Elderberry and Echinacea: Effective Supplements for Relieving Cold, Flu, Sore Throat and Coughs

By Graeme Bradshaw

Research has shown that people are 80% more likely to get an infection in winter. The strength of your immune system is an important factor in your vulnerability, so boosting your immunity is the key in staying healthy. However, if unfortunately you have succumbed to a cold or flu, there are some good remedies that can help you to a speedier recovery.


Elderberry is a well recognized antiviral remedy that is most effective if given at the onset of head colds. Elderberry can reduce duration and intensity of flu symptoms by half (to 3-4 days and milder symptoms). Starting this in the early stages of a head cold can really reduce the symptoms quickly, as well as shorten the bout. If only one cold or flu remedy is taken—this is the best one!

Dr Zichria Zakay-Rones, Professor of Virology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a leading influenza virologist conducted a number of studies on elderberry extract's efficacy in the treatment of influenza infections. She was quoted as saying in one interview that elderberry extract has proven effective at inhibiting all Influenza stains tested so far.

If you or your child gets a runny nose and mild fever or any common viral fever and malaise, start this herbal treatment. I recommend the certified organic, and potent Gaia Herb’s Black Eferberry Syrup.


The herb Echinacea has a long tradition of use for flu, sore throats and coughs. It is most effective for a cold that is causing a sore throat and swollen glands. It works best when taken at the first sign of infection. 

Echinacea depends on significant quantities to be effective, so do not settle for Echinacea supplements of low concentrations such as raw un-concentrated herb capsules or 1:10 tinctures.

Children normally require the liquid form. I recommend 1 drop of Echinacea Supreme by Gaia Herbs for every month of age, two or three times daily depending on severity of symptoms. A two-year old can take 24 drops twice daily, a five-year old half a tsp. twice daily, a 10-year old 1 tsp twice daily.

Adults can take 3 mls three times daily.