Viruses are all around us, and we constantly interact with them. We are all carrying around countless microbes, most of which are beneficial. Staying healthy isn’t about avoiding germs, but rather in being well nourished, and supporting the innate defenses that God has given us.
Although Covid-19 is new, other coronaviruses have been around for a long time, and a plethora of research can be found about them.
Immune system: A recent study shows that lymphocyte count is the most significant marker for predicting the severity of the disease. This makes sense, given that lymphocytes increase when the immune system slows inflammation and begins antibody generation. This is why supporting dendritic cell function is so important. I’ll discuss this later. In general, the health of your immune system is the most important factor in protection against infection. Older people are more vulnerable to the flu because they are more likely to be undernourished due to poor digestion and low protein intake. Older people frequently have low levels of Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, zinc, and other nutrients. Low selenium levels are endemic to some parts of the world (especially central China), and increases the vulnerability to all types of infections. Dr. Brownstein is a holistic doctor who treats Covid-19 with Vitamins A,C,D, and iodine.
Medications: Immune suppressing drugs such as steroids could increase susceptibility to infection. Don’t take Tylenol or Ibuprofen. These drugs may improve symptoms, but will slow your immune response to infection.
Melatonin is a regulator of the immune system, and has been investigated as a treatment for Covid-19. Levels of melatonin decrease with age. If you’re high risk for infection, it wouldn’t hurt to take a moderate dose at bedtime.
Hydrochloroquine probably works by allowing zinc to cross cell membranes (a zinc ionophore), allowing it to get inside of cells where they block viral RNA replication. It might also interfere with the virus binding to ACE receptors. Quercetin is a bioflavanoid that also is a zinc ionophore.
Vitamin C isn’t an exotic supplement, but rather an essential part of the innate immune system which we need for proper immune system and connective tissue health, and should be a part of everyones supplement regimen. Vitamin C has a long history of use for viral infections. Be cautious using very large doses during viral pneumonia. Extremely high doses are dangerous for certain people, so check with your healthcare provider.
Herbs: Licorice is an adrenal and liver tonic, which I’ve used for many years. It has broad-spectrum antiviral properties. It slows viral replication, inhibits viral entry into cells, and inhibits cytokine cascades. Licorice should be used cautiously during pregnancy or autoimmune conditions. For prevention, I take a combination of licorice and lomatium root extract. Lomatium is an herb used by native Americans for treating respiratory infections. It probably has antiviral properties, based on anecdotal evidence, but not enough research had been done to be certain.
Herbs for healing: If someone is already infected with viral pneumonia, consider herbs that modulate cytokine responses (such as Licorice, Astragalus, or Elderberry), and protect lung tissue from hypoxia-induced oxidative damage (Rhodiola), and stimulate dendritic cell maturation (the Cordyceps mushroom). Dendritic cells support the adaptive immune system. Other plants with demonstrated activity against SARS-group coronaviruses can be found here: http://stephenharrodbuhner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronavirus.txt.pdf
Homeopathic: Many websites have been recommending homeopathic Arsenicum or Bryonia as a preventative for Covid-19. This originated from the government of India. These recommendations are speculative, and I can’t find any credible evidence supporting their use, anecdotal or otherwise. I’ll update this if I learn more.
Other: A few studies have shown silver nanoparticles (colloidal silver) to inhibit both H1H1 and H3N2 influenza. The U.S. Navy. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (July 1919) reported it being successfully used during the 1918 flu epidemic. Although it hasn’t been studied against coronavirus, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try.
The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211383515000799
Lymphopenia predicts disease severity of COVID-19: a descriptive and predictive study https://www.nature.com/articles/s41392-020-0148-4
Immune Antivirals, by Stephen Buhner.
COVID-19: Melatonin as a potential adjuvant treatment: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320520303313
Selenium deficiency increases the pathology of an influenza virus infection https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fj.00-0721fje Two Easily Available Lab Markers to Identify Patients at Risk of Severe COVID-19: chrismasterjohnphd.com/covid-19/two-easily-available-lab-markers-to-identify-patients-at-risk-of-severe-covid-19-covid-19-updates