My daughter says black elderberry got rid of her H1N1 virus

My daughter Sadie, in her 20s, got sick a few days ago with a flu-like illness.  We didn’t figure out for a couple of days, after talking to a nurse, that her affliction was almost certainly swine flu.  Fever of 102 degrees, headache, severe body aches, fatigue, sore throat and cough, slight sniffles. On Monday she was too sick to go to work. One of her housemates came home with some elderberry capsules from a natural-foods store.  Sadie (my daughter) took 800 mg capsules, 3 times a day, on Monday and Tuesday. I talked to her on Wednesday and she said she was 100% recovered with no symptoms whatsoever. Maybe the flu had just run its course and she would have felt fine even without the elderberry.  But I was curious enough to look it up on the internet, and was astonished at the volume of credible articles I found about black elderberry as a treatment for the flu. My daughter’s whole household is taking elderberry now, to avoid getting what Sadie had, including elderberry in syrup form for the baby.

Now, I’m not a health professional, and I am not recommending a particular flu treatment to anyone. Flu can be dangerous. But I am saying these articles on the internet are interesting.  Have a look for yourself. A few of them are listed below. You can find many more by googling “elderberry flu” or “elderberry H1N1.”

Tamiflu, an antiviral commonly prescribed for flu, is very expensive. It only shortens the duration and may reduce the severity of the flu. It also has common side effects that can include vomiting and headache. Of course, there are flu cases where reducing the severity even a little can be life-saving, so I’m not knocking Tamiflu.

Articles about elderberry and flu:
Paul Fassa.  “Elderberry Trumps Tamiflu for Flu Remedy“. Natural, May 30, 2009

Cathy Wong. “Flu remedies.” Alternative Medicine. Dec 4, 2007.

Chris Bolwig. “Flu cure found in the elderberry.”  Ice News – Daily News. Nov 12, 2007.

Elderberry extract prevents H1N1 infection in vitro. The Medical News. September 11,. 2009.

Teresa Koby.  Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Herb News, Herb Research Foundation. August 28, 2009.

Nicky Blackburn. “Study shows Israeli elderberry extract effective against avian flu.”  Israeli21c: Innovative News Service. January 29, 2006,

Key words:: alternative medicine elderberry flu H1N1 herbal medicine herbal remedies swine flu

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Posted in Alternative medicine, Flu, Health, Wildlife Tagged with: , , ,

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These days, I blog mostly about nature and wildlife. Even the tiniest creatures make me happy! You'll also find here lots of posts about plant-based foods, health, and ecotourism. Ecotourism can support local people who make a living through sustainable use of wildlife, habitat, and natural resources.

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Our other blog, Veggie Revolution, focuses more on food than this one does, especially the environmental, health and humane aspects of our food choices. That blog was started in 2005 and continues today, while the blog you're reading now began in 2009. Some of the newer posts are on both blogs, but Veggie Rev has at least 260 more posts than this blog, including Sadie's travels to Morocco. In the sidebar of Veggie Rev, you'll see links to each year that can take you back to all the posts for a particular year.

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