You are all set to travel with your notebooks, TSA-approved bottles and multitude of organizational tricks and devices. But the one thing you can’t prepare for on a flight is the recirculated air, which unfortunately often means germs. Lots and lots of germs floating through the cabin, all ready to take your immune system down (we can’t be the only ones who try very, very hard not to picture them!) According to Eurekalert, though, there might be a simple, natural solution in elderberries.

4091047665_0888faf9de_o-1 copy

Elderberries, whose uses range from musical (Slovakian flutes, anyone?!) to the Fanta beverage Shokata, have long been used in medicine to help with a host of ailments. And now, thanks to a study out of the Griffith Menzies Health Institute in Queensland, Australia, there is some serious science behind the plant’s healing powers.


When it comes to airborne germs — ahem, like those pesky ones on an airplane — the study has shown that elderberries might help reduce cold and flu-like symptoms, as well as other respiratory ailments. It helps to reduce not only symptoms and severity, but also the duration of a cold, which to us sounds awesome! It piggybacks on another study done in Europe that Echinacea root extract and herbs, along with elderberry, can be as effective as Tamiflu. We’ll keep this in mind come winter for sure.

Tell us in the comments if you take supplements and if they work for you!

(Photos via Grant Harder/Flickr Creative Commons + Stanze/Flickr Creative Commons)