What Is Elderberry Syrup?
Black elderberries have a rich history in herbal medicine and elderberry syrup is a must-have in any natural cold and flu medicine chest. Elderberry syrup gained significant attention in the natural health community shortly after the H1N1 flu outbreak when a study was released demonstrating its ability to effectively inhibit this widespread strain of the flu (Roschek, et.al., 2009).
Research reveals that it prevents the common cold and the flu by inhibiting viral replication, so it is best taken at the very first sign of illness or just after a known exposure to someone who is sick (Kinoshita, et.al., 2012). It can also be taken in smaller doses preventively during the cold and flu season or during times of increased exposure such as holiday travel.
Is Elderberry Syrup Safe?
Elderberry syrup is what we refer to as a culinary herb, meaning it is used frequently in culinary doses without any health concerns. However, when the dosage is increased to medicinal levels, some people may experience negative responses. Prolonged, large medicinal doses should be avoided by those who have autoimmune conditions without guidance from a professional as it can increase pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Additionally, elderberries have diuretic actions, so they could potentiate (increase) the effects of pharmaceutical diuretics. Elderberries can also interfere with immune suppressing drugs by enhancing immune function. However, culinary doses used for preventive purposes are not contraindicated.
Who Should NOT Take Elderberry?
Prolonged, large medicinal doses should be avoided by those who have autoimmune conditions without guidance from a professional as it can increase pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Addiotnally, infants under the age of 1 should not consume syrups that contain raw honey.
*Information from the Franklin Institute of Wellness. (2018). The Proper Way to Make Elderberry Syrup. Retrieved from https://franklininstituteofwellness.com/proper-elderberry-syrup/ on January 12, 2019.