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Does Elderberry Really Work
as an Immune Booster?

Elderberry has been used in cooking for centuries. It is often added to desserts, sauces, and jams, but it also has several medicinal uses. One of these medicinal uses is that it can be taken as an immune booster during the cold season or when you are feeling under the weather in general. There are many who swear by elderberry's ability to prevent a cold from taking hold, so I set out to find out if this folk remedy really does work.

How Does Elderberry Work?

There are several ways that elderberry wellness products are believed to work when taken as a cold remedy.

First, it has been shown in clinical studies to have antiviral properties against the viruses which cause flu-like symptoms and common colds. These same viruses can also be found in herpes outbreaks, which may explain why people say they feel relief from fever blisters when taking elderberry extract. The "Journal of International Medical Research" published research showing how potent black elderberry extract was at fighting off many strains of influenza virus. This study showed that patients who took 12 milliliters daily were nearly three times less likely to develop any type of respiratory infection compared with those taking placebos.

The second way that elderberry works for treating colds is by reducing inflammation in the body. It is believed that elderberries do this by interacting with nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide plays an important role in immune function, and it has been shown to be low during the cold season when people are more susceptible to illness.

Elderberry extract can also act as a pain reliever, which may help you feel better while your body fights off infection naturally.

Does Elderberry Really Work?

I found many supporters of elderberry's ability to prevent or shorten the length of colds when taken at the first sign of symptoms (such as cough, runny nose). I think there might be merit behind this folk remedy because black elderberries have actually been put through clinical trials for use in treating colds, flu, and other respiratory problems.

However, some argue that while elderberry is safe to use at any time during a cold or the flu because it does not cause negative side effects like many over-the-counter drugs do, there are no clinical trials showing how effective it really is when taken for these specific ailments. So until more studies are done on this subject matter (and more people try them out), I cannot give you my personal opinion of whether elderberries can actually prevent or shorten the length of your next nasty cold! 


Elderberry has been shown to have antiviral properties which may help fight off viruses linked to common colds and herpes outbreaks. It also works by reducing inflammation throughout the body and acts as a pain reliever. There are many supporters of elderberry's ability to prevent or shorten the length of colds when taken at the first sign of symptoms, but more studies must be done before any conclusions can be made.

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