Shedding Light in the Darkness

Got To Fly? – Take Elderberry


If you’ve got to fly somewhere, it might help to take along some elderberry. A new study has found that an elderberry supplement offers protection from cold and flu-like symptoms following long-haul flights, as well as reducing passengers’ colds by up to two days if they get one.

Dr. Shirley Wee and Associate Professor, Evelin Tiralongo, from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute in Queensland, completed a study of the effects on 312 economy class passengers, travelling from Australia to a destination overseas.

The trials were conducted over two years. The study used capsules containing 300mg of an elderberry extract which has shown to be effective in working against respiratory bacteria and influenza viruses. Passengers consumed 900 milligrams of elderberry extract every day, beginning 10 days before they boarded the plane and continued four days after their arrival.

The research was presented at the 21st Annual International Integrative Medicine Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

The study follows European findings published in Current Therapeutic Research which suggests a combination of Echinacea herb and root extract supplemented with elderberry can be as effective in treating flu early as conventional antiviral medicine Tamiflu.

In 2004, a randomized trial of 60 patients aged 18-54 suffering from flu symptoms for 48 hours or less received 15 ml (3 teaspoons) of elderberry syrup or a placebo 4 times per day for five days. Researchers observed that: “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.

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