I have spoken to patients recently who were concerned about the Coronavirus and wanted to know how to prepare to best protect themselves and their families. I have also been watching the news and the CDC web sites and they are not recommending the highest level of supplements and herbs. They are not knowledgable on better quality of supplements, they do matter. Therefore, I feel compelled to write this blog to make sure that you can stay safe and prepared.
Information on the Coronavirus
There is a real concern coming from many about the virulence of Coronavirus and how to best prepare. After spending considerable time reading about this virus I do believe that it poses enough of a threat to be educated about and prepared for. If we do so, I believe that we can avoid it, just as we have during all of the other outbreaks through the years. We just have to be vigilant and more self-aware. It is also important to realize that there is a lot of hype and fear currently, which will only increase daily. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do is to stay the course. Be educated on what is current and stay out of the fear mode. Be prepared with water, extra food and your day-to-day living items in case you need to stay home for any length of time.
Therefore, my overall recommendation is to both stay safe and sane. Education, awareness, and health precautions are the name of the day. If we do this, I believe, that we can steer clear of this virus causing the pandemic that some predict.
Preparation and What to Know:
When you look at how many people are in California, at least at this time, this is a small number of people who have contracted it. And, there are a lot of other forms of flu and colds that are going around also. It is best to avoid all types of sickness, so do the practices as outlined here, prepare and you can avoid all of hype.
Yet, the Corona virus is considered very virulent and we are at the place where officials have warned us to prepare for the spread of the virus and have declared a state of emergency. Can you take that in while also staying level headed and out of fear? Yes, you can. Being knowledgable, preparing and keeping positive thoughts will help you keep safe.
Here are some basic tips to help you get educated and stay well:
The Virus and When To Go To the Doctor
The Coronavirus is not odd or virulent, like ebola or MERS. In fact, it acts very similarly to a typical cold or flu virus. However, it can turn into pneumonia. According to the Harvard Health Blog, “The symptoms can include a cough, possibly with a fever and shortness of breath. There are some early reports of non-respiratory symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Many people recover within a few days. However, some people — such as the elderly or people who have a weakened immune system — may develop a more serious infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia”
So, if you are sick stay home and avoid contact with those who are sick. Do not hug people right now, do not shake hands, and if you feel you have to, then make sure you use a hand cleanser or better yet, wash your hands.
If you have a cough or sore throat be mindful and stay home. This is the time to be extra cautious. Utilize the supplements and herbs recommended below, as well as the lifestyle/dietary cautions.
f you start getting a fever and it goes to your lungs (especially if you are having shortness of breath) CALL YOUR DOCTOR to determine if you should be tested. According to health officials they are saying that you should stay home if your symptoms can be handled with over-the-counter cold and flu aids from your local drugstore. I would also add supplements and herbs. Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine said, “If you feel well enough that if it weren’t for coronavirus you wouldn’t see a doctor, don’t see a doctor.” This is because if everyone who had a cold flooded the ER’s then they wouldn’t be able to as easily treat those who are critically ill.
If you have chronic health issues, lung conditions, are elderly or are immunocompromised you might want to consider having an appointment with me or another healthcare provider to help you specifically prepare.
Because of all of this after careful consideration, I have decided that if you are sick please do not come into the office for your appointment. But, rather switch that appointment to phone or Zoom. Thank you for understanding. We work with a lot of sick people and want everyone to stay well.
- Keep your hands clean, and keep your distance from sick people. Especially, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- If you feel like you’ve come into contact with the virus take the supplements/herbs below, engage in the lifestyle/dietary recommendations, and wash the clothes that you think might have been exposed.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe, this is especially true for metal surfaces where it can live on for 12 hours. (See options below for natural anti-pathogenic cleaning options.)
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- The most common way of getting infected is by touching things in public, so you must wash your hands frequently.
- I recommended that you stock up on groceries, medicines, supplements, and herbs.
- The CDC recommends people who have a chronic illness, compromised immunity, or are elderly get a flu shot. This is up to you. There is conflicting information out there. However, I feel that it’s questionable if the virus particle/antigen in the flu shot would help with this type of flu. If in question I recommend that you do some research on this and make your own decision regarding it.
- If you are planning on traveling consider your destination and how you feel about the risk at this time.
My Supplement and Herbal Recommendations:
Take as recommended on the bottle.
- Elderberry Syrup by Wise Woman Herbals: Promotes normal healthy immune system function.
- Liposomal Vitamin C by Designs for Health: Powerful protector of the immune system. IV Vitamin C is being researched regarding the coronavirus.
- Silvercillan Spray by Designs for Health: Silvercillin™: This is a highly effective antimicrobial preparation (which includes anti-viral properties) and is composed of pure silver complexed with purified water.
- Monolaurin-Avail by Designs for Health: This is a highly effective anti-viral that comes from coconut. I have used it very successfully in many anti-viral protocols.
- Olive Leaf Extract by Designs for Health: This herb contains significant quantities of phenolic compounds, such as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol that have been shown to have antimicrobial properties, antioxidant power. It has the ability to support killing off of many pathogens including viruses.
- Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray: This supports a healthy immune system response and maintains a healthy inflammatory response and is great for sore throats.
- Vitamin D Synergy by Designs for Health: Vitamins D and K are essential for maintaining the immune system in proper balance.
- Zinc by Pure Encapsulations: This mineral supports immune system function.
Supplements To Buy From your Local Health Food Store:
- Probiotics Immune Health: Helps maintain healthy immune function.
- Omega-3 Fish oil
Supplements to be purchased elsewhere:
- Consider from doTerra the essential oil combination Breathe—This is a blend of essential oils used to help minimize the effects of seasonal colds and cases of flu. This is especially helpful for the lungs.
- Pau d’arco, Lomatium, Baical Skullcap: All three are powerful anti-virals, as well as anti-bacterial and in some cases anti-fungal.
- Reishi, Turmeric, Echinacea: These herbs are powerful immune boosters and immune regulators.
- Mullein, Licorice, Elecampane: These three herbs are great general tonics, expectorants, and demulcents for the lungs. Plus the licorice is also anti-viral. The dosage for an adult is 3 dropperfuls 3x-day.
Note: These recommendations are for educational purposes only. I do not recommend these supplements or herbs for everyone, especially if you have an auto-immune condition or are on medications that might be contraindicated! Therefore, please use caution in deciding which supplements and herbs are best for you. To determine what you need specifically please see your healthcare provider.
To find out more regarding herbs that are specific for the coronavirus and the lungs go here. Also, Farmacopia has several different pre-formulated blends to help with lung issues.
Lifestyle and Dietary recommendations:
- Increase foods and spices that are anti-viral and/or help increase your immune system: Such as raw garlic, oregano, ginger, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail), eat fermented food (see below), walnut, pomegranate, and green tea.
- Eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. Bright colored fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants which help decrease free radicals. When our free radical amount is low it helps keep our immune system strong.
- Stay well-hydrated. Water, coconut water, herbal teas, and bone broth. No soda or sugary drinks otherwise our immune system could suffer. A good estimate for how much water you need at a minimum is to divide your body weight (in pounds) in half and drink that number in ounces.
- Drink your bone broth! Bone broth has amazing immune-supporting properties. Fortunately, you can buy bone broth these days if you don’t have time to make it. They have it at Whole Foods. Make your own bone broth and put love and compassion into preparing it.
- Eat fermented foods. The probiotics contained in fermented foods have tremendous immune-boosting powers. In fact, the fermented Korean cabbage, kimchi, was found to have significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza virus! Other examples of delicious fermented foods include sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, and kombucha.
- Avoid simple sugars and processed/junk food. Did you know that your blood shows lab evidence of a lowered immune system within 30 minutes of eating simple sugars (like glucose, refined sugar, and fructose), and causes a 50% reduction in your white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs? White blood cells are our “army” cells that fight off germs. This effect is most noticeable two hours after ingestion, but is still present five hours later! Keeping blood sugar levels healthy has been shown to improve immune system activity.
- Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise. Moderate exercise can boost the production of macrophages, the kind of white blood cells that “eat” bacteria and viruses. However, intense exercise can actually temporarily decrease immune function – so don’t overdo it!
- Get adequate sleep. An increase in sleep actually increases the number of white blood cells. On the other hand, loss of sleep even for a few hours at night increases inflammation in our body which makes us more susceptible to catching the flu and having more severe symptoms. So make sure your whole family is getting enough sleep.
- Minimize stress. Emotional stress creates physiological stress in our bodies that lower our immune defenses and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Stress has been shown to lower our white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs, and actually creates more inflammation that may make us feel even sicker.
- Minimize drugs: Many drugs stress our system in general and the immune system specifically. So, stop (or decrease as much as possible) caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and any other unnecessary drugs. I personally have found that drinking that cup of coffee or glass of wine can sometimes be the determining factor of if I have gotten sick or not. So this is the time to be mindful and make good choices.
- Engage in Meditation or a Spiritual practice: Engaging in practices such as meditation, prayer, or yoga drastically helps decrease our stress hormones and helps us achieve optimal balance in our immune system. Spend 20+ minutes per day engaging in this stress-reducing and spiritually aligning practice.
- Work With your Fear: If you are feeling fear in regard to the Coronavirus don’t let it overrun you! Fear doesn’t feel good in our body and it can actually decrease your immune system.
Other Recommendations to Help Increase Immunity and Decrease a Fever:
- Hot/Cold Shower: Take a very hot shower and once you are warmed through and through turn it as cold as you can handle it. Go back and forth several times, but always end with cold. Then wrap yourself up with lots of blankets and go to sleep/rest. This will help increase your immune system and if you have a fever will help you to break a sweat and decrease the fever. However, if your immune system is very weak or if you have autoimmunity I do not recommend doing this because it could tip you into a healing crisis.
- Cold Wet Sock Treatment: This is also great to increase the immune system and decrease a fever. Get a pair of cotton socks and wool socks. Wet the cotton socks thoroughly and wring out, so that they are not soaking but still wet. Put them in the freezer, leave them there until they are frozen through. Put the wet cotton socks on and then immediately put on the wool socks over them. Sleep with both on throughout the night. This treatment tricks the immune system and increases it exponentially. Often people will break a sweat in the middle of the night and the fever will decrease. In the morning the cotton socks will be dry and…more than likely your fever will be gone and you will feel better.
- Fire Cider: This comes directly from the Herbalist Agatha Noevelle. There are several humble kitchen herbs and spices that are underrated when it comes to daily wellness. Fire cider, first made popular by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, has become legendary in the home herbalism world, and for good reason! It’s accessible, easy to make, and can be adapted based on what you have available. The point of fire cider is to include pungent, spicy herbs to help boost your immune system. The Herbal Academy has an article about fire cider with more background and a recipe to get you started.
- There are as many recipes as there are herbalists, but good candidates include garlic, ginger, horseradish, cayenne, and onions. Some people like adding citrus or elderberries or use a variety of hot peppers. I’ve also seen versions with rosemary, thyme, and sage. The ingredients of choice are steeped in apple cider vinegar, then strained and honey is added to the finished vinegar. My fire cider usually includes garlic, cayenne, oranges, cranberries, ginger, and turmeric.