With flu season at its peak and with several high-profile reported flu deaths, thoughts turn to preservation of self and family. The public at large has come to rely on being protected by use of the “flu shot” or nasal mist. The mentality that the flu shot will offer protection is yet another example of the public placing blind faith in being protected by government institutions such as the CDC.
What are some options for those of us who aren’t willing to place blind trust in a vaccine or in the public health system?
Several inexpensive vitamins such as Vitamins C and D are widely recommended. It is also worth noting that Elderberry extract (Sambucus Nigra) has been shown to be a powerful anti-viral.
Hippocrates called of Elderberry his “medicine chest,” while Martin Blochwich attests to its usefulness in The Anatomy of the Elder (1629) .
Perusing Pubmed, you can find an encouraging test of the efficacy of elderberry:
Antiviral activity of the “Virus Blocking Factor” (VBF) derived i.a. from Pelargonium extract and Sambucus juice against different human-pathogenic cold viruses in vitro.
The in-vitro antiviral activity of the “Virus Blocking Factor” (VBF), a combination of Pelargonium extract and Sambucus juice with addition of Betaglucan 1,3 / 1,6, Zincum gluconium, Acidum ascorbicum, was studied against human pathogenic viruses: Influenza A H1N1 (FluA H1N1), Rhinovirus B subtype 14 (HRV14), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenzavirus subtype 3 (Para 3), and Adenovirus C subtype 5 (Adeno 5).
Antiviral activity was assessed using plaque-reduction assays after adding the test substance post infection of the MDCK, HeLa and HEp-2 cells with the viruses. Ribavirin Virazol and – in case of Adenovirus an internal laboratory standard – were used as positive controls. Cytotoxic effects of VBF and VBF Control onto the virus permissive MDCK, HeLa and HEp-2 cells were examined. Non-toxic concentrations of VBF were determined by the Methylthiazoletetrazolium test (MTT-Test).
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:
In all antiviral studies VBF showed (2.1%) a dose-dependent antiviral activity against FluA H1N1 and HRV14 at non-toxic concentrations. A very strong effect was demonstrated in concentrations of 2.5% and 1.25% where replication of H1N1 and HRV14 was nearly completely blocked. Dose-dependent antiviral activity was detectable against RSV in a concentration range of 1.25% to 0.63% of the test item. Due to toxic side effects of a 2.5% concentration at least a “minor effect” of about 30% (1.25% solution) against Para 3 infected HEp-2 cells could be determined. Concerning Adeno 5 not any antiviral activity could be demonstrated in all studies with all tested substance concentrations of VBF. VBF Control did not show any cytotoxicity and antiviral effects. Further research is needed to elucidate clinical effect of VBF.
Pelargonium; Sambucus; VBF; antiviral activity; cold remedy; plant extracts