Fight the Flu, Naturally

As we enter the cold and flu season, more and more reports are surfacing concerning the health benefits of the elderberry or more specifically, elderberry syrup.  Elderberry syrup is the liquid version of the elderberry.  Elderberries are cooked down into a concentrate packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants.  Elderberries have long been reported on for their ability to fight off colds and respiratory infections.  Recent research from Australia is showing the dramatic effect elderberry concentrate has on the flu virus.  The research paper, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, titled the “Anti-influenza activity of Elderberry,” shows that elderberry concentrate inhibits the flu virus’s entry and duplication in human cells.  The anti-oxidants and phytochemicals in the concentrate block viral proteins from attaching to cells.  In addition, it is reported the concentrate strengthens the immune system.  This research backs up the theory that elderberry concentrate could be used for cold and flu prevention.  Also, researchers found in the study that the elderberry inhibited viral reproduction once the cells were already infected with the virus.  This means that elderberry concentrate could be used to lessen the duration of the cold or flu once a person has become infected.  In another study, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu of the University Hadassah-Hebrew in Israel found that elderberry blocks viruses in the lining of the nose and throat and can prevent the spread of the virus into the respiratory tract.  In a clinical trial, subjects reported significant improvement of virus symptoms within 24 hrs and the majority of subjects claiming a complete cure in viral symptoms within 3 days.  In contrast the placebo group took 7 days to recover.  With the reported yearly ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine, elderberry concentrate seems to be a great addition to your natural flu fighting arsenal.

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:  Chiropractic patients have long used the chiropractic adjustment to help prevent colds and flu. While not a treatment for cold and flu viruses, chiropractic spinal adjustments boost the body’s immune system by improving neural impulse flow from the spine.  Adjustments have been shown to boost white blood cell production, increase rate of DNA repair and improve the rate of resistance enyzmes in the body.  All important markers for immune system health. 

Pregnancy Tip:  More and more OB's are recommending flu shots to pregnant women. In my opinion, all of the additives in the flu shot coupled with the flu shots ineffectiveness ratio, make the risk rate to high for the pregnant mother and the unborn baby.  Eating right, getting enough rest, taking Vitamin D3 , Vitamin C and now Elderberry concentrate along with regular chiropractic care during your pregnancy, seems like the all natural way to prevent the flu.

Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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