Elderberry + Cytokine Storms
By now, you’ve likely seen several posts that have mistakenly gone viral with scary headlines about elderberry syrup and cytokine storms. I hear you. It’s confusing and overwhelming. The cliff notes:
- Well meaning bloggers are misconstruing scientific research.
- Allopathic and herbal practitioners are extrapolating and making correlations that aren’t substantiated.
- This has been the most hotly contested conversation between herbalists, plant scientists, immunologists, naturopathic and the allopathic “top doc” communities in recent times.
I’ve curated discussions from top experts all about the intersection between our current public health issue, elderberries as a food and the topic of cytokine storms. This post will continue to evolve as more and more experts emerge with their research, documentation and research.
Here is what we know for sure:
?The current predicament is a brand new strain. Even the experts don’t know much about it, how/who/when/in what conditions cytokines behave because of it.
?Good science requires people, money and time. There hasn’t been enough of any to make any kind of definitive statements about the issue at hand, cytokine storms, how the two intersect, how elderberry plays a role (or should not) as a tool, etc. What we learn changes daily.
?Elderberry is the fruit of the elder shrub. It’s a superfood rich in nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. It’s ranked just above blueberries on the ORAC scale.
?Consuming elderberry or foods made with elderberries has been proven to be effective and effective food for supporting the immune system.
?At the time of this post, there is absolutely no documented literature nor clinical-based experiential evidence suggesting that elderberry causes cytokine storms.
? Scientific evidence indicates (+ confirmed by the allopathic and naturopathic communities below) that elderberry syrup continues to be nutritionally beneficial for overall immune support.
You should know about when things go viral:
✅Repetition of the article does not make it true. It should raise more flags and prompt you to really dig into what’s being said and ask better questions to tease out what might or might not be accurate.
✅People are inclined to share emotionally charged articles more than they do those without emotional triggers so you’ll always see it more often in repetition. That behavior is a natural psychological human tendency.
✅Bloggers and other online marketers are trained to use inflammatory and or dramatically emotional words (deadly, kills, fatal, failure, etc) to get a reaction.
✅Using all caps, “all or nothing” language, emotionally charged images in their posts are all ways online marketing becomes more highly persuasive and encourages “sharing” behaviors.
✅There are 3 groups that people will fall into. Use these to better understand perspective when you’re reading through comments. There are those who are…
?Conservative: employ a “stop everything, do nothing” personal policy out of fear.
?Moderate: exercise “all things in moderation” mindset, following guidelines that are typical during non-crisis, non-emotional times.
?Excessive: ignore everything and do as they desire, generally in excess of what’s considered standard.
In essence of time to get this information into your hands faster, I’ve curated some of the best conversations that have already taken place vs restating what we already know. Have more? Send them to email@example.com
Paul Bergner, Director North American Institute of Medical Herbalism
The Institute for Functional Medicine COVID-19: Botanical and Nutraceuticial
Heather Swickey, PhD. Immunologist & Microbiologist, Yale
Renowned Herbalist and Executive Director for Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
Katja Swift: Clinical Herbalist, CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism
Todd Pesek, MD, Herbalist and Root Doctor
Dr. Becky Andrews, ND, LAc:
7Song, Clinical Herbalist, Director of Holistic Medicine and Director at Northeast School of Botanical Medicine