The elderberry nutritional science summary is written by Dr. Cathy Stein specifically for Trisha’s Elderberries. All rights reserved. Dr. Cathy Stein has a PhD in epidemiology and her research focuses on infectious disease susceptibility.  She currently holds a tenured faculty position. 

Note: all randomized controlled trials were double-blinded with a placebo


Pilot clinical study on a proprietary elderberry extract: Efficacy in addressing influenza symptoms. Online J Pharmacol Pharmacokinetics, (2009)

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Pilot-Clinical-Study-on-a-Proprietary-Elderberry-%3A/367d1c92716b6be462f26dbfe6c223863dc78464

The pdf link at the webpage above was not accessible, but I found an objective-sounding summary here: https://www.herbalgram.org/resources/herbalgram/issues/85/table-of-contents/article3481/  (because full article was unavailable, unable to assess strengths and limitations of analysis and study design)

  • Randomized clinical trial (RCT) examining the effect of elderberry vs. placebo lozenges in reducing influenza symptoms.
  • N=32
  • In subjects taking elderberry, in comparison to their symptoms at baseline, there was a statistically significant reduction in headache, nasal congestion, and fever after 48 hours.
  • Subjects taking placebo actually showed a worsening in nasal congestion and headache after 48 hours.
  • All subjects taking elderberry eventually had no fever.
  • While there was no statistically significant reduction in cough compared to baseline in elderberry or placebo, the severity of cough in subjects taking elderberry was statistically lower compared to placebo.
  • No adverse effects were seen.

Keywords: RCT, influenza, symptom improvement

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