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Calming Down Cytokine Production w/ Herbs {Episode 220}

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Calming Down Cytokine Production w/ Herbs {Episode 220}

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The talk of cytokine storms is popular right now because the Lancet {a respected medical journal} talked about how some of the most severe cases could be dealing with this cytokine storm. Social media has been bombarded with “don’t use elderberry!”, which I cover in a previous podcast topic and still to this day with what we know, there has not yet been a direct study with elderberry and COVID-19.

There was a study done in 2001 that showed how elderberry increased cytokine production (which is very normal and what it’s meant to do), but remember this wasn’t done in vivo (inside the body). There is a lot of other cellular regulation that keeps the cytokine production balanced and we can’t see how this works in an in vitro study. Also to preface, there has never been a case study on a herb-induced cytokine storm. Usually, it goes back to the body’s ability to regulate.

Listen to my last episode on this topic to get a little more information. I’m always keeping an open-mind with the new information that comes out + will update you if anything changes!

People are personally asking me if I’m doing elderberry and right now (like right now today), I am not because I don’t feel the need to. But, if we were to feel that we’re coming down with something, I’d still do elderberry for the beginning of the illness and tamper off.

In addition to elderberry usage, I naturally take herbs and supplements that help reduce cytokine production and/or help maintain that balance, which is what I wanted to talk you guys about here today!

Cytokine Blockers, Cytokine Herbs, Cytokine Storm, Natural Remedies for cytokine storm

Natural Remedies For Cytokine Storm

Side Note: If you truly have a cytokine storm, you will most likely be in the hospital really ill! These herbs and supplements are great for more immune balancing and support and ease your mind if you take these with other herbs, like elderberry. Personally, I tend to take garlic, glutathione, turmeric when I don’t feel good in addition to things like echinacea.

  • Turmeric – Inside turmeric, there is a component called curcumin and this has been studied to give that anti-inflammatory effect aka reduce cytokine production. A study also showed how turmeric decreased those with a virus, like herpes. This study when you go to open it up will download a PDF to your computer – I couldn’t find a regular site link.
  • Garlic – Garlic has anti-inflammatory effects and also immunomodulating effects. Garlic has components that reduce inflammatory markers, but also reduce free radicals that can cause oxidative stress. Reducing oxidative stress is vital, as oxidative stress can make the body trigger the release of inflammatory cytokines. In a study that studies dengue fever {a virus}, the use of garlic reducing the inflammatory markers that this virus increases. Feel free to read more about garlic’s effect on the immune system.
  • Antioxidants – Antioxidants like I mentioned before are really important because of the oxidative stress load is really high in a cytokine storm. In vitro antioxidants, such as NAC and gluthathione (which NAC is a precursor to glutathione), worked great in inhibiting virus replication, but when studies showed this in the body as a single therapy, it wasn’t as effective. With something severe like a true cytokine storm, these would be helpful in addition to pharmaceuticals. But, I think these would be great supplements to have on hand in general for illness because the demand on our body is higher and depletion of it is more common. In a study that showed lung injury, participants had lower levels of glutathione, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. Quercetin is another antioxidant that helps modulate and balance the immune system and reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  • EGCG – Another antioxidant that protected mice from lethal sepsis, of course this isn’t related to COVID-19, but this powerful part of green tea prevented the immune system from producing more cytokines
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is the master antioxidant of the body and easily gets depleted with high stress or infection. A study took vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone with patients who had sepsis and had a decrease from 40% mortality to 8%!!!! Vitamin C brings the immune system back in homeostasis!
  • Fish Oil – Getting enough omega-3 (and a balance between the other omegas) is important for a good strong cellular membrane! Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet lacks in this. A study showed that fish oil had immunomodulatory properties, which simply means it helps the immune system stay balanced.
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Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).