Sambucus (elderberry) is a shrub whose blue-black berries have traditionally been used to help fight colds and flu viruses. Sambucus is high in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which can help alleviate bothersome symptoms. It also contains a property that stimulates the body's own defenses by producing anti-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. The leaves, twigs, branches and seeds of Sambucus are toxic if ingested, as are the berries if unripe, so we don't recommend going out to gather your own plant. Instead, try an over-the-counter supplement such as Sambucol, which contains elderberry extract. As with all herbal remedies, consult with your physician before embarking on a treatment regimen.