Sour Medicine for the Flu
Flu season arrived. According to the news channel, this year’s flu leaves behind a trail of suffering. While many of you reading this will agree that news outlets often bias and distort, we can agree that none of us want the flu. We can also agree that if we get it, we want quick and effective therapy. So where will you go for either prevention or treatment this winter?
Prevention begins long before flu season.
Healthy lifestyles that include a low inflammatory diet and lots of antioxidants strengthen the immune system year round. Avoiding toxins that might weaken our defenses also plays a role in prevention.
In-season prevention means continuing adequate zinc, vitamin D, vitamin A, and other nutrients. A well balanced diet provides the vast majority of our needs, but some need supplementation beyond what food can supply. Getting your Vitamin D level measured and optimized prepares the body for the viral onslaughts.
Once the virus has made its beachhead, we must get a little more aggressive.
That’s where the sour medicine comes in. A study from 2004 in the International Journal of Medical Research reported how Elderberry given four times a day relieved flu symptoms rather impressively. This placebo controlled study in Norway demonstrated that elderberry extract was both safe and effective in fighting lab confirmed flu cases.
In another study in Phytochemistry from 2009, elderberry extracts were shown to inhibit the dreaded H1N1 from binding to cells. Researcher mentioned that elderberry compared favorably to the medications marketed for flu therapy.
Why do we need elderberry if we have pharmaceuticals like Tamiflu or amantadine?
First, amantadine only treats influenza A. Second, all the anti-flu drugs have potential risks as well as less than impressive benefits. Elderberry outperforms in both respects, so why not try something different?
While this is not direct medical advice for anyone reading, I will add that my defense system also includes garlic and olive leaf extract. I’ve seen each of these therapies play a role in restoring patient’s health when viral infections are concerned.
**This post is for educational purposes only. In no way should any of the information discussed be taken as medical advice or guidance. Contact your doctor to learn how this applies to you. If you do not have a doctor and would like to learn about working with Dr. Potter, contact our office.**
Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections
Z Zakay-Rones, E Thom, T Wollan, J Wadstein Volume: 32 issue: 2, page(s): 132-140
Issue published: April 1, 2004
Phytochemistry. 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Aug 12.
Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro.
Roschek B Jr1, Fink RC, McMichael MD, Li D, Alberte RS.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.