As Summer comes to a screeching halt and Fall rolls in, you better be ready! For your flu shot of course. [Enter Sarcasm Here]. Truth be told, the majority of the public will not even bat an eye at getting their free flu shots at the “Corner of Happy & Healthy”, but when a berry from the Earth comes into play as a factor in preventing the illness & shortening existing cold and flu symptoms… people are bewildered, skeptical and honestly, even offended.
But what offends ME is that the flu shot was only a pathetic 19% effective in 2014-2015 (Source: CDC) and the general public will still willingly back up the vaccine. For the 2015-2016 year, the vaccine was only 48% effective and the 2016-2017 strain looks to be similar, so far reaching around 42% effective.
To add, after news broke about the CDC committing fraud and omitting data in the 2004 Autism Study, I really don’t believe one word, “fact”, percentage, study or statistical analysis they try to come up with for the public. You can read the news coverage about that catastrophe here and you can also check out the fact-based documentary, “VAXXED” here.
Even though the facts remain that the flu shot risk carries tremendous risk and injures countless victims, people still back it up and stick out their arms. And even though the flu MIST is a LIVE VIRUS and has the ability to shed and infect others with the flu (For up to 21 days!), people STILL run into the pharmacy and open their nostrils! Luckily, the mist has been discontinued this year in the US. The claim is because it was not effective, but I bet it has something to do with the shedding rate.
I may not be able to figure out the logic in that, but I CAN figure out the logic and evidence-based proof that elderberry syrup is the better choice when battling the flu.
Maybe you’ve said it. Maybe you’ve thought it. “An elderberry? That just can’t work! That’s hocus pocus!”
Or is it?
Disclosure: I’m not a doctor (and I don’t try to be). This post is for informational purposes only. Always consult your doc or holistic practitioner before starting or stopping any health regimen. This post may contain Amazon Affiliate Links.
What Are Elderberries?
If I seem to be speaking Chinese to you, then it might be possible you aren’t aware of what an elderberry is and what makes it so awesome. So I’ll give you the speedy low-down. Black elderberry extract (Sambucus species) has been reported to have been used for years by native Americans, mostly against rheumatism and fever. Sambucol is a natural remedy with antiviral properties, especially against the human influenza virus. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell.
Believe it or not (Believe it, buddy!) elderberries have been studied in REAL labs! In fact, they have been studied in double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized studies. (That’s more than we can say for some vaccine studies!). Elderberries have been proven to both boost the immune system and shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms significantly.
At the Bundesforschungsanstalt Research Center for Food in Karlsruhe, Germany, scientists conducting studies on Elderberry showed that elderberry anthocyanins enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines. These unique proteins act as messengers in the immune system to help regulate immune response, thus helping to defend the body against disease.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study.
- Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus
- Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days
- Convalescent phase serum showed a higher antibody level to influenza virus in the Sambucol group, than in the control group.
- Sambucol is beneficial to immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases.
- The results of this study show that all Sambucol elderberry formulations have a strong stimulatory effect on inflammatory cytokine production by human normal monocytes.
- The study was not funded in any way by the company which produces and markets the product of Sambucol in Israel.The study can be found here
Here is another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale.
- 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
- None of the patients reported any adverse reactions related to the medication. (The same can NOT be said for the flu shot!)
- A complete cure was achieved within 2 – 3 days in nearly 90% of the elderberry-treated group compared with at least 6 days in the placebo group.
- The results of our study show that elderberry syrup is also effective against influenza A virus infections.
- In view of its in vitro and in vivo efficacy on influenza A and B viruses, elderberry extract offers an efficient, safe and cost-effective supplement to the present armamentarium of medications for the prophylaxis and treatment
of influenza.This study can be viewed here
Study # 3
Here is a placebo-controlled, double blind study was carried out on a group of individuals living in an agricultural community (Kibbutz) during an outbreak of influenza B in Panama in 1993.
- A significant improvement of the symptoms, including fever, was seen in 93.3% of the cases in the SAM-treated group within 2 days, whereas in the control group 91.7% of the patients showed an improvement within 6 days.
- A complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of the SAM-treated group and within at least 6 days in the placebo group.
- Considering the efficacy of the extract in vitro on all strains of influenza virus tested, the clinical results, its low cost, and absence of side-effects, this preparation could offer a possibility for safe treatment for influenza A and B.
- Sambucol Elderberry Extract and its formulations activate and boost the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production.
- The most striking increase was noted in TNF-alpha production (44.9 fold).
- Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus.This study can be viewed here
Conclusion: The Flu Vaccine Just Doesn’t Measure Up
The evidence speaks for itself.
- The elderberry has no known harmful side effects, but the flu shot does
- The elderberry syrup works with your natural immune response system, the flu shot does not
- Elderberries have been proven to be effective against 10 strains of the flu
- Elderberries have been proven to shorten the duration of colds and flu
- Elderberry syrup is safe for pregnant women and children over 1 year of age (due to the honey content) (Check with your doc before starting/stopping any health regimen)
- The flu shot is even less effective in senior citizens and children under 2 years of age (Those who need it the most! Read more here)
- The flu shot has never been tested in pregnant women
- There have been reported deaths and serious injuries proceeding the flu shot (Seizures, narcolepsy, convulsions, encephalomyelitis, facial palsy, facial paresis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, hypoesthesia, myelitis, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia and syncope just to name a few) Read more here.
- The flu mist is a live virus and can spread the flu to others up to 21 days following the application (Isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid!?)
It’s no secret that I am very against not only the flu shot, but all vaccines. (Read my other post here if you’re wondering why). There are many other credible studies available to you on this topic and I encourage you to do a search and see what you come up with.
If you don’t feel like buying mine, that’s cool too. Try Nature’s Way Organic Sambucus Elderberry Syrup.
Stay well, my friends!
Thanks for letting me into your world awhile,
Naturally Nicole XO