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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 07

BMC Complement Med Ther



Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: a systematic review.


Wieland SL, Piechotta V, Feinberg T, Ludeman E, Hutton B, Kanji S, Seely D, Garritty C
BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Apr 07; 21(1):112.
PMID: 33827515.


Elderberry has traditionally been used to prevent and treat respiratory problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been interest in elderberry supplements to treat or prevent illness, but also concern that elderberry might overstimulate the immune system and increase the risk of 'cytokine storm'. We aimed to determine benefits and harms of elderberry for the prevention and treatment of viral respiratory infections, and to assess the relationship between elderberry supplements and negative health impacts associated with overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines.