Coronaviruses are not anything new. They can cause anything from a cold all the way to SARS. COVID 19 is new in humans however which is why we don’t know a ton about it. Which is what makes it scary.
But being scared never helped anyone. So let's talk about the facts as we know them so far, and what we can do to be prepared, not scared.
First of all, as I launch into statistics, I want to preface it by saying I in no way view people that have died as just a statistic. These are real people and it is really sad. No loss of life is ok, but numbers are the easiest way to help us wrap our brains around this and sort out facts from fears.
I think we can all recognize that the media hype is getting out of control and causing fear and panic, and fear and panic aren’t good for ANYONE.
On to the statistics....
There are widespread reports of undertesting. The US in particular is being criticized for not testing very much at all. This is a crucial fact because this skews the data. Let’s look at the flu for a moment, which has a death rate of about .1 percent. The media has been reporting the death rate of COVID19 is between 2-3% which is markedly higher. But the fact is that as testing becomes more frequent we are likely to see a drop in this number. It's simple math. This means that it may be far less deadly than we’re currently being told.
The vast majority of the deaths are in those over the age of 80 or in those that are immune compromised. Now again, this doesn’t make it ok that for the most part people are fine except the elderly and immunocompromised, but it’s important to remember that if you are an average healthy person, your risk of death is probably fairly low.
In fact, there have been NO reported deaths in children 0-9 years old. There was even a small study of 9 women in Wuhan in their third trimester infected with COVID, the women had fairly mild symptoms and gave birth to healthy babies. I don't know about you, but as a mom one of my biggest fears is something bad happening to my kids, so I find the ZERO death rate in children comforting.
Something else to note statistically is the mortality rate in China and Iran are far higher than South Korea. China unfortunately had a tragic lack of hospital staff, medical supplies, ICU beds and test kits which could have contributed to the higher death rate of 3.8% vs South Korea’s .7%.
All in all these stats paint a more comforting picture of our situation than what we are often seeing on the news.
How do you know if you have coronavirus? This one's tricky, because it can look very similar to the common cold or the flu. Reported symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, malaise, headache, muscle aches, and in more severe cases difficulty breathing, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and septic shock and death.
It is believed that many will contract the virus and be asymptomatic the entire time, or have only a mild manifestation of the disease. The bad news about the more mild form of the virus is that is how it spreads so widely and rapidly.
This means asymptomatic vectors can carry and spread the virus but they have no signs of the disease. So that’s the good news….and the bad news all wrapped in one. Although people are more contagious when symptomatic, one asymptomatic woman transmitted COVID to 5 other people over the course of 19 days before she became symptomatic. 19 days is an incredibly long incubation period by the way.
First, your body will produce mucus in an attempt to contain or trap the virus. This is why some people have congestion and coughs. COVID-19 also tends to negatively affect the lungs’ system of hair cells that move debris, mucus and infectious agents out of the body.
As the infection progresses there is an overstimulation of the body’s defenses against the viral infection. Research on coronavirus from The Lancet shows a marked upswing in the production of infection-fighting chemicals produced by the body’s immune cells called cytokines. These cytokines signal immune cells to try to engulf the virus, resulting in cell death and widespread inflammation.
The coronavirus has a high replication rate which can lead to such an overwhelming immune response that it results in local tissue destruction and depletion of infection-fighting cells. Cytokines can also travel through the circulatory system to other organs causing damage in the liver, kidneys, and lungs. This overwhelming influx of damaging cytokines is called a cytokine storm. The presence of a cytokine storm is a key difference between a severe respiratory virus and a lesser viruse like the common cold.
The cytokine storm can result in sepsis or septic shock which is incredibly deadly. **Remember - the number of people that will experience this is VERY LOW, I mention it not to scare you, but so you can understand why certain herbs and vitamins can be helpful in treating coronavirus.
The supplements I will be explaining below either quell cytokine storms, have anti inflammatory properties, stop viral replication, or support the immune system.
Have you seen the memes floating around poking fun at people that have never cared about their health in the slightest before (twinkie in one hand beer in the other) but are suddenly very protective about their health and wellbeing sportin a hazmat suit to the grocery store to stock up on toilet paper?
It's kind of funny...and kind of sad...and kind of mean...but also....kind of true.
You can't treat your body like a trash can for 40 years and suddenly expect it to respond like Superman and become "bulletproof" to the coronavirus. And sadly all the toilet paper in the world can't help a lick if your immune system is trash.
So let's talk prevention.
And I don't mean wash your hands and don't touch your face. Everyone knows that already.
It’s important to understand that the terrain of the body is crucial when it comes to ANY illness. You can picture your body like a garden, if you give it good soil, and take care of it, it will thrive, but if you throw a bunch of trash all over the place and have no nutrients in the soil and never weed it, it’s going to be a great place for pathogens to take over.
I work with my clients every day on improving their terrain, and it’s a whole lot more than I can fit into one post, but let's hit some highlights so you can get started and then we’ll move on to discuss supplements and herbs to help prevent and treat viruses.
1. Air filters are key. Indoor air quality is usually WORSE than outdoor air quality. This increases your toxic body burden. Make your home a safe haven and get some good quality air filters. I have an Austin Air in my home, and on my amazon store.
2. Avoid EMF exposure. This will also help support your body's overall health and keep your immune system strong. Nick Pinault is a leading expert in that field so you can go follow him for more advice on EMFs. Nick Pinault's Website.
3. Stop eating so much sugar. Sugar suppresses the immune system, AND it feeds bad bacteria (like Candida) that contributes to an overall weakening of your terrain. Candida is a weed growing in your garden that you want to starve out, so stop giving it sugar.
4. Stop eating junk food in general. It’s full of chemicals and is overly processed and does nothing helpful for your body whatsoever...but it is definitely detrimental to the overall health and strength of your body.
5. Stop stressing out. The grand irony of stressing over corona because you don't want to get corona...is that after all that stress you are MORE likely to get sick with corona. Stress lowers the immune system and opens you up to catching more diseases. The best thing you can do is take a deep breath focus on what you can control. Eat well, sleep well, breath.
6. Eat more fruits and vegetables. They are packed with antioxidants and are crucial for maintaining proper immune function. We all know oranges are packed with Vitamin C but please don't stop there. Try to get an entire rainbow of fruits and vegetables each and every day so you can be sure you're getting enough folate, pantothene, and more, not just Vitamin C.
7. Exercise, but not too much. There is a law of diminishing returns with exercise, you want to do it enough to keep your body strong, but not so much that you are run down and depleted, which leaves you more susceptible to disease.
8. Sleep. You need to make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep every single night, consistently or again, you will be run down and more susceptible to disease. And make sure you're getting GOOD QUALITY sleep. Not sure? If you wake up after 7+ hours and don't feel rested, you're not getting good quality sleep. Check out my blog post on sleep for help with that: "How's Your Sleep? Chances Are, Not Good Enough".
Most of these things my family and I took ALREADY, because I believe in the power of strengthening the body at all times….not just when there’s a pandemic….but some of these are additional precautions specifically targeted at viruses and controlling cytokine storms and sepsis.
1. Vitamin D. Vitamin D activates T cells, has antimicrobial and immunomodulatory effects and neutralizes the damage done by LPS we see in sepsis.
Recommendation is 1,000 IU per 25 lbs of body weight
I follow the Stoss protocol for any of us that are sick, which is pulses of extremely high doses.
2. Vitamin C supports immune function and is a powerful antioxidant.
My daily dose is 1,000mg a day but I increase the dosages to "bowel tolerance" when any of us are sick.
Bowel tolerance means that you continue to take it until it induces diarrhea and then you stay at just below that dose. Your body will actually absorb and use much higher amounts of vitamin C when it’s sick which is why it’s to bowel tolerance and not a set dosage for everyone. Your body is smart, it will tell you when it’s had enough vitamin C.
Due to it’s antioxidant abilities Vitamin C is extremely important for fighting the free radical damage in the body caused by the cytokine storm which is where IV Vitamin C comes in, as you can achieve MUCH higher doses with IV than with oral (remember the diarrhea thing?).
A study was done on sepsis patients found that 1.5 grams of IV vitamin C given every 6 hours with hydrocortisone and thiamine significantly decreased mortality and prevented progressive organ failure. The death rate of those given this cocktail was 8.5% and the control group was 40.4%. READ THOSE STATS AGAIN.
There are currently three clinical trials underway in China right now using IV Vitamin C at 6 grams every 6 hours to treat coronavirus.
3. Selenium helps prevent viral replication and can be taken preventatively as well as during illness. (Sidenote on selenium, it’s important for thyroid function).
I take 200mcg per day
4. Zinc not only supports immune function but is a negatively charged ion that has been shown to stop viral replication.
Recommendations are 25-50 mg a day but no more than that and no more than 45 mg per day for more than 4 months because it competes for binding sites with copper and can cause a copper imbalance.
5. Lyseine helps absorb zinc when taken together and not only supports the immune system but is an antiviral as well. This can be taken preventatively as well as during illness.
Recommendation is 1,000-2,000 mg a day.
6. Colloidal Silver - Silver has been shown to destroy the SARS coronavirus and MRSA when taken internally and nebulized.
Recommendation is 1 teaspoon internally per day
And/or nebulize one teaspoon of silver daily in distilled water. Nebulizing is simply taking water and adding products to it (like silver) and then breathing the cold steam produced by the nebulizer into your lungs and sinuses. Dr Wendy Meyers recommends doing this to help support sinus and lung health after you go out in public or suspect an exposure.
7. Vitamin A has antiviral abilities and supports the immune system when under viral attack. It also protects your upper respiratory mucus membranes and lining.
Recommendation is 25,000 IU daily with a high dose pulse when sick with a virus.
8. Glutathione is an antiviral, it strips biofilms, and it supports lung and liver health.
Recommendation is a teaspoon of liposomal glutathione daily.
9. Probiotics help protect your gut where most of your immune system lies.
I take megaspore probiotic daily. Because it is so strong I recommend starting at half a capsule and working your way up to the full dose.
10. Elderberry is good and bad. DON’T SKIP THIS PART. It can be really helpful for supporting healthy immune function but it can also increase the effects of a cytokine storm (which is a main driver in death from coronavirus) so if you were to begin to feel sick you should stop taking elderberry immediately.
11. Curcumin, Boswellia, and Quercetin have all been found helpful in sepsis by inhibiting Nf-KB pathways (and remember sepsis can be deadly).
Recommendation for each of these is 500 mg per day.
12. Lomatium, which tastes absolutely horrendous, is a very promising herb. One of the inflammatory chemokines involved in Coronavirus family is CXL10. Lomatium appears to inhibit CXL10 secretion by lung cells. It was used by Native Americans during the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 and was hailed as a cure at the time.
I use Herb Pharma Lomatium which instructs one full dropper full in juice or water 2-3 times per day.
So there you have it friends. I hope you found this informative and helpful and empowering. Remember, don't be afraid, just be prepared.
***Nothing from this blog is intended to be treated as medical advice. This is for educational purposes only***