Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
What do you know about elderberry as a treatment for colds? How do you use it?
A: A recent study suggests that the herb elderberry can significantly reduce the length and severity of flu symptoms. Elderberry-flower tea is made by steeping dried flowers in a cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Elderberry flower is generally regarded as safe. Side effects are rare and consist primarily of occasional mild gastrointestinal distress or allergic reactions. Nonetheless, safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not established. You should consult with your physician to be sure that this treatment would work for you.
You may also find these specially formulated Traditions of Tao products helpful for treating and preventing flu: “Cold & Flu”, “Immunity”, “Perpetual Shield”, and “Chest Congestion”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.