Even though we are past flu season in the UK, I always like to keep a selection of cold and flu busting remedies in the house. My absolute favourite herbal remedy is the elderberry plant, also known as sambucus, which is super rich in antioxidants. My first experience of elderberry was in a syrup form, and the results were fantastic! I had had a very dry cough for weeks and could not shift it. I was advised by a naturopath to try elderberry syrup, which would boost my immune system and soothe my sore throat.
So, as with most things, I am always on the hunt for the best products for myself. On my travels I came across the brand Sambucol. They offer so much great choice on elderberry-based remedies, and so now lets start with the syrups. A few years ago I always had to hand the Sambucol Immuno Forte elderberry syrup. A small spoon felt like a soothing coat layering my throat, which provided instant relief for my dry sore throat. It tastes as you might expect, of very concentrated berries, which I really like, nothing like cough syrups you would find in a pharmacy. After some time however I noticed that if I had come down with a cold or the flu, then it didn’t really tackle the other symptoms. That’s when I tried the Sambucol Extra Defence elderberry syrup. This contains 15mg of zinc and 10ug of vitamin D3 per serving, which is essential for a strong healthy immune system. This one I find is best for helping me fight off all the symptoms of a cold, and gives me the boost I need to go about my day.
For those who are keen to control their sugar intake, there is a sugar free version of the Immuno Forte, which is the one I now keep in my cupboard at all times, as well as the original Sambucol elderberry syrup without added vitamin C and zinc.
Now syrups are not for everyone, and sometimes I prefer something that can help me relax in the evening, or something that I can carry in my pocket. The Sambucol Hot Drink is perfect for the evening if you’re feel run down and also struggling to get to sleep. It gives the nice taste of elderberries without being overpowering like its concentrated form. The Hot Drink comes in sachets that can then just be mixed with hot water.
The Sambucol Immuno Forte capsules are good for people on the go. I am more of a hot drink person when I’m feeling unwell, so I don’t feel like the capsules are for me, but with a high concentration of elderberry, 400g of vitamin C and 12mg of zinc per 2 capsules, it’s a fantastic immune booster to help fight infections and viruses.
The Sambucol Pastilles are good for keeping in your pocket to chew when needed, and with the added honey, are great for if you feel a sore throat approaching. Unfortunately each pastille does not contain a huge amount of elderberry, and so you would need to consume a fair few pastilles to get the same amount of elderberry that is found in the other products. Saying that, you do not want to consume too much zinc in one day, so it is best to not consume too many pastilles to get high levels of elderberry. To me it is definitely a good cold prevention remedy.
Finally we have; the Sambucol Immuno Forte Effervescent Tablets have been my saviour when I still have a busy day of work or studying ahead of me, and I’ve been struck with a cold. These can be popped into hot or cold water (not boiling), and then you are ready to go. In the winter I have one effervescent tablet in a bottle of water everyday, and so far seems to be working! It’s been a long while since I have caught a cold, and I don’t tend to feel particularly run down. I did have a slip up in December and forgot to take the effervescent tablets for over one week, and I definitely noticed that I didn’t feel as upbeat as I usually do. As the summer starts to approach, I don’t feel the need for an effervescent tablet everyday, just every other day to keep my immune system strong.
Overall Sambucol offer a great selection of elderberry products to suit everybody, it is definitely a must have.