What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses or upper throat.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, with an outbreak of respiratory illness. At first, they linked it to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-human exposure, but over time it is clear to be human-to-human exposure.

Symptoms are similar to the flu – fever, cough and shortness of breath to start.

What can we do to protect ourselves?

  • Stay well hydrated and rested.
  • Elderberry – great, effective and gentle immune booster.
  • Increase vitamin C and incorporate elderberry daily to boost immune system and other great herbs like medicinal mushrooms and astragalus.
  • Decrease stress – uses extra energy and depletes our immune system.
  • Wash hands often or wear a facemask if the immune system is compromised.
  • Keep hands away from the face (eyes, nose, mouth).

If you do start to experience some flulike symptoms here are a few recommendations:

  • Elderberry syrup at the onset as a powerful antiviral and immune booster.
  • Echinacea tincture – antiviral, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and can help fight infection and boost immunity.
  • Fire cider – apple cider vinegar infused with garlic, onion, horseradish, ginger and cayenne peppers. There are many different versions. I love adding elderberry to mine. The vinegar alkalizes our system to help ward off viruses faster.
  • Eat plenty of foods to help fight the infection – clear broths, soups, simple grains, veggies and light meals.
  • Avoid foods that will feed the virus such as sugar, ice cream, oranges and milk.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Stay well hydrated.

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

  • Boosts immune system.
  • Reduces the intensity and duration of the cold and flu by one-half to one-third.
  • Contains a large amount of vitamin C.
  • Chemical constituents in elderberry inhibit the early stages of infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for attaching and penetrating our cells. They also reduce the replication, therefore reducing the intensity and duration.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine did a study of elderberry and chickens that had been infected with this strain of the coronavirus showing elderberry was able to inhibit the coronavirus in chickens.

How does this translate to humans? The U.S. National Library of Medicine felt that S. nigra (elderberry) has proven to inhibit the virus and this warranted that future studies should be done.



Elderberry is safe for everyone in the family.

Elderberry products can be found throughout The Valley and you can easily learn to make your own elderberry syrup.

Contraindications: Cook the seeds of all Sambucus species as they contain a resin which is a nauseant and diuretic; this resin is destroyed by cooking.

Common names: elderberry, black elderberry, North American elderberry.

Properties: antioxidant, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory.

Uses: immune system boost, coughs, colds, flu, bacterial infections, viral infections, tonsillitis, lower cholesterol, improved vision and heart health.

Indicated for cancer, HIV, asthma and bronchitis, reduce inflammation of the urinary tract and bladder.

Infusions of the fruit are said to be beneficial for nerve disorders and back pain and have been used to reduce inflammation of the urinary tract and bladder.

Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitamin A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, diuretic and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

Ward is a local herbalist at Three Springs Farm of Vermont, Waitsfield, and the educational director of Rosemary Gladstar’s The Science & Art of Herbalism, Herbal Online and Herbal Home Study Course for over 10 years.