Funktioniert Sambucol Schwarzer Holunder wirklich bei Erkältungen und Grippe?


Wenn Sie krank sind, sind Sie bereit, alles zu versuchen, wenn es auch nur eine entfernte Chance gibt, dass es helfen kann.

Hersteller von Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln wissen das, weshalb sie allzu gerne bereit sind, einen angeblichen Schub für die Immunität, Gewichtsabnahme, verbesserte Energie oder was auch immer Sie sonst noch haben, anzubieten.

Und meistens zahlt man dafür einen saftigen Preis.

Aber wofür bezahlst du? Gibt es wissenschaftliche Beweise für ihre Behauptungen?

In anderen Fällen sind nicht die Nahrungsergänzungsmittelfirmen schuld, sondern Mythen, die in der Öffentlichkeit kursieren.

Zum Beispiel hat der COVID-19-Coronovirus-Ausbruch in Wuhan im Jahr 2020 viele panische Vorschläge zur Vorbeugung hervorgerufen – wie die Verwendung von Knoblauch oder Holunder – aber was sagt die Wissenschaft dazu?

Nichts!

Irreführende Vermarkter, die Holunder gegen das Coronavirus vermuten, präsentieren Lügen und/oder interpretieren Studien falsch. Es wurde im Labor auf andere Arten von Coronaviren untersucht, aber nicht auf den neuartigen COVID-19-Stamm.

Kurz gesagt, verwenden Sie KEINE Holunderbeerpräparate zur Vorbeugung, Behandlung oder Heilung von COVID-19. Sie können nichts davon tun.

Lassen Sie uns Sambucol für Erkältungen und ähnliche Produkte wie Nature’s Way Original Sambucus wissenschaftlich überprüfen. Viele Leute verwechseln diese beiden Marken, sie sind nicht dasselbe.

Der original schwarze Holundersirup von Sambucol ist wahrscheinlich der beliebteste, obwohl sie in den letzten Jahren auch eine Version für Kinder herausgebracht haben, Gummibärchen, Brausetabletten und etwas, das sie Pastillen nennen, die im Grunde genommen Hustenbonbons sind. Alle diese Produkte enthalten den Beerenextrakt.

Geschichte des Holunders in der Medizin

Seine Verwendung in der Medizin ist definitiv nicht neu.

Bereits im 4. Jahrhundert vor Christus wird behauptet, der berühmte Arzt Hippokrates habe diese Beere als seine „Medizinkiste“ bezeichnet ( 1 ). Im 17. Jahrhundert hatte der berühmte englische Schriftsteller und Gärtner John Evelyn geschrieben:

„Wenn die medizinischen Eigenschaften seiner Blätter, Rinde und Beeren vollständig bekannt wären, könnte ich nicht sagen, woran unser Landsmann leiden könnte, wenn er nicht aus jeder Hecke ein Heilmittel holen würde, sei es gegen Krankheiten oder Wunden.“

Mit anderen Worten, er glaubte, dass der Holunderbaum ein Heilmittel für viele Dinge war.

Als pflanzliches Heilmittel gegen Erkältungen wird es Berichten zufolge auch seit Jahrhunderten verwendet . Das Arzneibuch – herausgegeben vom London College of Physicians – wurde erstmals 1618 als Anleitung zur Herstellung von Rezepturen veröffentlicht (davor fehlte es an Einheitlichkeit, weil die Apotheker und Lebensmittelhändler ihre eigenen herstellten). In den folgenden zwei Jahrhunderten wurden zahlreiche Ausgaben veröffentlicht, die angeblich mindestens 6 Rezepte für schwarzen Holundersirup enthielten. Meist zugesetzter Zucker.

The National Druggist war eine in St. Louis ansässige Zeitschrift für Apotheker. Der 1918 veröffentlichte Band 48 diskutierte die aktuelle Meinung sowie die Geschichte der Holunderbehandlung bei Erkältungen und zitierte frühere Literatur:

„…als ‚seifenartiges Lösungsmittel‘ zur Förderung der ‚natürlichen Ausscheidungen durch Stuhl, Urin und Schweiß‘ und mit Wasser verdünnt bei Erkältungskrankheiten“

Ära der modernen Medizin

In der Wissenschaft und anderswo hatte die gelegentliche Forschung über die antiviralen Eigenschaften von Holunder nie aufgehört. Allerdings wurden erst in den 90er und 00er Jahren faszinierende klinische Studien und Rezensionen zu Holundersirup veröffentlicht. Das war der Zeitpunkt, an dem es begann, mehr Aufmerksamkeit zu erregen.

Diese Anzeige, die in der Dezemberausgabe 1996 der Vegetarian Times veröffentlicht wurde, zeigt, wie Sambucol-Sirup und Lutschtabletten ursprünglich aussahen.

Die Erfinderin von Sambucol war Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, eine Virusologin, die die Formulierung in Israel entwickelt hat. Erstmals 1991 verkauft, war es in den USA erst 1996 erhältlich.

Laut einer im selben Jahr veröffentlichten Anzeige war es „das Ergebnis von fast zwanzig Jahren Forschung und ausgiebigen Tests in Krankenhauslabors“. Das würde die Entwicklung auf den Beginn in den 70er Jahren verankern .

Sie behaupten, es sei der am besten erforschte Extrakt aus schwarzen Holunderbeeren der Welt, und tatsächlich scheinen die meisten Studien am Menschen diese Marke verwendet zu haben.

Verbindungen in dieser Frucht wurden untersucht auf:

  • Influenza A- und B-Viren (die Ursachen während der Wintergrippesaison)
  • gewöhnliche Erkältungen
  • H1N1-Virus (Schweinegrippe)
  • Coronaviren (aber nicht der neuartige COVID-19-Stamm)
  • Nebenhöhleninfektion
  • Krebs

Um es klarzustellen, es wurde nicht auf den Stamm des Coronavirus untersucht, der für die Pandemie verantwortlich ist.

Es wurde im Labor für andere Typen untersucht, wie das menschliche Coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63).

In dieser Laborstudie aus dem Jahr 2019 berichteten taiwanesische Wissenschaftler, dass die im Extrakt gefundene Kaffeesäure, Chlorogensäure und Cumarsäure „die Replikation von HCoV-NL63 auf zelltypunabhängige Weise signifikant hemmten und spezifisch die Virusanheftung blockierten“. ( 10 )

Im Gegensatz zu dem, was manche sagen mögen, denken Sie daran, dass das nur im Labor war. Nur weil es in einer Petrischale funktioniert, bedeutet das nicht, dass es in einem lebenden Körper funktioniert.

Was die Wissenschaft sagt

Funktioniert Holundersirup wirklich? Das hängt davon ab, wie Sie „Arbeit“ definieren. Um es klar zu sagen und Verwirrung zu vermeiden: Es gibt kein Heilmittel gegen Erkältungen . Keine Beere, kein Lebensmittel, Nahrungsergänzungsmittel oder Medikament hat dies nachgewiesen.Allerdings gibt es Forschungen mit dem Europäischen Holunder ( Sambucus nigra L. ) und wie er bei Atemwegserkrankungen helfen könnte .

Vorläufige Studien deuten darauf hin, dass es die Dauer der Grippe um bis zu 3 Tage verkürzen und bei der Linderung von Erkältungssymptomen helfen könnte .

Offiziell wird dieser Beerenextrakt-Inhaltsstoff – ob als Sambucol oder eine andere Marke – nur als Nahrungsergänzungsmittel verkauft. Es ist kein Arzneimittel zur Behandlung, Vorbeugung oder Heilung von Krankheiten . Es muss noch viel mehr Forschung betrieben werden, damit überhaupt eine Chance besteht, dass sich dieser Status jemals ändert. Bis heute gilt es als unbewiesen.

Mit diesen Vorbehalten ist hier ein Rückblick auf die bisherige Forschung.

Sambucol gegen Sambucus

Bevor Sie in die Studien eintauchen, ist es wichtig sicherzustellen, dass wir alle auf derselben Seite sind.

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Sambucus und Sambucol? Diese Begriffe können sich tatsächlich nicht nur auf zwei, sondern auf drei verschiedene Dinge beziehen …

Sambucus die Pflanze

This is the scientific name for the genus of flowering plants that includes the European black elder (  Sambucus nigra  )  . There are about 3 dozen plants that have the word “Sambucus” in their name; Sambucus chinensis  (Chinese red elder),  Sambucus ebulus  (European dwarf elder) and  Sambucus pubens  (American red elder) to name a few.

Medical research focuses on the Sambucus nigra, not the other species.

When the research says “Sambucus” you can assume they are referring to the Sambucus nigra/European black elder.

Sambucol original formula

There is evidence that Sambucol was the first brand to hit the market  . According to reports, Dr. Mumcuoglu used the Israeli company Razei Bar to sell the syrup under the Sambucol name, and Nature’s Way was, or soon became, the distributor of this product.

Allegedly there was a dispute/separation between the companies early on and then Nature’s Way Sambucus was sold as a different product. Limited online records of it exist in the 1990s  , and neither company currently addresses the story on their websites  .

Nature’s Way Original Sambucus

This refers to the brand marketed under the Original Sambucus name. What kind of elder is used in Nature’s Way Sambucus? The same European black variety. To confuse things further, when people say “Sambucus,” they may be referring to the shortened Latin name for the berry rather than this brand name.

In short, both Sambucol and Sambucus call their products original in some respects, but the evidence seems to indicate that Sambucol was first on the market and for the clinical trials naming a brand name, we’ve seen Sambucol. However, both use the same primary active ingredient.

Sambucol vs Sambucus

Nutritional information (supplementary information)
Sambucol original formulaNature’s Way Original Sambucus
Manufacturer/Owner:PharmaCare USA, Inc.Schwabe North America, Inc.
where it is madeProduct from FranceNot revealed
serving size2 teaspoons (10ml)2 teaspoons (10ml)
calories3030
carbohydrates8 gr7g
Zucker8 gr6g
main ingredient3.8 g black elderberry extract100mg black elderberry (BioActives® standardized extract from 6.4g elderberries of the variety)
other ingredientsGlucose Syrup, Purified Water, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (to retard spoilage)Fructose, Purified Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Malic Acid, Natural Raspberry Flavor with Other Natural Flavors
Gluten freeYes indeedYes indeed
Non dairyyes (Cold & Flu Formula is not vegan as it contains lactose derived from milk)unknown (labelled as vegetarian, does not indicate whether “other natural flavorings” are of plant or animal origin)
I am freeYes indeedunknown (but seems likely)
NussfreiYes indeedunknown (but seems likely)
Free from artificial colorsYes indeedYes indeed
Free from artificial flavorsYes indeedYes indeed
Free from artificial preservativesunknown (potassium sorbate can be obtained naturally or produced synthetically)Yes indeed
Kosher certifiedyes (but their homeopathic cold and flu relief products are not kosher)Yes indeed
Manufacturer’s Product Claims“Sambucol is the original black elderberry extract that has been on the market for 20 years. Not all black elderberry extracts are created equal. Only Sambucol uses the proprietary elderberry extract that has been used in published clinical studies. Other products use a concentrated, standardized elderberry extract that doesn’t have the natural balance of the elderberry extract used in Sambucol. This is a fundamentally different ingredient and therefore cannot be considered an equivalent.”“Made from a unique variety of black elderberry with a higher content of naturally occurring flavonoids. Full-spectrum black elderberry extract standardized for anthocyanins, which are potent BioActives® flavonoids. Gentle, solvent-free extraction method ensures maximum flavonoid potency. Our elderberry extract has been tested for bioavailability and activity in the body.”

In addition to the above two names, there are  other brands of elderberry syrup/liquid concentrate on the market such as:

  • Gaia-Kräuter, 5,4 oz (Bio)
  • Honey Garden, 8 oz (Bio)
  • Nature’s Answer Non-Alcoholic, 8 oz
  • Now Foods, 8 oz
  • Natural Sources, 16 oz

While the full ingredient list of these 5 other brands varies, what they all have in common is that they all contain at least some amount of black elderberry (Sambucus nigra).

As far as personal reviews from Nature’s Answer, Now Foods, Honey Garden, or Natural Sources go, we have none to share. However, one of us at Superfoodly used Gaia Herbs Organic Elderberry Syrup while ill and his opinion was positive.

Previous clinical studies

The European Medicines Agency lists over 70 references that support evaluation  of elderberry’s purported health benefits (  2  ). These are not just for the common cold, but for research ranging from colitis in rats to the amount of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins (antioxidants) in the fruit.

Outside the human body (in vitro)  , it has been found to inhibit multiple strains of the influenza virus  . But just because it works in a lab petri dish doesn’t mean it will work in your body.

Since we’re only reviewing it for cold and flu, we’re focusing on clinical trials that have been accepted by the US National Library of Medicine for inclusion in their PubMed database.

1995 – Panama flu outbreak

This is the earliest. It was a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. It took place on a kibbutz in Panama during an outbreak of influenza (type B) (  3  ).

  • To be eligible, a competitor  must have demonstrated at least 3 qualifying flu symptoms lasting less than 24 hours  . If so, they received either the elderberry treatment or a placebo.
  • 40 people participated  ; 20 received Sambucol and 20 a placebo.
  • They were between 5 and 56 years old.
  • Once started, some participants were not counted due to inconsistent treatment, use of other medications, or because they tested negative for a virus.
  • Ultimately,  15 people were counted who had received the elderberry  (all had type B influenza) and  12 who had placebo  (2 had type A influenza, 10 had type B)

The results?

  •  93.3% of the treatment group showed “significant improvement in symptoms, including fever” within  2 days .
  • 91.7% of patients in the placebo group  showed improvement, but it took  6 days  .

Many alternative medicine enthusiasts have compared the results of elderberry extract to those of Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), as the latter is a prescription drug known to shorten the duration of your nausea.

However, it is  very  premature to compare these two  . This is a tiny study involving a few dozen people, while Tamiflu is a drug that has undergone regulatory scrutiny and extensive (as well as very large) clinical trials around the world.

While Sambucol’s results here may look promising,  remember that this is a  very  preliminary study  .

2001 – side effect on cytokines

If elderberry juice works for colds and other viruses,  why  does it work? Yes,  the ORAC value of elderberries  , which is a laboratory measure of their antioxidant content, is  around 300% of that of blueberries  . But how much antioxidant activity it can have has nothing to do with antiviral activity.

Some speculate that it could be the effect of elderberries on cytokines.

What are cytokines? In Greek,  “cyto” means  cell and  “kinos  means movement… cell movement. That’s exactly what they do.

Cytokines are types of proteins released by cells in our immune system  . Think of these cytokines as chemical messengers. They go and tell other cells in the immune system to “move” and do things – like fight an infection.

In short, some theorize that  higher levels of cytokines might boost immune function  .

This study is not specific to any type of viral infection  . It studied the effects of black elderberry on the immune system of healthy people (  4  ).

12 participants  , who were “young and healthy” college students, received a non-proprietary standard black elderberry extract and branded Sambucol products.

The results?

  • Echinacea for colds is a popular herbal remedy. However, the researchers claim that studies similar to this one have shown that  echinacea does not increase cytokine production  .
  • When using black elderberry extracts, a 2- to 45-fold increase  in the production of inflammatory cytokines has been observed.
  • A standardized black elderberry extract had the highest increase. Second place went to the original syrup Sambucol. Third place went to Sambucol Immune System Formula. Last place went to Sambucol Kids, which makes sense; it has the least amount of elderberry because it is a lower dosage.

Exciting to hear, but we reiterate that this is also a tiny study. While   this berry might increase cytokine production,  it’s just a  theory that  such an effect might benefit the immune system in fighting the flu or any other viral infection.

A similar study by the same researchers was published a year later in 2002  . It pitted the same three Sambucol products against two other products that claimed to be immune boosters; Protec and Chizukit N (which contains echinacea and propolis). The Sambucol products increased measured cytokines by a greater amount (  5  ).

2004 – Norway’s flu season

This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that took place during flu season a few years prior to publication (’99 to ’00) (  6  ).

  • A total of 60 patients suffering from flu-like symptoms for less than 48 hours were included.
  • The ages ranged from 18 to 54 years  (average about 30).
  • After excluding those who were not eligible,  26 people received elderberry syrup and 28 a placebo  .
  • The dosage of the elderberry extract was 15 ml, which was taken 4 times a day for a total of 5 days.

The results?

On average, those receiving the Sambucol dosage had  symptom relief 4 days sooner than the placebo  . This corresponded to their Visual Analogue Scale Score, which was based on:

  • Frequency of cough
  • mucus discharge
  • stuffy nose
  • discomfort and pain
  • sleep quality
  • global evaluation

How do I take elderberry syrup…with or without food? In this study, they were instructed to take Sambucol  with  food. The other study was silent on how to use it.

In addition, their need for nasal sprays and painkillers during the illness was “significantly lower” than the need for the placebo patients.

Art of MedicinesHow many in the placebo group needed itHow many in the elder group needed it
nasal spray215
Painkiller267

As for the bad side effects of Sambucol, the worst reported was that one of the patients hated the taste. No other side effects were reported.

2016 – Air travel and colds

Don’t hate it when the guy or girl next to you on the plane coughs and sneezes up a storm. You are currently healthy, but after this flight you may not be!

This study didn’t look at whether nearby passengers might be safer, but it did look at whether black elderberry might help prevent catching a cold ( 7Trusted Source  )  .

When they caught one, they then wanted to see if the supplement  could reduce cold symptoms  (if they cough and sneeze less, that could theoretically help those nearby, right?).

  • 312 passengers who were  not  ill  flew from Australia to an international destination
  • The median age was 51 years and about two-thirds were women  . Hardly smoked (only 13 of 312). The average BMI was 25.
  • 158 received an elderberry supplement (capsules) and 154 a placebo.
  • It used the BerryPharma brand  , which appears to be only sold in Europe and other countries outside of North America. Its formula contains Sambucus nigra  grown in Austria  . Each capsule contained 300 mg of the berry extract  (which consisted of 22% polyphenols, ie quercetin and its glycoside, rutin) and 15% anthocyanins (ie cyanidin and pelargonidin glycosides).
  • Unlike the other studies, elderberry was evaluated for cold prevention because dosing  began before  vomiting. Participants took 2 capsules per day for 10 days before the trip and 3 capsules per day during the trip and for the following four days  (total treatment time of 15 to 16 days).

The results?

Of all 312 participants  , 29 (approx. 9%) contracted a cold  .

Of those who got sick, 17 received a placebo and 12 an elderberry supplement. Although the latter got sick less,  the difference was not statistically significant  .

However  , the duration of illness was  significantly shorter in the elderberry group compared to placebo.

If you add up the total number of sick days of all people with a cold, there were  117 sick days in the placebo group and 57 in the elderberry group  .

2018 – Meta-analysis of studies

To be clear, this is not another process. The one from 2016 remains the youngest.

This is a meta-analysis of all randomized controlled clinical trials. 11  )

This means that the researchers have summarized the results of all studies and evaluated them together.

Here are the studies they contain:

“This meta-analysis provides evidence that elderberry supplementation at the onset of upper respiratory symptoms significantly reduces overall symptom duration compared to a control group  , with an effect size of 1.717. Influenza vaccination status does not significantly alter the effect of elderberry supplementation (ES: 1.721; ES: 1.749). Elderberry supplementation appears to be significantly more effective in reducing symptoms caused by the influenza virus (ES: 2.074) than upper respiratory symptoms caused by a common cold (ES: 0.662).

What’s the verdict?

A few years ago, the FDA confiscated elderberry juice concentrate from a Kansas company. Why? Because even after being warned beforehand, they allegedly claimed it could treat or prevent the flu and other diseases (  8Trusted Source  ).

“Products with unapproved disease claims are dangerous because they can lead consumers to delay or avoid legitimate treatments.”

That was a quote in the FDA’s press release on the incident. It’s good advice.

Using a dose of Sambucol for cold and flu relief may not harm you, but  delaying medical treatment can be dangerous for many people  , especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems (such as HIV/AIDS).

With that in mind, it’s understandable why many people are intrigued by the research and studies to date on using black elderberry in  hopes of preventing the flu  or   shortening the length of your cold. But the research for these claims is very limited.

There are many customer reviews  you can read online raving about the Sambucol brand, Nature’s Answer, Gaia Herbs and Nature’s Way Sambucus syrup, elderberry pods and gummies (among other brands). But remember  that a good rating is not proof that a product really works  .

It might work, but it’ll need to go through a fair number of well-designed clinical trials to find out for sure.

A 2017 paper reviewing the data to date summarized well where the science currently stands (  9  ):

“Although the extent of black elder’s antiviral activity is not well known, antiviral and antimicrobial properties have been demonstrated in these extracts, and black elder’s safety is reflected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of it as generally accepted as safe.” A paucity of studies comparing these S. nigra products to standard antiviral drugs makes sound and detailed recommendations for the use of S. nigra extracts in medicinal applications currently impractical.”

One day we will hopefully know whether or not using elderberry extract will help with a cold or seasonal flu. To  date, however, it has not been proven for these uses, so please keep that in mind if you decide to use it as a dietary supplement.

Best brand for elderberry syrup?

While Sambucol appears to be the most well-researched, we feel  there aren’t enough studies to decide what the best brand is  (or worst). Because this ingredient hasn’t been proven to work for anything yet, a “good” or “bad” brand is largely a subjective opinion.

.

That being said, some people prefer organic elderberry supplements. There are some that are USDA certified such as:

  • Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup
  • Nature’s Way Organic Sambucus Syrup for Kids

However, if you want the most researched brand, where can you buy Sambucol? In our experience, it may  be necessary to travel to multiple pharmacies/grocery stores to locate these products  . What’s for sale at Walmart may differ from Walgreens and the Rite Aid dispensary. Worse, some locations may have it while others don’t.

A few Whole Foods sell Gaia, but outside of that it can be difficult to find a diverse range of brands and sizes.

In the product photos at the beginning of this review, we actually had to visit 2 different stores in the Los Angeles area (CVS and Ralphs/Kroger) because one sold Sambucol while the other sold Nature’s Way Sambucus. Nobody sold both brands!

Examples of Sambucol branded products for sale:

  • Original Fluid, 7.8 fl.oz
  • Cold & Flu Relief Tablets Pack of 30
  • Kid Syrup, 4 oz


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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John Whyte MD seit 8 Jahren als registrierte Ernährungsberaterin. Sie hat in verschiedenen Settings gearbeitet.

Ihre Karriere begann in einem Krankenhaus, wo sie als klinische Ernährungsberaterin für stationäre Patienten arbeitete und die Pflege und Heilung akut kranker Patienten unterstützte.


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