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Elderberry can have benefits during the cold and flu season

March 30, 2019 GMT

With our recent sunshine and warmer weather, we can begin to anticipate spring and beautiful days are right around the corner. Running parallel to that hope is that we are at the end of cold and flu season.

But like the weather in Southeast Idaho, that is nothing more than a false hope. Cold and flu season are still actively upon us. For some it has been a lingering issue for weeks now: the chronic cough, the occasional aching bodies, and just not performing at full speed. We are still deeply in the midst of viral infections.

One of my favorite supplements for upper respiratory symptoms, elderberry has, yet again, been acknowledged to reduce overall symptom duration when compared to sugar pills (placebo). A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that, regardless of the virus, elderberry was shown not only to decrease the intensity of the symptoms, but also the duration.

There were no adverse side effects listed in the study. In my experience, elderberry is one of the first-line interventions for virus season. The only potential concerns are for diabetics, as it can increase insulin sensitivity, and for people with autoimmune diseases.

As with all drugs and supplements, discuss elderberry with your doctor before using it. Until we are all convinced the warm weather is here to stay, be prepared to continue to deal with all the viruses lurking around. Elderberry is a great way to do that.

Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at http://drwilley.com.