Can elderberry cure the flu?

Elderberry syrup (WCIV).JPG

With the CDC saying that this year's flu is worse than the year of the swine flu back in 2009, many are looking for a holistic approach to prevent getting the flu.

Elderberry is said to help boost the immune system while others believe it will prevent them from catching the flu.

Jessica, a wellness associate at the Eucalyptus health bar in Mt. Pleasant says they have had a lot of people coming in looking for elderberry, as well as looking for certain homeopathic items that are really good at boosting the immune system.

The Elixir bar sells both elderberry syrup and elderberry extract. They also have a list of blended drinks and herbal infusions that are hand made right in the store. Some of their drinks are infused with the popular berry.

Jessica says she definitely believes in using your body's natural abilities to fight off infections, the flu and viruses. And products like elderberry, and other herbs and keeping your body hydrated can do a good job fighting off the flu.

But Radna Patel, a clinical pharmacist at Roper St. Francis says there isn't enough research done to prove Jessica's theory. Patel says that there are very small studies conducted in small populations that are very limited. However, research has been suggested to show a reduction in flu like symptoms.

Patel also says that it is never too late to get the flu shot, and to do so if you haven't already. If you are diagnosed with the flu, the CDC recommends you stay hydrated and seek supportive care.

However, both agree that elderberry could help your immune system.

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