The Power of Elderberry, Zinc, Echinacea, Probiotics & Vitamin C

by Dr. David Minkoff May 07, 2020 5 min read

Female standing next to a Elderberry bush with elderberries.

Few times in history has our need for a healthy, functioning immune system been so apparent.

It is a known fact that those with compromised immune systems or underlying health problems are significantly more at risk during a global pandemic, which has led millions searching for a solution for proofing themselves against infection.

And guess what? We were in the same boat.

We looked around and saw hundreds of scam products and “miracle cures” that claim to prevent you from catching a virus or cure you. But we found very few real, natural, and effective products to strengthen the response of the human immune system.

So, we took matters into our own hands. We started by reviewing the top vitamins, minerals, and extracts that have been scientifically proven to stave off illness and boost your immune system. The results?


Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, called elderberry “nature’s medicine chest” due to the amazing benefits available from the berries, leaves, and bark. The ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, and many cultures throughout history have used this plant as a remedy and preventative for illness. Why? Because it works. [1]

Elderberry comes with a host of beneficial bioactive compounds, including:

  • Free and conjugated amino acids
  • Unsaturated fatty acids
  • Vitamins A and C
  • Potassium
  • Folate (a B vitamin the body needs to make DNA and other genetic material)
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Polyphenols
  • Phenolic acids
  • Anthocyanins (reduces sinus inflammation associated with flu or cold viruses)

It is also an antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative stress and avoid many serious illnesses, such as asthma, Parkinson’s disease, IBD, and many other dangerous health conditions. [2]

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, is an essential vitamin – meaning your body can’t produce it, and you must get it from outside sources. The vitamin is a potent antioxidant, and routine consumption of Vitamin C has been known to boost your blood’s antioxidant levels by as much as 30%. [3]

Vitamin C supports many other biological functions relating to your immune system and is critical in ensuring the function of white blood cells (neutrophils, macrophages, and phagocytes– three key types of white blood cells that help fight off viruses and bacteria). [4,5]

You might have seen a boost in the popularity of vitamin C due to research after an article was published in the Chinese Journal of Infections Diseases that endorsed high doses of vitamin C as a treatment for those hospitalized. And while minimal scientific research has been performed to prove this claim, there is no question that vitamin C can help you avoid and treat respiratory illnesses. [6]

In other words, Vitamin C helps boost your immune system to fight off and recover more quickly from illnesses and diseases.


Zinc is a trace element essential for the proper functioning of your immune system. Your body requires zinc in sufficient quantity to produce and activate various types of white blood cells, and a deficiency can greatly increase your likelihood of falling ill from many common pathogens. [7,8]

Maintaining sufficient levels of zinc in your system is known to:

  • Control and regulate immune system responses [9]
  • Treat and reduce diarrhea [10]
  • Improve learning and memory [11]
  • Reduce symptoms and help your body fight the common cold[12]
  • Reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases [13]


Echinacea is a purple-flowered plant with incredible, proven health benefits as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral and immune-boosting agent. [14]

In fact, routine consumption of this lovely little plant can greatly reduce your odds of catching a cold [15] and shorten the duration of a cold that you catch by up to four days. It is known to help fight the flu and may even increase the effectiveness of flu vaccine. [16, 17]

The benefits of echinacea have made it a staple in homeopathic and organic medicine. Many of the “Cold and Flu Bomb” products you will see in your health food store are chock full of echinacea.


Goldenseal is a plant in the buttercup family, and the roots of this extraordinary herb are known to have significant positive effects on the human body. It is often combined with echinacea, as the effects of both plants appear to increase in potency when consumed together.

The known benefits of goldenseal include:

  • Reduce inflammation in the body [18]
  • Strengthen the immune system[19]
  • Aid digestion and relieve constipation and diarrhea
  • It is a diuretic, which means it helps promote healthy, normal urination and sweat
  • It has antimicrobial properties that help it fight off


Astragalus, also known as huáng qí, is a plant that has been a standard part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries due to its immune-strengthening and health-inducing benefits. The bioactive components in astragalus have been known to:

  • Increase your body’s production of white blood cells [20]
  • Help kill bacteria and viruses [21,22]
  • Improve blood flow and help improve heart function [23,24]


Probiotics are living microorganisms that help strengthen your good gut bacteria and assist in maintaining a healthy, functioning digestive system. [25] Scientific research has demonstrated that a well-balanced gut ecosystem comes with a host of benefits, including:

  • Enhanced immune function and reduction of bad gut bacteria [26]
  • Weight loss [27]
  • Improved mental health [28]
  • Maintain good heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol [29]


Colostrum is a fluid produced in the mammary glands of humans and mammals, including cows. It is present in breast milk and is rich in vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, disease-attacking proteins, and hormones.

In infants, colostrum helps fight off infections and promotes growth – but studies have found that it has health benefits at every stage of life. In supplemental form, colostrum is usually derived from cows as bovine colostrum is similar in structure to human colostrum. Bovine colostrum has been known to:

  • Promote immunity to disease
  • Fight bacterial infections
  • Enhance and restore gut health [30]

It is rich in three key immunoglobulins (antibodies used to ward off and fight disease): IgA, IgG, and IgM, and these and other components of bovine colostrum make it an absolute must for an effective, immune-boosting supplement. [31]

In Summary…

The sheer number of natural, effective remedies for boosting your immune system is astonishing. Today’s environment of high-GMO and processed foods leaves the body lacking the vital nutrients needed to maintain health and ward off disease, but this is a correctable problem.

In the 1700s, Benjamin Franklin wisely stated: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Maintaining optimized health and a well-functioning immune system is a great way to put Mr. Franklin’s nugget of wisdom into use.

If you’re looking to stay healthy during this crisis, there’s no better way than keeping your immune system strong and working at its best.
































*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.