The berries of the Elder tree have a long history of medicinal use throughout Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Asia and there is much European folklore associating the plan with increased longevity. This reputation may in part relate to the highly antioxidant anthocyanin constituents which give the blue-black berries their dark colouring. Elderberry is highly regarded by herbalists for the treatment of winter ailments, particularly where there is fever, aches and pains.
Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995 and a recent randomized, double-blind trial demonstrated the effectiveness of Elderberry extract in reducing the incidence & severity of respiratory tract infections in air travellers on long haul flights.
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