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)
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.
- 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