PsyBearknot - I suffer occasionally from an immune system deficiency called Epstein Barr Syndrome, my Wife and I co-owned a Natural Food Store for several years. Because of this background I contacted Dr. David Williams to see if there was any natural supplements that I could use to lessen the symptoms when an attack manifests. His response is attached below with our pleasantries removed. I hope this can help someone else out.
Undated from "The Only Defense from the New Killer Viruses" April, 2003
Probably the only people in the world who don’t mind viruses are Hollywood producers—and that’s because they’ve found they can make millions off of chilling films about virus outbreaks. Viruses cause everything from colds and flu to herpes and AIDS. But all the money in Hollywood won’t buy these producers a cure, because there is none.
Or at least there wasn’t—until now. I have had the privilege of conversations with an Israeli Researcher, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu (pronounced mum-shu-glu). She has told me about a remarkable elderberry extract she developed called Sambucol. (Sambucol comes from the Latin name for elderberry, Sambucus nigra.) I’ve been investigating Sambucol for some time, and it is definitely something you need to be aware of. Sambucol has been shown to be effective at inactivatin viruses, which is no small feat. Proven antiviral preparations are few and far between, especially natural ones. With the exception of the expensive and limited use of interferon, even the pharmaceutical companies haven’t been able to come up with an effective antiviral. Surprisingly, the person who discovered interferon also played a part in the development of Sambucol.
In 1980, Dr. Mumcuoglu looked for a research topic to complete her doctorate in virology (the study of viruses). Her supervisor, Dr. Jean Linderman, the discoverer of interferon, suggested elderberries. Dr. Mumcuoglu acted on the suggestion and completed her thesis on elderberries in the early 1980s. But she didn’t pursue the topic again for the next 10 years. It was in 1992 that she resumed her research on the antiviral effects of elderberries. Shortly thereafter, she developed and patented a procedure to isolate certain active compounds from the berries.
Her extract proved to be just as effective in human tests as it did in the laboratory. Since elderberries had been used extensively in folk medicine to treat influenza, Dr. Mumcuoglu told me she decided to channel her first research efforts in that direction. And since elderberries are known to be nontoxic, Dr. Mumcuoglu was able to test her product on actual patients in the Southern Israeli flu epidemic of 1992-93. The results were very encouraging. Within 24 hours, 20 percent of those patients taking Sambucol had dramatic improvements in symptoms like fever, muscle aches and pains, and coughing. By the second day, 73 percent were improved and by day three, 90 percent. In the untreated group, only 16 percent felt better after two days. It took the majority of that group almost a week to begin feeling better. (Infect Dis April 26-30, 1994; Prague, Abstract #1271,392)
I’ve talked to numerous doctors and patients using the product, and everyone I’ve interviewed so far had nothing but praise for it. Everyone agreed that if the product is taken at the first sign of flu, the problem will disappear within 24 to 48 hours. Some report that it is just as effective for treating colds and even the herpes-like Epstein-Barr virus. In our discussions, Dr. Mumcuoglu didn’t seem surprised that the extract worked on other viral conditions as well as the flu. Dr. Mumcuoglu also told me that Researchers at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel have shown that in laboratory tests, Sambucol stimulates the body’s immune system by increasing production of disease-fighting lymphocytes. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Why conventional medicines haven’t been effective. Today, most research efforts are now concentrating on creating drugs that inactivate viruses and make them incapable of penetrating healthy cells, instead of killing the viruses outright. However, these drugs have been difficult to create since viruses can mutate into hundreds, if not thousands, of different forms. Dr. Mumcuoglu’s extract seems to work based on this premise. The active ingredients in elderberries apparently bind with viruses before they have a chance to penetrate the wall of a normal cell. This is another case where a natural substance has far greater capabilities than anything man can create synthetically.
She told me the extract has been lab tested on seven different strains of influenza viruses—Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Ann Arbor, Yamagata, Texas and Panama. It was effective on every single one. As far as its effectiveness on Epstein-Barr, colds, and other viral-related diseases, it is still being tested. Based on its mode of action though, it should prove to be effective on a wide range of “envelope” viruses such as influenza viruses, the hundreds of rhinoviruses responsible for colds, the Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, and the herpes virus.
How to use Sambucol: While Sambucol has been sold in Israel over the counter for some time, only recently has it become available in the United States and France. It comes in two forms, as liquid syrup or as a lozenge. Each package contains enough for four days (for adults), more than enough to knock out a cold or flu.
The normal recommended dosages are:
- Children under one year, two teaspoons daily.
- Children 1–6 years old, one or two table-spoons or two lozenges daily.
- Children 6–12 years old, two to three tablespoons or lozenges daily.
- Children over 12 and adults, four tablespoons or lozenges.
Since Sambucol is slightly acidic, it should be taken following meals to avoid stomach upset. The standard product has been sweetened with honey and glucose. If you are counting calories or are diabetic, you might consider the product sweetened with aspartame.
The recipe I follow to make a syrup with my backyard elderberries
How to make your own elderberry syrup.
Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour 5 mins
A simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey and herbs for an immune boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.
Author: Wellness Mama
Serves: 1 quart
⅔ cup dried black elderberries (about 3 ounces)
3½ cups of water
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
1 cup raw honey (See Caution Below)
Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized Mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties.
Is there a substitute for honey in elderberry syrup?
Some people prefer not to use a sweetener and honey is not recommended for babies under 1-2 years old. Some easy substitutes are:
- Use maple syrup or nutrient rich molasses in place of the honey.
- Omit the sweetener all together (this will make elderberry juice which will need to be consumed much more quickly).
- Make an elderberry tincture for adults. Mix the concentrated elderberry syrup with equal parts food grade alcohol like vodka or brandy instead of sweetener. This obviously wouldn’t be for kids, but is a sweetener free option for adults.
Can I use powdered elderberries?
Yes, I've used powdered elderberries when whole elderberries are not available. Just use 1/2 cup in this recipe instead of 2/3 cup.
Edited by GLP, 16 January 2017 - 08:19 PM.