If you’ve ever landed at your destination after a long flight, only to be welcomed by the onset of a cold, you know that international air travel can place just as much stress on your body as it can on your bank account balance.
Fortunately, protecting yourself from annoying cold symptoms could be as simple (and cheap) as a bottle of elderberry extract from your local health foods store. That’s according to new research from Griffith University, Australia, which shows that the common elderberry can reduce both the duration and severity of upper-respiratory symptoms often experienced by international travelers following long flights.
In the randomized, double-blind clinical trial, researchers from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute analyzed 312 economy class passengers traveling from Australia to overseas destinations, recording cold instances, symptoms, and duration before, during, and after travel.
Some travelers were provided with capsules containing 300mg of an elderberry extract.
“We found that most cold episodes occurred in the placebo group,” says the study’s Evelin Tiralongo, Ph.D., adding, “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.”
These findings, which were presented at the 21st Annual International Integrative Medicine Conference in Melbourne, follow similar research that was recently published in the journal Current Therapeutic Research, which revealed that a combination of elderberry and Echinacea herb and root extract could be as effective in its treatment of influenza as the commonly prescribed antiviral medicine Tamiflu.
Respect your elderberries, kids.
Photo: Robert Bejil