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Covid-19 Research

A bowl with black elderberries in. There are also some leaves. The bowl is on a wooden table and in the background is some sort of jar or container.

Have you tested positive for Covid-19 in the past five days?

If so, you could be eligible to help with research investigating whether a popular herbal remedy could be an effective treatment against the virus.

Researchers at East Kent Hospitals are the first in the country to trial the use of Sambucol Black Elderberry liquid – available in many health food shops - in patients who are being treated for coronavirus.

Previous research has shown that black elderberry fruit or extracts had antiviral properties against flu and a type of herpes.

The study has been adopted by the National Institute for Health Research and you can read our press release about it here: https://www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/news-centre/latest-news/east-kent-researchers-trial-black-elderberry-liquid-as-a-treatment-for-covid-19/

The study began in January 2021 and the team hopes to recruit more than 200 patients. They will either receive the black elderberry liquid or a placebo, and will then be monitored to see if there is any reduction in their symptoms.

Participants were initially recruited by staff in the swabbing tents at the William Harvey Hospital, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital and Kent and Canterbury Hospital, but the team have now been given approval to recruit people in other ways.

This means if you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past five days, you could be eligible to join the study. Taking part could make a difference to other patients in the future if the results show black elderberry liquid is an effective treatment.

For more information, please contact the team at your nearest hospital:

QEQM Margate:
01843 234406 - ekhuft.researchteamqeqmhospital@nhs.net
KCH Canterbury:
01227 868764 - ekhuft.researchteamkch@nhs.net
WHH Ashford:
01233 616271 - ekhuft.thewilliamharveyresearchteam@nhs.net