In the last few days/weeks, people asked what to do to reinforce their immune system in the face of this worldwide threat.I would like to share some recommendations that come from a Naturopathic view point.
This list of suggestions below has been compiled with the intention of providing you with simple steps for actions you can take at home, or recommendations for things that you can access fairly easily. These treatments have the potential to support your general health and immune resilience, but none of them have any proven action in preventing or treating coronavirus infection.
1. Gargle and drink GREEN TEA. Consuming green tea, in particular gargling it, has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting influenza and the common cold. The tannins in green tea have been shown to have broad antiviral effects topically. In one study, residents in an aged care facility gargling the equivalent of ½ cup of green tea three times daily were more than 15 times less likely to catch the flu https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=16970537
2. Take a Vitamin D supplement. A number of studies have shown that taking vitamin D, particularly in people who are vitamin D deficient, strengthens the immune system and reduces the chances of developing acute respiratory infections including influenza. Most studies reviewed used adult doses ranging from 2000IU to 4000IU a day, which is known to be safe to take long term even in the absence of deficiency https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30675873
3. Eat probiotic foods daily. Consuming probiotic foods regularly or taking a probiotic supplement has been shown to reduce the risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25927096. You can consume probiotics through foods such as probiotic yogurt, sauerkraut or kimchi, in addition to many others. All of these can be consumed on a daily basis.
4. Eat plenty of raw crushed GARLIC. I don’t care if you stink, we can all stink together, and we need to keep safe distances anyway! Garlic is one of nature’s best antimicrobials, and it is quite amazing in that it appears to be selective in its action – it doesn’t wipe out your good bacteria. Local organic garlic is best if you can access it, but don’t worry if you can’t – eat what you can find. Ensure you are eating raw garlic according to your own tolerance as not everyone can stomach it. You can eat it by adding crushed garlic to a meal just before consuming it, or having it with avocado on wholesome bread (or just with ev olive oil, like an Italian Bruschetta!), improves tolerability.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PMC4103721
5. Keep any medicines you regularly use in stock and within date. This includes pharmaceuticals (check your scripts are also in date), herbal remedies and nutritional supplements.There are several herbal tinctures and nutritional supplements that can help your immune system.
6. Keep your home above 16°C. Having a cold home reduces respiratory resilience and increases susceptibility to and mortality from respiratory tract infections. This is especially important for people who are elderly, asthmatic or have other chronic/recurrent respiratory conditions. http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/…/the-health-impacts…
7. Eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Eat an abundance of plant foods, high antioxidant foods (especially berries, kiwifruit and purple grapes), fresh local fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and plenty of legumes. These help to feed your beneficial gut bacteria, which will assist you with immune resilience. They also ensure you have a healthy intake of vitamin C along with other nutrients important for immune health. Reduce refined sugar.
8. Don’t overindulge with alcohol. Binge drinking is bad for your gut flora, and also impairs immune function and increases the severity of respiratory tract infections https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/
9. If you smoke, action a quit plan.
10. Breathe breath breathe. Get out in fresh air and breath to enhance your lung capacity and chest elasticity of bones, tendons and muscles, and increase oxygenation of the whole body.
11. Get enough sleep, maintain a healthy exercise regime, and try to keep stress levels in check. I understand that these things can be easier said than done, but all three of these are integral to your immune system working well. So take the opportunities that present to take care of yourself. Go online and find your favourite Utube exercise regime, play your favourite music and ...do it!
12. KEEP IN (VIRTUAL) TOUCH, by phone, internet, social media. Do not isolate form the world, your friends, your relatives, instead get MORE in (virtual) touch then usual !
An extra hint on how to go without hand sanitizer: use a spray bottle with water and a few drops of tea tree oil, or lavender essential oil, recognized to be among the stronger antiviral natural elements.
REFRAIN FROM CONTACT AND PROXIMITY IF:
● You have returned from or transited through any high-risk countries within the last 14 days. (It appears prudent to extend this to moderate risk countries also.) At the time of writing this post (12th March 2020) the following countries are considered high and moderate risk: Mainland China; Iran; Italy; South Korea; Cambodia; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Singapore and Thailand. It appears that USA may soon be classed as moderate risk also.
● You have been in close contact with anyone who has recently transited through these countries.
● You have been in contact with anyone who has confirmed coronavirus or is suspected to be at risk of being exposed to the virus.
● You have recently returned from anywhere overseas and have even mild cold or flu symptoms.
Don't panic, stay calm, and breathe. We will go through this together.