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Debunking Elderberry Juice and Covid-19

vegetables and fruits shaping a heartYou may have seen it. The social media post encouraging the use of elderberry juice to boost your immune system. And the other post warning of the dangers of taking elderberry juice if you’ve been struck by Covid-19.

Which is it?

The answer may surprise you.

But first, what is elderberry? It’s the juice that comes from the dark purple berry of the European elder tree. It’s often used for making wine as well as a food flavoring. Elderberry seems to activate the immune system. Many report that elderberry juice reduces the duration of flu symptoms if taken within 48 hours of onset.

Sounds like a good thing, right?

It appears elderberry juice promotes three things in the body:

  • Boosts antioxidants to protect our cells from free radicals
  • Slows down or suppresses viral activity in the body
  • Increases cytokine levels used by our immune system

It’s the cytokine issue that is the problem. There are inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. If you’re already ill, elderberry can cause what’s called a cytokine storm, creating excessive stress on the body.

“It’s a question of timing,” observes Nikki. “It’s like the seatbelts in your car. A seatbelt only works if you put it on before an accident. You certainly can’t put it on during an accident. And it’s too late after an accident. Same with elderberry juice and your immune system. Use it to keep your immune system strong before you need it.”

Naturally, it doesn’t make sense to boost our immune system with elderberry juice, while sabotaging it by our lifestyle choices. The wisest strategy is to make sure our immune system isn’t compromised. That way it can effectively identify foreign invaders and neutralize them.

You know the list. Quality nutrition, adequate rest, exercise, proper hydration, and a positive mental attitude. Simple, but these days sometimes hard to do.

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By the way, during Covid-19 we’re open and working virtually. Schedule an appointment today — I’d like to learn more about your health challenges and how we may be able to help resolve them.

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