This herb is known to support the immune system and to stimulate the body's ability to fight viruses. Elderberries have been used in medicine since the Fifth Century, for treating the flu and ill effects of the chills, and have been referred to by Hippocrates, Dioscurides and Plinius. Even Shakespeare mentions it in his play The Merry Wives of Windsor: "What says my Aesculapius? My Galen? My heart of Elder?" Studies have shown elderberry to inhibit replication of human influenza virus type A, type B and animal strains from swine and turkeys in cell cultures and to reduce the duration of the flu by approximately four days.
Studies conducted on elderberries show a reduction of flu symptoms. During a Southern Israel flu epidemic in 1992-93, improvement in flu symptoms was noted within 24 hours in 20% of participants. This included a reduction of fever, muscle ache, pain and coughing. By the second day, 73% felt better compared to the 6% who were not treated.
Dosage: one teaspoon, four times daily at first sign of a cold or flu.