SOURCE: Icenews

November 26, 2007 12:06 ET

Natural Alternative to Unreliable Flu Vaccine

With News That the Flu Jab Can Do Little to Stop a Likely Flu Pandemic, Consumers Are Turning to the Natural Flu Remedy Sambucol

LONDON--(Marketwire - November 26, 2007) - Sales of the natural flu remedy Sambucol are expected to rise even further after revelations that the traditional flu vaccine is powerless to stop a flu pandemic from reaching the UK.

Australian scientist Dr. Graeme Laver, who helped create the flu jab more than 40 years ago, said that although the jab could offer some protection against the flu, it should not be relied on.

Dr. Laver said he had never been impressed with the effectiveness of his own vaccine. "It is better than nothing and I wouldn't want to advise people not to take it. But you can't rely on it doing any good," he said.

On average the flu kills around 12,000 people in the UK per year, many of them elderly, but this figure can increase to 20,000 in a severe outbreak. Many scientists have been warning that a flu pandemic is now well overdue in the UK.

Sambucol is an alternative flu remedy based on research into the black elderberry. 90% of flu patients, who took the elderberry extract in clinical trials, were found to be completely clear of symptoms within 3 days. Sambucol contains an ingredient found in elderberry proteins which is effective against both Type A & B of the flu virus, as well as the H5N1 strain of bird flu. The product is currently available at Boots and is being rolled out across mainland Europe.

Australia has seen a tripling in the number of flu cases this year with many hundreds dying from subsequent pneumonia. Like the UK, people there have been more vulnerable to infection because of a succession of relatively mild flu outbreaks during past winters.

Dr. Laver warned that flu outbreaks tend to follow a pattern and that the particularly bad flu season in Australia indicates real problems for the UK. "If the seasonal flu is as bad as it was in Australia, you are in for a pretty bad time," he said. "You could have a really severe epidemic. Thousands will be ill and many will die."

Meanwhile the benefits of modern anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza have been brought into question after the US Food and Drug Administration recommended changing the labelling on the drugs to include warnings about the possible psychiatric side effects.

It said the packaging on Tamiflu should contain a warning of the possibility of 'serious injuries, including death, in adult and paediatric patients' caused by delirium or self-injury, whilst Relenza should warn of 'hallucinations, delirium and abnormal behaviour.'

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