Updated: Oct 9
The last week has been full of questions about the corona virus. We don't actually know how fast and how severe this virus will spread. We do have the power to take care of our own immune systems a little bit better during this time.
Keep your own body strong
First of all, sleep more and reduce stress. Drink water, taking sips throughout the day to stay hydrated. The lungs are easily infected, but the stomach will destroy the virus. Eat wholesome meals on a regular basis. This is not the time for cleansing or intermittent fasting - you need to keep nutrients coming in to keep a strong body to fight off germs. Avoid sugar and alcohol - these things actually lower the number of white blood cells available to fight off any sickness.
Wash your hands again and again and again and avoid touching your face especially when in public.
Nutritional supplements to strengthen the immune system
The nutritional supplement industry has had a 50 fold increase in orders in the last 2 weeks. Stores and supplement companies are working overtime to try to keep up with the demand. This means that your favorite product, or something recommended in the news is likely no longer available - right now there are still alternate products available so it helps to understand the raw material in supplements and how they work so you can be flexible in your buying.
Vitamin C - 1000 mg per day and increase to 1000 mg every 4 hours if you get sick. I recommend regular ascorbic acid vitamin C with bioflavonoids. If you have a weaker stomach and the acid hurts your stomach you can look for a buffered vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Other options are liposomal vitamin C which is a fat soluble version or food based vitamin C which is extracted from food sources and naturally contains bioflavonoids. The bioflavonoids simply help the Vitamin C to work better.
Zinc - 30 mg or more per day before, during and after a sickness. Zinc lozenges were recommended somewhere on the news so now they are very hard to find. Where else can you get zinc? Try an extra zinc supplement of 15, 30 or 60 mcg. Does your multivitamin have zinc? You can double up on a one a day multivitamin for a short period. High zinc foods include oysters and pumpkin seeds. Zinc should not be taken for more than a month without the balancing mineral copper or an expert opinion determining your zinc needs.
Elderberry is one of my favorite immune boosters. Keep any version of elderberry tincture, syrup or supplement on hand and begin taking it as soon as you feel sick. Those at higher risk may start using elderberry before the sickness hits our community.
Echinacea is another great immune booster and it comes in a variety of forms. Most people should not take this until you feel you're getting sick. For those in a higher risk bracket, you may begin taking echinacea as listed on the label right away, but do take a break after a couple weeks.
Cough syrup - Cough and difficulty breathing is the major concern for those who get very sick from the corona virus. I would recommend you have a variety of cough remedies on hand right now because we don't know what the stores will continue to carry.
One of the simplest cough suppressants is steam - simply keep a pot of boiling water going, a crock pot or a humidifier. It isn't enough to put your head over a pot of water occasionally, the steam needs to be available with every breath.
Avoid sugar and dairy as these things can increase lung inflammation.
Osha root is one of the strongest lung herbs to stop the cough, though it can be hard to find.
There are a variety of other lung herbs that help to open and clear the lungs - look for an herbal lung formula that specifies lung or cough.
homeopathic remedies can be very helpful for a persistent cough.
Trust the supplement formulators and look on the back of the label for Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, Zinc, elderberry and or echinacea.
I began this article with some specific products in mind, but those are all unavailable right now as the whole country scrambles to stock up on immune supplements. These supplements will not stop the virus itself, but supplements may strengthen your own immune system to handle the virus better.
If you live in Mendocino visit Corners of the Mouth health food store Monday - Friday from 3-5 and either myself or another consultant can help you choose immune supplements. If you don't live here you can click here to set up a time to talk about your immune health.
This is not a replacement for medical care. Please continue to see your medical doctor and if you have trouble breathing or have a high fever that persists then contact your emergency room and medical doctor.