With more and more cases of the coronavirus showing up every day, I thought I would discuss ways you can protect and prepare yourself.
It’s been reported that healthy people recover from the disease or they don’t get it at all. So now is the time (before it comes to your town) to boost your immune system.
A few years ago I wrote an article about ways to do just that. So I’ve decided to update them and add a few more.
But before we go into them I want to talk a little about elderberries. They’ve been used for generations in folk medicine, especially for respiratory infections. And now extracts, syrups, teas, gummies, supplements, etc. have been flying off the shelves.
But do they work?
There have been a lot of mice and lab studies that have shown great results. Human studies are more limited and the results haven’t been as good as the lab and mice studies. Plus there are forms of the berry that can make you sick. Only the cooked versions are safe, but they lower antioxidant levels.
However, while doing research for this article, I came across a few promising abstracts. I had to request the full-text articles and when I get them I’ll be sure to update you on the processes they used and the outcomes.
Ways to Boost Your Immune System:
- Research reveals that people who take garlic every day reduced their rate of getting a cold or flu by 60-70%. And when the control group did get a sick, the duration was shorter than the placebo group. Garlic is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral and should be eaten fresh for optimal results. But studies do show that taking 180mg of allicin, which is the active ingredient in garlic, works just as well. But always purchase only the organic form because there have been reports of heavy metals and arsenic found in the non-organic varieties.
- Studies show that supplementing with Vitamin D3 in the winter (when you can’t get enough sunshine) may prevent the common cold and the flu. In fact, low levels of Vitamin D3 have been associated with frequent infections including the common cold and the flu. Vitamin D3 is also important for lung function. Suggested dosing is between 1000-5000ius. And in order for it to be absorbed (it’s fat soluble) you need to take it with food or a good fish oil.
- Have you heard of oil of oregano yet? Well, it’s being touted as nature’s antibiotic and here’s why: It’s antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral and has been shown to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It’s especially effective for respiratory and bacterial infections. You can also put three drops of oil in water or juice and take daily until symptoms are gone. You may also add the oil to a vaporizer or place a few drops of oil in a bowl of steaming water, cover your head and the bowl with a towel, and inhale the steam.
- Use apple-cider vinegar at the onset of a cold or the flu or if you’ve been around someone with either. It also soothes a sore throat. Put two tablespoons in a glass of water and drink three times a day but use a straw to protect your teeth. If you have trouble swallowing apple-cider vinegar click here to try this form … it won’t upset your esophagus, stomach or teeth.
- Curcumin, which is a substance in turmeric, contains potent antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. This is another immune booster which you can take as prevention or at the onset of a cold or flu. As prevention take 1000mgs once a day. For therapeutic doses take 1000mgs three times per day.
- If you are a regular reader you know how much I love black seed oil (black cumin). The oil is preventative medicine for colds and flus but also treats them. For prevention take a teaspoon every day. For treatment of colds, flu, bronchitis, cough and congestion take a teaspoon 3-4 times daily until you are symptom free.
- Probiotics may also help prevent colds and flus by fighting harmful bacteria.
- Last but not least … I can’t write an immune-boosting article without including Vitamin C – one of the most important Vitamins for the immune system. Lack of Vitamin C can make you more susceptible to colds and flu. It’s important to make sure you have enough Vitamin C in your diet (or supplement) before you get sick. If you don’t eat enough foods that are rich in Vitamin C (tomatoes, orange juice, broccoli, strawberries, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, kale, papaya, cantelope, red, green and yellow peppers) then you should supplement with 1000-2000mgs a couple of times a day. Vitamin C is water-soluble, so whatever you body doesn’t use will come out when you urinate.
Nothing beats eating well, exercising, staying hydrated, managing stress and getting enough sleep to keep your immune system healthy. But if you can’t, then the above suggestions are a good supplement.
If you are taking any prescription medication please speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.
And if you find yourself with a fever or think you have been in contact with someone with the coronavirus see your doctor or medical professional right away.
For a healthier you!
Ulbricht C., Et. al. An evidence-based systematic review of elderberry and elderflower (Sambucus nigra) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Diet Suppl. 2014.
Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products. Assessment report on Sambucus nigra L., fructus. European Medicines Agency. 2014.
Hawkins J., Et. al. Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation effectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Complement Ther Med. 2019.
Porter RS., Bode BF. A Review of the Antiviral Properties of Black Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) Products. Phythother Res. 2017.
Elizabeth Lissiman, Et. al. Garlic for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries. 2014.
Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Advances in therapy. 2001.
Iciek M., Et. al. Biological properties of garlic and garlic-derived organosulfur compounds. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2009.
Urashima M., Et. al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010.
Duval W. Low Vitamin D Levels Associated with Colds and Flu. NIH. 2009.
Saeed S., Et. al. Antibacterial activity of oregano (Origanum vulgare Linn.) against gram positive bacteria. Pak J Pharm Sci. October 2009.
Dahiya P., Et. al. Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of Some Medicinal Plants Against Multi-drug Resistant Bacteria from Clinical Isolates. Indian J Pharm Sci. September 2012.
Sarac N., Et. al. Antimicrobial activities of the essential oils of Origanum onites L., Origanum vulgare L. subspecies hirtum (Link) Ietswaart, Satureja thymbra L., and Thymus cilicicus Boiss. & Bal. growing wild in Turkey. Journal of Medicinal Food. September 2008.
Da-Yuan Chen, Et. al. Curcumin inhibits influenza virus infection and haemagglutination activity. Food Chemistry. 2010.
Hannan A., Et. al. J Ayrub Med Coll Abbottabad. Anti bacterial activity of Nigella sativa against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. 2008.
Deepak, Et. al. Entrapment of Seed Extract of Nigella sativa into Thermosensitive (NIPAAm–Co–VP) Co-Polymeric Micelles and its Antibacterial Activity. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research. 2011.
Kang EJ, Et. al. The Effect of Probiotics on Prevention of Common Cold: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trial Studies. KJFM. 2013.
Lee KH., Et. al. The respiratory microbiome and susceptibility to influenza virus infection. PLOS One. 2019.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
The information and products offered are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
You should always ask your doctor before using any products.