Sunday, November 29, 2009

Elderberry juice and H1N1 flu

I posted some time ago about a potential influenza complication known as a cytokine storm. While this violent immunological over-reaction is known to occur with H5N1 or 'bird flu,' it has not proven to be a problem thus far with this current epidemic. In fact, the adults (I see few teens and no children) in my practice, while not enjoying their bouts of 2009 A(H1N1) flu, are finding the one week course more a matter of misery than serious disease.

I only just got my H1N1 shot last week--the Denver Public Health Dept. did not feel that internists were a high risk group! As I've been seeing cases of this flu for months, I started taking elderberry juice concentrate about a month ago. An article published in July of this year(1) used spectrometry to determine which elderberry molecules bound to the influenza particles thus inhibiting their ability to penetrate and infect host cells. Two compounds were identified that, in fairly low concentrations, stopped the little flu buggers dead in their tracks. In fact, their ability to inhibit H1N1 infections in lab conditions compared favorably to that of Tamiflu.

I ordered my elderberry concentrate from wyldewoodcellars.com. Per my favorite naturopath Dr. Jacob Schor, I take 1 tablespoonful in water each morning. I won't kid you, I don't love it, but it's palatable and better mixed with OJ.
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1. Roschek, B. et al. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Considering anyone claiming help or a cure of this or anything else is getting nazis like treatment from the big pharmas, and the medical profession, I commend you for speaking up...
I think I DID have the H1N1, and it has taken two weeks to get over... I hit it with everything I have,alternative, and ended up adding tamiflu , then antibiotic for lung congestion left over, and I was still miserable for a few days.....
I even had the vaccine... got sick two days later...

Dont know what to make of the differences, there is talk now, that it IS mutating...idk..

Anonymous said...

this doesnt have anything to do with H1N1...
I just saw a report on trhe retrovirus called XMRV which they think is responsible for 95% of chronic fatigue, with pain in muscles and joints a symptom and memory loss for some....
Just thought it was interesting they think it is only transmitted thru blood, not air....

Mauigirl said...

Very interesting! What about elderberry wine? Wouldn't that do it? (I remember the elderberry wine in the play, Arsenic and Old Lace! Don't know if it's easy to come by though!)

Anonymous said...

do you use probiotics when using elderberry, and if so, how and how much

femail doc said...

Anon 1: H1N1 is quite the illness from what I've seen, 2 weeks of misery just as you describe.

Anon 2: I'll have to look into this XMRV thing. Chronic fatigue definitely acts like a chronic viral illness.

MG: Yes, elderberry wine works too. What a great way to start a winter's day!

Anon 3: I do take probiotics, one daily, unrelated to elderberry juice. At least when I remember I take one.