Elderberry and Oscillococcinum to Treat the Flu

Have you heard of using Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum to treat the flu?

How about taking high-dose Elderberry syrup as part of your post-flu vaccination care plan?

Or taking Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum as part of a flu prevention protocol?

Do Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum Treat the Flu?

Do you think that Oscillococcinum can really treat flu symptoms?
Do you think that Oscillococcinum can really treat flu symptoms?

Even if you have heard of Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum, you may not know what they really are or what they really do…

Elderberry syrup (Sambucol) is supposed to help you get over cold and flu symptoms quicker. Maybe it does, at least in mice with the flu.

Not surprisingly, there is no strong evidence that elderberry works.

What about Oscillococcinum?

As much as Oscillococcinum costs, it must work, right?


What Is Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum?

Surprisingly, these natural “flu fighters” are sold in most pharmacies, so the average person has no idea that they aren’t real medicine.

Not real medicine?

Does that make them alternative medicine?

“…there’s no such thing as conventional or alternative or complementary or integrative or holistic medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t. And the best way to sort it out is by carefully evaluating scientific studies – not by visiting Internet chat rooms, reading magazine articles, or talking to friends.”

Paul Offit, MD on Do You Believe in Magic?

So Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum fall into the category of medicine that doesn’t work.

That still doesn’t help you understand what they are though…

Elderberry syrup is made from the berries of the European elder tree (and lots of sugar to make it taste sweet). While it is sold like a traditional cough and cold medicine, it is just another herbal remedy.

What’s in Oscillococcinum?

Active Ingredients:
Anas Barbariae Hepatis Et Cordis Extractum 200 CK HPUS

No berries or herbs in Oscillococcinum.

And not much of anything else either.

“Since 1925, Oscillococcinum has been prepared as follows. Into a one litre bottle, a mixture of pancreatic juice and glucose is poured. Next a Canard de Barbarie is decapitated and 35 grams of its liver and 15 grams of its heart are put into the bottle. Why liver? Doctor Roy writes: “The Ancients considered the liver as the seat of suffering, even more important than the heart, which is a very profound insight, because it is on the level of the liver that the pathological modifications of the blood happen, and also there the quality of the energy of our heart muscle changes in a durable manner.” Maybe the French tendency to call any form of not well-being a “crise de foie” (“bilious attack”) had also something to do with it. After 40 days in the sterile bottle, liver and heart autolyse (disintegrate) into a kind of goo, which is then “potentized” with the Korsakov method.”

Jan Willem Nienhuys on The True Story of Oscillococcinum


Whose pancreatic juice do they use? The ducks?

While all of that sounds gross, if you have taken Oscillococcinum, you can rest assured that you haven’t eaten any duck heart, duck liver, or pancreatic juice.

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic medicine and so that mixture is diluted so much, it is impossible that any of the original “medicine” is still in those little sugar pills.

Why People Buy Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum

So if they don’t work, why do so many people buy these products?

As I said, many people don’t know that they are anything different than all of the other traditional cold and flu treatments on store shelves. After all, most pharmacies don’t have a section or shelf for medicine that doesn’t work.

We see the same thing when parents buy homeopathic teething medicines, colic tablets, pain and fever reducers, pinkeye drops, and cough syrup.

Unfortunately,  since there are few good options to treat cold and flu symptoms, especially in younger kids, they buy Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum. It is also the remedy that is pushed on many anti-vaccine websites and by holistic pediatricians.

What to Know About Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum

Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum have not been shown to work to treat the flu or flu symptoms and are mainly pushed by alternative medical providers.

More on Elderberry syrup and Oscillococcinum

5 thoughts on “Elderberry and Oscillococcinum to Treat the Flu

  1. soo sad to see such ill information ( please pardon pun) ,,,,,,,….DO they work? NOPE is your answer….??????? says the pharmaceutical company sponsoring this….YES THEY DO work, without harmful Cancer causing ingredients by strengthening your own immune system….. All I ask is PEOPLE….DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH…..LOTS! not just here or my Opinion ,,But several CREDIBLE sites ..


  2. There have been clinical trials on Occillo that say it does help. Sorry. I’ve been using it for 15 years with great relief, including for a confirmed case of H3N2! Wonderful placebo. Will keep using till I die in the hospital! Can you show us a case where someone took it right away, as directed, for flu and ended up in hospital or dead?


  3. Let me add my vote for Oscillo. This most certainly DOES work, as well as several other homeopathic flu remedies. I pray that other readers here won’t believe the above claptrap. Do your own research on the history of homeopathy. You will discover several deadly plagues, both in Europe and the USA in the 1800s and 1900s, including the deadly flu of 1918.. Those were the days when there were homeopathic colleges and homeopathic physicians in the USA. The deaths among those treated with homeopathy during all recorded plagues were drastically lower than those under regular medical treatment. Big Pharma would never allow widespread use of homeopathy because it would eventually put them out of business, or darn close to it. Their little partnership with the medical profession would be on shaky ground because all doctors have to offer are drugs and surgery. I just thank God that I found out about them many years ago!!! I have saved a fortune on doctor and vet bills. Don’t believe anybody who tells you that homeopathy is quackery. Do your own research and try a remedy for yourself, and you will be convinced that homeopathy works!! The remedies are inexpensive and many times one single dose will get rid of your symptoms.


  4. I used it this year when I felt symptoms and it worked for hubby and I. First time in 4 years we’ve had no colds or flu this season. Placebo? Maybe. Folks who got flu shots died. So I say why not try. I have asthma and have not had bronchitis either. First time in 15 years. Luck, fluke, or this combo. Don’t know. Don’t care.


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