Elderberry extract shortens cold duration

Did you know that when you board an airplane for long distance flight, there is a 20% chance that at your arrival destination you will carry an upper respiratory infection? That means that from 200 people on the plane about 40 will experience a rather unpleasant health condition soon after leaving the plane.

No doubt, a long-distance flight is a challenge for your body.

This clinical trial with 312 people revealed that elderberry supplementation can provide some protection from cold and flu-like symptoms following a long-distance flight.

Associate Professor Evelin Tiralongo and Dr Shirley Wee from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ) and its research team showed that elderberry is reducing the duration and severity of the cold after a long-distance flight.

The trial was conducted with 312 economy class passengers travelling from Australia to an overseas destination. Cold episodes, cold duration and symptoms were recorded in a daily diary and participants also completed surveys before, during and after travel. 156 people received a capsule containing a elderberry extract, while 156 people received a placebo treatment.

It was found that most cold episodes occurred in the placebo group and that the placebo group had a significantly higher number of cold episode days. The assessment of the individual surveys showed that symptoms were less sever in the Elderberry group.

The Griffith study follows recent European research published in 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.

Clinical Study Details

Type of Study Human Clinical Study
Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
Study Setup

Participants: 312 male and female

Treatment duration: 2 weeks

Dosage: 600 mg – 900 mg mg standardised membrane filtered elderberry extract

Key findings

The data showed a significant reduction of cold duration and severity in air travellers.

35% less infections
1/3 shorter duration of the cold occurrence
Reduction in severity of cold symptoms
3 times better overall health

Authors Evelin Tiralongo, Shirley S. Wee, Rodney A. Lea
Organisation School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia;School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia Genomics Research Centre, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation,
Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia;
Full research text Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-004-1279-y