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  • Writer's pictureTorin

Gnome News April 3, 2020

Topics in this post include:

  •  Introduction

  • Debunking the Elderberry myth

  • Making masks in the Gnome Home        

  • New Gnome Apothecary “Immunity 2020” formula                 

  • Torin is now offering Virtual Consultations


The last few weeks have made me think about words and phrases that we casually say to each other, out of politeness and/or habit, but perhaps forget the literal origins of, such as “Take care!” or “Bless you!”

Are you all starting to see this for yourselves now too?

We’re probably going to see the apex of this thing in the next two weeks, and (as much as I don’t want to be right about this) I expect we’re going to see a resurgence of cases this fall/winter, so be prepared. Better to be safe than sorry…literally.


I’ve been getting a TON of questions from people asking if Elderberry is unsafe to use during this time due to concerns regarding cytokine storms in the human body.

I first heard of this from a physician, and I have since found it is a widespread rumor in the conventional medicine community. It would seem to be particularly viral (do we need a new word now?!) on social media.

I’m going to attempt to be brief on this one and include links for you to dig into this further if you’d like, as I have already typed this information out into text messages etc. Hopefully by sharing this with all of you, we can quell this rumor by presenting facts! It just goes to show that doctors are people too.

In a nutshell, it’s based on a terrible study from years ago which was conducted in-vitro (not in a human being), on a proprietary elderberry extract (not elderberry itself), by itself (not part of a synergistic formula), with an extremely small sample size. The studies have nothing to do with Coronavirus, and does not draw any conclusion therein, but rather conclusions have all been drawn based on this study.

In reality, elderberry has been a proven, and go-to anti-viral herb for hundreds of years. If that’s not the best study out there, I don’t know what is!

So read on, brave soul, as you are not the hive mind, right? You are a discerning and open-minded individual who thinks critically and draws your own conclusions in all areas of life. 

Don't believe the hype!

Learning Herbs- Antivirals

 Gaia Herbs- Facts on Elderberry

A Pharmacist's Opinion


Long story short: it’s time to mask up, folks!

I went down a pretty deep rabbit hole on the research for this, and I am happy to share if anyone is interested (just ask!), but I don’t want to flood this letter with citations.

While the opinions on this matter vary pretty greatly, the facts remain. I’m here to say that cloth masks are good!

Now let me tell you why:

As we all know, surgical masks and N95 masks are now extremely limited. In addition, they aren’t reusable…in a perfect world. We don’t live in a perfect world though, and even healthcare workers are being asked to reuse those masks again and again. The main problem with reusing the masks, is not the extended use of the mask itself, but rather the greater potential for contamination that accompanies reuse by touching it to take it on and off.

Cloth masks are a great alternative for those of us who aren’t in the trenches.

The move is to wash your hands, put the mask on, and don’t touch it again until you take it off. Then put it in the wash, where the virus is destroyed with soap and water. Now it’s ready to reuse! Try putting a disposable mask through the wash…don’t actually please!

The most important thing to remember on this, despite what opinions you read, is the fact that microbes such as the one we’re dealing with now, are hurtled through the air (from coughs, sneezes, and even just plain breathing) clinging to their magic carpets, of bodily fluid.Yummy!

Generally speaking, you will find this virus riding its magic carpet of fluid on the way to its destination. For reference, the smallest of these fluids are what we consider to be an aerosol.

The good news though, is that even cloth masks are still a substantial impediment here to said fluids (or magic carpets if you prefer). What we really want to do is cut down on magic carpet (fluid) travel.

While it’s a MISTAKE to see a mask as a form of “I’m immune and nothing can harm me” protection, it’s definitely a means of substantially reducing the likelihood of spreading.

Even using a regular cloth mask without a filter insert, you’re reducing your chance of spreading the virus around by around 60%. If we use a filter insert (see below) perhaps it’s even greater. Not to mention, it helps us to train ourselves not to touch our faces when we’re out and about!

The air between us is full of these droplets flying around.

Would you rather force the microbes to have to navigate through a fabric maze before they get to you, or would you rather provide them with a clear runway for a smooth landing?

Think sneezing into a handkerchief…versus not. Which would you rather be on the receiving end of? Right…so, let’s keep our germs to ourselves! It’s our civic duty after all. That’s what this is all about; taking care of each other!

Whether you make them, or buy them, I advise you to get several so that you can throw them into the wash and grab a new one each time you go out. Remember this is not a license to roam freely. This is simply reducing likelihood of spreading during essential trips.

Originally, the CDC was encouraging people to avoid the masks (unless you were showing symptoms yourself) as it could potentially increase the probability of contracting the virus. At this point though, even the CDC is beginning to think it’s best that everyone wears one, whenever you’re stepping out…stay tuned.

Here in the Gnome home, my partner is currently busy cranking out these masks on her sewing machine, and has volunteered to make these for anyone who wants them for $8 each (to cover shipping and materials)! She has built in a pocket for you to insert your own filter(s).

Here’s a couple of patterns to make your own masks, if you’re crafty and you feel so inclined:

Olson Mask  (Pattern - this is what most hospitals are accepting as a donation.)

Easy Pleated Mask With Filter Pocket (Video)

Face Mask With Pocket and Nose Wire Sleeve (Pattern and Video)

You can also cut up HEPA filters and insert them into your mask.


I wanted to give all of you a heads up that any day now, Gnome Apothecary will be putting a new formula up on the website called “Immunity 2020.”

Created in March of this year, this formula is designed to help people right now by stoking the body’s natural immune defenses and supporting it in the process.

If you are interested in obtaining some before it goes up on the website, please email me directly at


Although I’ve already seen some of you virtually, I just want it be widely known that I am now available (on Skype/Facetime/Google Hangouts) for virtual consultations!

So, if you’re looking for a reason to change out of the daytime pajamas (as opposed to the nighttime ones), this could be your reason!

I’m currently charging $125 for virtual consultations.

However, as a general policy,I don’t turn anyone away for financial reasons. Above anything else it’s way more important to me that people are able to continue to prioritize their health…especially during this time! So, let’s keep the communication open and find ways around this.

We don’t want to let underlying conditions and our individual health concerns suffer during these indoor days.

After all, it’s our foundation which supports us through such acute issues!

Thank you all for tuning in.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Take care…REALLY!

-   Torin

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