Echinacea has a long history of use for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu. Originating in American, and then spreading to Europe, Echinacea was the leading cold and flu remedy until it was displaced by sulfa antibiotics. It remains the primary remedy for minor respiratory infections in Germany.
Elderberry also has a long history of medicinal use, but interest in this herbal product soared when research over the past 15 years, initially in Israel, showed that an Elderberry preparation demonstrated anti-viral activity, and was an effective treatment for the flu.
The efficacy of these two herbal supplements continues to be supported by research. Just recently, a study on 473 patients in the Czech Republic, with flu symptoms, were divided into two groups. One group was given a product (from Vogel Bioforce AG) that contained Echinacea and Elderberry. The other group was given conventional antiviral medicine, Tamiflu.
The results, published in Current Therapeutic Research, showed that the Echinacea and Elderberry combination was as effective as the conventional antiviral medication.
This large, human clinical trial supports the use of Echinacea and elderberry for immune support.
The researchers pointed out that the non-prescription status of these herbal supplements made them ideal for “acute influenza treatment” by the patient at the first sign of the cold or flu, an attractive and effective means of self-care.
Choosing an Echinacea supplement can be confusing, as different parts of the plant can be used (flower, root, etc), it can be dried or fresh. It can be different varieties of the herb, and it can be a fluid extract, a tea, or powdered tablet or capsule. The form used in this study was from Bioforce, and consists of an extract of fresh organically grown Echinacea: 95% herb and 5% roots.
We know this combination of herb and root is effective. But other research has shown that other variations, such as dried root, work as well. And, bear in mind, this new study did not compare one form or Echinacea to another.
You can order Vogel Bioforce Echinacea (“Echinaforce”) from Willner Chemists. You can also order Willner’s Phyto-Tech Echinacea Triple, a liquid extract of herb and root combination. See below for ordering information.
None of these products contain Elderberry. It is best to take it separately. Willner Chemists offers an Elderberry 1:2 liquid extract that contains 500 mg of certified organic Elderberry berries in each 30 drops. See below.
These liquid extracts, due to their concentrated nature and alcohol tincture base, are very stable, and can be stored in your medicine cabinet until the first symptoms of the cold or flu appear.
Echinacea Supplements: (choose one)
Elderberry Supplements: (choose one)