How to find & plant and elderflower


Garden Master
Mar 20, 2011
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Northeast Texas
Found this on FB, it is a very good article, thought I'd post it,

Elderberry Q & A
I’ve been doing a deep dive into research and investigation of covid-19 as I suspect our mast cell/histamine community could be hit harder than the general population due to many people having suppressed immune systems. I was also curious if Elderberry (an important part of my mast cell recovery!) might be effective against covid-19 as I gear up for the potential of it affecting my own family. I’ll share what I’ve learned specifically on Elderberry today. Make sure you read to the end where the best part is!

I will post soon, my in depth article, that lays out my entire “Covid-19 Plan” that my family and I will be using. It lays out what I'll be doing for both prevention and once the virus hits. I’ve also added lots of good information that is specific to the mast cell community. For instance Vit C is good for viruses… or is it? For us that depends on a myriad of factors which could influence whether you want to use it prophylactically, only if affected by the/a virus, or not at all. Now on to the Elderberry which I realized was a full post in and of itself.

Over the past 20-30 years the evidence of elderberry’s effectiveness with viruses has flooded in. Pushing elderberry from a folk remedy to a trusted ally. Typical flus and colds, the swine flu (H1N1), bird flu (H5N1), noroviruses, herpes viruses and etc have all shown reduced length and severity when elderberry is used. It’s clear it has now proven itself on a scientific level to be helpful in fighting viruses.

In 1993 the US government used elderberries to fight a flu epidemic in Panama.

Elderberries have been found to be effective against colds, flus, noroviruses, H1N1, H5N1 and HSV-1.

Elderberries shortened the length of the flu by 4 days while reducing the severity of symptoms.

Then we see evidenced with this study, that was done in an animal population, that it was effective against a coronavirus. (Named “corona” for it’s crown shaped appearance.) Although not the same as a human study it still shines a light into elderberry’s widespread viral fighting benefits.

Elderberry was shown to be effective against a coronavirus.

Elderberry is great for allergies, blocks histamine and is a mast cell stabilizer. This is likely in part because of it’s high quercetin content. This is also a pretty big deal as quercetin is actually being trialed as a treatment for covid-19. I’m an herbalist so I prefer using plants in their whole form so I can reap ALL of their benefits. Yet quercetin is clearly one of elderberry’s strongest benefits.

Quercetin being trialed as an antiviral for covid-19.

It’s fairly well accepted now that Vitamin C is helpful in combatting colds and flus. Elderberry is a high vitamin c fruit. This is also helpful from a histamine/mast cell perspective as well as vitamin c is a powerful antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer.

Vitamin C reduced symptoms of cold and flu.

This is a really valid question and deserves some clarification as there are lots of half truths floating around out there. People get, and pass on, snippets of information and imo it’s important to make fully informed choices. So, yes, elderberry can potentially push th1 dominance. Many autoimmune conditions are considered to be th1 dominant, but not all. Even illnesses considered to be classically th1 dominant are often found to have th2 influence. For those of us with mast cell and histamine issues, allergies and etc those tend to push us into to th2 dominance. This is one of the reasons elderberry is so effective in stabilizing mast cells and is an excellent antihistamine. (Thanks to high amounts of quercetin and C in particular!) People don’t typically sit in either th1 or th2 dominance all the time though. It’s not a said and done static thing. People can float back and forth over months and years of illness and healing. I suffered from Lupus and Mast Cell and there were times that elderberry (and likely other simultaneous factors) flared inflammation for me. During those times I stopped using elderberry daily and only used it for rescue at the onset of mast cell or viral symptoms. Unfortunately the water is muddy here and it’s up to each of you to make thoughtful fully informed choices about how, or if, to use elderberry with your current set of circumstances. But lets discuss this a bit more below…

Changes in th1/th2 cytokine dominance in rheumatoid arthritis.

This is coming up a lot lately and I’m including the research that is initiating the concern below. It seems that one article, taken a bit out of context, may have convinced people elderberry is bad for the flu. First it’s important to note that cytokines can be both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. It’s not as simple as cytokines are bad and cause inflammation. Like anything else they work in delicate balance to keep the immune system functioning properly. Elderberry increases both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokine storms still aren’t well understood. But the problem seems to arise when someone’s body doesn’t get the message that it’s time for that immune response to settle down. Which could happen in an extended illness, or when things become more systemic, etc. Again, most of us are typically th2 dominant a lot of the time. So that pushing of th1, and the riling up of the innate and adaptive immune responses, is normally helpful. In the case of viral onset inducing that immune response, the macrophages and etc is essential in being able to stamp out the virus. For without that response an infection will just run us over. Which is why those with CVID, that can’t mount a good immune response, are so susceptible to various infections. I personally would watch for any evidence of an overabundance of inflammatory cytokines over an extended period of time. When inflammatory cytokines and macrophages are doing there job, in most cases, that comes with a fever and inflammation. (Which by the way is useful so why do so many people try to stop fevers?) An initial short lived fever is the body doing it’s job in my opinion. If that became an extended, or very high fever, or there were other signs of high systemic inflammation and distress I definitely would not personally choose to continue using elderberry. For the many of you that have trouble mounting an appropriate immune response like I do, that maybe rarely if never get a fever like I do, elderberry is quite useful. It’s helping to mount the response our body should be able to mount on it’s own but can’t. Again, it’s all in assessing your own personal situation and from a fully informed standpoint.

Elderberry induces the production of inflammatory cytokines.

Elderberry increases inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Elderberry, cytokines and the immune response.

Here’s the good one I promised! Last year elderberry was found to stop viral replication. That’s very exciting news! Stopping replication is really where elderberry’s power lies I suspect. I see this evidenced in my own use as my stints with cold and typical flu viruses are barely a blip anymore. Usually lasting about 48 hours depending on how run down I am, if I’m under any stress and whether or not I increased my use from maintenance to rescue quickly enough. (More on that below.) Avoiding cellular replication of a virus throughout the body, including in the lungs, which are being hit hard by covid is the ultimate goal. If we can stop covid-19 in it’s tracks there well that’s something to be very thankful for. I’m sure I’ll begin to hear stories trickle in on it’s effectiveness and will pass that on to you.

Elderberry blocks viruses from attaching to and getting into cells, thus inhibiting viral replication.

Timely ingestion is key and why my family uses it daily during cold and flu season. It is the viral replication piece mentioned above that I believe explains my typical response to a virus. I feel fatigued, get the sniffles or have a family member or friend around me that is ill. I go from taking my daily dose of elderberry to taking it 3-4x daily. Within 48 hours my symptoms are typically gone. I believe this is the blockage of viral replication at play. (My personal opinion.) With this coronavirus, viral replication could be happening silently, before people are even symptomatic. (Again, my educated take on it.) I don’t think this is hugely different than how most flus operate but I think there is more at stake when covid-19 goes undetected. There are many reported cases of people going from asymptomatic to having double pneumonia and fighting for their lives in a matter of a couple of days or even several hours. Which seems to be an indication, (not by just my opinion but doctors and scientists have spoken about this), that it’s replicating very quickly. The one time I got pneumonia was the year I sold myself short of elderberry and wasn’t using it daily. Within 2 days both my son and I had pneumonia. So my suggestion is to use it daily if at all possible. If not try to stay in tune with your body so you can start taking it at onset for best benefits. When using it for viral fighting increase the daily to 3-4x daily, continuing until at least 48hrs after symptoms have resolved.

So… to elder or not to elder. That’s up to you and now you can make a well informed decision!

DISCLAIMER All information provided in this post is for educational purposes and does not seek to diagnose or treat. Some opinions are personal and have been noted as such. Please consult with your medical team regarding any changes to your protocol and to see if elderberry is right for you.

Thank you Younique Healing for the in depth info

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