Elder – Republished

Issue published March 2020

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Letter from the editor

Elderberry is a wonderful herb that occupies a huge space in the natural-health world. Its benefits as an immune stimulant, immunomodulator, and cold-and-flu fighting remedy have also made it popular among the general populace. When COVID appeared, many people were using elderberry as a preventative immune stimulant to avoid catching it. As we have learned more about this virus, it has emerged that it has a specific mechanism of action that can increase cytokine storms in some bodies, creating significant inflammation in the lungs and leading to severe health outcomes. Elderberry is known to increase the human immune reaction to harmful pathogens by increasing production of certain cytokines.

One of our authors, a well-educated and highly experienced herbalist, Stephany Hoffelt, has observed that elder can, in some rare cases, be linked to cytokine storms. She published an article on her blog about it, and it caused a big push back from the natural-health community. It turns out that elder, like all the other herbs we use, is nuanced in the way it works; and in very rare cases, it can cause adverse reactions.

My whole family had COVID last spring, and we used elderberry syrup and teas for our initial symptoms. It’s a remedy we have used for many viral infections, so it was naturally a go-to. I did indeed find it wasn’t very helpful once the virus had really set in. Fortunately, none of us experienced the complications associated with cytokine overabundance; and since my elderberry syrup has other immune-stimulating and supporting herbs, I felt it still made it a good remedy for us overall.

This issue was published before or after your membership. If you're interested in purchasing the issue separately, you may do so below.


Elder Herbal Monograph
Risk-Benefit Analysis: Elderberry for COVID-19
Elder Flower Essence
The History and Legends of Elder
Elder Tea Recipes
Herbal Help for Winter Health!
Elderflower for Skin Care
Elderberry Oxymel
Elderberry Syrup and Cordial

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