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Flu Sepsis, Flu and Cytokine Storms
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  1. #1
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    Sepsis, Flu and Cytokine Storms

    ....
    Last edited by Deb Mc; 01-24-2018 at 07:28 PM.
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  2. #2
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    ...
    Last edited by Deb Mc; 01-24-2018 at 07:29 PM.
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

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  3. #3
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    ...
    Last edited by Deb Mc; 01-24-2018 at 07:29 PM.
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

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  4. #4
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    ...
    Last edited by Deb Mc; 01-24-2018 at 07:29 PM.
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  5. #5
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    ...
    Last edited by Deb Mc; 01-24-2018 at 07:29 PM.
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  6. #6
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    Here's a short synopsis. Again, I'm not a medical professional, by any means. All this comes from what I've been reading and from my time spent learning when I was at Canada Sue's Avian Flu Forum back in 2005-2006. I'll provide links a bit later, so you all can wade through the reading material and make your own conclusions.

    From what I *think* I know, it looks like TNF-a is the gatekeeper for Cytokines. You ramp up the TNF-a, the more likely it is for more Cytokines to be released. That would be a good thing for a normal cold or flu, but with this year's severe flu, it might be what is causing the increased death rate in healthy people and children. IL-6 seems to be an indicator of sepsis severity. Is it causing the sepsis? Maybe. By lowering IL-6 levels, there seems to be an increase in survivors. Again, nothing is clear-cut across all the studies...

    Some of the problem is that Cytokines that increase inflammation in one part of the body, might actually decrease inflammation in another part of the body. And in some medical studies, remedies they test with one group seem to work, while in another study, with different people used, the remedies and/or test results are different. There doesn't seem to be any clear-cut answers, at least not yet.

    The sepsis, I think, may well be just an underlying illness or disease that runs rampant once our immune system goes haywire (Cytokine storm). The cytokines (I think) start attacking the body, ignoring the virus plus any other secondary invaders.

    Imo, steer clear of anything that ramps up TNF-a or IL-6 while you have the flu this season - those seem to be the main troublemakers. Resveratrol and Curcumin (plus Piperine), seem to work wonders and help to stop or lessen the damage. Traditional medicine might use statins, which have their own problems.

    Interestingly enough, excessive exercise and UVB (Ultraviolet B light) may also ramp up TNF-a and/or IL-6. Not exactly a smoking gun, but enough to make me uneasy.

    The Elderberry increases both TNF-a and IL-6, so that's why I've been shouting from the rooftops, lately, to steer clear of it for this severe flu season. (I actually have Elderberry Flu tablets here at home, but won't touch them for this flu season now because of my concern.) Please see my other thread about TNF-a to see what increases its production as well as what decreases it. You need to have at least some TNF-a though, as many of us have some sort of viral or bacterial critters roaming inside of us and need to continue to be kept in check.

    Ok, so what else seems to increase IL-6 production? That's not been an easy question to answer. Some of a few things I've found:

    - Some children who are Autistic have increased IL-6 in their brains.
    - Black Elderberry
    - Excessive exercise
    - Exposure to UV A and UV B light (meaning lots of sunlight and/or tanning beds)
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

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  7. #7
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    *Autism and IL-6:

    https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcen...1742-2094-8-52



    *Resveratrol as an anti-viral:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4676993/



    *Curcumin and Resveratrol block IL-6:

    http://ard.bmj.com/content/71/Suppl_1/A90.2



    *Exercise increases IL-6 and TNF-a production:

    http://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10...ell.00028.2012



    *Cytokine Storms, TNF-A, IL-6, other Cytokines and study results:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4711683/



    *Cytokines and Sepsis:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378830/
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  8. #8
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    *Ultraviolet Light increases IL-6 in humans:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2355183



    *IL-6 - Factors that increase or decrease production:

    https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/inte...374.1516488664



    *TNF-a - Factors that increase or decrease production:

    https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/supp...leukin-6-il-6/
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

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  9. #9
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    Now, *before* you take any new supplements, please do due diligence. Talk with your doctor, talk with your doctor, talk with your doctor (FIRST!!!), before consuming any new herbs, supplements, etc...

    Also, you might want to keep this handy during your research. It's an herb/supplement guide that also has info as to drug interactions. It seems to be VERY useful.

    https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/index

    Again, I am NOT a medical professional. This is just what I am doing this year and seems to be logical and useful information...
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  10. #10
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    Oops, forgot to add:

    IL-6 in Autoimmune Disorders:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20689230
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  11. #11
    Deb, I have to disagree about avoiding Elderberry in ANY flu season, as long as you take it correctly. And that means- as I've ranted many times here- taking it EARLY and OFTEN. Elderberry works by preventing the virus from replicating. If you take it at the first signs of symptoms, and take it every 3-4 hours around the clock, your viral load (severity of symptoms, as well as the strength of the body's responses, is directly correlated with the numbers of virus in the body) will remain low.

    Now, if someone calls you up and says "I've been sick with the flu for 4 days, and I'm REALLY getting scared"... well, that might not be the time to start taking elderberry, as the viral load will already be extremely high, and if there is some correlation with increased factors that can play into the cytokine storm issue with elderberry.. well, I don't know.

    I do have a question, though... in the studies you've read, is the elderBERRY that increases TNF and IL-6, or the flower of the black elderberry? The blossoms (often called elderblow or elderflower) definitely DO have strong immune stimulating properties, and have been used in tea for generations for colds and flu because of that. And I've seen some commercial "elderberry" formulas which contain both berries and flowers- definitely not something I'd take for any serious flu, due to the cytokine storm potential.

    When we had H1N1 in 2009, we were SICK. However, elderberry knocked it flat... as long as we took it religiously. I skipped a couple doses one afternoon because we were haying, and I'm the designated baler and tractor driver, and the next day, I couldn't have gotten out of bed if the house was on fire. It took me about three days of taking elderberry every 3 hours to get back to where I had been. Also, we found that nothing, including strong prescription narcotics, touched the severe pain that virus caused. However, curcumin knocked it out for hours.

    I need to get a new batch of Pinot Noir wine brewing, but at least I did dig a bunch of Japanese knotweed roots last fall and I tinctured them for the resveratrol. Not the tastiest brew in the world, but if it helps flu, we can choke it down.

    One last thing... unless someone has an exceptional doctor, asking them ANYthing about alternative medicines and herbs will get anything from a blank look to a lecture about the "dangers" of trying to treat your own health. They are incredibly clueless, even when there are real world, solid studies about the uses of many alternatives. However, if someone is already under treatment by a doctor for any sort of serious ailment, and especially if you are taking Rx meds, at the very least, you need to do your own due diligence... the information IS out there, but steer clear of the alarmist websites, as well as those which claim that herbs will cure anything and let you live 200 years (ok, an exaggeration, but snake oil salesmen abound) Look for sites which list potential side effects, as well as potential drug interactions, and make your own choices.

    As I've written in the past. ANYone can be allergic to ANYthing, and nothing works the same in everyone. Anyone with food or drug allergies or sensitivities needs to be especially careful.

    Summerthyme

  12. #12
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    Summer,

    Hey there! That's a very good point. Sorry, I read your earlier post, but it didn't "click" until now.

    If the Elderberry can keep the virus totally from replicating, then maybe it would be ok to use. However, if the flu virus was not caught in time and starts to infect, then I absolutely would *not* use it, because it ramps up the Cytokines so quickly. Also, it'll also depend on whether one's immune system would "recognize" the virus or not. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the 'Cytokine Storm' was caused because our immune system didn't recognize the virus (didn't know how to attack it).

    Personally, I'm using the Resveretrol because it is also supposed to prevent the virus from replicating. It might not be as effective as the Elderberry, but at least it doesn't ramp up the TNF-a and IL-6. I guess, at best, it's a roll of the dice...
    Last edited by Deb Mc; 01-31-2018 at 08:17 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity and additional comments.
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  13. #13
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    Now, as for the Black ElderBERRY vs. Elderberry flower, I'm not sure. Here's what I have so far on it:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11399518


    The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines.

    Barak V1, Halperin T, Kalickman I.



    Sambucus nigra L. products - Sambucol - are based on a standardized black elderberry extract. They are natural remedies with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus. Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days. Convalescent phase serum showed a higher antibody level to influenza virus in the Sambucol group, than in the control group. The present study aimed to assess the effect of Sambucol products on the healthy immune system - namely, its effect on cytokine production. The production of inflammatory cytokines was tested using blood - derived monocytes from 12 healthy human donors. Adherent monocytes were separated from PBL and incubated with different Sambucol preparations i.e., Sambucol Elderberry Extract, Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup, Sambucol Immune System and Sambucol for Kids.

    Production of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-8) was significantly increased, mostly by the Sambucol Black Elderberry Extract (2-45 fold), as compared to LPS, a known monocyte activator (3.6-10.7 fold).

    The most striking increase was noted in TNF-alpha production (44.9 fold).

    We conclude from this study that, in addition to its antiviral properties, Sambucol Elderberry Extract and its formulations activate the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production.

    Sambucol might therefore be beneficial to the immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases. Sambucol could also have an immunoprotective or immunostimulatory effect when administered to cancer or AIDS patients, in conjunction with chemotherapeutic or other treatments. In view of the increasing popularity of botanical supplements, such studies and investigations in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials need to be developed.

    PMID: 11399518
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

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  14. #14
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    Summer,

    Here's another study, looks like a different one, done re: Elderberry (and Astragalus too), and how they increase Cytokines. In this particular study, it mentions just using the fruits, nothing about the Elderberry flowers:


    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0047878


    Astragalus Root and Elderberry Fruit Extracts Enhance the IFN-β Stimulatory Effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus in Murine-Derived Dendritic Cells

    Hanne Frøkiær , Louise Henningsen, Stine Broeng Metzdorff, Gudrun Weiss, Marc Roller, John Flanagan, Emilie Fromentin, Alvin Ibarra

    Published: October 30, 2012https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0047878


    Abstract

    Many foods and food components boost the immune system, but little data are available regarding the mechanisms by which they do. Bacterial strains have disparate effects in stimulating the immune system. Indendritic cells, the gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli upregulates proinflammatory cytokines, whereas gram-positive Lactobacillus acidophilus induces a robust interferon (IFN)-β response. The immune-modulating effects of astragalus root and elderberry fruit extracts were examined in bone marrow-derived murine dendritic cells that were stimulated with L. acidophilus or E. coli. IFN-β and other cytokines were measured by ELISA and RT-PCR. Endocytosis of fluorescence-labeled dextran and L. acidophilus in the presence of elderberry fruit or astragalus root extract was evaluated in dendritic cells. Our results show that both extracts enhanced L. acidophilus-induced IFN-β production and slightly decreased the proinflammatory response to E. coli. The enhanced IFN-β production was associated with upregulation of toll-like receptor 3 and to a varying degree, the cytokines IL-12, IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α. Both extracts increased endocytosis in immature dendritic cells, and only slightly influenced the viability of the cells. In conclusion, astragalus root and elderberry fruit extracts increase the IFN-β inducing activity of L. acidophilus in dendritic cells, suggesting that they may exert antiviral and immune-enhancing activity.
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

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  15. #15
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    Here's a website (not a medical research one, like most of the others), but still has some very, very interesting info:


    http://the-health-gazette.com/496/natural-antivirals/


    Natural Antivirals
    Regular readers know that I have no time for the nonsense relating to imagined bird-flu pandemics. However. I regarded the following item of sufficient novelty to be of some interest. You may judge its merits for yourself.

    Research suggests certain natural foods may be as effective against virus H5N1 as commercial antivirals.

    (PRWEB) May 10, 2006 — A Biology teacher from Australia, named Stephen Jones, has done extensive research into the H5N1 virus and compiled a list of natural foods that are effective against it and listed others that are detrimental.

    The list may come as a surprise to many people since foods such as spirulina and echinacea are listed as detrimental. This strange occurrence is largely due to the fact that the virus is immune to 2 cytokines that the body produces (TNF-a and IL-6). Cytokines are compounds produced by the body’s immune system that attack and remove foreign bodies. The problem is that when a foreign body is immune to certain cytokines, the body sees that its immune response is not working and tries even harder, which can lead to what is called a cytokine storm, where the body becomes flooded with these compounds and they eventually destroy the body itself. Foods such as Echinacea actually stimulate the production of these specific cytokines; hence consuming it is not a good idea if one suspects they may have the virus.

    During the 1918 Spanish Flu many healthy young people died from cytokine storms due to their immune systems overreacting. Consuming foods which suppress the production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6 and enhance the production of the ones that actually are effective against the virus will aid the patient greatly.

    Other foods that create mucous in the respiratory tract, such as bananas, are also listed as detrimental due to the fact that the predominant breeding ground of the virus is the respiratory tract and another way in which a patient may suffer is due to the body’s over production of mucous in this area.

    Folk Medicines and Herbs to use and avoid with Bird Flu

    Below is a list of foods that are said to contain substances that are natural antivirals, immune boosters or they decrease cytokines TNF-a and IL-6.

    Alternative medications that are most likely to help us during a severe pandemic:

    Garlic (allicin) – Very effective antiviral. Best if fresh (raw) and crushed. Must be consumed within 1 hour of crushing. Dosage is initially 2 to 3 cloves per day but later reduce until no body odour occurs. No toxic effects noted. (Pubmed PMID 9049657)

    Vitamin C – Boosts the immune system and is an antiviral by blocking the enzyme neuraminadase. Viruses need neuraminadase to reproduce. There are anecdotal stories of people taking large amounts of Vitamin C (children) surviving the Spanish Flu. Research shows that it may reduce the production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. A study on 470 people involved giving the test group 1000 mg hourly for 6 hours and then 1000 mg 3 times daily after reporting flu symptoms. Symptoms decreased by 85%. (Pubmed PMID 10543583, 634178, 16169205, 12876306)

    Green Tea (possible Tamiflu/Relenza alternative) – Very effective antiviral. Also decreases the production of the cytokine (catechins) TNF-a. Inhibits neuraminidase. May have antiviral activity that is equal to other antivirals such as Tamiflu. (Pubmed PMID 16137775)

    St Johns Wort (Hypericum) – Very effective antiviral. Also decreases the production of the cytokine IL-6. Hypericum is an extract from St John’s Wort. There have been some very successful field trials in commercial flocks infected with H5N1 in Vietnam. (Pubmed PMID 7857513, 11518071, 11362353, 7857513, 11518071)

    Vitamin E – Immune booster. Also decreases the production of the cytokine TNF-a. (Pubmed PMID 155882360, 10929076) Experiments involved using mice. Very suitable for immune compromised people, especially the elderly. Effects enhanced when taken with Vitamin C.

    Apple Juice – Antiviral. Fresh apple juice including the pulp and skin has greater antiviral activity than heated commercial apple juice. More research is needed. Effectiveness on H5N1 is unknown. (Pubmed PMID 32832, 12452634)

    Resveratrol – Antiviral. In addition to inhibiting neuraminidase, Resveratrol also sends a message to cells to stop manufacturing viruses. This is a proven antiviral found naturally in red wine, peanuts, mulberries, Japanese Knotwood root (richest source), raisins and red grapes. Resveratrol supplements are relatively inexpensive, are more stable than wine and is available in liquid form for absorption in the mouth. No toxic effects noted. (Pubmed PMID 1583880, 12817628, 15985724)

    Scuttellaria (Skullcap) – Antiviral. A herb used as a tea. It has no side effects and is also a mild tranquilliser. Research suggests neuraminidase, which is a substance needed by the H5N1 virus to reproduce, may be inhibited.

    Cranberry Juice – Early research shows that it may be an antiviral, making viruses less able to invade or multiply. Effectiveness on H5N1 is unknown. (Pubmed PMID15781126)

    Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) – Decreases the production of the cytokine TNF-a. Also boosts immune system. The number of white blood cells was significantly increased during treatment. No toxicity was noted. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...arch&DB=pubmed) Active constituents can be found in the leaves, bark, vine, and roots. Water extraction from bark used. Children and pregnant women are to avoid. Has a potentially damaging effect on the DNA of proliferating cells. (cancers, foetuses, growing children)

    Curcumin (Tumeric Spice) – Decreases the production of the cytokine TNF-a. This is the yellow compound in turmeric spice. Research shows that this may be very good for preventing a cytokine storm although this is not proven. Must be taken with food or gastritis or peptic ulcers may occur. Pregnant women and feeding mothers should avoid this. The medicinal properties of curcurnin cannot be utilised when used alone due to rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall. When combined with Piperine found in black pepper the absorption is increased with no adverse effects. Obtainable from health stores in tablets, liquid, capsules already combined with piperine. Dosage is 500mg to 4000mg daily.

    Astragalus root (Astragali Radix) – Boosts immune system. (Pubmed PMID15588652)

    Tea tree Steam Inhalation – Reduces the cytokine TNF-a. Add 2 drops of tea tree oil in a bowl of steaming water. Cover head with a towel and inhale for 5 to 10 minutes. Relieves congestion and fights infection. Its effectiveness is unknown. (Pubmed PMID 11131302)

    The following substances may be best to avoid during a H5N1 pandemic

    Elderberry juice (Sambucal) – AVOID – Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. This substance is very effective against the common flu but may not be desirable for the H5N1 virus. Increases in these cytokines may trigger a lethal cytokine storm. (Isr Med Journal2002 Nov;4:944-6)

    Micro Algae (Chlorella and Spirulina) – AVOID – Increases production of cytokine TNF-a. (Pubmed PMID 11731916)

    Honey – AVOID – Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. (Pubmed PMID12824009)

    Chocolate – AVOID – Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. (Pubmed PMID 12885154, PMID 10917928)

    Echinacea – AVOID – Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. Although it is often used for normal flu, research shows that it may increase the chance of cytokine storms for H5N1. (Pubmed PMID 15556647, 9568541)

    Kimchi – AVOID – Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. (Pubmed PMID15630182)

    Dairy products & Bananas – AVOID – These foods increase mucous production.

    References:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/ (search using Pubmed ID number listed after each food)
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  16. #16
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    Ok, as for what "causes" a Cytokine Storm, from what I can find, officially - no one knows. Some say that the new influenza virus might be "immune" to the Cytokines. Others say that the Cytokines don't recognize the virus as an invader. What people do seem to agree on is that the person's immune system ramps up Cytokine production, but then doesn't let it "cool down". (During regular infections, the Cytokines will at first ramp up, but then another part of the immune system kicks in and throttles it back so the Cytokines don't harm the body.)

    A few links for further reading:


    1. http://www.ourmed.org/wiki/Influenza_and_Cytokine_Storm

    Influenza and Cytokine Storm





    2. Technical, but official medical study material: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3294426/


    Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2012 Mar; 76(1): 16–32.
    doi: 10.1128/MMBR.05015-11
    PMCID: PMC3294426

    Into the Eye of the Cytokine Storm

    Jennifer R. Tisoncik,a Marcus J. Korth,a Cameron P. Simmons,b Jeremy Farrar,b Thomas R. Martin,c and Michael G. Katzecorresponding authora
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

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  17. #17
    Thanks! Lots to read and digest.

    And I AM reading, and making notes on stuff to research later, if/when I can find the time. Unfortunately, we're having a winter of "pneumonia weather" here and I'm getting lots of calls for help for both people and animals. I'm giving thanks that several of my regular clients listened to me and vaccinated their entire herds for the common respiratory viruses... it was really driven home when I saw a herd last week which had 15 calves with temperatures ranging from 104 to 107°... at least two of them had lungs so consolidated with crap that it's unlikely they'll survive. The owner "thought about it, but didn't get around to" vaccinating (that's often code for "it just looked like too much money")... I'm hoping he did get some vaccine and give every animal not currently ill their first dose, because that sort of thing tends to spread to every animal in the barn. They don't have any mechanical ventilation, and with the weather going from 3° (with a windchill of -23) two nights ago to 46° today (and expected single digits again tonight!), respiratory illness is pretty much inevitable.

    Anyway...

    I see that curcumin is noted to have significant effects on cytokines... I can say from personal experience that it does.

    This (post 15) bothers me:
    Scuttellaria (Skullcap) – Antiviral. A herb used as a tea. It has no side effects and is also a mild tranquilliser. Research suggests neuraminidase, which is a substance needed by the H5N1 virus to reproduce, may be inhibited.
    First, it's Scutellaria. Second, they haven't defined WHICH Scutellaria species, and they are seriously conflating two of them, at least in terms of effects!

    Baikal (or Chinese) Skullcap is Scutellaria baicalensis. This is the one which is a potent antiviral. However, it has little to no effect on the nervous system, and wouldn't ever be used as a "mild tranquilizer".

    Virginia Skullcap is Scutellaria lateriflora. This species is also called MadDog Skullcap, from when a very early doctor used it on putative rabies patients. *Supposedly* with great success, to the extent that it was reported that he "cured" over 400 cases!!! Let's just say I take leave to GREATLY doubt those "facts"!! However, just the idea tickled my brain, and since it obviously had significantly helped a bunch of people (even if he exaggerated numbers, etc, he wasn't run out of town as a quack!) with what must have been serious central nervous system symptoms. I researched rabies symptoms, and decided it might be worth trying for serious headaches, muscle spasms, "restless legs", etc.

    My best friend had a daughter who had survived brain cancer and multiple brain surgeries over the previous 25 years, and she lived in constant pain. She was on high doses of morphine, and got *some* relief, but nowhere near total. Especially debilitating were the headaches which seemed to actually be "brain pain"... directly related to the swelling and scar tissue of her brain. I sent her a bottle of Virginia skullcap tincture, not expecting much... and was absolutely stunned when she called a few days later, in tears, saying "it worked!" The young woman (she'd been 12 when she had her first surgery, and was the ONLY person to ever survive that particular type of brain tumor) had gotten more relief from the skullcap than she had from any Rx medication over 20 years. No, it didn't replace the morphine, but she actually had cut her morphine dosage down, as adding a teaspoon of skullcap tincture apparently reduced her pain levels from the headaches lower than she'd experienced in many years.

    VERY interesting herb, is skullcap!

    Virginia skullcap is also a potent "nervine". Now, herbalists define "nervine" as different from "tranquilizer". They often are potent tranquilizers, and in larger doses can be mildly to strongly sedative, but a true nervine also "feeds the nerves"... IOW, helps a naturally anxious person calm down and even learn better thinking pathways over time, and helps people overcome "nervous exhaution" (which likely is related to adrenal fatigue). I've given it to people (who found it effective) for everything from test taking anxiety, to overall "free floating anxiety" attacks, to "white coat hypertension". In the latter, a friend of hubby's was facing the loss of his CDL license, because every time he went for his physical, his blood pressure was elevated beyond the extent they would allow. At home, it was normal.

    He took a teaspoon of the skullcap tincture an hour before he went to the doctor, and passed his physical with flying colors!

    Oh, it also works amazingly well on dogs with severe thunderstorm phobias. An aging Border Collie/Blue Heeler cross we had was getting progressively worse during storms, to the point where she was frantically trying to chew and claw her way through our (metal) house doors to get inside... but she was never a house dog, and in fact wasn't comfortable inside in normal times. Once we let her in, she'd dash from room to room, running into furniture, trying to hide under beds, but never finding a "safe place" away from the storm noise.

    I gave her a couple capsules of dried skullcap leaves as an experiment, and within 30 minutes, she was sacked out under the kitchen table, sound asleep, although the storm was still raging overhead!

    I also found THIS tidbit in post #14 interesting:
    Indendritic cells, the gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli upregulates proinflammatory cytokines,
    This is something I've seen firsthand... all too often. A severe E.coli infection causes overwhelming damage inside the body, often within hours of infection. In calves, it wasn't uncommon to find them dead in the morning when they'd eaten just fine the night before, or when the night before they'd been slightly picky about drinking their milk, but showed nothing else to the casual eye. If you checked their temperature, it often was sky high (106° or even higher). Once they actually started breaking with the characteristic diarrhea, it was almost always far too late to save them.

    We started using high doses of colloidal silver, plus high doses of licorice root powder. 2-4 ounces of colloidal silver, along with an ounce of licorice root orally twice daily quite often stopped the scours, and even more amazingly, increased the survivability rate from less than 2% to over 70%. The only thing I can figure is that licorice root is actually a corticosteroid... one reason doctors and non-herbalists throw a fit about anyone taking it is due to it's potential, in large amounts over a long period of time (ounces per day for weeks, in humans) to cause pretty much all the symptoms that Rx steroids cause- weight gain, water retention, reduction of immune system response, potential kidney damage, etc.

    I finally had a chance to speak to a vet who wasn't completely against anything unusual, and he told me the colloidal silver- licorice combination seemed to be acting in the exact same way as a no-longer-available Rx combination called Azimycin. Azimycin was simply a 9:1 combination of procaine penicillin injectable and dexamethasone injectable (2 mgs per cc). He said they'd use it both by IM injection, and orally, both at the same time and repeating it for 3 doses every 12 hours. And the mortality rates were nearly identical to my "home brew" combination.

    Now, I recently read a Medscape article that seems to say that giving steroids to people with septic shock does NOT reduce overall mortality, however, it DOES get them feeling better and out of the ICU faster. (I know, that doesn't make much sense. What it sounds like to me is that those who are going to survive, would have anyway, but the steroids speed their improvement)

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/891552

    So...

    My protocol for influenza, assuming a strain that is known to cause potential cytokine storm, would be *immediate* use of elderberry plus resveratrol, unless the person was already displaying symptoms of a high viral load. If they are already running a fever over 100.5°, have serious muscle aches or headache, or are showing clear lung involvement... it's probably wise to skip the elderberry at that point. I would also add 2-4 grams of licorice root (4 capsules, twice a day), and 1/2 gram curcumin every 4 hours, regardless of whether you use elderberry or not. I would give 10 mgs of black pepper extract (piperine) with the first dose of curcumin for the day, but that's all.

    If you want to add Baikal skullcap to the anti-viral mix, go for it. Also, Star Anise is an herb from which Tamiflu was extracted/synthesized.

    I also would run a humidifier/steamer and add tea tree oil, plus eucalyptus essential oil, in the sick room.

    And if the patient is agitated or anxious, either from the pain and effects of the virus, or because of worry that they need to be at work, or even that they're afraid they could die, Virginia skullcap would be a good adjunct. I suspect it might work better on the "flu headache" than almost anything else, except possibly curcumin.

    I still need to research olive leaf extract, as that is also a potent antiviral that we've used before with good effect.

    As always, do your own research. DO NOT use licorice root on someone who is already suffering from congestive heart failure, kidney disease, edema or other water retention problems. Of course, anyone with those issues who contracts influenza NEEDS to be in the hospital! Home care is for helping healthy people!

    Also, make sure the patient is drinking plenty of fluids, and don't have them drinking strictly water!! Very easy to deplete electrolytes in that situation. I always keep a few gallons of Gatorade on hand... I'm going to be experimenting with a homemade "clone" using fresh fruit juices with the WHO rehydration formula added to it. At the least, it won't have high fructose corn syrup!!

    Honestly, except for the possible use of IV fluids if someone gets dehydrated (which shouldn't happen unless they are vomiting), and the use of ventilators, there isn't a whole lot a hospital can do for a patient that we can't accomplish at home with influenza. Obviously, I'm not saying "don't go to the hospital" if you are very ill, especially if someone is showing signs of cyanosis (blue lips or nailbeds), or is obviously short of breath, or is hallucinating (usually caused by a shortage of oxygen). This is where a home O2 meter (finger tip meter- you can get them at Amazon reasonably priced). But for plain old severe influenza, bed rest, good nutrition (generally, that would mean light foods that are easily digested... good old homemade chicken soup, with plenty of pepper and maybe even some cayenne is excellent, but any nutritious food that the patient wants is better than letting them go hungry), plenty of fluids, and appropriate herbals are going to do as much- or more- than an overworked hospital will. And you won't be exposed to OTHER nasty bugs floating around!

    Summerthyme

  18. #18
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    Summer,

    Thank you so very much for all your information, thoughts and hard work on this - you are truly a treasure! :-)


    What you've outlined sounds very reasonable to me, and a good plan.

    I have a bit more info that might be helpful in writing up a supplement plan, but I have it one my cell phone. I'll try to get the links here on my home PC and get some of the article snips posted here.

    One thing I did notice though, the Elderberry worked really well on the virus if it was in the bloodstream, or just entering the cell. However, it did nothing once the virus was inside the RBC (red blood cell for anyone reading who don't know the term). The Elderberry worked on the virus' HA proteins (?), not on the RBC itself.

    Also, according to one study, the Elderberry's effectiveness depended on the type of influenza virus. It affected all the flu viruses in the study, but some seemed to be much less affected than others. So, something to consider...

    Thanks again for everything!
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  19. #19
    Interesting thread! Just wanted to throw out that the way licorice root does it's dangerous deeds (with longer-term use) is by lowering potassium to potentially dangerous levels.

    Interesting about how different foods different cytokines despite all in the list being antivirals.

  20. #20
    Summerthyme, thank you. So much info I can use in one post.
    A couple of questions - are you doing skullcap (both of them) with golden grain/everclear? What proportions? Would you do star anise as a separate antiviral tincture or add it to the Baikal skullcap?
    And what would be a good alternative that I could grow for resveratrol? Japanese knotweed does not seem like a good option here. And while I can/will order some to get started, I am trying to grow source plants as much as possible.
    We just went through 2 of the flus. Elderberry tincture was only so so for the respiratory one. I actually ended up with dayquil, prescription antibiotics, nebulizer treatments and OTC meds to get us through that one. The first time in a long time I had to resort to those things.
    The second flu was the severe aches and exhaustion one. That responded well to elderberry and curcumin. In fact, other than ibuprofen/acetaminophen when I had to work, it was much more like normal except that it took about 2 weeks to get my energy back. Of course that may have been because of back to back illnesses.
    One thing I have discovered about curcumin and bioperine - if you use the Longvida or Meriva formulas, do not use bioperine. That mix can actually trigger some nasty headaches. But no issues with turmeric or BCM95 formulas. I may start keeping both on hand so that when bioperine is need to support other items, I can use a different curcumin formula.
    Last edited by kyrsyan; 02-03-2018 at 08:08 AM.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
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    Summer,

    As promised, here is the link and a snippet about Elderberry and its varying effectiveness dependent on flu virus strain. What they're talking about is Quertecin - it's one of the Flavinoids found in Elderberry.


    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728566/


    Viruses. 2016 Jan; 8(1): 6.
    Published online 2015 Dec 25. doi: 10.3390/v8010006
    PMCID: PMC4728566


    Quercetin as an Antiviral Agent Inhibits Influenza A Virus (IAV) Entry


    Wenjiao Wu,1 Richan Li,1 Xianglian Li,1 Jian He,1 Shibo Jiang,2,3 Shuwen Liu,1,* and Jie Yang1,2,*

    Curt Hagedorn, Academic Editor

    [BIG SNIP]

    2.1. Quercetin Inhibited Influenza A Virus Infection

    The anti-influenza viral activity of quercetin against influenza A virus was evaluated by measuring the inhibition on cell infection model. MDCK cells were infected with the influenza virus with the presence of quercetin, and the cytopathic effect (CPE) was observed at 48 h post-infection. In parallel, the inhibition rate was represented by the determination of the cell viability (CPE inhibition, Figure 1B) using MTT assay. The data indicated that quercetin exerted an obvious inhibitory effect for both H1N1 and H3N2 virus strain infections in a dose-dependent manner, and the IC50 and IC90 values were listed in Table 1. Considering the inhibition rate observed in inhibition against the influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1) was relatively lower than other strains, we subsequently explored the mechanism of its anti-influenza activity with the influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1) virus strain.

    [SNIP]

    2.2. Quercetin Performed the Inhibitory Activity in the Initial Stage of Influenza Virus Infection


    [SNIP]

    The results demonstrated that quercetin inhibited virus infection when it was added during the process of virus infection rather than post-virus infection.


    [BIG SNIP]


    3. Discussion

    In the initial study, we found that quercetin displayed antiviral activity against different influenza virus strains, including H1N1and H3N2, which impelled us to investigate the mechanism of its anti-influenza activity. Surprisingly, we found that the inhibitory effect of quercetin was enhanced when the virus was pre-incubated with quercetin, or the cell was infected with the virus in the presence of quercetin. The time of the additional assay indicated that quercetin effectively inhibited virus infection when it was added during virus entry stage, while the inhibitory effects of other stages were less clear. On the basis of the above results, we wondered whether quercetin targeted the virion or the cell. Through three different modes of treatment, namely co-treatment, pre-treatment of cells and pre-treatment of virus, we found that quercetin targeted influenza viral particles instead of the host cell.

    [BIG SNIP]
    Treat each day as one of limitless potential and promise.

    The challenge in life is for HOPE to overcome that sense of fear. For GOOD to overcome evil.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by kyrsyan View Post
    Summerthyme, thank you. So much info I can use in one post.
    A couple of questions - are you doing skullcap (both of them) with golden grain/everclear? What proportions? Would you do star anise as a separate antiviral tincture or add it to the Baikal skullcap?
    And what would be a good alternative that I could grow for resveratrol? Japanese knotweed does not seem like a good option here. .
    I prefer 80 or 100 proof vodka for tincturing skullcap, of either variety. Both are known to work in tea form, so at least some of the actives are soluble in water. Most herbs are better tincture in 100 proof (50 %) alcohol, 50% water.

    Resveratrol is in the skins of dark red/purple grapes, hence the concentrations in pinot noir wine.

    But truthfully, there is no other plant that comes close to Japanese knotweed in terms of resveratrol content, and most of it is in the form of trans-resveratrol, which is the form necessary for absorption in the body. JK may have as much as 6% by dry weight of resveratrol and related stillness by weight in the dry root!

    Yes it can be very invasive, and it's almost certainly illegal to plant anywhere, but I just made note of several thriving roadside stands (more buggy than car traffic on these roads, so I'm not worried about pollution) and I go out in the fall and div a bunch of roots every year.

    Oh, and this is one exception to using 100 proof vodka... I use either "Devil's Springs" 160 proof vodka, or I dilute grain alcohol to 80% alcohol.

    Summerthyme
    Last edited by summerthyme; 02-05-2018 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Darned autocorrect!

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    I prefer 80 or 100 proof vodka for tincturing skills, of either variety. Both are known to work in tea form, so at least some of the actives are soluble in water. Most herbs are better tincture in 100 proof (50 %) alcohol, 50% water.

    Resveratrol is in the skins of dark red/purple grapes, hence the concentrations in pinot noir wine.

    But truthfully, there is no other plant that comes close to Japanese knotweed in terms of resveratrol content, and most of it is in the form of trans-resveratrol, which is the form necessary for absorption in the body. JK may have as much as 6% by dry weight of resveratrol and related stillness by weight in the dry root!

    Yes it can be very invasive, and it's almost certainly illegal to plant anywhere, but I just made note of several thriving roadside stands (more buggy than car traffic on these roads, so I'm not worried about pollution) and I go out in the fall and div a bunch of roots every year.

    Oh, and this is one exception to using 100 proof vodka... I use either "Devil's Springs" 160 proof vodka, or I dilute grain alcohol to 80% alcohol.

    Summerthyme
    Thank you. I've got grapes growing so, if ever need be, I can use those. They were the first thing I thought of but I wasn't sure if something else, beside knotweed, had been found to be a better source.
    I don't get to do foraging anymore because of my son so I'll have to use amazon or ebay to get knotweed for now.
    As for water solubility, I can't say for star anise or Baikal skullcap, but I can for Virginia skullcap. Definitely water soluble and a little goes a long way. In college I accidentally knocked myself out with an herbal tea that contained that and a few other ingredients. I steep tea for 20 minutes or so, that was long enough to drop me hard for 8 hours with no awareness of body position, no movement, and that drugged, cruddy feeling when I woke up.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  24. #24
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    Thankyou everyone for a most useful thread!
    Just wanted to share that I have been taking natural supplements big time for the last several years primarily for two reasons: herbal protocols against tick-borne diseases, and also for treatment without pharmaceuticals of my heart (had a heart attack in 2014 and tia few years back also), the result of which useage seems to have helped likely in me avoiding the flu so far perhaps.

    Supplements used that are on the above mentioned thread:

    Quercetin 500 mg /bromelain 312 mg just to strengthen the lungs
    Trans-resveratrol 500 mg related to Lyme protocols
    Astragalus 1000 mg “
    Cat’s claw. 500 mg. “
    turmeric extract with black pepper extract 900 mg - my research kept coming up with this as the principal natural way of avoiding future TIA events ( I also take huperzine A for anti tick diseases and anti-stroke)
    Cinnamon extract to generally kill everything that comes near apparently. Who knew?

    Also got turned into liposomal vit C a few years back. Apparently the best thing short of Vit C IV administered.
    1000 mg. I only take that (expensive) versus the just buffered C when I feel something possibly coming on.

    Still using homemade CS 10 ppm since y2k, as needed. Haven’t turned blue yet. Seems to help often, but not a panacea once an infection has taken hold.

    And lastly, since the flu hasn’t hit home yet, been taking zinc elderberry lozenges for just one more line of defense. Will stop taking the elderberry if a fever were to occur, based on the info in this thread.

    So far, so good. May God bless you all for sharing your wealth of wisdom and research!
    ” Watch ye therefore and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man”
    Luke 21:36

    COLLAPSE NOW: avoid the rush

  25. #25
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    btt
    Don't just go to church. BE THE CHURCH!

  26. #26
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    Back in 2003 during the SARS epidemic, the doctor in charge of a locked down hospital in Asia sent a blog out every day on the situation. On one of those posts he said his staff was also dying at an alarming rate and as far as he could determine it was from cytokine storms triggered by the SARS virus. He said if I just had something that would stop a cytokine storm, I could save these people. (A LOT of different illnesses and things can trigger a deadly cytokine storm where, basically your own immune system, NOT the disease you are fighting, kills you! That is why sometimes you see the youngest, healthiest people with the strongest immune systems getting hit the hardest with some illnesses!)

    Well, I was determined to read every .gov and .edu and .org research report I could find on the internet till I found some research on it. I FINALLY after reading night and day for a couple of weeks found a research report on SOMETHING ELSE that had a sort of "by the way, we discovered" buried in the body of the report!!! It said "by the way, we discovered that CURCUMIN (from TURMERIC) would STOP a cytokine cascade in it's tracks (or some thing to that effect). I copied the report and sent it to him but never got a response, so I do not know if he ever got it or if he did, if he actually READ it, because the research had nothing to do with his problem EXCEPT that one note in the research findings!!

    The TRAGIC thing about it was that HE probably HAD WHAT HE NEEDED, (in Chinese herbal meds) ALL ALONG! Asia is where we get curcumin from Turmeric, and it had been used for thousands of years to treat flu and fevers. Even now, American doctors do not know about curcumin's ability to stop a cytokine storm faster more completely than any prescription medicine!! I regularly inform the doctors at Madigan Army Hosp, where I get medical care, about it and suggest "I know you probably can't prescribe it, but just between you and me, if you or your loved ones are gonna die from a cytokine storm, HAVE IT already purchased and USE IT to save them, because I have it and I know it works, and :I give them a copy of the report. (I am out of the copies and I don't know if I can find it again to make more copies, if I ever buy a replacement copier.) All that info was lost along with the computer I was using back in 2003.

    I think I had googled " research, .gov,(and .edu, then .org) cytokine cascade"

    I see now the National Institute of Health has taken it seriously and finally produced THIS in 2015:
    Curcumin suppression of cytokine release and cytokine storm. A potential therapy for patients with Ebola and other severe viral infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25600522
    Last edited by ainitfunny; 12-12-2018 at 07:30 AM.
    There are no “secular” places, discussions, or anything else where God’s word does not have authority and the right to be heard. To claim there are is akin to a 3 year old saying “shut up and get out of here, this is none of your business” to their mother or father .

  27. #27
    Thank you for that interesting knowledge. My son and I both take curcumin daily. I wonder if that is what has been helping us avoid the more severe cases of illness that have been going on around us.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

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