By Coy Domecq
Cold and flu season is in full swing. Today we have a plethora of remedies to soothe our aches and pains, lulling us into the false sense that viruses and bacteria are being vanquished with modern day pharmaceutical weapons. Please keep in mind that there is no cure for the common cold as you are purchasing your basket full of new and improved, double strength, non-drowsy, great tasting, twice as effective syrups, capsules, powders, capsules and caplets.
Something to consider as an option that may be overlooked this time of the year is the fact that the elderberry plant has been used for centuries to stave off and lessen the effects of the not-so-new common cold and flu. The elderberry has the recommendation of no less than Hippocrates (circa 400 BC), the Father of Medicine, as his “medicine chest tree”. Evidence of planted Elderberry trees has been found near many Native American villages. In addition to its other many attributes, elderberry is regarded as one of the oldest components to improve the immune system and offer relief from congestion and inflammation. The flavonoids boost the immune system and the tannins reduce congestion.
Lest you have any skepticism as to mainstream scientific acceptance of elderberry as a medicinal component, the plant has been added to the US Pharmacopeia, the compendium of established food and drug bases. Everyone’s metabolism is unique and interactions are individual according to drug and allergen reactions. Use prudence when embarking upon use of any ingestible. Whereas elderberries are easily collected in the wild in season, there are many fine commercial preparations that undergo standardization to accurately reproduce dosage effects. As we know, it is always advised to follow the wisdom of your elders.