Dee Woods: Sambucol can help prevent flu

By Dee Woods

You can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I heard of well-known doctor Manny Alvarez explaining that if people weren't willing to get the influenza vaccine, they should take Sambucol to prevent the flu. This suggestion is being repeated by physicians across the country. They are even reporting that if taken at the first sign of the flu, it may reduce the length of the illness.

Longtime readers of this column will remember I wrote about the studies and efficacy of Sambucol back in 2003. I have never been without it in stock because I consider it a wonder elixir.

Sambucol was created by and Israeli virologist/immunologist Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu. The brilliance of Mumcuoglu can be seen through the manner in which Sambucol works. Mumcuoglu understood a virus cannot replicate itself without the help of "spikes" on the virus that pierce a host cell's outer membranes. A virus also contains an enzyme to dissolve the cell walls. When she discovered the antiviral qualities of a constituent in the black elderberry plant, she realized the high antioxidant power of the black elderberry could be developed into a "food" or syrup that would actually bind and cover the spikes on the invading virus, hence, the virus would be neutralized.

There are eight scientific publications with positive results on the study of the black elderberry and its antiviral properties. Sambucol was found to also have inhibited viruses by strengthening the cell membrane of healthy cells as an immune booster. Research papers have been published (European Cytokine Network, Vol. 12, Issue 2, June 2001) indicating Sambucol helps by enhancing the immune system and help the body produce white blood cell cytokines that regulate immune reaction.

Another benefit of Sambucol is that it is considered a broad-spectrum antiviral, which means it is useful on more than one type of virus. In fact, an Israeli Kimron Veterinary Institute study found Sambucol to be effective against the West Nile virus in animals.

The reason I became so interested in Sambucol was because it is neither a chemical nor a dangerous herb, and because I am hypersensitive to medications and antibiotics.

Another important point to remember about the flu vaccine is that among the elderly, it has not been shown to be particularly effective. The 2012 flu shot is said to be about 62 percent effective among the general population and only 55 percent effective against the type A virus that is also out there. Frankly, I've heard many who had the vaccine and yet contracted the flu this year and even a few who had serious reactions.

It is not time to panic, but there are steps we can take to avoid the flu. Avoid sugar. Another difficult suggestion is to avoid the crowds. One doctor explained that a droplet from a cough can go eight feet, while a droplet from a sneeze can go 12 feet!

It's been a rough season, so why not stock up on Sambucol and other known immune strengtheners. It is recommended Sambucol be taken daily at least once a day during the flu season. The only other suggestion is to eat as much of a whole food diet as possible to build up the immune system and make certain your vitamin C, D and zinc intake are adequate.

Dee Woods is available to give presentations about alternative health treatments and healthy living. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .