I work as a personal trainer and I often have people tell me about holistic remedies to colds or ailments. Recently I was sick and I had a client of mine tell me if I wanted to get better I should try elderberry. She mentioned that she had heard about the product from a friend of hers and she ordered it online. She then said that I would be perfectly fine in about a day or two after trying elderberry. She had mentioned me being fine before knowing what I was sick with which made me a little skeptical. Then when searching for the product i also found the picture seen above which made me more nervous. Regardless of it not being a legit medicine I decided to look up some information on the product to humor her and here is what I have found. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center who had done studies on the product there is very limited information. There are few studies about the product and all of their own findings needed to be cross examined by others and retested. Many of their publications note that “one study found” meaning that the results have not been duplicated. As we have learned from our course reading that in order for it to be a science it needs to be tested and duplicated. The publication does boast it may remove a few days from the healing process of a flu. It also has drawbacks. There are a few side effects of the product if taking more than several days in a row. Due to the flu and other colds lasting several days I am not sure how you are meant to take this product regularly if it has side effects after a few days of use.See below for some additional information regarding elderberry from the medical center.
WebMD has a posting as well regarding the product. I decided to use WebMD because, much like Wikipedia, it is a website that gets lots of traffic and is regarded as more trustworthy site than it may deserve. This site listed a few more benefits and did not post it as skeptical as the college site did. The posted it as more concrete and scientifically supported evidence. One of the major differences is that this site posted more benefits than the last, ad started to use more numbers and percents to represent its findings. Use the link below to see the information posted from webmd.
The last site I used was a holistic health site. It was dedicated to herbs which may help fight colds and other ailments. This site lists the most amount of benefits and the least amount of side-effects. They also begin to list a point of origin as well as a date which dates back 35 years. The findings I conclude is that the most scientific website was the college posting and used scientific information as their proof. The holistic site used testimonials and other publications only for their benefits and limited drawbacks. This is a product I would not stand behind. I would no compare this to the Doctrine of Signatures from class due to it being a berry plant which does not resemble anything it supposedly cures. Cross reference this website with the others to see how much the information presented changes.