Q. I have found that elderberry extract really helps against the common cold. If I start taking it soon enough I can keep the cold from getting a foothold.
A. German researchers have found that a standardized elderberry extract is active against bacteria and viruses that cause upper respiratory tract infections (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Feb. 25, 2011). Although the preliminary research is promising, more clinical studies are needed (Phytotherapy Research, Jan. 2010).
You will find more information on elderberry in our Herb Library. We have been known to collect and dry the flowers in the summer to use in winter as a soothing tea when we suffer from a cough or a cold. Elderberry extract is also available commercially in several herbal remedy products such as Sambucol or Zand. You can learn about other herbal remedies for colds in our Guide to Colds, Coughs & the Flu.