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Elderberry: The Secret Weapon Against Flu & Colds

As a mom, wife, and pharmacist I’m always looking to add products to my arsenal to fight sickness in our house.

In the last year, Elderberry Syrup has been that new addition. 

One of our pharmacists, Scott Henson, wrote a wonderful blog about Elderberry and how it specifically relates to flu treatment. Please give his post a read to find out more about how exactly Elderberry works and for some interesting information on the product.

I found out about Elderberry Syrup first-hand last winter when my youngest got the flu. He started on Tamiflu®, and the rest of us started taking Elderberry Syrup for prevention (adults took 15 milliliters daily and my oldest, who was 6 years, took 5 milliliters daily).

It worked like a charm and everyone loved the taste, except my husband who said it was “alright.”  In my opinion, it tastes like overripe blackberries, and let’s face it, Elderberry Syrup tastes better than any over-the-counter (OTC) liquid medication out there. If you can get your kids to take any OTC liquid medication, you can get them to take Elderberry Syrup. My kids actually beg to take Elderberry Syrup because it does not taste like normal medication.

You will not find a lot of academic research behind using Elderberry Syrup to prevent sickness, but it makes sense based on how Elderberry works. Essentially, Elderberry prevents the virus from replicating in your body and boosts your immune system.

There is scientific evidence, however, that Elderberry helps in the treatment of the common cold.

A study in Italy showed that Elderberry capsules did not prevent the number of colds as part of a pre-treatment before travel in healthy individuals, but did show a reduction in the duration of the cold by 2 days and severity of the cold by 58% compared to placebo.

For me, this evidence is huge!  My family could be over their cold 2 days earlier and the severity could be decreased by 58% just by taking Elderberry! This is why I break out the Elderberry Syrup from the fridge at the first sign that anyone in my house has a cold.

For reference, the common cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat that can be caused by many different types of viruses. The common cold usually lasts for about 10 to 14 days, and the treatment is to help alleviate the symptoms since it is a self-limiting viral illness, which antibiotics will not help treat.  The most common symptoms include:

  • – Nasal congestion
  • – Runny nose
  • – Sneezing
  • – Post-nasal drip, which can lead to cough
  • – Cough
  • – Head congestion or sinus pressure
  • – Fever
  • – Sore throat

If you or a family member have a high fever or severe symptoms, especially if it is a child, please see a medical provider immediately.

I hope my experiences with Elderberry can help you and your family stay healthy and happy. Gaia Herb Elderberry Syrup is available at Sona Pharmacy if you are interested in giving it a try.

If you have questions about Elderberry, please stop by Sona, or give us a call, or talk with your health care provider to make sure it is the right option for you.


Tasha Michaels


Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 24;8(4). pii: E182

Originally posted by Sona Pharmacy 

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