely behind are sneezes, sniffles, fevers, and coughs.
If you have a bent towards natural wellness, you know that elderberry and echinacea may lend a hand in helping end your symptoms sooner. That’s why you’ll find no lack of remedies containing elderberry and echinacea extracts – from lozenges to cough syrup.
Both elderberry and echinacea herbs have been shown to help alleviate how intensely and for how long one suffers from a cold and flu viruses. (5,8)
However, elderberry and echinacea didn’t become popular overnight. Both have been used for centuries to help boost immunity, fight infections, and as general cure-alls.
Elderberry is the fruit of the Sambucus nigra shrub, which grows wild in North America, Northern Africa, and Europe.
Elderberry’s reputation goes back millennia, with evidence of the Ancient Egyptians using it to heal scars and improve the complexion.
In the 1600’s, the Europeans and North Africans used elderberries for various infectious diseases. Early settlers brought their knowledge across the Atlantic to where the American elderberries could easily be found in the wild.
Native Americans had been using elderberries in their traditions for a variety of ailments, in particular, to treat rheumatism and fever.
Echinacea comes from the root and stalk of the coneflower.
For centuries, Native Americans revered echinacea for its antiseptic and analgesic properties. They used echinacea tonics to treat poisonous snake and insect bites, sore throats, and help heal wounds.
Before the introduction of antibiotics in the early 18th and 19th centuries, Echinacea was used for infectious diseases like smallpox, mumps, and measles. Early settlers adopted the therapeutic uses of echinacea, and it became a wildly popular cure-all.
A double-blind study found that 93.3% of the people taking an elderberry extract tonic reported significant improvement with flu symptoms within two days of starting it compared with the six days it took for the placebo group to start getting better. (1)
In a similar type of study done in Norway, participants who reported flu-like symptoms for less than 48 hours and were given an elderberry tonic saw relief of symptoms four days earlier than the group that received a placebo. (2)
Additional research shows that people who regularly consume elderberry have higher levels of antibodies against the flu virus, showing that not only may elderberries address flu symptoms, they may also help inhibit flu infection. (3)
So how might elderberry work as an antiviral? It seems that elderberries contain hemagglutinin protein which studies show helps mitigate virus replication, thereby helping stop a virus from causing an infection. And if taken after being infected, it helps keep pathogens from spreading. (4)
Echinacea contains several compounds that contribute to its therapeutic effects, including polysaccharides that trigger immune system activity. (9)
Several research studies in Germany have indicated that echinacea might increase the number of white blood cells, thereby boosting the immune system’s ability to fight infections and, in particular, upper respiratory tract infections. (5)
A review of 14 different clinical studies has shown that daily use of echinacea may reduce the chances of developing a cold by up to 58% and may reduce the duration of symptoms to less than four days in many cases. (7)
Several clinical trials have shown that taking echinacea as soon as you feel a cold coming on may reduce its severity, and the symptoms may be fewer. One study of 95 people with early symptoms such as a scratchy throat showed that participants who drank tea prepared with echinacea every day for five days felt better sooner than those without it. (6)
Immune System Health
Elderberry and echinacea are thought to be two of the most naturally effective ways to help prevent and treat colds and flu. Both contain active substances that boost immune function, reduce inflammation, and have antiviral and antioxidant effects.
Taking an immunity supplement that contains elderberry and echinacea every day, along with other proven nutrients, is an intelligent way to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Dynamic Immunity, formulated with 200mg of echinacea and 300 mg of Elderberry Fruit Extract in each dosage plus vitamins C, E, B6, Zinc, L-Glutamine, Garlic, and Turmeric – helps fully supports your immune system. So when cold and flu bugs inevitably come calling this winter, your body can quickly activate its natural defenses when taken daily.
1. Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, 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. J Altern Complement Med. 1995;1(4):361—9.
2. Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of Influenza A and B virus infections.” J Int Med Res. 2004;32(2):132-40.
3. Roschek Jr. B, Fink RC, McMichael MD, et al. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry. 2009;70(10):1255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.06.003.
5. Di Pierro F, Rapacioli G, Ferrara T, Togni S. Use of a standardized extract from Echinacea angustifolia (Polinacea) for the prevention of respiratory tract infections. Altern Med Rev. 2012;17(1):36-41.
6. Frank LG. The efficacy of Echinacea compound herbal tea preparation on the severity and duration of upper respiratory and flu symptoms: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. J Comp Alt Med. 2000;6(4):327-34.