Posted on Mar 31, 2011, 6 a.m.
German team reports that a liquid extract from black elderberry may inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria involved in upper respiratory tract infections.
Black elderberries (Sambucus nigra L.) have been used as a folk remedy to counter influenza. Torsten Hain, from Justus-Liebig University (Germany), and colleagues studied the effects of a liquid extract from black elderberry standardized to contain a minimum of 3.2% anthocyanins, for antimicrobial and antiviral activity. The researchers found that the elderberry extract was effective against Streptococcus pyogenes and group C and G Streptococci (Gram-positive), as well as Branhamella catarrhalis (Gram-negative). In addition to 70% inhibition of all the bacteria at the 10% concentration level, when used at the highest concentration a growth inhibition of 99 % was observed. As well, the elderberry extract inhibited influenza A by about 30% and influenza B by 25%. Noting that: “Elderberry liquid extract is active against human pathogenic bacteria as well as influenza viruses,” the team submits that: “The activities shown suggest that additional and alternative approaches to combat infections.”
Krawitz C, Mraheil MA, Stein M, Imirzalioglu C, Domann E, Pleschka S, Hain T. “Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:16, 25 February 2011.