PLEASE CLICK ALL APPLICABLE LINKS in THIS ARTICLE FOR FULL UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHERE I AM COMING FROM. Thank you all for reading & connecting with me.
I hope first of all that this writing finds you all well. Nourishing yourselves & loved ones through these uncertain times we are all living through together. One bright light we have here at the Farm are our Greenhouses. We are working together this week (in a small group of course :)) To finish construction of erecting 4 high tunnels where a variety of herbs, produce & other plants will be grown. Though this is hard work & always much harder than we thought to begin with (we are in week 3 of construction). It is an absolute blessing.
The point of this article this morning though is to focus on a particular subject that I am SURE many of you have already been made aware of through mainstream media, & underground sources. That is of an absolute cherished & abused herb Elder. A deciduous shrub that grows in abundance in many regions, habitats & growing conditions. This Elder bush is one who produces beautiful leaves from a red tinged stem. Clusters of creamy white flowers that smell gloriously. They ripen into dense cones of tiny berries. Eating them is truly a treat, but mostly a waste of time. All seed & not much fruit… I’ve nibbled on them many times in rejoicing of their presence!
Elderberry & Flower
They are known to be a gorgeous source of antioxidants through their rich phytochemicals. Stocked in Vitamin C & Quercitin, BOTH immune system nourishers & anti-inflammatory compounds. The flowers boast diaphoretic actions. Meaning they help to LOWER fevers. YES. Those delicate fragile flowers have POWERFUL constituents that react within our bodies. Tea is a great way to work with this component of the Elder Medicine. Both of these parts of the shrub work as a shield to our cells that protect from viral infection.
Let’s Talk Avoiding Elder for COVID
I have been communicating with many other Herbalists this week. SOME have said they avoid Elder in application to SOME autoimmune conditions. Saying that Elder has a similar reaction within the body as Echinacea. Making an already taxed immune system over worked even more by stimulation. I honor this experience & understand that in these UNCERTAIN times letting all of these bits resonate within the mind & body is completely perfect.
Autoimmune conditions are ones like Asthmatics, Crones Disease, Lupus, Diabetes Type I, Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBS, or someone who has gone through Chemotherapy.
NSAIDs have been SHOWN in hospital settings to only enrage this new viral strain. Any ANT-INFLAMMATORY constituents should indeed be avoided when the virus is PRESENT in a body.
Due to the way elderberries work in the body, they can end up activating certain immune cells that you don’t necessarily want to activate.
Singh explains, ‘when you are exhibiting symptoms of infection or test positive for COVID-19, you should consider avoiding elderberry, because the immune activating properties of it may cause increased levels of IL-1B and/or IL-18 in infected immune cells. These are inflammatory cytokines that could potentially make the illness more complicated.”SEE THIS ARTICLE FROM DR SINGH WHO LIKES HERBS!
Does this translate to Elder being dangerous? Toxic? OR to be COMPLETELY avoided during this viral outbreak? What about those who are looking to protect a body from invasion? I also ask, if you are healthy, isolated & safe… would you want the nourishing, protective components of your Elderberry to be by your side?
Inflammatory Research on Elderberry…
I did love & appreciate the article above. Coming from a GROUNDED place of experience. Relatively vague in nature, but encouraging information from a seemingly well rounded source. BUT I really like to dig into vague articles like the one here. REGARDING the Research on inflammatory components of Elderberry, I have found much research done on a CERTAIN mass produced product on the Natural Market Place.
Sambucol… just typing it makes me cringe… look for your self. See why YOUR herbalist doesn’t go for this as an Herbal Preparation at all. (I linked to the ingredient panel). Just for clarification… Elderberry is ONLY present in Homeopathic form. Diluted. FAR from the actual physical Elderberry, Flower, Leaf OR Stem. But it contains a lot of flavorings, & straight glucose syrup… I am pretty sure you all get what I am sayin’ here…
With that said. I would like to point out the inflammatory research articleS I have found over the past couple of weeks. The studies ALL are performed with Sambucol. Targeting inflammatory responses within the body & the stated cytokine ‘storms’. Now. What we know of sugar. How much of the targeted inflammation responses can be DIRECTLY correlated to the release of insulin battling a SURGE of sucrose & glucose into the body…?
Elderberry & Elderflower Extracts
So now that I have gotten into the dirty. Let’s explore our BEAUTIFUL preparations that are created from SMALL batch Herbalists all across the country. You may not be able to find their remedies in Whole Foods, PCC or WalMart. But with a bit of looking… they might be right down the street.
Extracts or tinctures of plants mean we are working with fresh, or dried plant materials; Berries, Flowers, Leaves, Stems, Bark, Buds, & Roots. The medium that is poured over the plant material extracts chemicals from the plants like; alkaloids, resins, essential oils, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, cartenoids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, & terpens to name a few. What small Herbal Remedy Makers end up with is a full spectrum extract or tincture that even contains the WATERS from our medicinal plants.
When the research is conducted on our full spectrum plant extracts. A completely different response occurs in the body. We see a strengthened immune response. Not a STIMULATED one. But a well rounded nourishment of the immune cells. The anti-inflammatory responses are the SAME picture that eating a lot of blueberries, blackberries, & dark leafy greens would implement (See this research article for the basis of this understanding). This immune & inflammatory response is a COMPLETELY different response to the ones that are stated in the above articles.
Modulation of the Inflammatory Responses VS Inflammatory Responses as Defense
There is no doubt that Elderberry, flower & leaf have effects on our immune system & our inflammatory responses. Syrups have an effect on the defense side of inflammation which then reduces the effects of the immune system effectiveness. Extracts contain nourishing responses within both the immune & inflammatory responses with in the bodies. Encouraging the natural functioning of our bodies when they are under attack. Where syrups create a similar response in these systems that the attacker would create.
Modulation of the inflammatory responses are gone over in this article on Elderberry Extract. (I apologize that it is only the abstract, the full article requires subscription to research gate which I cannot share). The article goes on to explain the modulation processes in the body that occur in response to the supportive chemicals of Elderberry. Regulating defense mechanisms to nourish our immune & inflammatory responses within the body.
USE YOUR BEST JUDGEMENT
I have said this before. I will say it again & again. Each BODY is different & every single lifestyle creates a different reaction within that Body. I cannot say that Elderberry extracts are GOOD for EACH person on the planet. Just as all pharmaceuticals are not good for EACH individual. Nor is every threat of infection the same for each individual person. What I want is for you all to be holistically informed. Seeing how the COMPLIMENTARY components of Western & Traditional Medicines are VERY much there. With a grounded understanding of all sides of the spectrum, I know we can ALL make nousishing, well rounded decisions when it comes to our health.
I wish you all well in these weeks of intensity. KNOW that I am here to answer questions, & guide you to understandings of herbs that don’t come from most herbalists. I have dedicated my LIFE to this work because I know that one day we will bridge the gap between Natural & Chemical therapies. The frauds in the natural health industry will exposed & destructured. Where well rounded, educated, & intelligent Herbalists across the country & globe will recognized for their dedication to this movement.