The Science behind Sambucol

How Sambucol Works

Influenza viruses replicate themselves by entering healthy cell membranes and then spread throughout the body.

Several studies suggest that Sambucol’s distinct mode of action works by preventing the initial viral infection through three simultaneous ways.

Sambucol Mode of Action

Clinical and Research Summary

1995 – Influenza B Trial1
Significant improvements were seen in 93.3% of the group taking Sambucol®. A complete cure was achieved in 2 to 3 days in almost 90% of the Sambucol® treated group.
2001 – Immune System Study (in vitro)2

Sambucol® was found to be beneficial to the stimulation of the immune system in healthy individuals. Also excellent results have been found in more “sensible” patients with influenza, cancer and HIV which have decreased immune functions.

2004 – Influenza A Trial3

Sambucol® was again shown to significantly reduce the duration of influenza by approximately 3-4 days. The use of pain relievers was significantly less in the Sambucol® group than amongst the placebo group.

2006 – Avian Flu Study (in vitro)4

Sambucol® was at least 99% effective at inhibiting growth of H5NI (avian “flu” virus).
2009 – Swine Flu Study (in vitro)5
Research has observed that in vitro the flu-inhibiting activities of the elderberry flavonoids compare favourably to pharmaceutical products, such as the Tamiflu3 drug which was widely prescribed for swine flu sufferers in the UK in 2010.
2017 – Antiviral Effects (Meta-analysis)6
Sambucus nigra L. is promising as an inexpensive and low-risk treatment for influenza and other viral and non-viral pathogens – and potentially as a preventative for acute viral infections as well.
2019 – Anti-influenza Activity7
Elderberry extract is effective in treatment of flu. In conclusion, elderberry exhibits multiple modes of therapeutic action against influenza infection.
  1. Zakay-Rones et al, Inhibition of Several Strains of Influenza Virus in Vitro and Reduction of Symptoms by an Elderberry Extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an Outbreak of Influenza B Panama, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 1, number 4, 1995, pp. 361-369
  2. Barak, Halperin and Kalickman, The Effect of Sambucol®, a Black Elderberry-Based, Natural Product, on the Production of Human Cytokines: I. Inflammatory Cytokines, European Cytokines Network, Volume 12, no. 2, pages 290-296, June 2001
  3. Zakay-Rones, Thom, Wollan and Wadstein, Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections, The Journal of International Medical Research, no. 32, 2004, pp. 132-140
  4. Balasingam et al, Neutralizing activity of SAMBUCOL® against avian NIBRG-14 (H5N1) influenza virus, St Bartholomew’s & The Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry,  University of London, 1996
  5. Roschek et al, Elderberry Flavonoids ind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro, Phytochemistry, vol 10, issue 10, 2009
  6. Randall S. Porter and Robert F. Bode Meta-analysis – A Review of the Antiviral Properties of Black Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) Products, Phytotherapy Research 31: 533-554, 2017
  7. Torabian et al, Anti-influenza activity of elderberry (Sambucol nigra), Journal of Functional Foods 54, 353-360, 2019
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