Elderberries (or Sambucus) have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer properties. The fruits are also rich in flavonoids, powerful anti-oxidant substances that are very helpful in preventing body cells damage. Used locally, elderberries treat wounds. Elder flower is used to treat colds and flu, having a very positive impact on the upper respiratory system.
Air travel is known for its stressful effect and consequences on the passengers’ wellbeing. The most common symptoms that passengers experience during frequent travels are fatigue and respiratory problems. Either we’re talking holidays or just business frequent long trips, it seems that elderberries can help in easier overcoming impaired related health conditions.
Professor Evelin Tiralongo and Dr Shirley Wee from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland studied the way elderberry supplements can protect respiratory system of passengers following long flights, by having a high effect against respiratory bacteria and influenza viruses. Cold and flu duration and severity of the symptoms were ameliorated. The results were presented during the 21st Annual International Integrative Medicine Conference in Melbourne.
312 economy class passengers were randomised in a double-blind placebo clinical trial. The participants were given capsules containing 300 mg elderberry extract. “We found that most cold episodes occurred in the placebo group, but the difference between the placebo and active group was not significant. However, the placebo group had a significantly higher number of cold episode days, and the symptom score in the placebo group over these days was also significantly higher,” says Professor Tiralongo.
Elderberry antiviral properties have been well-documented in previous studies for the treatment of influenza. The researches underlined the importance of complementary herbal medicines in the preventing and treating early stages of different conditions, in a natural manner.