STOKESDALE, N.C. — Elderberries are having a moment.
They are small purple berries that are said to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Because of that, many are turning to products made from elderberries to keep colds and the flu away.
Kristen Fulton is in that lot. She started incorporating elderberries in her family's lives a couple years ago in the form of a syrup.
"So we went on this journey of natural like trying to be well because my family is large and we were always sick," Fulton said.
After seeing how well it worked for her family, she decided she wanted to help others and started a business called "Blessed by Elderberries."
"It's really been a life-changer for us." Fulton said. "If we didn't have it, we would still be that sick family."
On top of syrups, she also sells jelly, a DIY syrup kit, and gummies.
Her family drinks the syrup now daily.
"A tablespoon for adults a day and a teaspoon for kids under 13. If you get sick you can do it four to five times a day at either of those," Fulton said.
Dr. Russell Greenfield with Novant Health Integrative Medicine in Winston-Salem says elderberries may help lessen the severity of flu symptoms if taken within 24 hours, but doesn't recommend it as a way to avoid getting the flu.
“I do not, however, recommend using elderberry extract as a preventative treatment. It’s not like taking the flu vaccine. It’s best used for the early treatment of otherwise uncomplicated flu after seeing a doctor." Dr. Greenfield said.