Elderberry fruit or flowers are used by many to prevent or provide relief from diseases, such as flu, viruses, colds, constipation, and other conditions, often served as a tea, extract, or in a capsule. There is research to establish its effectiveness for such uses, or its safety profile.

People have used elderberry for its health benefits for hundreds of years. Elderberry contains antioxidants, and many believe it can relieve colds, fight the flu, and boost the immune system.

Elderberry is a fruit which makes it save and has been used Native Americans for its health benefits.

“What our study has shown is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus,” said Dr Golnoosh Torabian.

“It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells.”

The phytochemicals from the elderberry juice were shown to be effective at stopping the virus infecting the cells, however to the surprise of the researchers they were even more effective at inhibiting viral propagation at later stages of the influenza cycle when the cells had already been infected with the virus.

“This observation was quite surprising and rather significant because blocking the viral cycle at several stages has a higher chance of inhibiting the viral infection,” explained Dr Peter Valtchev.

“In addition to that, we identified that the elderberry solution also stimulated the cells to release certain cytokines, which are chemical messengers that the immune system uses for communication between different cell types to coordinate a more efficient response against the invading pathogen,” said Centre Director, Professor Fariba Deghani.†