Treat the common cold with a sack of elderberry, a vegetable juice thickened by heat

Q: Now that we are in the cold season, it is a pity that the use of elderberry is not better known. A traditional treatment for coughs and colds is elderberry, a vegetable juice thickened by heat. To do this, elderberries are boiled with honey, cinnamon and allspice, and the resulting syrup is strained and mixed with some brandy as a preservative. Some tablespoons of this, mixed with hot water, generally reduce cold symptoms very effectively.

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) grows wild in many places in North America. I suspect that homemade syrup probably retains more plant properties than most over-the-counter Sambucus preparations.

A: Elderberry juice preparations have been used for a long time to treat respiratory infections. Although not well studied, an analysis concluded that "it was found that elderberry supplementation substantially reduces upper respiratory symptoms" (Complementary therapies in medicine, February 2019). An Australian study found that air travelers who took elderberry were less prone to colds and had milder symptoms (Nutrients, March 24, 2016).

Q: Is coenzyme Q10 useful in the treatment of atrial fibrillation?

A: Let's start with atrial fibrillation. This irregular heart rhythm occurs when the upper chambers of the heart are beating rapidly and are not synchronized with the lower chambers. Blood clots may form and may present a risk of stroke. Obviously, said arrhythmia should be treated by a specialist.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural antioxidant that is crucial for cell energy factories, called mitochondria. Statins, among other drugs, can deplete the body of CoQ10.

There is very little research on the effect of CoQ10 supplementation to prevent or treat AFib. The few published studies suggest that there may be some benefit (Journal of Investigative Medicine, June 2015).

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Q: I am a general practitioner interested in finding a reliable book of home remedies. Many of my patients would like less expensive approaches to common conditions. I think people like you are a great asset to the health care team. I would appreciate your advice.

A: We blush for your compliment. In the last 40 years, we have compiled a variety of home remedies from medical journals and readers of this column. You will find our favorites in "The quick and practical home remedies of The People & # 39; s Pharmacy". Anyone who wants a copy can find it in the library or in the local bookstore. To place an order directly, send $ 16.95 plus $ 4 postage and handling to: Graedons & # 39; People’s Pharmacy, Dept. QHHR, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, North Carolina, 27717-2027. Others may find it useful as a holiday gift.

There is a surprising amount of scientific evidence that supports the use of home and herbal remedies. We are pleased to hear from a doctor who appreciates these affordable approaches.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write them by King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email them through their website: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. His most recent book is "Top Medical Screwups do and how to avoid them".

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