Dear Patients, Friends, and Community,
We have reached a new level of concern regarding the Coronavirus with the government placing health orders throughout the country. Many are worried and want to know how to best protect themselves. I have also seen that some of the blogs out there are not recommending the highest level of supplements and herbs. Therefore, I feel compelled to write this blog to make sure that you…my patients, friends, community, and beyond stay safe and prepared.
This blog is both a compilation of data from other trustworthy sites, as well as my own two cents regarding supplements, herbs, lifestyle, and naturopathic recommendations.
Information on the Coronavirus
By now we all know how serious this virus is and how serious our government is taking it. On March 19th Governor Newsom from California announced that the entire state should stay at home unless you are considered an essential service. And, the “shelter in place” mandate for our area has been extended until May 3rd.
This is something we need to be educated about and prepared for. If we do so, I believe that we can steer clear of it. However, it’s also important to understand that there is a lot of hype and fear out there. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do is don’t give in to the hype and stress also, as much as possible, stay out of fear. (For tips on how to do so scroll down to the Lifestyle Section below).
My overall recommendation is to 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 being the huge pandemic that some predict.
Preparation and What to Know:
The primary concern regarding this virus is that it is very contagious because it produces thousands to millions of viruses in the noses and throats of people who have it, which is about 1,000 times as many viruses as produced in SARS patients. Also, the incubation period from exposure to symptom onset varies anywhere from 3 days to 13 days. It has been found that many patients who have Coronavirus are the most infectious BEFORE and at the onset of their symptoms. (10)
Thus the high contagiousness and lengthy incubation time have played a huge role in why governments are taking such extreme measures at this time by creating health orders to “shelter in place” in many places throughout the country. Can you take that in while also staying level headed and out of fear? I invite you to breathe!!
Therefore, here are some basic tips to help you get educated and stay well:
The Virus and When To Go To the Doctor (2, 3, 6, 7)
- The Coronavirus acts very similarly to a typical cold or flu virus. However, it can then turn into pneumonia in some.
- The symptom picture has changed from what we knew a few weeks ago. According to the Harvard Health blog as of March 16, 2020, “Some people infected with the virus have no symptoms. When the virus does cause symptoms, common ones include low-grade fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. However, COVID-19 can occasionally cause more severe symptoms like higher fever (average is 101 +/- degrees), severe cough, and shortness of breath, (the shortness of breath) often indicates pneumonia”. (9) Notice that for most the symptoms mimics a common cold. Yes, a cold not the flu!! It is not always a high fever, respiratory distress, and shortness of breath. However, if you feel these more extreme symptoms it means that you need to go to your local doctor…or if severe Urgent Care or ER.
- Therefore…if you are sick (even if you feel it’s mild) or if you have been around someone who has had the Coronavirus stay home. According to a triage nurse that I talked to yesterday from the Occidental Health Center in our area they have very few test kits and are only testing those who have a fever, respiratory issues, and are community workers (doctors, paramedics, etc.). However, your area may be different so contact your GP if you are having any symptoms that are worrisome. However, if you cannot be tested it is recommended to quarantine for 14 days from the first day of symptoms (that means not going anywhere and having no or very limited contact with those that you live with).
- If you are well avoid contact with those who are sick. This is the time to be extra cautious…not fearful, just aware. Also, utilize the hygiene tips, supplements, and herbs recommended below, as well as the lifestyle and dietary recommendations.
- If 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 go to the hospital…as well as continue and increase the recommendations below. And, as stated above if severe go to your local ER or Urgent Care. However, according to The Washington Post, health officials 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. (And, of course, 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.” If everyone who had a cold flooded the ER’s then they wouldn’t be able to as quickly treat those who are critically ill. (6)
- If you have chronic health issues, lung conditions, are elderly or are immunocompromised you might want to consider having an appointment with a healthcare provider to help you specifically prepare. After having my own scare with the virus and not getting it through using the below recommendations, I am currently seeing clients but only via Zoom or phone.
Hygiene Tips: (2, 3)
- Keep your hands clean, and keep your distance from sick people. 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 either a regular household cleaning spray or wipe (scrub well), a disinfectant that has either 65% alcohol or 1 part bleach and five parts water; this is especially true for metal surfaces where it can live on for 12 hours. (Alcohol is the best thing to use to disinfect, especially if you are a care provider for someone who is sick.) For information on how long it lives on surfaces go here.
- Here is another great webpage that answers several questions regarding protecting your health from John Hopkins University.
- 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 65% 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.
- If you haven’t already it is recommended to stock up on groceries, medicines, supplements, and herbs. Some are saying for at least two weeks use your own discretion about this. (See below for recommendations for herbs and supplements). However, for those who are in a “shelter in place,” mandate grocery stores and other stores for essentials are staying open at this time.
- It is not recommended to travel at this time and only to do so when considered necessary.
Nutritional Supplement and Herbal Recommendations:
First, I want to say that there is a lot that we don’t know about the Coronavirus and are still learning. Therefore, there have been no clinical trials or research regarding any of the below supplements or recommendations in regard to Coronavirus nor have these recommendations been evaluated by the FDA. I am merely offering information and guidelines pertinent to my field of health as a naturopathic doctor. These recommendations are for educational purposes only.
There are many options listed here which helps to support immunity and/or are anti-viral support. I have demarcated the ones that I perceive as most important with ***, Secondary importance: **, and Supportive: * If you are interested in buying them you can buy the higher quality physician line supplements listed below by name at a physician line supplement website. The link to do so is below. If you would like to do so once you create an account simply select the ‘catalog’ button and then type in the name of the supplement that you are interested in. You can do so by going here. However, if you prefer you can also buy them at your local health food store through another brand.
Supplement and Herbal Recommendations:
Take as recommended on the bottle. I recommend taking them in lower doses as prevention and increase the dosage when you get sick. *Note: many of these supplements have become hard to get. If you can’t find them online, local health food stores have other similar options available.
***Liposomal Vitamin C by Designs for Health: Powerful protector of the immune system. Liposomal Vitamin C, is a premier absorbable form of Vitamin C which can increase the immune system. If you can’t get the liposomal kind then I recommend taking as high of a dose as possible of regular Vitamin C without getting loose bowel movements. (If you start getting loose bowels decrease by 1000 mg).
***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 many pathogens including viruses.
**Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray: This supports a healthy immune system response and is great for sore throats. (Note you can also get this at your local health food store).
**Vitamin D Synergy by Designs for Health: Vitamins D and K are essential for maintaining the immune system in proper balance. The latest research shows that Vitamin D should be discontinued if you contract Covid-19 due to it activating immune mediators that could cause a hyper-inflammatory response, known as a cytokine storm.
*Zinc by Pure Encapsulations: This mineral supports immune system function.
Supplements To Buy From your Local Health Food Store:
****Stamets 7 or Mycocommunity by Host Defense: These are combinations of powerful medicinal mushrooms that help boost and stabilize your immune system. So far, I have not read anything about these immune boosters causing the hyper-inflammation (cytokine storm) that other supplements cause, such as Elderberry and Vitamin D.
*Probiotics Immune Health from Renew Life: Helps maintain healthy immune function.
*Omega-3 Fish oil by Nordic Naturals: Also helps maintain healthy immune function.
Supplements to be purchased elsewhere:
***Anti-Viral/Immune Tincture: I highly recommend making an anti-viral/immune/lung tincture through Farmacopia, a natural pharmacy in Santa Rosa, CA. You can contact them at 707-528-4372. If you live out of the area they can even ship it to you. I recommend having a formulation of the following:
Pau d’arco, Lomatium, Baical Skullcap: All three are powerful anti-virals, as well as anti-bacterial and in some cases anti-fungal. Note: However, I wouldn’t recommend being in the sun for a long time (hour +) since the Lomatium can give you a rash if you do.
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 preventative dose for an adult is 2 dropperfuls/ 2x-day. If you are sick the dosage for an adult is 3 dropperfuls/ 3x-day.
*Note: It’s important to reiterate that these recommendations are for educational purposes only. I do not recommend these supplements and 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:
Work With your Fear: As I mentioned above there is a lot of hype and fear about this virus. If you are feeling fear in regard to the Coronavirus don’t let it overrun you! Fear doesn’t feel good in your body and it can decrease your immune system. Click here to listen to a powerful Infusions of Light Broadcast which can significantly help you transform fear. If you haven’t listened to it I highly recommend it. (Once on the page scroll down to the third broadcast listed). Also, read Coronavirus Part 2 What the Virus Has to Teach Us…A Higher Perspective listed below.
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), fermented food (see below), walnuts, pomegranate, and green tea. (5)
Stay Warm: Information that is coming out of China states that this virus is not heat resistant. Therefore, keep yourself warm and drink hot fluids (ginger tea is superb for this).
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. (5)
Stay well-hydrated. Water, coconut water, herbal teas, and bone broth. Soda and sugary drinks (including juice) can decrease your immune system. If in doubt regarding how much water to drink divide your body weight (in pounds) in half and drink that number in ounces. (5)
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, Community Market and the Sebastopol Farmer’s Market. If you want to make your own click here Amazing Bone Broth to get started easily making your own.
Eat fermented foods. Probiotics and fermented foods increase our immune system. Through research, it was found that fermented Korean cabbage (kimchi) had significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza virus. Other examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, and kombucha. (5)
Avoid simple sugars and processed/junk food. Sugar actually decreases our immune system…yes really! “…Lab evidence (has shown) a lowered immune system within 30 minutes of eating simple sugars (like glucose, refined sugar, and fructose), and (it) 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 2 hours after ingestion, but is still present 5 hours later! Keeping blood sugar levels healthy has been shown to improve immune system activity”, states Dr. Elisa Song. (5)
Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise. Moderate exercise boosts your immune system. But, be aware of intense exercise it can actually temporarily decrease immune function. (5)
Get adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep actually increases your immune system. I have often said that good sleep is as good as or better than supplements because it activates your parasympathetic nervous system and boosts your immunity. So, don’t skip on your sleep. If your sleep is sparse then it can increase inflammation in your body which can make you more susceptible to the flu or a cold. (5)
Minimize stress. Emotional stress negatively impacts our body and creates physiological stress; which then lowers our immune defenses and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Long-term 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. (5)
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 getting sick or not. So this is the time to be mindful and make good choices.
Engage in 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 stress-reducing and spiritually aligning practices. Click here to listen to free recorded meditations and transmissions which will help you feel calm, balanced, and increase your energy. (I specifically recommend listening to the Grounding Meditations, Somatic Awakening® Meditations, and the Meditation on Trauma).
Thanks go out to www.healthkidshappykids.com (5) where many of the above recommendations came directly from.
Other Recommendations to Help Increase Immunity and Decrease a Fever:
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 or 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 refrigerator for 5 minutes.
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 be feeling better *My 16-year-old daughter, who has had this done to her many times throughout her life (and when she was young hated it) wants everyone to know…it works. 😉
This comes directly from the Herbalist Agatha Noevelle (4)
“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”.
Here is an amazing book to read more about Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging and Resistant Viral Infections by Stephen Harrod Buhner, This is a book I use extensively in my practice.
For More Information about the Virus…
For those that want to find out more scientific and medical information about the actual virus itself here are two articles.
Click here to read an article is from Scientific American that gives more background on how the coronavirus causes infection.
Click here to read another article from the National Geographic that discusses the virus and the body.
Now I invite you to breath…
For most this is just a bad cold…
Just because you get it doesn’t mean that you will get severely ill…
It is highly contagious and this is why the government is reacting the way that they are.
Remember in the big picture you are safe. You are held. You are not alone.
May you stay healthy and well!!! If you need any support please let me know.
Blessings, Love, and Care,
Dr. Melissa Sophia Joy
*This blog was updated on April 1, 2020
The statements in this article are meant to be informative, not to diagnose or prescribe any treatment of symptoms or disease. The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA.
To Read Coronavirus Part 2: What the Virus is Teaching Us…A Higher Perspective click here.
To listen to my latest Podcast regarding the Coronavirus entitled, “Coronavirus: Step Through the Portal From Shadow to Light” click here.
Dr. Melissa Sophia Joy is a Naturopathic Doctor, Founder of Somatic Awakening®, and Mind-Body-Spirit Specialist. She is also a Spiritual Teacher, Energy Medicine Practitioner, and Medical Intuitive. To find out more about Dr. Melissa’s practice, click here.
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