Traditional cultures around the world have turned to elderberry and other natural herbs and plants for a millennium to help keep themselves healthy. Many people are asking these days if elderberry will help with viruses. The short answer is that while several small studies have yielded very promising results, considerably more testing needs to be done to confirm its efficacy in fighting colds and flu. Western medicine understands the value of antivirals and has developed antiviral drugs like Tamiflu to help fight influenza A and B. Scientists around the world are working hard right now to find antivirals that will work against Covid-19.
So, what exactly are antivirals? According to WebMD, Antivirals are ‘medications that reduce the ability of flu viruses to multiply.” Fortunately, nature supplies us with foods and herbs that have natural antiviral activity too. As with western medicine pharmaceutical antivirals, natural antivirals must also be taken at the first sign of illness to be effective. What if we could simply stay healthier by having natural antivirals “on board” in our bodies all the time?
So, what foods are natural antivirals? Healthline published a wonderful article entitled 15 Impressive Herbs with Antiviral Activity and lists Oregano, Sage, Basil, Fennel, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Rosemary, Echinacea, Elderberry, Licorice, Astragalus, Ginger, Ginseng and Dandelion as herbs and plants we should include in our diet. Consider using Oregano, Sage, Basil, Rosemary, Garlic and Ginger in your favorite recipes; these herbs are wonderful in homemade soups and stews, for flavoring meat marinades, essential in most Mediterranean and Italian dishes, and add tons of great flavor too. Check out this super helpful chart from Farmer’s Daughter Herbs for more suggestions and direction for using these delicious, antiviral and popular culinary herbs. Fennel bulbs are delicious sliced thin and sautéed in butter or olive oil. Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Echinacea, Ginger, and Ginseng can be steeped in hot water for a wonderful tea, and Elderberry, Astragalus and Dandelion are typically available as nutritional supplements.
All health professionals are encouraging people to eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and to boost their immune system with natural antivirals to stay as healthy as possible during the covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Oz specifically recommends Vitamin D (from the sun if you can get it!), vitamin C, zinc and elderberry as his top 4 essential supplements. This article and the accompanying video clips from the Today Show includes Dr. Oz’s Coronavirus Survival Protocol which many families will find quite helpful.
Interested in adding elderberry to your daily diet? Norm’s Farms makes a variety of products from our farm grown elderberries. Check out our four delicious elderberry liquid supplements and our new organic elderberry gummies with Vitamin C, zinc and probiotics. Our Elderberry Wellness Syrup makes a delicious hot tea too-just add 1 tablespoon to about 6 ounces of hot water.