How best to protect yourself, build a strong immune system and what you can do at home to manage the symptoms of the Corona Virus. By Lloyd Gee
It looks like a large number of people in this country will be exposed to COVID-19. At least 80% of people who catch the virus will only have mild symptoms so for most of us the message is Don’t Panic. Around 20% may have more serious symptoms of which 5% could develop critical symptoms. Those with other conditions that weaken their lungs or immune system will be the most vulnerable. The life threatening risk of COVID-19 is the development of pneumonia or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Anyone who has significant breathing problems or shortness of breath should seek urgent medical attention dialling 000 if necessary. They may urgently need oxygen and possibly will need to be put on a ventilator. COVID-19 appears to present a significantly higher risk of the most serious outcomes than with seasonal ‘flu.
COVID-19 is transmitted mostly by small droplets in the air from an infected person – coughing, sneezing, talking may spread the virus about 2m. It can also remain on hard surfaces for possibly several hours. It is therefore very important to wash your hands and avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes unless your hands are washed. A person can be infectious between 1 day and in a few cases up to 14 days before they show symptoms.
World Health Authority has regular updates which you can find here.
Prevention is the most important thing you can do and this is what you are likely to be hearing through the media. Sanitation – wash your hands thoroughly and often. Bar soap and hot water is actually very good at killing viruses so you don’t need antibacterial hand wash though a hand sanitiser could be useful when out and about.
Isolation – those who have the virus need to avoid contact with others.
There are some other things you can do: You can make a spray using essential oils such as thyme, pine, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon leaf – 5 to 10 drops of each in 100ml spray bottle of water. An essential oil diffuser can also help. This may kill airborne viruses.
Burning Frankincense or Sage yourself and your environment.
Steam inhalations. Herbs like thyme and sage are antiviral on contact with viruses. Therefore if you have been out, have a herbal steam inhalation when you get home. Add a heaped teaspoon of dried thyme or sage to about 4 cups of boiling water in a suitable bowl. Put a towel over your head and breathe in the vapour for 5-7 minutes.
Prepare your own immune system. After prevention your next defence is you own immune system. You want it to be ready for action if it encounters COVID-19 or indeed any other virus. You will find plenty of information that advocates Vitamin C and if you were to take just one supplement this would probably be the most important.
Sleep is incredibly important for the immune system as it stress reduction.
Good nutrition is vital – have plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruit – plenty of colours on the plate.
It is also very important to keep well hydrated. Dehydration is a big risk factor with viral infections.
Supplements to consider Vitamin C: 1000 – 3000 mg daily, in divided dosages
Vitamin D3: 2000 IUs daily (Start with 5000 IU/day for two weeks, then reduce to 2000 IU
Magnesium: 200-400 mg daily (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form)
Zinc: 14-20 mg daily
Selenium: 100 mcg (micrograms) daily
Elderberry – has good anti-viral and immune properties. This is useful to boost your immune, but should be stopped if you get infected.
Medicinal Mushrooms – most are great for helping the immune system – Shitake and Maitake are amongst the best. Reishi is also good.
You can also increase foods with these nutrients as they also contain other plant nutrients that work to help the body utilise them. For vitamin C, citrus fruits and dark berries are particularly good, for zinc, have pumpkin seeds and for selenium, Brazil nuts are the best. Also add turmeric to foods or smoothies as this is protective.
Any Vitamin C would do the job, but the normal form of ascorbic acid is very acidic at high doses so I would suggest the ascorbate form – e.g. calcium ascorbate or magnesium ascorbate. A powder form enables you to take high doses more easily and is usually better value for money. More expensive but offering superior absorption is the liposomal vitamin C.
There are many zinc and selenium products. I have listed one that contains both below.
Vitamin C powder
Bio-Selenium + Zinc
Sambucol – Elderberry with zinc, selenium etc
If you get the virus. Increase vitamin C to 5,000mg. You can go up to 10,000 mg. High vitamin C doses may cause diarrhoea.
For home remedies I would particularly recommend raw garlic as you can tell it is reaching the lungs – you get garlic breath. It must be freshly crushed (less than 3 days old) and raw, but can be added to cold foods, smoothies etc. Most garlic supplements will not work. Ginger root (best fresh) is useful, but not if you have a high fever – it makes a pleasant drink with lemon and honey. Thyme tea is helpful for the lungs. Peppermint and/or Elderflower tea are good where there is a mild fever.
If you have a fever then watch the temperature. Bed rest, drinking water, some herbs and using cool flannels on the skin can help control a fever – some fever is good as the immune system works best at a raised temperature. However if it gets higher than 39.5 C then medication such as paracetamol may be advised to bring it down.
Steam inhalations using plain boiling water or with thyme (as above), Olbas oil, eucalyptus, rosemary or peppermint essential oil.
Keep hydrated with water, herb teas and broth.
With COVID-19 there is a serious risk of an overreaction of the immune system so some immune enhancing herbs can actually make this worse. Therefore stop all such herbs If the infection worsens unless you have professional advice.
Nikki is a Metaphysician, Holistic Counsellor, Reiki Master and Teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge on holistic health and wellbeing.
11 Headland Drive, Torquay