Is this the answer to influenza?
The Black elder tree, Sambuca Nigra, has been used for thousands of years to ward off colds and ‘flu. Extracts from all parts of the tree have been used, but the berry has been the favourite part. Elderberry wine has for centuries been regarded as a cure for colds and ‘flu – you’d feel better even if it didn’t cure!
The old wives’ tales have now been shown to have much basis in scientific fact.
In 1980, Madeleine Mumcuoglu, a virologist, was looking for a research subject for her PhD thesis. Her supervisor, Dr. Jean Lindermann, the discoverer of interferon, suggested that she investigate the black elderberry, which she did. The ensuing research resulted in a doctorate for herself, and the potential saving of millions of lives.
She developed a standardised extract of the black elderberry, Sambuca nigra, which was proved to have powerful anti-viral effects, particularly against the ‘flu virus, but also against other viruses.
The 1992 ‘flu epidemic in Southern Israel gave her an opportunity to test out her extract.
Just look at these statistics:
¨ Within 24 hours, 20% of those patients taking the extract had dramatic improvements in symptoms like fever, muscle aches and pains, and coughing.
¨ By day 2, 73% were improved.
¨ By day 3, 90% were improved.
In the untreated group, only 16% felt better after 2 days, and the majority took a week to feel better.
By any standards, this is a remarkable performance, but bear in mind that this was achieved in people who had already become “patients”. In other words, they had had the symptoms long enough to see a doctor and then to be referred for participation in the trial. Most of the patients had probably started developing symptoms about 48 hours before treatment commenced.
If the treatment is that effective 48 hours into the infection, imagine how it would be if treatment were commenced within an hour or so of symptoms developing, before the virus could multiply in the body’s cells.
Our approach is to begin treatment within an hour of symptoms becoming evident, and this usually gets rid of all symptoms by the following day.
In order to achieve this speed of reaction we all keep elderberry extract at home at all times (it can be in liquid or capsules according to taste).
Viruses, unlike bacteria, are unable to divide and multiply on their own. They have to invade a living cell. The surface of the virus is covered with tiny protein spikes. When part of a spike binds to receptors on the cell’s surface, the cell is caused to produce copies of the virus. Viruses are very successful parasites.
Elderberry extract was checked under laboratory conditions, and it was found to be effective against all types of influenza virus; types A and B, Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ann Arbor, Texas, Panama, Tamagala and Shangdong. This universal effectiveness is because of the mode of action, which will not vary from virus to virus, whereas a ‘flu vaccine is only produced to protect against three strains of influenza virus, by causing the body to produce antibodies to them. The viruses to be targeted each year are chosen by the World Health Organisation, taking note of forecasts about which viruses will be prevalent.
If a different strain of virus appears, the vaccine would be no protection against it.
Most of the research so far has been aimed at the influenza virus, but because of its method of action, it seems logical that elderberry should be effective against a wide spectrum of viruses.
Research is beginning to show that this is so, and there are indications that elderberry is effective against other viruses such as herpes, Epstein-Barr and HIV; a question that springs to mind is whether it might be effective against M.E., a growing scourge of modern life.
There is mounting evidence that elderberry is effective against the common cold, which can be produced by a large number of different “rhinoviruses”.
In laboratory tests, elderberry extract has been shown to have more general immune-stimulating effects, by increasing the production of T lymphocytes, which fight all types of disease, bacterial as well as viral.
This is an extraordinarily effective agent against viral diseases, but in the method we use ourselves, we go even further than the use of this one product.
If the immune system is under attack from one type of organism, its ability to resist other attackers will be reduced, making infection from bacteria or other parasites more likely.
Before we discovered elderberry extract, we were using Cats Claw, which has almost as powerful an anti-viral effect, but which is more versatile against a wide variety of infectious organisms; bacteria, fungi and other parasites.
We therefore use a combination of the two, and if any bacterium is brave enough to attack this combination (symptoms would be bronchial congestion or stomach problems) we finish it off with Goldenseal, probably the most powerful anti-bacterial agent in existence.
Elderberry extract and cats claw, especially combined with vitamin C, can also be used as a preventative against colds, ‘flu and other infections.
Studies Of Effects On Other Viruses
Elderberry extract has been tested in cell cultures against four strains of herpes virus. The replication of the virus was completely inhibited in every case.
Tests have been carried out against HIV strains in cultures. A significant reduction in the infectivity of HIV strains has been shown. A clinical study is underway in one of Israel’s leading hospitals, on patients infected with HIV.
This has been demonstrated dramatically in a test carried on the chimpanzee population in a zoo in Israel.
This chimpanzee population has a history of severe colds and ‘flu every winter season.
The population was split into two groups. During winter, one group was given elderberry extract, and the other plain fruit juice.
The elderberry group exhibited either no symptoms at all or symptoms lasting only 24 hours. The fruit juice group frequently had symptoms lasting two to six days.
Surely a worthwhile treatment to consider.
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