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 with a large following on social media misconstrued scientific research (see “what you should know about how things go viral” to understand how everyone jumped on board)
- Allopathic and herbal practitioners extrapolated and made correlations that weren’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:
?At the time, SARS-C0V2 was a brand new strain. Even the experts didn’t know much about it, how/who/when/in what conditions cytokines behave because of it.
?Good science requires people, money, and time. There hadn’t yet been enough of any to make any kind of definitive statements about the issue at hand, cytokine storms, how the two intersect, how elderberry played a role (or should not) as a tool, etc. What we learned changed daily.
?Elderberry is the fruit of the elder shrub. It’s a superfood rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. It’s ranked leaps and bounds above blueberries on the ORAC scale and contains the 2nd highest concentration of Quercetin of all fruits, just down from aronia berries.
?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.
✅Audience size matters
✅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.
✅Pandemic + already heightened fear + scary information about a commonly used remedy = news travels at lightning speed.
✅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 on some of the posts. 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 the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Bergner, Director North American Institute of Medical Herbalism
The Institute for Functional Medicine COVID-19: Botanical and Nutraceutical
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
Dr. Pejman Katiraei
Hope this was helpful. Please copy and paste the URL to this page and pass it along to others when you’re having covnersations about this topic: www.trishaselderberries.com/cytokines