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10 Foods That Boost and Improve Your Immune System

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Reach for Elderberries

Modern Day Folk Medicine

Elderberrry is a shrub that has been used medicinally for centuries. Sambucus nigra, or black elderberry bush, is the version most commonly used to make syrup and lozenges. Extracts of elderberry have antiviral, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Elderberry is also high in flavonoids. People take elderberry syrup as a remedy for colds, flus, and bacterial sinus infections. The plant medicine works by reducing swelling in mucus membranes. Some studies suggest elderberry extract reduces the duration of the flu. If it works for flu infections, it may help your immune system against coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

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Elderberry Interactions

Elderberry benefits are numerous, however, the remedy may interact with certain prescription medications. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to adding any new remedy to your regimen. Elderberry may interact with the following medications.

  • Diurectics: Elderberry is a diuretic so taking it with a prescription diuretic will increase the effects.
  • Laxatives: Elderberry has laxative effects, so it should not be taking with other laxative mediations.
  • Steroids: Elderberry stimulates the immune system so it should not be taken with steroids and other medications designed to suppress the immune system. People who are on immunosuppressive drugs after having undergone organ transplantation should not take elderberry.
  • Chemotherapy: Elderberry may interfere with chemotherapy and should not be taken with it.
  • Diabetes medications: Elderberry lowers blood sugar so it should not be taken with medications that treat diabetes.
  • Theophylline: Elderberry may reduce blood levels of this medication prescribed to treat asthma and respiratory conditions.

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