HAWKINS J, BAKER C, CHERRY L, DUNNE E.
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been used to treat cold and flu symptoms "...present an alternative to antibiotic misuse for upper respiratory symptoms due to viral infections, and a potentially safer alternative to prescription drugs for routine cases of the common cold and influenza."
Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.
WIELAND LS, PIECHOTTA V, FEINBERG T, LUDEMAN E, HUTTON B, KANJI S, SEELY D, GARRITTY C.
Elderberry may be a safe option for treating viral respiratory illness, and there is no evidence that it overstimulates the immune system. Elderberry may not reduce the risk of developing the common cold; it may reduce the duration and severity of colds.
Travellers using elderberry from 10 days before travel until 4–5 days after arriving overseas on average experienced a 2-day shorter duration of the cold and also noticed a reduction in cold symptoms.