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8 Tips for Staying Healthy Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: Anti-Viral & Immune Supportive Natural Home Remedies

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT NONE OF THE INFORMATION BELOW IS MEANT TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT, NOR ARE ANY CLAIMS BEING MADE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM THAT ANY OF THESE THERAPIES CAN TREAT OR CURE COVID-19

THE CDC IS THE LEADING AUTHORITY ON THE CURRENT COVID-19 PANDEMIC; THEREFORE, PLEASE KEEP YOURSELF UP-TO-DATE ON WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

SUMMARY OF THE 8 TIPS (Details Below):

  1. Keep calm and breathe
  2. Dry skin brushing / Contrast hydrotherapy
  3. Eat whole nutrient-rich foods (lists of foods)
  4. Get outside
  5. Anti-virals / Anti-microbials (foods & recipes)
  6. General immune support (list of herbs)
  7. Reduce contact & exposure
  8. Protect your lungs (list of herbs)
  1. KEEP CALM AND BREATHE!
    • Although acutely stressful situations may enhance your immune system in the short-term, chronically stressing over whether or not you and/or your loved ones are going to come into contact with Coronavirus (COVID-19), is actually increasing your susceptibility. Long-term stress over several hours per day for more than a week can in fact lower your defenses, increasing your risk of getting sick! (1)
    • Laugh Heartily, Play, and Have Fun!
      • Endorphins, on the other hand, which are released when you are happy and enjoying life, can enhance and strengthen your immune system! Spend time with those who make you laugh and relieve your stress and tension. Take time to watch or read something funny that gives you a good belly laugh at least once a day! (2)(3)(4)
    • Practice Guided Breath Work! Go to www.DoAsOne.com, and click on the “Universal Breathing Room,” and you will see a tiny map of the world pop up, with icons representing all of the other people, living in different locations in the world, who are breathing with you. This is a guided visual and auditory breath pacer; do your best to allow your belly to relax, and to expand and contract with every inhalation and exhalation like a big balloon.
      • Pair this with a super relaxing castor oil pack: Generously pour castor oil over your entire abdomen, from ribcage to pelvic bones, place an old T-shirt over this, and then apply heat (e.g. hot water bottle / heating pad) over the T-shirt, and lie down and just relax. Do this every night before bed for 30-60 min.
  1. DRY SKIN BRUSHING / CONTRAST HYDROTHERAPY:
    • Move your blood, but more importantly, move your lymph! The more effectively your white blood cells can move throughout your lymphatic system between lymph nodes, and back to your blood to be filtered, the more rapidly your immune cells can respond to a foreign invaders! (5)
    • Contrast hydrotherapy is also an excellent method for moving blood and lymph, as it is essentially working as a mechanical pump, constricting and dilating your blood vessels, which helps to shunt blood back and forth between your arms / legs and your core.
      • Contrast Foot Baths: this is a really great way to move blood and lymph to and from your feet, which actually does wonders for clearing sinuses and nasal passageways, similar to wet socks; however, it is quick & simple in a pinch. Make 2 foot baths - 1 as hot as you can stand without burning your skin, and 1 with ice cold water; place your feet in the hot water for 3 min, switch to the ice water for 30 sec, and repeat 3 times; always end on cold. Dry your feet off well, and pull on a pair of socks if you feel chilled.
  1. EAT WHOLE FOODS RICH IN IMMUNE-SUPPORTIVE VITAMINS / NUTRIENTS:
    • Vitamin C: sprouting broccoli, strawberries, kale, cauliflower, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, oranges / mandarins, kiwi fruit, papaya, citrus fruits / lemons, and cantaloupe.
    • Vitamin A: cod liver oil, eggs, dairy products, orange and yellow vegetables (e.g. carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, sweet red pepper), and organ meats.
    • Vitamin D: fatty fish / salmon (wild-caught, cold water is best), herring, sardines, cod liver oil, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
    • Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, wheat germ oil, hazelnut oil, salmon, avocados, spinach, and Swiss chard.
    • Selenium: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, sardines, organic oats, and cottage cheese.
    • Zinc: legumes (e.g. lentils, green peas, garbanzo / kidney / pinto beans), organic whole grains / oats, cashews, nuts, dairy, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and mushrooms.
    • Note for Parents: You would be surprised as to how many of these foods you can sneak into delicious smoothies, especially when mixed in with fruits / berries, and even some freshly squeezed lemon juice! 🙂
  1. GET OUTSIDE!
    • The sun is your best source of Vitamin D; when your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes Vitamin D from cholesterol. Not only is Vitamin D essential for optimal immune function, but it also has direct anti-viral properties, as well! (6)(7)
    • In addition, grounding yourself in nature is another excellent way to calm your nerves, rebalance your autonomic nervous system, reduce your fight / flight hormones, and boost your immune defenses!
  1. RECRUIT ANTI-VIRAL / ANTIMICROBIAL SUPPORT:
    • Anti-Viral & Immune Support Soup: Recipe

    • Turnips (i.e. “Zee Persian Anti-biu-tique" / Antimicrobial): Recipe
      • These root veggies are extremely antimicrobial! (8) And here, I used to think my mom was just forcing these things down my throat for years for no apparent reason!

    • Zereshk” (i.e. Persian Barberries): Recipe
      • One of my favorite Persian dishes is “zereshk polo,” or barberry rice. Make any type of rice that you like (we use Basmati), then cook barberries to pour over the rice. Barberries are rich in antimicrobial properties, as well. (9)(10)

    • “Masto-Musir” (i.e. Persian Yogurt with Shallots or Garlic): Recipe
      • Technically, “musir” is shallot, but I prefer using garlic due to flavor and potent antimicrobial components; however, shallots are also anti-viral! 🙂 (11)(12)(13) Not only that, but the beneficial probiotic strains found in yogurt have also been studied to help boost your immune system function! (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)

    • For Kids, Try Adding Anti-Viral Herbs to Foods They Like: Recipe
      • Zaatar is a common Middle Eastern spice that contains thyme and sumac, both of which are highly antimicrobial, as well as sesame seeds. (19)(20)(21)(22)

    • Green Tea: Make your kids a warm cup of green tea, a fresh lemon slice, and a tsp of organic honey. Actually, make a cup for yourself, as well! Green tea is rich in catechins, which have in fact been researched as highly anti-viral. (23)
    • Protect the Whole Family: Boil a large pot of water on the stove; add 5-10 drops of eucalyptus / thyme essential oil for the whole house. (Note of Caution: please take care with potentially irritating volatile oils around those with asthma and other upper respiratory / lung conditions). My mom even used to burn frankincense to get rid of the “Evil Eye,” but now that I am older and wiser, I know that frankincense are also antiviral; however, the properties are best when used in combination with other therapies, as well. (24)
  1. USE IMMUNE SUPPORTIVE HERBS:
    • Astragalus membranaceus – root (25)
    • Sambucus nigra – berry / fruit (26)
      • This is the Latin name for elderberry.
      • For the absolute best, most sustainable & organic formulation of elderberry extract, please visit Dr. Appleseed’s website. I personally know, highly respect, and trust the N.D. behind this product, who hand-harvests, formulates, replenishes, and uses minimal ingredients for the purest and cleanest formulas!
    • Echinacea angustifolia – root (27)
    • Glycyrrhiza glabra – root (28)(29)
      • This is the Latin name for licorice. **Note of Caution: glycyrrhetinic acid can increase blood pressure; special caution in those with high BP. Please do NOT use this product without a licensed practitioner’s supervision.
    • Ganoderma lucidum – fruiting body (30)(31)
      • This is the Latin name for reishi mushroom.
    • Lentinula edodes – fruiting body (32)
      • This is the Latin name for shiitake mushroom.
    • Hypericum perforatum – leaves & flowers (33)
      • This is the Latin name for St. John’s Wort. **Note of Caution: St. John’s Wort is contraindicated in a number of mood disorders, and in combination with certain medications. Please do NOT use this product without a licensed practitioner’s supervision.
  1. REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF COMING INTO CONTACT WITH BUGS:

THE CDC'S MOST UPDATED RECOMMENDATION IS TO AVOID GATHERINGS / CROWDS / SOCIAL EVENTS; STAYING HOME FROM WORK / SCHOOL / REGULAR ACTIVITIES; PLEASE TRY TO STAY PHYSICALLY ISOLATED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

    • Frequent Hand Washing: Wash your hands with soap and water, and no, hand sanitizer does not cut it! Although the majority of us only wash our hands for ~ 6 seconds, we really need to rub our hands and keep them under the running water for at least 15-20 seconds. A good rule of thumb recommended by the CDC is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. (34)(35)
    • Avoidance of Germ-Infested Fomites: I once learned that the “5 F’s of Disease Transmission” are Fingers, Food, Feces, Flies, and Fomites. These 5 have always been retained in a special place in my mind. A fomite is considered any inanimate object that can carry microbes from one individual to another. Some examples are door knobs, phones, light switches / elevator buttons, hand towels, and droplets of bodily fluids.
      • Do your best to avoid touching your face after coming into contact with any potential fomite, and wash your hands with soap and water after contacting fomites.
        • Tip: keep germs contained within your home by designating a separate hand towel for each member of the family, and frequently changing them out when they become too damp.
    • Cover Your Coughs & Wipe Down Surfaces with Disinfectants Frequently: Always try to keep your own fomites contained (i.e. droplets of bodily fluids that are projected much further than we realize, including coughs & sneezes).
      • “Respiratory viruses cause sneezing and coughing, which expel an estimated 10,000,000 infectious virions per milliliter of nasal fluid”! Eww! (36)
        • If you are sick, keep your coughs and sneezes contained by using a mask, sneezing / coughing into your chest under your shirt, and into your elbow if it really comes on fast; this will help to contain some of these fomites so they don’t go propelling into the air to the person sitting next to you.
      • Frequently wipe down all surfaces, particularly those that come into contact with a multitude of hands, within common areas, both in your home and workplace, using disinfectant wipes. (37)
  1. PROTECT YOUR LUNGS!
    • Don’t forget to protect your lungs; after all, COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, and is the riskiest for individuals with chronic lung conditions, as well as a long-term history of smoking. (38)(39)(40)
    • Use Lung Tonifying Herbs:
      • Verbascum Thapsus – flowers & leaves (41)
        • This is the Latin name for mullein.
      • Inula helenium – root (42)
        • This is the Latin name for elecampane.
      • Eriodictyon californicum – fresh leaf (43)(44)
        • This is the Latin name for yerba santa.
      • Propolis – resin (45)(46)(47)
      • Populus tremuloides – bark & leaves (48)(49)
        • This is the Latin name for quaking aspen.
    • Quercetin - Specific Against the SARS Coronavirus and Protects the Lungs!
      • Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that is naturally-occurring in foods such as leafy greens, asparagus, red onions, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, broccoli, apples, green peppers, grapes, black tea, green tea, and nectarines. You can also get supplemental forms of quercetin that have been isolated in higher therapeutic potency, as well.
      • It has long been known that quercetin reduces inflammation in the lungs by stabilizing immune cells and preventing histamine release; however, back when the SARS respiratory virus was spreading, a number of research studies came out about its specific antiviral benefit against SARS-CoV-1, as well as preventing respiratory viruses from infecting the upper airways and lungs! (50)(51)(52)(53)
    • N-Acetylcysteine (NAC):
      • NAC has a long history of use for the treatment of acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) related overdose to effectively protect the liver from excessive oxidative damage. This is in part due to the fact that it is an essential precursor to one of the most potent antioxidants in the body called glutathione.
      • Not only does NAC protect against inflammatory and oxidative damage in the lungs and respiratory tract, but it also helps to thin mucus secretions, and has even been studied for its ability to improve outcomes and recovery from influenza, as well as other respiratory viruses. (54)(55)(56)(57)(58)(59)(60)
    • One Final Persian Home Remedy for Coughs & Sore Throat:
      • Quince seeds! – Growing up, this was my parents’ go-to therapy at the first sign of any sore throat or cough.
        • Boil water on the stove; place ¼-½ Tbsp of seeds into a small teacup; once the water has boiled, turn off heat and pour enough water to cover the seeds by ~ 1.5-2 inches; let sit 10-15 min until cool; take 1 tsp of the thickened clear liquid by mouth every 20-30 min to keep your throat coated and soothed; do not eat the seeds / discard the seeds.

Note of Caution: Please contact your nearest ND’s office for high-quality sources of all of the above-listed herbs, and recommendations for safe & effective therapeutic doses of these herbs. Please keep in mind that not all of these herbs are safe for everyone! Please do NOT self-prescribe these herbs, as you may be placing yourself at risk of toxicity and severe adverse effects.

PLEASE BE MINDFUL THAT THERE ARE A NUMBER OF SAFETY CONCERNS FOR A NUMBER OF THE HERBS LISTED ABOVE, AS WELL AS THE FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS. ALTHOUGH THE WHOLE FOODS LISTED ABOVE ARE GENERALLY SAFE, PLEASE SEEK THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED DOCTOR PRIOR TO USE OF SPECIFIC VITAMINS, HERBS, AND CONSTITUENTS.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT NONE OF THE INFORMATION ABOVE IS MEANT TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT, NOR ARE ANY CLAIMS BEING MADE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM THAT ANY OF THESE THERAPIES CAN TREAT OR CURE COVID-19.

Unlinked References:
43, 49 - Compendium of Pharmacological Actions of Medicinal Plants and Their Constituents; 2009; Eric Yarnell, ND
49 - Populus tremuloides Michx (quaking aspen), Salicaceae and related species; 2007; Eric Yarnell, ND

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