Elderberries Are Air Traveler’s New Best Friend
By Justin Cowart
The many negative health effects of international air travel have all been well documented, but now there could be relief for weary air travelers that the common elderberry can provide.
Dr. Shirley Wee and Associate Professor Evelin Tiralongo from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland or (MHIQ) have been able to complete a clinical trial that has shown just how an elderberry supplementation can actually provide some protection from flu-like symptoms and colds that often follow long-haul flights.
Associate Professor Tiralongo says,
“Complementary medicines are used by two in three Australians, thus increasing the evidence base of these medicines should be at the forefront of our efforts. It’s often forgotten that the evidence for various herbal medicines is extract specific.”
Most of us know how intercontinental air travel can be quite stressful and can also affect a passenger’s psychological and physical well being. All the while, fatigue and jet lag remain the best known problems, even holidaymakers experience upper respiratory symptoms.
At the 21st Annual International Integrative Medicine Conference, the researchers presented their information on how the elderberry appears to actually reduce the duration and even severity of colds.
The double-blind, randomised placebo controlled clinical trial was conducted with 312 different economy class passengers that were travelling from Australia to an overseas destination. Multiple cold episodes, symptoms and cold durations were taken and recorded in a diary and the participants were also asked to complete surveys before, during and after their travels.
Associate Professor Tiralongo says that,
“We found that most cold episodes occurred in the placebo group, but the difference between the placebo and active group was not significant.
However, the placebo group had a significantly higher number of cold episode days and the symptom score in the placebo group over these days was also significantly higher.”
In the trial, the researchers used capsules that contained 300 mg of a type of standardised, proprietary membrane-filtered elderberry extract that has been shown to be highly effective in working against different respiratory influenza viruses and bacteria.
The Griffith study follows recent European research published in the open access journal Current Therapeutic Research, which suggests that a combination of Echinacea herb and root extract supplemented with elderberry can be as effective as the conventional antiviral medicine Tamiflu for the early treatment of influenza.
We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about this topic in the comments below! Are you going on a long trip anytime soon? How effective do you think this new supplementation could be?
Justin Cowart is a writer and researcher that loves to learn more about health, life, consciousness and making the world a better place. He loves music, traveling, meditation, video games and spending time with family and friends. He believes in baby steps and lifestyle changes in order to live a full life. In 2014, he lost around 40lbs from baby steps and emotional detoxing.
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