COVID-19, Cytokine Storm & Elderberry – What’s Going On.

My sister-in-law, a doctor I both love and respect forwarded this article to me, as it’s being circulated with a warning against elderberry syrup use in conjunction with COVID-19. It’s for this reason, we’re addressing it today.

This is not the first time we’ve been sent the article as it pertains to a fear of a cytokine storm. After much thought, we want to be very clear about our thoughts and guidance related to COVID-19 and Live Berry Well elderberry syrup.

First, we are not doctors and advise all customers and elderberry syrup users to consult a doctor should they have any questions or concerns about the use of Elderberry syrup, or COVID-19. As we’re not doctors, we’re going to try and use non-doctor speak as we discuss this.

Second, if you or anyone you know gets sick and believe you have COVID-19, talk to your doctor. Specifically, if the illness moves to your lungs.

Third, let’s address the article – at no point does the article we’ve seen reference elderberries, but rather how coronaviruses (not specifically COVID-19) can attack the lungs, and how the body’s natural immune system can go berserk, causing complications. This “virus-activated” immune response, can cause additional inflammation of the lungs which is known as a “cytokine storm.” The result of the cytokine storm syndrome is that the body, and more importantly the organs don’t get enough oxygen. It’s a little more technical than that, for all of the details see the link(s) at the bottom.

As we review the current statistics, about 20% of the COVID-19 cases escalate to a lung-related issue. This is where the cytokine storm can become deadly. Note, cytokine storm syndrome is a real issue that COVID-19 patients are being treated – regardless of elderberry use. In addition, there are a variety of medicines for treating cytokine storm syndrome that are being implemented.  

So, where does elderberry syrup come in? The association with elderberry syrup is in relation to how elderberry boosts the natural immune system and the assumption is that elderberry use could increase the body’s natural response, in this case exacerbating the issues further. These claims are not drawn from the published study, or any study related to COVID-19 that we’ve found. The fear is also making assumptions as to how elderberry works with the human body, when the truth is, there have not been any definitive studies and more are needed.

In our quest to definitively answer these unknown questions, we came across a 101-page paper published by Julia Wermig Morgan of Oxford University.

While her findings call for more testing and specific tests on COVID-19, she did conclude that elderberry (S. Nigra) stimulates the immune system without exacerbating a cytokine storm and might dampen one.

All of this said, if anyone gets sick or shows symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend you immediately get tested and consult your doctor about everything you are taking to stay healthy. 

As everyone continues to navigate these unprecedented waters, we encourage everyone to use common sense and read beyond a headline and question statements that are made with absolutes about unknown topics. 

Elderberry syrup is an amazing tool to help boost your immune system, but it’s only one of many things everyone should be doing to stay healthy right now. Washing your hands, social distancing, sleeping well, eating healthy, etc are a part of living well and healthy.

Stay healthy and Live Berry Well.

Original Article:

Cytokine Storm Syndrome Article:

Julia Wermig Morgan of Oxford University – Paper:

Additional Resources:

Updated: 3/18/2020 to include the Julia Wermig Morgan of Oxford University paper

2 thoughts on “COVID-19, Cytokine Storm & Elderberry – What’s Going On.

  1. Julia Wermig-Morgan says:

    Elderberry does more than boost the immune system. Elderberry has bioactive molecules, some of which attach to and penetrate viruses (including envelope viruses of which Covid-19 is one) and destroy the genetic material> proper clinical trials on Covid-19 are right now being carried out by WHO in Iran where they are blockaded and can get no pharmaceuticals, and in Germany where doctors regularly prescribe elderberry for such infections as colds and flu. Remember the common cold is a coronavirus. I just reposted my paper on researchgate with a Covid-19 update.

  2. Julia Wermig-Morgan says:

    I am Julia Wermig-Morgan who wrote the paper from Oxford Centre for Evidence based medicine at Oxford. public health England are looking at elderberry and testing it more I believe and may start clinical trials. however, I got covid-19, started to get pneumonia and stopped it within hours with elderberry . Then a couple of days later I started to to have a cytokine storm and felt fluid going into my lungs. but I stopped that within an hour and was better in a week. I don’t think I have any lasting damage but am going to be checked by my doctor. I used myself as a guinea pig and recovered

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