High in the Austrian Alps you’ll find a flowering shrub called the black elderberry. Its tiny, glossy berries have been used for years to make traditional folk medicines across Europe but today, the extract from these berries is helping to treat Canadians suffering from colds and the flu. “There’s clinical research and scientific evidence available now on elderberry as an ingredient that helps with cold and flu symptoms,” says Gillian Aiken, Vice President of Marketing at Nature’s Way, a Canadian producer of herbal health products. “This allows us to strike a unique balance between traditional medicine and modern science with our products.”

The black elderberry contains standardized flavonoids and is proven to be both bioavailable and active within the body for optimal effectiveness. “Because it’s in a bioavailable form, it’s easy for the body to use,” says Aiken. “It gets to where it needs to get to in the body, rather than just passing through the digestive system as some supplements tend to do.”

Fighting illness naturally

The extract also has antioxidants which are essential to the maintenance of good health. Nature’s Way’s Sambucus products contain hand-picked elderberries grown in Austria at an optimal altitude of 500 to 600 metres where the earth, air, and water all contribute to the plant’s distinctive flavour and potency.

Available at Loblaws, Amazon, and independent health food stores, the product line offers four variations of black elderberry — three syrups and a formulation in gummy form — for kids and adults. The Sambucus Original Cold and Flu Care contains a pure, potent elderberry extract in a great-tasting syrup. The Organic Sambucus has antioxidants for the maintenance of good health. Sambucus for Kids syrup relieves cold and flu symptoms such as coughs, sore throat, and chest congestion. The gummies are the company’s newest product and are jam-packed with black elderberry extract, vitamin C, and zinc. “We’re the first to market black elderberry in a gummy format,” says Aiken.

Make sure you’re prepared for this year’s cold and flu season by visiting natureswaycanada.ca or exploring your options in store.