Coronavirus – what is it exactly?

Taken from a recent article by the World Health OrganizationCoronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. 

Signs and symptoms of a Coronavirus infection:

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Coronavirus vs Influenza – putting things in perspective.  Scroll down to read more about this at the end of the article.  You might be very surprised at what the data (as published by the CDC) has to say about the “severity” of these two viruses and how they have impacted this country…

 

What you can do to help strengthen your immune system and protect against Coronavirus:

Our office has been inundated with phone calls, emails, and texts about what a person can do to help prevent and/or treat the Coronavirus. Given that the Coronavirus IS A VIRUS, there is a LOT that can be done from the natural medicine world to help strengthen your immune system against viral infections.  Mother Nature (source of the “natural medicine” world) has much to offer in warding off and treating viruses or other pathogens including bacteria, pathogenic fungi, and parasites.

Virus have come and gone throughout history but man has always persevered.  Why?  Our innate immune system, which has evolved and survived for thousands of years, is highly intelligent and  equipped to handle exposure to viruses.  Outlined below are simple, practical steps you can take to enhance your immune systems ability to ward off and/or treat most viral exposure and/or infections.

Viral strains have come and gone throughout history but man has always persevered.  Why?  Our innate immune system, which has evolved and survived for thousands of years, is highly intelligent and  equipped to handle exposure to viruses.

Practical steps to support the immune system and protect against Coronavirus (or ANY virus):

  • Be smart and use good hygiene practices including regular hand washing especially after being in public, before eating, and when handling food.  Hand sanitizer is being sold at ridiculous prices.  Just wash your hands the old fashion way.  Or, if in a pinch, take a small spray bottle and use 1/3 grain alcohol and 2/3 water – spray on hands when needed.  Alcohol is the active ingredient in hand sanitizers that is doing the “germ killing”.
  • When you go out to eat, be sure and take well researched and viable strains of probiotics with your meals.  I often recommend people who travel abroad take broad-spectrum probiotics at the beginning of each meal, especially when dining out.  Health tip – take a VERY good probiotic on a a regular basis.
  •  Reduce your consumption of refined sugar and processed foods.  The average American consumes 17 teaspoons (71.14 grams) every day. That translates into about 57 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person. It has been well established that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of sugar a person consumes and the effectiveness of the immune system. Translation – the higher your sugar consumption the less effective your immune system is at warding off viruses, bacteria, pathogenic fungi, and parasites.
  • Eat a healthier diet that includes a lot of fruits (especially blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) and vegetables (green leafy and those with a LOT of color), healthy fats (like avocados, nuts, olive oil, etc), fish (especially sardines, herring, mackerel), lean animal proteins, while at the same time minimizing the more inflammatory foods such as: deep fat fried, dairy, artificial sweeteners, food dyes/additives, and highly processed foods.  I am a BIG fan of a Mediterranean style diet.  CLICK HERE for a link to an article I wrote on the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet.
  • Consider doing some intermittent fasting.  This gives your gastrointestinal tract (GI) and immune/detoxification systems a break by resting the GI tract and decreasing the amount toxins we are exposed to.  Did you know that over the course of a lifetime, the gut processes more than 25 tons of food, which represents the largest load of antigens and xenobiotics confronting the human body?  So, try doing some intermittent fasting 2-3x/week.  Other benefits include healthy weight loss and a healthier metabolism.  CLICK HERE to read an article I wrote on intermittent fasting.
  • Make sure you drink enough water.  So many people are chronically dehydrated in this country.  Not consuming enough water can impede your detoxification and immune systems.  The lymphatic system, which is composed of about 96% water, is our body’s waste removal service. One of its more important functions is the role it plays in our immune response: lymphocytes (white blood cells) originate from and are transported in the lymphatic system to fight off diseases and infections. Dehydration can cause the lymphatic system to slow down resulting in the inhibition of waste (toxin) removal from the body and greatly impair the immune system.

Health tip – drink AT LEAST 64oz of purified water per day.  Dehydration can cause the lymphatic system to slow down resulting in the inhibition of waste (toxin) removal from the body and greatly impair the immune system.  

  • Get enough sleep!  Volumes of articles have been written on the immune system benefits of getting adequate sleep.  Conversely, volumes of articles have been written on the immune system perils of NOT getting enough sleep.  Health tip – practice good sleep hygiene and be sure to get 6-9 hours of quality sleep. 
  • Exercise!  The benefits of exercise on the immune system are profound!  Not to mention, exercise is super important for our lymphatic system.  Unlike the heart in the arterial system, the lymphatic system does not have an automatic pump, therefore maintaining fluid transport in the lymph vessels requires activity and movement from us. Poor lymph circulation results in inflammation or disease so it is imperative to make lifestyle changes to keep the lymph system healthy.
  • Try consuming 3-5x/week an IMMUNE & DETOXIFICATION ENHANCING SMOOTHIE – in a very good blender such as a Vitamix, Blendtec, or Ninja Chef 1500 Watts – You will need one of these blenders to make this smoothie.
    • Smoothie recipe:
      • 1 cup of wild blueberries or mixed berries (I like the Wyman brand – and available in most stores in the frozen fruit section)
      • 2-3 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds
      • 1 banana
      • 1/2 apple
      • 1 scoop of collagen peptides (I love Whole Body Collagen by DFH – just login as a new customer and search for product name – use FIRST25 to get a 25% discount off your first order)
      • 1/2-1 tsp of Hawaiian Spirulina Powder
      • handful of greens (cilantro, parsely, or baby kale)
      • 2-3 inch segment of raw ginger and/or tumeric root (use the actual root – this is why you need the powerful blender)
      • 1-2 mushrooms (shiitake and/or maitake)
      • 1 clove of garlic
      • 1 cup of orange juice or 2-3oz of pomegranate juice
      • add ice and water and blend until smooth and desired consistency

Be sure to scroll down towards the bottom of page to see the list of  anti-viral supplements and immune enhancing nutrients that you can incorporate into your routine. 

Anti-viral and immune enhancing products:

  • Please NOTE – before just randomly “googling” these products and purchasing from Amazon or other unknown online stores read this:

It is now known that “fake supplements” are being sold online and even on Amazon.  Several of my patients have received notification from Amazon that they may have received “fake supplements”.  Groups around the world, especially from China, are making fake labels of major supplement companies and selling them to unsuspecting buyers thru various “online stores” and even on amazon.

A 2016 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development pegged the counterfeit market at $461 billion a year in 2013. By 2016 that number had skyrocketed to $509 billion.  What’s worse, counterfeiters are infiltrating a wide range of products and name brands, from high fashion to toys to car parts, cosmetics, medical supplies and, as Amazon found, pharmaceutical products, including supplements. The underlying problem is the fakes are frequently low quality and may lead to injury and health concerns. Although the supplement industry is fully regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), those who are selling knock-off products are not.  For more information or to read the article in full – CLICK ON THIS LINK

Note – with each product I will link to where you can safely purchase these products from trustworthy companies and or distribution centers.

    • Mushroom combination formula.  These are FANTASTIC for strengthening your immune system.  They are GREAT to enhance your immune system and can be taken long-term as an immune builder and preventative.  They also tend to have a lot of anti-cancer properties as well.  You do have to be VERY selective of the companies that you purchase these from because not very many companies do the extraction process correctly.  Two of my favorite are:
      • Immune Builder  – The nutraceutical company that sells the correct Immune Builder product requires that you purchase these through a healthcare professional.  I have personally been on this particular product (Immune Builder – 3 caps upon waking in the morning) all winter and, as of the date of writing this, I am happy to report I have not had the flu or even a single cold.  Please feel free to email us at admin@naturaespath and/or call 913-333-8798 to order this product.
      • Stamets 7 – you can purchase directly from this link or most health food stores carry it.
    • Probiotics – buyer beware on purchasing these as well.  They HAVE to be formulated with the right strains and diversity to survive, thrive, and colonize. Common problems associated with probiotic supplementation include strain identification and disclosure of counts, resistance/tolerance to stomach acid, and ability to adhere to intestinal walls.  In the case of viral exposure, you want to be taking specific strains that have been researched for strong immunomodulatory actions to mature and enhance the immune system during all stages of life.  One of my favorite probiotics for this is:
      • Probiomed 100 (just login as a new customer and search for product name – use FIRST25 to get a 25% discount off your first order) – take 1-2 caps at bedtime or if eating out – take one at the beginning of your meal.

Buyer beware! Counterfeiters are infiltrating a wide range of products and name brands, from high fashion to toys to car parts, cosmetics, medical supplies and, as Amazon found, pharmaceutical products, including supplements. The underlying problem is the fakes are frequently low quality and may lead to injury and health concerns

    • Zinc – is outstanding for the immune system.  The right type is important.  Here are two versions I am a fan of:
      • Zinc Supreme  (just login as a new customer and search for product name – use FIRST25 to get a 25% discount off your first order)
      • Zinc Sufate – you can purchase by clicking on this link
    • Oil of Oregano – across the board a STRONG anti-microbial (viral, bacterial, pathogenic fungi – think candida/yeast, parasite). Quality and standardized to contain active components is very important. It also has powerful antioxidant and intestinal cleansing benefits.
      • Oil of Oregano – (just login as a new customer and search for product name – use FIRST25 to get a 25% discount off your first order)
    • Olive Leaf Extract – has demonstrated powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties along with and antioxidant properties.
      • Olive Leaf Extract – (just login as a new customer and search for product name – use FIRST25 to get a 25% discount off your first order)
    • Hydrastis Canadensis – I prefer this in a tincture form (liquid extract).  This may not taste good but WOW is it a powerful agent against all “bad bugs”.  This is best taken AWAY from probiotics and not intended for long term use. Berberine, one of its active ingredients is also good for supporting healthy blood sugar levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity.
    • Liquid Silver – silver, prepared and consumed correctly, has been used for a very long time as a strong protector against microbial infections – viral, bacterial, pathongenic fungi (think Candida/yeast), and parasitic.  The type and quality is extremely important.
      • Silvercillin Liquid – (just login as a new customer and search for product name – use FIRST25 to get a 25% discount off your first order)
    • Monolaurin – a form of lauric acid, which is the predominant fatty acid in coconut and is also present in human breast milk.  A GREAT anti-viral and anti-fungal.
      • Monolaurin-Avail – (just login as a new customer and search for product name – use FIRST25 to get a 25% discount off your first order)
    • Astragalus – I prefer this in a tincture form (liquid extract).  A GREAT product to enhance your immune system and can be taken long-term as an immune builder and preventative.
      • Astragalus –  4oz tincture.  I prefer these by Wise Woman or Herb Pharm – you can purchase through this link or the Herb Pharm brand which is available at most health food stores.
    • Other great baseline items that you should consider being on to support your immune systems would be: vitamin D3, Vitamin C, and essential fatty acids (omega 3’s especially).  Available thru the links I provided and/or most health food stores near you!
      • Note – Elderberry is a great antiviral product, especially for children.  It is available in a liquid tincture, taste good, and is readily available in most health food stores!

Elderberry is a great antiviral product, especially for children.  It is available in a liquid tincture, taste good, and is readily available in most health food stores!

Corona Virus vs Influenza – putting things in perspective

At the end of the day we want to be smart about approaching this new “corona virus”.  I do not believe you need to give into the “fear” that the news and media are propagating. They tend to thrive on “drama and sensationalism” rather than facts and data.  Here are a few facts comparing the “severity” of the Coronavirus to current data on the more commonly known “influenza virus”.  This data is taken from the most recent publication from the CDC – Center for Disease Control and here is the link to their article for those who wish to read it more in depth:

  • As of February 25, 2020, the CDC COVID-19 Response Team had reported that there were 14 cases diagnosed in the United States, in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States.  Now – compare this data to that for the estimated statistics for the 2019/2020 influenza season:
    • 34,000,000 – 49,000,000 diagnosed flu illnesses

    • 350,000 – 620,000 hospitalizations as a result of the flu

    • an estimated 20,000 – 52,000 flu deaths (NOTE – there were 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season)

    • These numbers are in STARK contrast to the numbers for the Coronavirus.  And the “flu season” is dealt with every single year

Bottom line – be smart, take care of your health, and trust your immune system.  It has been around “doing its thing” to keep you healthy and safe for a very long time!  

Dr Michael Brown – Naturopathic Doctor

 

Coronavirus – Natural Medicine HealthTips To Protect Yourself And Strengthen Your Immune System

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