COVID-19 Update: Supplements to Suppress Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines BEFORE Late-Stage Severe Coronavirus Infection Sets In

Patients with severe COVID-19 infection can develop fatal lung damage from a cytokine storm, a marked increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), Interleukin-1 beta (ILB1), Interleukin-6 (IL6), Interleukin-8 (IL8) and other cytokines 

The following supplements can help to suppress the multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause severe lung damage (ARDS) in patients with COVID-19 infection caused by coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2.

NOTE: Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry):

There is evidence that elderberry inhibits replication and viral attachment of Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), different than COVID-19, but a member of the coronavirus family. (1). Sambucus appears most effective in the prevention or early stage of coronavirus infections. Sambucus significantly increases inflammatory cytokines, including IL-B1 so it should be discontinued with symptoms of infection (or a positive test) despite its ability to decrease TNF-alpha.

*See also “Will Elderberry Induce a Cytokine Storm?”

  • IL8 inhibitors: Cordyceps, ECGC (from green tea), Isatis spp, NAC, Polygonum cuspidatum
  • IL 8 (aka CXCL8): produced by macrophages and epithelial cells, airway smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. Induces the migration of neutrophils.
  • IL Beta-1: produced by activated macrophages. Stimulates cell proliferation differentiation and apoptosis. Upregulates COX2 in CNS
  • IL Beta-1 Inhibitors: Cordyceps, Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)Salvia miltiorrhiza (red sage)Scutellaria baicalensis (skullcap).
  • IL 6: crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and stimulates the production of PGE2 in the hypothalamus altering the body’s temperature regulation process. Affects pituitary/adrenal/hypothalamus axis. It can cause damage to neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system. Common in Alzheimer’s, MS, depression, lupus, cognitive decline, progressive hearing loss, decreased hippocampal function, seizures, and stroke.
  • Il 6 inhibitors: Andrographis paniculata, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Scutellaria baicalensis, Isatis spp
  • TNF-alpha produced by macrophages, lymphocytes, NK cells, neutrophils, mast cells, eosinophils, and neurons. TNF-alpha tends to be elevated in Alzheimer’s, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer. It is synergistic with IL 1 and IL 6, with similar effects on the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal axis (HPA axis), temperature regulation, appetite, liver function, and insulin resistance. It causes heat, swelling, pain, and redness.
  • TNF-alpha Inhibitors: Andrographis, Cannabis, Cordyceps, Eupatorium, Houttuynia, Sambucus, Scutellaria, Salvia, Zingiber off. (ginger)
  • NLRP3 inflammasome Inhibitors: Melatonin


The ideas and recommendations in this article are for informational purposes only. The contents are not intended to replace the advice of the reader’s own healthcare professional or physician. The treatments described in this article may have known and unknown side effects and health hazards. Each reader is solely responsible for his or her own healthcare choices and decisions. The author advises the reader to discuss these ideas with a healthcare professional or physician before trying them. The author does not accept any responsibility for any positive or adverse effects a person claims to experience, directly or indirectly, from the ideas and contents of this article.


1.  Weng, Jing-Ru et al. “Antiviral activity of Sambucus FormosanaNakai ethanol extract and related phenolic acid constituents against human coronavirus NL63.” Virus research vol. 273 (2019): 197767. doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2019.197767

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