CLEVELAND — With the flu running rampant, people are turning to alternative forms of medicine including elderberry syrup.
It has been known to boost immune systems and fight the bug.
Elderberry syrup is made of elderberries, sugar and pectin.
Lisa Tuebel said that elderberry syrup is a staple in her household during the cold and flu season.
She grows the berries in the garden.
“We’ve got about 16 acres around here,” said TuebeL. “I work in a hospital and I haven’t been sick in 5 years.”
Doctors like Elizabeth Bradley claim it works.
"Let’s say that you're getting the flu you're going to have symptoms for 7 to 8 days, it can actually bring it down to 3 to 4 days,” said Dr. Bradley.
Though she does want to make it known that elderberry must be properly prepared because the raw berry and the stems can make you nauseous.
Dr. Bradley said you have to make sure the elderberry syrup is made from a trusted source and you should skip trying to make it yourself.
“It can cause some kind of poisoning, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, so I recommend finding a good source. look on the FDA’s website,” she said.
She said it’s also not a substitute for proper prevention, like the flu vaccine.
“No, you definitely want to have your flu shot, it’s just good to have as a backup,” said Dr. Bradley.
Dr. Bradley even takes it herself.
”I have taken it and I have a bottle at home and I recently had a friend who had influenza and the first thing I told her was go to the doctor and take elderberry syrup,” said Dr. Bradley.