Friday, October 30, 2009


I am following up on a post from a couple of weeks ago, in which I cautioned about using Sambucol (Black Elderberry) for treatment of H1N1 virus.

I have gotten more comments about this post than any other previous post, including the one in which I cautioned about getting the seasonal flu vaccine because of concerns about mercury.

As I noted in my post, Sambucol has been shown to produce a 44.9 FOLD increase in TNF-Alpha, which is usually a very good thing in fighting the flu, but concerned me because TNF-Alpha increases have also been associated with "Cytokine Storm."
Here are the two articles I referenced in the previous post:

The above article on Influenza and the Cytokine Storm was written by Stephen Allen Christensen, M.D. For more information on Dr. Christensen, here is a link:

I am not a doctor and have never claimed to be one. I care very much about the people I work with and about those I have never met but who may read this blog. I would never want anything I write to be the cause of harm coming to anyone.

I have published all of the comments that I have received about the Sambucol post, including those that accuse me of possibly being responsible for deaths if someone does not use Sambucol for treating the flu.

I have been tempted to remove the post and even take down the blog, because as I said, I definitely do not want to be responsible for misinformation - mainstream media, the AAP, and the AMA are already doing a good job of that.

Please read the original post, and follow the links to the articles I have provided, as well as those that have been provided by folks who have commented. I have no idea of the extent of the education or experience of those who have commented as they have, for the most part, chosen to remain Anonymous.

I do know that there is at least one physician in my area, whose opinion I respect greatly, who disagrees with my concerns regarding Sambucol. That is why I am posting this update.

I hope you are well, and I hope you stay that way.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Treating the Flu Naturally - Priceless

My nine year-0ld has been sick with the flu.

Leah came home on Tuesday with a cough and fever. She spent Tuesday night and Wednesday in bed - sleeping, watching TV, eating popsicles and crackers, and occasionally blowing her nose and coughing.

I spent Tuesday night and Wednesday checking her fever every 30 - 60 minutes (round the clock), administering supplements, running up and down the stairs with 7-up, popsicles, crackers, books, paper and colored pencils. I also spent every waking moment in fear, hoping I was right about what I was doing, and praying that her fever wouldn't spike and we wouldn't have to go to the hospital.

Thankfully, Leah has had a mild case of the flu (which is what most people experience), and today her fever is gone. It never got above 102 degrees, so I never gave anything to reduce the fever (which probably has something to do with why she is doing so well now). I did give her several things to help modulate her immune system, and to help her fight off the infection. Call me conceited (please don't) but I believe the steps I have taken with Leah have really made a difference, and I would like to share them with others.

As a side note, yesterday afternoon I made a quick trip to the health food store to pick up some Turmeric (curcumin) and Colloidal Silver. I think my friend, the owner of the store, was surprised to see me. A few weeks ago I received an email from her asking if I had fallen off the face of the planet. I explained to my friend the reason I haven't been in is because when I first heard about the "Swine Flu" in the spring of this year, I spent more than $400 stocking up on everything I thought I might possibly need to fend of the virus. The photo below shows what I purchased for my own family's use in anticipation of this year's flu season.

I am well aware that not everyone can afford to shell out $400 on supplements to fight the flu. I can't really afford it either, but if I'm going to recommend things to others, I want to make sure they work. Therefore, I use these things myself (and I give them to my guinea pigs...I mean my kids).

So, for those who cannot shell out the money to cover every possible scenario (or for those whose OCD is not as severe as mine) - what are the most important things to buy, if you want to protect your family from the flu this year? The next photo shows what I actually used to treat Leah's flu.

I have been giving (and taking) vitamin D3 for prevention (2,500 iu daily for my kids and 5,000 iu daily for me). We also take fish oil daily (1-2 grams). When Leah got sick, I increased her D3 to 20,000 iu/day (for adults, the recommendation is up to 50,000 iu/day for 3 days). I gave 2 grams (2,000 mg.) of fish oil and 2 grams (2,000 mg.) of Vitamin C, in divided doses (morning and night). I gave 1 capsule of Virastop (from Enzymedica) 3x/day on an empty stomach. I gave Oscillococcinum (available at Walmart or CVS) 3x/day, and a squirt of colloidal silver 2x/day.

On a shoestring budget, the first thing I would buy is Vitamin D3. If you don't have a shoestring budget but know someone who does, buy a bottle and give it to them. We're all in this together.

Final words:
Purchasing enough supplements to cover every possible scenario during the flu season: $400.
Cost of Vitamin D3, Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Oscillococcinum, ViraStop, and Colloidal Silver: $95.
Cost of buying a bottle of D3 for your neighbor who can't afford it: $10.
Treating the flu without worrying about Mercury or Squalene from vaccinations: Priceless.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sambucol Good for Prevention BUT NOT Treatment of H1N1 Flu

Hi everyone:

I just had to send out a warning about Sambucol (black elderberry). This is a very good anti-viral for use with many strains of the flu. It works to prevent infection (including with H1N1) by preventing the virus from attaching to cells. It also works in reducing the duration of illness and severity of symptoms IN SEASONAL FLU because it stimulates the production of inflammatory cytokines.

The increase in inflammatory cytokines is usually a good thing for treating the flu because it "kicks in" your immune system to fight the virus.

Here is a link to a PubMed article about the benefit of Sambucol (black elderberry) for treating the flu:

Here's the gist of the abstract: "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."


This is what is making kids SO sick so fast. With H1N1, the kid generally gets a mild form of flu, with fever, cough, and other "flu-like symptoms." Then, they start to get better and seem like they are getting over it, when suddenly their fever shoots up and they get VERY SICK VERY FAST. This is the cytokine storm happening. The immune system has done it's job by reacting to the virus and sending out the troops! Unfortunately, in some people, with H1N1 the immune system goes into Hyper-Drive and it doesn't know when to stop. This is why so much mucus is produced and pneumonia results. Mucus is the body's shield - it's trying to protect itself from the invasion. In cytokine storm, there is actually too much protection from too many cytokines, including IL-6 and TNF-a.

So, you definitely do not want to use a treatment that INCREASES those cytokines any further. (Remember, the above study found that black elderberry (Sambucol) increased TNF-a by 44.9-fold - THAT's a HUGE increase!) If you (or your child) has H1N1, you want to give things that DECREASE inflammation (fish oil, curcumin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, including aspirin [adults] and motrin/ibuprofen in kids).

Sambucol is still great for PREVENTING H1N1 and for treating seasonal flu, but once someone has symptoms, they should not use Sambucol unless they are sure it's not H1N1.

Finally, I always encourage others to do their own research before simply taking anyone's word (including mine), especially when it comes to the health of your children. Please check out the things you are giving to your kids - and that includes anything you allow others to inject into their bodies or spray up their noses. And when it comes to researching treatments for H1N1, remember that this IS NOT the same as the seasonal flu. You cannot make generalizations about things that we know work for seasonal flu. This is different.

So go to PubMed, and do your research, but be sure to check the date on the publication and remember that nothing in the literature about "influenza" or seasonal flu applies to H1N1 if the study was published before 2009.

Please spread this around to anyone you believe may benefit.
Blessings and stay well!