With the attention now on the Coronavirus a particularly virulent and some are saying lab created pneumonia that is coming out of China, people are asking themselves what can I do to prevent or fight it if it comes here.
The first and best way is to prevent being infected. Keep your hands away from your face, your eyes, your nostrils, or putting them in your mouth. Teach your children this particularly as they are more vulnerable.
Wash your hands often with ordinary soap and water, not antibiotic soap or that gel that is everywhere. Soap works much better. Keep clean, wear clean clothes, wash your food, especially fresh produce with vinegar water, and boil your water making tea. Do not use a microwave to cook any food or heat water – the radiation in a microwave actually turns anything it heats into something that burdens the immune system since it reverses the polarity of the substance thus irradiated and now the body doesn’t recognize it as food but as an invader. This came from an experiment done by the Navy a number of years ago. Cook on a stove or oven, slow cooker, or other non-radiating cooking tool.
If you are to prevent illness, you must put extra attention on strengthening your immune system and preventing infection.
Antibiotics don’t handle virus. A virus isn’t a living organism. It is more like a parasitic mechanism that insinuates itself into the DNA of a living cell, takes over, and uses it as a host. It doesn’t itself have life but it uses the life of the cell to infect and replicate.
Antibiotics kill bacteria. Sometimes the beneficial bacteria in the gut actually fights virus and so taking an antibiotic when you have a virus can actually inhibit the natural immune system in the gut that would help fight a virus. So, if you don’t know if it’s a bacterial infection when you get sick, don’t automatically take an antibiotic.
There are medicines coming from the plant family that inhibit or prevent either the infiltration of virus into the cell or the prevention of the replication process to spread it. And some just keep it from harming the body. Not all is known about this process. But virus affects the immune system, the body’s response to an invasion, by the creation of substances called cytokines that draw white blood cells to an area and this causes inflammation.
If too many cytokines enter a given area it actually over-does it and strangles the area with too much liquid or white blood cells and this can actually cause more damage than the virus. This is called a cytokine storm.* So, it’s important to know which herbs can increase the cytokine activity so you don’t over-do it.
But in formal and informal herbalism there are many beneficial plants and foods which fight the effects of virus on the body and this is the subject of this article. Because growing, making remedies and keeping them on hand can come in very handy in simple home remedies, or to fight and protect against really aggressive virus like the corona virus (or Hepatitus A,B,C, Herpes, HIV, AIDS, pneumonia, meningitis, malaria, shingles (a kind of herpes), and various influenzas, some nastier than others).
In the case of an epidemic, there may not be space in a hospital or the ability to get outside help so knowing this might one day be life saving. Keeping on hand tinctures which last a long time, often over 12 years, dried herbs for teas and infusions, and other preparations can save vital time as well. The list below is quite thorough, but you don’t have to have all of them, just as many as you have time for and space. Or that you can grow in your garden.
Many of these plant medicines can be grown in a home garden, harvested, made into tea, infusions, oils, steam for inhalation, washes, syrups, tinctures using alcohol, vinegar, or glycerine, powders encapsulated to pill form, or eating them directly. I personally grow most of these herbs in my garden and make many forms of them for my own use. It’s fairly easy to do, and fun. If you can get hold of a dehydrator, that’s one of the easiest ways to preserve herbs by drying them. Or put some of the herb in a jar and add alcohol to cover it which is a ‘tincture’.
Probably my favorite go-to anti-viral is Elderberry as a tincture in alcohol or as a syrup. This is particularly good for upper respiratory virus that causes colds or the flu, but also can be used for harsher virus.
The other favorite is Olive Leaf Extract taken either as a tincture or extract in powder in capsule form. You can purchase this in many health food stores. I take a tablespoon of the elderberry syrup first thing and maybe 2 or 3 times more a day. The olive leaf extract I take 3 capsules immediately feeling out of sorts, and one per waking hour thereafter. For a common cold or flu, I rarely need to take these two for more than 2 days before I’m well.
I also make sure to drink lots of pure water during this process to wash out the waste the virus causes in the cells because it’s this waste that makes you feel so terrible, sore and miserable.
And if possible, I take a detox bath at least once in a week or more often if possible.
Detox Bath – fill a tub with as hot a water as is tolerable. Add some form of calcium if it’s city water with fluoride to neutralize the fluoride as this is highly toxic in itself. To the hot water add 1 cup Epsom Salt, ½ cup Hydrogen peroxide (the oxygen in this helps the body fight the infection and aids the immune system), and ¼ cup baking soda (which alkanizes the body to help the immune system work better – an acidic body has a harder time fighting it). You may add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil (relaxing), and some bubble bath for pleasure. Stay in it for about 40 minutes and let the water cool down naturally. As it cools, these ingredients draw out the toxins from your body. To speed the detoxing process, you might like to rub your skin with a rough wash cloth or a loofa sponge which opens the skin pores and lets the toxins out easier. Drink plenty of pure water while you’re in the tub because you need to replace the moisture you sweat out during the bath.
Warning or considerations:
Note these herbs are not always appropriate for your particular body. If you feel worse taking them after a few hours, go to another of the below herbs as Elderberry can increase the cytokine presence in your body, especially if you are pregnant and the make you feel worse after a few hours.
Also, Echinacea can be over-done. Never take it more than 2 to 3 weeks. Take a week break before continuing its use. This is a particularly strong immune booster but it can foster cytokine production or mess up the normal immune system operation if not given a rest. I put a dropper full of the tincture in my coffee in the morning and another at night when I’m taking it. Then quit altogether for at least a week before continuing.
They can be taken in many forms so go over the websites listed at the end to be sure you are using them correctly. I have provided a lot of information to go over. This article is just hitting the high lights.
Virus Fighting Herbs and Immune Boosters: (with the forms they work as)
Astragalus root – powdered capsule, tincture
Black Currant – juice, tincture, powdered in capsule
Basil – Sweet – tea, tincture, essential oil
Basil – Holy – aka Tulsi – tea, tincture
Calendula flower petals – oil, tea, tincture, infused oil
Cats Claw bark and root – powdered capsule, tincture
Dandelion flower – tea, tincture, oil, essential oil
Echinacea – tincture, essential oil
Elderberry – (aka Sombucus) tincture, syrup
Fennel – powdered capsule, tincture, tea
Garlic – raw, oil, tincture, vinegar, powdered capsule
Ginger – powdered capsule, tea, lozenges, elixir
Ginseng (Red) – powdered capsule, tincture, tea, infusion
Green Tea – extract, tea, tincture, powdered capsule
Horehound – cough drop, lozenge, or powdered in capsule. Especially good for coughs.
Lemon Balm – tea, tincture, essential oil, infusion
Licorice – powdered capsule, tincture, tea, infusion
Olive Leaf extract – powdered capsule, tincture
Oregano – essential oil in carrier oil such as olive, tea
Peppermint – essential oil, tea, infusion
Pau D’Arco – tincture, infusion
Rosemary – essential oil, tea, oil, infusion, tincture
Sage – EO (essential oil), tea, infusion
St. John’s Wort – tincture, tea
(Best to use 2 or three of these together – Green Tea, Pau d’Arco, St. John’s rot and Colloidal silver – for best results)
Nepeta nuda (Russian herb)
Vitamin C (or vitamin C foods)
How to use:
Tea – 1 Tablespoon of herb in 8 oz. of boiling pure water – steep 5 to 15 minutes.
Infusion – 1 Cup herb in 1 quart boiling water, steep covered 7 hours, strain, refrigerate or drink warm no more than 1 cup in a day.
Infused Oil – wilt fresh herbs or use dehydrated herbs ½ cup in 2 cups carrier oil such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Jojoba Oil in double boiler, raise heat till oil is simmering but never boiling for several hours, strain, keep in refrigerator.
Use topically or few drops on the back of your hand and lick off.
If using the essential oil form, add about 20 drops to 1 oz. carrier oil
Tincture – in a quart mason jar, fill half way to filling up to inch below the rim and fill with at least 80 proof (40%) vodka – let stand for 4 weeks, strain, keep in dark glass jar or bottle (I like using repurposed dark wine bottles tightly stoppered).
Vinegar – a kind of tincture – fill jar with herb, leave tightly lidded for a month, strain, place in dark bottle as tincture, add tablespoon to liquid of choice and drink.
Powdered Capsule – place fresh herbs in a dehydrator and leave till crisply dry, powder in hand held coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, fill empty gelatin capsules, keep in tightly lidded glass jar well labeled.
Lozenge or cough drop – https://wellnessmama.com/7719/herbal-cough-drops/ follow directions.
Essential oils can be purchased thru various reputable companies. I like Bulk Apothecary http://www.bulkapothecary.com/ myself.
Syrups – Infuse herb of choice – 1 cup per quart of water 7 hours overnight (see above), strain. You can simmer this infusion further and reduce the amount of liquid to 2 cups. Add equal amounts of local honey when warm, till fully dissolved. To prolong shelf life, add an ounce or so of Brandy. Label and keep in dark jar or in the refrigerator.
Colloidal silver comes as a suspension. Purchase from a reputable dealer and follow directions.
Probiotics can be taken in supplement form or make your own water kefir, kombucha tea, fermented vegetables, kimchi, sauerkraut, kvass, kefir, yun, or other fermented foods. Be sure to increase the amount of fiber foods such as fresh fruit, beets or beet powder, or other prebiotic to feed the beneficial microbes in the probiotics.
Some of these substances will resonate with you more than others. Some of these herbs can be purchased in bulk from Bulk Apothecary, Mountain Rose Herb Company, I Herb, Pure Bulk and other reputable botanical providers. Search ‘bulk herbs’.
But for best most fresh and nutritious herbs, grow as many of these as you can in your own organic soil in your own garden, harvest fresh and immediately use or preserve, because that way you know exactly what you are putting in your body. A large number of these herbs are also culinary herbs but I prefer not to use ‘spice’ herbs from the grocery store as you don’t know how long they have been sitting in a warehouse loosing their power to heal. If you can’t grow your own, purchase them from one of the above herb suppliers. Or get them from a local grower.
The immune system is a powerful part of our bodies residing 85% in the gut microbes, another large percentage in the lymph system which requires physical activity and motion to move the ‘lymph’ a thick liquid that touches every cell in the body, but moves by muscle contraction thru a series of valves, and by the use of several kinds of blood cells such as T-cells and white blood cells. So, if you are sick, don’t just lay down. Get up and bounce or walk or do mild exercise several times a day (having someone keep you steady if you feel weak or use a rebounder bouncing little trampoline) to keep your lymph circulating and detoxing the metabolic waste produced by virus. Drink lots of good water, with a bit of Himilayan or high mineral natural salt (not sea salt which often is now contaminated with micro particles of plastic – better mined sale from ancient sites).
Do not take anything with sugar as this depresses the immune system and often feeds the pathogenic (disease causing) microbes which help the viruses. That means no sweets, no sugary soft drinks or fruit juices, no candy. Sorry but that stuff feeds the infection.
Here are the references which can help you further understand how to protect yourself, and more about the herbs above and their actions in the body. Look up any words you don’t understand or are unsure of their meaning.
15 Impressive Herbs with Antiviral Activity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032839/
Use Antiviral Herbs to Boost Immune System & Fight Infection https://draxe.com/nutrition/antiviral-herbs/
Top Ten Natural Anti-Viral Agents
5 All-Natural Flu Remedies That Actually Work https://observer.com/2018/03/5-all-natural-foods-supplements-and-herbs-that-fight-the-flu/
When Not to Use Elderberry: Using a Little DiscernmentAnthocyanins from blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries *This is the article that talks about cytokines and what they do.
Stay well and share this with people you love.
Diann Dirks 2-16-2020