100th person signs up for East Kent Hospitals’ Covid-19 research study

Published on 17 November 2021

A Kent-based study investigating a treatment for Covid-19 has recruited its 100th participant.

East Kent Hospitals researchers are testing whether Sambucol Black Elderberry liquid - a popular herbal remedy available in many health food shops – is an effective treatment for the virus.

The study is the first in the country investigating black elderberry liquid as a treatment and has been adopted by the National Institute for Health Research.

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

Ms Jessica Evans, director of research and innovation at the Trust, said: “Recruiting our 100th participant is a significant milestone for this home-grown study and it’s very exciting for the teams and everyone involved.

“With cases of the virus still high in our communities, we know there are still lots of people who might be interested in joining us and we are continuing to recruit for the study.

“We want to include as many people as possible so we can achieve the most accurate results to help us determine whether the liquid reduces the severity and length of time of people’s symptoms.”

People signing up to the study will be sent a package with the liquid or a placebo and instructions on how to take it. They will then be contacted by the research team who will ask questions about their symptoms.

Ms Evans said: “Research has proved vital in understanding the virus and how we can fight it, and has led to a number of different treatments being discovered.

“If we can prove that black elderberry liquid is effective in reducing symptoms it could be a real game-changer for the future.

“A lot of drugs are derived from plants, so this could be the potential first step in developing a new medicine.”

Anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the past five days could be eligible to take part.

For more information contact your local research team:

QEQM Margate:

01843 234406 - ekhuft.researchteamqeqmhospital@nhs.net

KCH Canterbury:

01227 868764 - ekhuft.researchteamkch@nhs.net

WHH Ashford:

01233 616271 - ekhuft.thewilliamharveyresearchteam@nhs.net