A good defense against most illness is a healthy immune system. There are some illnesses that cause the immune system to attack the body. This is known as a Cytokine Storm.
DEFINE A CYTOKINE STORM
Tiny regulators in your body known as cytokines direct the immune response. If too many cytokines respond to a pathogen by over-stimulating the immune system, the resulting exaggerated response is called a Cytokine Storm.
Cytokine Storms are very serious. Symptoms of a Cytokine Storm include redness, inflammation, high fever, nausea and weakness. If the storm is concentrated in the lungs and airways, the mucus and inflammation has the potential to block airways and result in death. Many believe that the Cytokine Storm response was what caused the deaths of so many young adults in the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.
DONT TRY TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM DURING A CYTOKINE STORM
At the first sign of serious viral infection, herbs and foods which boost the immune response should be avoided. Oregano, Aloe Vera, Pau darco, Elderberry and Echinacea are some of the herbs which are immune boosters and would offer an initial relief followed by more severe symptoms in this instance. Sambucol (which is Elderberry juice), Chlorella algae, Spirulina, Chocolate, Kimchi and Honey are additional foods that can increase cytokine production and should be avoided during a Cytokine Storm. These foods are good for treatment of less severe colds and flu, but should be avoided when symptoms become severe.
FIGHT PATHOGENS WITH ANTI-VIRALS
Use Antipathogenic herbs also known as anti-virals to fight a virus. Apple Cider vinegar, Eucalyptus (inhaled), Garlic, Ginger, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Mullein and Pine needles are helpful in this application.
IMMUNE RESPONSE BROUGHT INTO BALANCE WITH IMMUNOMODULATORS
Select herbs and foods that are known as immunomodulators. These can help bring the immune response back into balance or normal range. Chamomile, Ginseng and Olive Leaf Extract are included in this category.
WAYS TO TREAT SYMPTOMS
Anti-inflammatories help lessen the symptoms of excess mucus and inflammation that occur in some Cytokine Storms. Apple Cider Vinegar, Curcumin (extracted from Turmeric), Ginger, Marshmallow, Mullein, Mustard, Onions, Plantain, Pine Needles, Pleurisy Root, Red Clover, Yarrow or Eucalyptus (inhaled) are helpful in dealing with these symptoms.
Most herbs can be made into a pleasant tea to drink. Inhaling the steam of herbs and/or Apple Cider Vinegar simmering in water is another way to receive the beneficial properties of herbs. A plaster of mustard (and even onions) can be applied to the chest for relief. A well-made soup can deliver the benefits of onions. By smouldering the herbs as incense, their essential oils can be carried by the smoke into the air and inhaled into the lungs.
Rest and plenty of fluids are also very helpful in recovery. Keep a close watch on the symptoms and their progressions and seek the help of medical personnel should you determine the situation is life-threatening.
This article is for information purposes; it is no substitute for medical care. The reader will exercise common sense, seek to be informed and assume all liability in the use of these methods.