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A clinical trial has been given the go-ahead to explore the role of black elderberry in the treatment, progression, and reduction of coronavirus symptoms. Here are the details. The study began in January 2021, with the research team hoping to recruit more than 200 Covid positive patients. The Director of Research and Innovation at the Trust, Jessica Evans, commented on the landmark investigation.
“We are all very excited to have been given approval to start this trial, which could have huge implications for the treatment of coronavirus,” she said.
The premise of the study is based upon the beneficial effects of black elderberry on flu patients.
Those suffering from flu, who had taken black elderberry, had shown “significant improvements in their symptoms within two days”.
For those who didn’t take black elderberry, their flu symptoms persisted for six days.
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“We will be testing whether there are similar effects in people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms,” added Evans.
Evans explained that her team wanted to “see if the severity and length of [infection] time can be reduced”.
The clinical trial will be using Sambucol Black Elderberry Liquid and placebos.
Pharmacist Sumaiya Patel certified that elderberry has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries.
The flowering shrub has the Latin name Sambucus nigra; in late spring, the plant is covered in large clusters of white or cream flowers.
By late autumn, small, dark purple or black berries bloom on the Sambucus nigra.
Although the plant is poisonous to humans when eaten raw, the berries are edible once cooked.
The berries can be used to make jam, jelly, chutney and elderberry sauce.
In Scandinavia and Germany, elderberry soup is considered a traditional meal.
The elderberry is “packed with antioxidants” such as phenolic acids and flavonols.
“These are powerful antioxidants that can help to reduce free radical damage within the body,” Patel confirmed.
Elderberry also contains vitamin C and dietary fibre, which evidence of supporting a person’s health.
Its syrup has been used to relieve symptoms of the common cold and flu, and it may “contribute to the prevention of some chronic diseases”.
The rich antioxidant content in elderberries may be able to help “prevent or slow the damage caused by free radicals”.
Free radicals are “unstable molecules” that cause “oxidative stress, a process which can damage the body’s cells and lead to a range of diseases”.
Studies have shown that elderberry may also reduce the risk of heart disease, again to its strong antioxidant content.
Evidence also suggests that elderberry may be useful in controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
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