With the recent case of coronavirus in San Antonio hitting so close to home for us here in Austin, we at Peoples Rx know that the panic is spreading, and we’re here to say, first of all….don’t panic!
Check out the basic DOs and DON’Ts below, and consider them your first line of defense against the virus for you and your family. We’ve got immune-boosting suggestions, what steps to take if you start feeling ill, how to protect yourself if you have to travel, and more.
Cortisol and other stress hormones are some of the most powerful immune suppressors. Currently, the statistics on coronavirus are less concerning than an average flu year.
- A smaller percentage of people are getting sick from coronavirus than with the flu.
- A smaller percentage of people who get sick are seriously ill than with the flu.
- Of the people who get sick, the percent of fatalities has varied from 0.7% in some areas to as high as 6% in areas of the first outbreak (where no precautions were yet available).
- At this time most of the outbreaks have centered around healthcare facilities where large numbers of immune-challenged people were living in close quarters.
- With the vigorous precautions being taken globally (quarantines, travel limitations, etc.), it is likely that the virus will not spread as aggressively as the flu virus (since we don’t quarantine flu victims every year).
- Try not to see the quarantines and public announcements as a sign that this virus is dire, but that positive global action is being taken to slow the spread of a new virus as we learn about it.
Don’t freak out if you can’t get surgical masks or hand sanitizer.
If you are not in direct contact with people who are sick (like working in a hospital or with quarantined people), and if you are not immune compromised, then you don’t really need a mask at this time. Facilities that make them are upping production. More are coming. Masks are MORE to stop you from spreading what you have, rather than for protecting you from others.
Don’t adopt a “save yourself” attitude.
Hoarding protective equipment, supplements, and supplies at the expense of others will only increase the spread of the virus, and thus your own risk. Communicable diseases are best addressed with coordinated community action.
Don’t megadose on Vitamin D, Vitamin A, turmeric, CBD, or fish oil.
While having adequate amounts of these is important in immune function, long-term high dosing can actually shift the immune system away from fighting viruses.
Don’t take high doses of antiviral herbs before early signs of sickness.
Taking these too early can shift the balance of the immune system, and lessen the “immune surge” that you want when you are first exposed to a virus.
Don’t eat a lot of sugar, drink a lot of coffee or alcohol, or smoke (anything).
Don’t take any unnecessary steroid medications (minimize over-the-counter steroid creams or nasal sprays if possible). If you are on a prescription steroid for a serious illness do NOT stop taking it, but do consider discussing the risk/benefit with your doctor.
Follow common sense precautions you would follow during any cold and flu season. This virus works the same way.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Get outside in the sun and move/exercise.
- Cough and sneeze into your bent elbow (not hands), and ask others to do the same.
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes after touching public items such as doors, carts, tables, chairs, etc.
- Use hand sanitizer (essential oil, silver, or alcohol based will all help).
Keep your stress levels low (exercise, dance, socialize, meditate, etc.).
Laugh as much as possible! Laughter increases white blood cell count and immune function.
Look out for your neighbors, friends, and your community. Share what supplies you have with others who might be at a higher risk of exposure or falling ill.
Eat plenty of healthy foods, including organic greens from the broccoli family (broccoli, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, and mustard greens), as well as mushrooms.
- Greens like these provide folate which supports many regulatory systems in the body, including production of immune cells.
- These foods also contain sulforaphane which is crucial to optimized immune function.
- All mushrooms are immune enhancing, but shiitakes are particularly potent and delicious!
- Enhance your greens and mushrooms with ginger and garlic.
Make sure your Vitamin D levels are normal (between 60-100).
Consider investing in a high-quality air filter.
- IQ Air filters were used in Asia to slow down and help control the spread of SARS.
- More info from me on air filters and air quality here.
THE DOs (if exposed or feeling ill)
- Go into a voluntary home quarantine, alert your employers, work from home if possible.
- Alert all people you’d recently been around who you might have exposed.
- Call your doctor’s office for advice on getting tested and which healthcare facilities are the best to go to should you become gravely ill.
- Have groceries, food, and medicines delivered to your home. Avoid physical contact with delivery personnel to minimize their exposure.
- Vitamin C (1000-5000mg per day)
- Zinc (15-30mg per day)
- Mushroom extracts
- Turkey Tail
- Jade Windscreen
- ImmunoPRP or other colostrum products
- Elderberry syrup (1-3 teaspoons daily)
- Elderberry zinc lozenges
- Beta Glucans
- Whole Body Defense
- Immune Balancing Complex
- Kick Ass Immune
- Th1 Support + Innate Immune (1 capsule of each per day)
Early symptoms of coronavirus are fever, fatigue, aches, and dry cough. If you have a sore throat and/or a runny nose, it is probably a regular cold. Deploy these anti-viral herbs and high-dose nutrients:
- Vitamin C: 1000mg every few hours until loose stools, then stop
- Vitamin A: 50-100,000 IU per day for 4 days (not safe during pregnancy)
- Vitamin D: 30-50,000 IU per day for 4 days
- NAC: 600mg, 2 times a day (especially if you are experiencing a lot of mucus)
- Peoples Rx Immune Support Packs: 1 pack, 2-4 times a day
- Antiviral combination products like Viracid, Complivir, Kick Ass Immune, Innate Immune plus Th1 Support,Gan Mao Ling
- Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray
- Serious Cough
- Pulmonary Factors
- Ivy Calm
- V Clear
- Th1 Support + Innate Immune (2 capsules, 2 times a day for 5 days)
If you have to travel by plane
- When masks are available again, consider wearing one. Remember these are more for protecting others from anything you might have rather than for protecting you, though they do help protect you some.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Consider applying a thin layer of herbal salve in your nose. This can be nearly anything, even lip balm will do in a pinch. The salve offers an additional physical barrier to infection. Any herbs or essential oils would also help.
- Use AirBorne (fizzy tabs or lozenges) and/or elderberry zinc lozenges.
- Pick 1-3 of the leveled-up immune items listed above.
Becky Andrews, ND*, L.Ac. received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Masters in Acupuncture at Bastyr University. She specializes in complex, chronic and “difficult” cases, especially relating to digestive health, fatigue, mood and detoxification. She works extensively with MTHFr and genetic challenges. In addition to seeing patients in Austin, she is faculty at AOMA School of Integrative Medicine.
*Naturopathic Doctors are not currently licensed in the state of Texas.
Consult your healthcare practitioner before changing your medicine regimen in any way.
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