While traditional medicine is scrambling to find resources to help the infected and public health departments are waiting for a vaccine to save us from this pandemic. Naturopathic doctors are well positioned to be experts in both enhancing the immune system to help prevent a viral infection and to also help the body recover from them faster. There is no cure for the current pandemic. The following tips are suggestions for optimal health, we are not making any claims that any supplement can improve your immunity as these comments are not regulated by the FDA:
A good offense is a good defense! Put your faith in vitamins not vaccines for controlling covid-19.
- Your body needs at least five (5) hours of good quality sleep. No excuses! Keep regular bedtimes too even if your day schedule is erratic. Kids still need this structure. We heal when sleeping. Taking melatonin can help with sleep and an even be anti-viral. Higher melatonin levels in kids has been speculated to be the reason they don’t die from this disease. Melatonin levels are naturally lower in older adults. Read more here.
- Eat real food and at regular times. There is no substitute or short cut for a good healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Limit high fat and sugary foods and drinks as they only weaken the body, also promoting more stress & anxiety. Grocery stores are open and you have the time to try new recipes and ideas. Now is a fantastic time to TEACH your children to COOK and the value of nutrition.
- If you can’t find vitamin C supplements, you can find food that has antioxidants such as vitamin C in them. Some good choices are mangoes, oranges, lemons, acerola cherries, berries, guava, green leafies like kale & cruciferous like broccoli. Eat lots and lots of real garlic, onions, thyme and oregano. These are awesome immune boosters and you likely have them in your kitchen now. We can use the produce section like a pharmacy or health food store.
- Strengthen lungs and immune system with supplements you can still find. Do remember that you must take these supplements and herbs more than just once a day. You need to keep the levels consistent in your body for this to work. Consider taking:
- Magnesium: needed for thousands of reactions in the body and helps the lungs move air in and out. Magnesium can also help with anxiety too and relaxation. No tablets!
- Zinc: especially as a lozenge to locally assist the immune cells in the throat and other routes of entry. Aim for 15 to 50 mg a day with 1 mg of copper to keep things balanced and for immunity.
- Iodine: a necessary requirement for the immune system and found in all body fluids. If you don’t eat things from the sea, you are likely deficient. Eat some seaweed salad or add a few drops of an iodine supplement to your daily regime.
- Make sure vitamin D levels are adequate. Low vitamin D levels has been suggested as to why viral infections are more prevalent in winter months.
- Keep gut groovy with probiotics. Eat more fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc. Make your own too. The immune system lives in the gut. Quality counts when buying supplements, don’t be cheap about what you chose.
- A multivitamin has always been suggested for basic maintenance for all of the body’s function and yeah, does have some vitamin C in there too. Supplies are low….
- Mushrooms to the rescue, eat the more exotic (and safe) ones. Supplement supplies seemed okay at last check. Lots of choices remain as fresh and dried.
- Move your body. Anxiety levels are rampant and likely to be a bigger health concern then this viral outbreak is dreaming about. Try yoga, tai chi, chi gong, etc.to also help with stress reduction, which could also be a huge contributor to anxiety and depression. The lymph system which works in synergy with the immune system also likes exercise. Spring is here and luckily the weather is improving for walking & biking.
- Using our herbal friends. There are many herbs that can boost immunity. Some popular and potentially-effective ones include: glycerrhiza, lomatium, usnea and cat’s claw. Follow the label for dosage and it’s best to take as a combination of herbs. Caution in some health concerns like blood pressure and in that case, seek consult with qualified practitioner. Stop astragulus, elderberry and echinacea if do in fact succumb to coronavirus as it may make things worse. Also, these herbs are meant to be taken for a few weeks, not months. So do stop taking them for at least a week before resuming.
- Herbs for the lungs and respiratory system include khella, tussilago, hawthorne, lobelia, peppermint and osha. Some of these herbs also help the immune system too. We do offer customized herbal tinctures as well and can be ordered by calling the office.