Thursday, November 5, 2009
A New clinical study confirms efficacy against H1N1 virusScientists at the Retroscreen Virology Centre have identified that black elderberry extract is effective in fighting the swine flu H1N1 virus(1).In a randomised, placebo controlled, double-blind in-vitro study the black elderberry extract was found to be 70 per cent effective in preventing the H1N1 virus from infecting healthy cells and reduced intracellular replication by the same amount. The Black Elderberry extract commercially available was shown to have a significant effect on cells after just five minutes incubation time.
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Details of the study are available at http://www.blackelderberry.info/.This new research suggests that black elderberry extract could provide a two-fold solution to both the prevention and treatment of the H1N1 swine flu virus. The study also substantiates earlier trial findings which showed that the black elderberry extract was effective in reducing the duration of influenza symptoms by four days(2). In comparison, Tamiflu only reduces the duration of symptoms by one day(3).
Previously, an in-vitro study also found black elderberry extract to be 99 per cent effective against the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu(4).Following these results, scientists are investigating the possibility of applying for permission to engage in in-vivo studies on swine flu sufferers - something which is currently prohibited under European law. Black elderberries are thought to contain a compound which coats viruses and prevents them from penetrating and infecting healthy cells. As a result viruses are unable to replicate. Any virus infected cells are then killed and ingested by the body’s white blood cells to remove the virus from the body.
Gary Snook from Pharmacare Europe, manufacturers of Sambucol says: “This study is encouraging at a time when we are facing widespread infection of the H1N1 virus. With a pandemic situation the need to prevent opportunities of transmission of the virus is of utmost importance. Antiviral formulations like this are of particular interest to control the spread of the virus.”He continues: “This study has tested black elderberry extract for its efficacy in inactivating the swine flu virus and the results are significant. Many people will find these results of interest, as black elderberry extract could provide a safe, effective solution to both preventing and treating the spread of swine flu.”
Dr Serene Foster, expert immunologist and registered medical herbalist agrees: “Black elderberries have been traditionally used to help protect against various viral ailments, including flu, because of their immune health properties. It is believed that a compound contained in the black elderberry extract used in this study, prevents viruses from attaching to living cells. This new research shows that these dark purple fruits are effective in helping the immune system to fight back against specific strains of flu such as the H1N1 strain.
”Native to hedgerows throughout November, the black elderberry plant is a tall tree-like shrub, found liberally through the British countryside. Historians trace the tradition of the black elderberry’s healing power back to Hippocrates, who is widely referred to as the ‘father of medicine’. He described the black elderberry as his ‘medicine chest’ for the wide range of ailments it appeared to cure – from cold and flu to burns, cuts and even the plague.