What you can do to protect your immune system
* It is very susceptible to alcohol — so alcohol-based hand sanitizers and soaps are a really good measure to protecting yourself!
* This pandemic is being treated seriously! Which means there are a lot of medical professionals working around the clock to help support us and keep us all safe. Additionally, avoiding contact with anyone who may have coronavirus will help us quickly “flatten the curve” as that will slow down spread
With that said, I don’t believe there is need for mass hysteria or panic. I think we should be wise by taking precautions to protect ourselves and loved ones. But, even while doing this, we have the opportunity to stay calm, and use this as an opportunity to slow down, decrease stress, and take a PAUSE.
In Chinese, the word CRISIS actually means danger AND opportunity. We are so focused on the danger right now, are we missing the opportunity? I think there is an opportunity in this crisis.
opportunity to be grateful for all that we have
opportunity to connected deeply with our loved ones, even without being in close physical proximity
opportunity to take a pause and destress
opportunity to strengthen our immune systems
opportunity to support our communities
opportunity to recognize that climate change is real and that we have power over it
So, definitely, let’s help mitigate the danger. I am a believer that YOU can protect yourself and your loved ones – with knowledge, awareness, and tools to support your immune system.
AND, after mitigating danger, let’s reflect on all that can be gained for us as individuals, and us as global citizens.
What does climate change and pollution have to do with fertility?
It turns out that the most polluted cities around the world also have the lowest fertility rates.
Climate Change: Did you know that in Wuhan, China, where coronavirus first started, is one of the biggest cities in Central China, with quite a bit of pollution? With the quarantines being enforces in Wuhan and cities all around China, there has been a drastic drop in air pollution. Within a mere 8 weeks, the nitric oxide levels all around China are decreased significantly! Nitric oxide is one of the by-products released into the atmosphere upon burning fossil fuels. This type of change could prove to be a major win for the environment!
All I’m saying is that maybe there is more here for us to focus on, instead of being focused JUST on the danger. I’m not saying don’t take precaution, I’m just saying acknowledge that there is some good that might come out of all of this.
So with that said… shall we talk about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones?
Please note, the information presented here is NOT for treatment purposes. Also, pregnant or women trying to conceive should consult a doctor before using the recommendations below. Dosages below are suggestions. Only take what you feel comfortable with. Children need much lower dosages so speak to your Naturopathic Doctor to adjust appropriately.
First, you want to do everything you can to avoid contact with potentially infected people. Avoid touching your hands and wash hands frequently. Additionally, you can avoid touching your eyes or mouth frequently.
If you have a young child, make sure s/he is washing hands frequently. Additionally, daycares are breeding grounds for colds and flu, so the tips below are going to be extra crucial to protecting your young one from getting sick!
What signs/ symptoms should you watch out for?
–> Fever/ high temperature
–> Shortness of breath
FEVERS ARE GOOD.
The fever is a good thing, don’t suppress it! A fever (kept below 103 degrees) is actually a good thing. The fever is your immune system mounting a response to the virus. So, instead of taking tylenol to suppress your fever, I say help enhance your fever– it’ll do your immune system a world of good! But, this should be doctor-supervised… so find yourself a good Naturopathic Doctor who’s willing to give you some tools to enhance your fever and observe you through to the other side.
Enhance the fever:
*** Take a hot bath while drinking hot tea
(take caution to not get light-headed in a bath because this could lead to passing out — stay hydrated!)
*** get under the covers and sweat!
Who’s most at risk?
Anyone with a pre-existing lung or heart issue should be extra-mindful and precautious.
Support your Immune System. You’ve got this!
We have two distinct wheelhouses within our immune system. The first is the innate and the second is adaptive. Upon a new threat, our innate immune system will kick into action it’s defense mechanisms to support our body in fighting off the virus or bacteria. The adaptive immune system is an antigen-specific response, which means it takes time to mount a response by fighting specifically against the threat, be it viral or otherwise.
1) Elderberries. Drinking elderberry tea or elderberry syrup extracted from the berries is a wonderful protective mechanism. Although we don’t have direct studies with Elderberry and Coronavirus, we have lots of studies that have shown people taking elderberry were more protected against flu than people who took the flu shot. And, elderberries are delicious and high in Vitamin C.
How does it work?
Elderberry acts on two levels. The first is to block the entry of the virus. Additionally, it dampens the inflammation that the virus causes so that it’s symptoms are more tolerable.
Should you worry about elderberry causing a cytokine storm? NO. You would need a lot of cytokines to be stimulated to cause a storm…. elderberries alone are not going to do that. The research on elderberries is mixed so to practice ultimate caution, I would advise against the use of elderberry syrup in high doses after you present with any symptoms that might be coronavirus-related. If you have symptoms that are not improving or are getting worst, immediately discontinue the use of elderberry. However, it is a powerful anti-viral agent — probably one of the best available to us, so use it wisely!
Pro-tip: The Elder flower tea can be great to mildly reduce fever. Since fevers are beneficial to the immune system, I don’t recommend making it go away all together, but a mild reduction in temperature is sometimes needed. Generally, my rule of thumb is up to 100-102 degrees, we’re safe. After that, I would consider mildly lowering it. If you have a fever of 102 or higher for more than two days, I highly encourage you to visit your nearest hospital. And, feel free to contact our clinic for acute consultations by going to the scheduler and booking the “acute- coronavirus” appointment option. We are here to serve you!
2) Prevention tips. In addition to Elderberry, here are other things I’m encouraging you to do the following to protect yourself and your beloveds. These dosages are for Adults! For children, please calculate the appropriate dosage based on weight.
– Make sure that your levels of Vitamin D are optimal (between 40-60 nmol/L is optimal)
– Zinc is really important for the immune system, and has also shown to reduce viral replication for other upper respiratory viruses. Although there is no research for this strain of coronavirus, there is plenty of data suggesting that zinc can help in reducing the replication of viruses in the body, hence stopping the progression of viral illness.
– Vitamin C has shown to be crucial for the immune system and has been used to support the immune system for decades against a variety of different infections. This one is always a safe bet!
Vitamin D — take around 5000 IUs / day
Vitamin C — take 1000 mg per day (Bonus points if it’s Liposomal Vitamin C without sugar added to it– that is easier to absorb and utilize for your body)
How and why does Vitamin C work?
>> Vitamin C is a macronutrient that is able to support the white blood cells in the body to protect against infection. Studies show that Vitamin C effectively reduces time of pathogen-related illness, in addition to playing a crucial role in helping fight the infection. Vitamin C levels in white blood cells is 10x higher than in plasma, which implies that this vitamin has a crucial role that it plays in the immune system. Vitamin C has been shown to affect production of T-cells, phagocytes, and interferon – all having a key role in fighting pathogens. There is also data suggesting that Vitamin C helps to stop viral replication in the host– meaning once you get a virus, the only way it can survive and continue to impact you is by replicating. If Vitamin C helps to stop this replication, it reduces the potential impact the virus can have on you.
>> Infections increase oxidative stress. Many infections lead to phagocytosis (phagocytes eating up the pathogen) which often produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a by-product. Increased ROS can unfortunately present harm to the host (us humans!). Vitamin C can act as an effective antioxidant to neutralize ROS and prevent harm to the host.
>> If you have high blood pressure and have been taking an ACE inhibitor (such as lisinopril), you are more susceptible to COVID-19 in particular, as it’s main mechanism in the body is to bind to ACE receptors. Vitamin C can actually act as a mild diuretic and helps to enhance endothelial lining, making the blood flow easier, which can help lower blood pressure. Most studies related to this were done at 500 mg/ day. So, if you are taking an ACE inhibitor, you can support your immune system with Vitamin C intake, and remember to keep an eye on your blood pressure! It’s doubtful that it would get too low, but in case it starts dropping, you can talk to your doctor about lowering your dose of the ACE inhibitor. #sidebenefits ?
Zinc picolinate — 40-50 mg /day max (eat a handful of pumpkin seeds daily!)
Mushrooms! Not the hallucinogenic kind. Reishi, shiitake, and maitake are my favorites. And, I’m adding these to soups and stews that we eat.
Probiotics — My favorite is the Megaspore probiotic for adults. Kids definitely need a different one.
If you start to feel sick, see the signs / symptoms of early sickness, I would suggest the following additional steps:
Wellness Formula — take 2 tablets every 2-3 hours
Oregano oil – 1-3 drops every 2-3 hours
Increase the dosage of Vitamin C
What Supplement Brands do I recommend? Actually, I’ve made it super easy. You can go to our supplement store to see what I use for my family! You will need a registration code for the website so email us ([email protected]) and we’ll get you the info you need right away so that you can place your supplement order. Everything that I have on the Immunity List is currently available. If a product that was in the EZKit has become unavailable, please type the name of the supplement without the brand in the general search box and you will get some alternative options. Everything available in the store has been pre-screened by me (not all brands are made equal, but in this moment of crisis, anything remotely equivalent will do the job).
3) Magic socks. This is one of my favorite home remedies of all times. It’s ideal to start Magic socks at the first sign of illness. Don’t wait till you’re “sick”!
How to do it: Take the cotton socks, run them under cold water. Wring the socks out well. Put themt on your feet just before going to sleep for the night. Put the wool socks on over them. Yes, they have to be pure wool. (SmartWool likely will not work)
What should you expect? The socks should be dry in the morning. And, you should be feeling better (vibrant, energetic, etc).
Continue doing magic socks for a day or two after full recovery. This will ensure you’re a 100% back to health!
4) My other favorite botanicals
* Astragalus – shown to support the upper respiratory system and boost immunity in general. In addition, studies have shown positive effects on other strains of coronavirus.
* Echinacea is good for preventative measures against colds and flus in general. In addition, it has shown anti-viral activity, so could be a good botanical to utilize through this extreme viral season.
* Licorice– this herb probably is the most promising one for fighting coronavirus. Licorice binds ACE receptors which would make it harder for COVID-19 to bind to the same receptors, make the virus less likely to take hold in the body. In addition, licorice has been studied and demonstrated to have positive effects against many viruses throughout history. Additionally, licorice has an anti-inflammatory effect, by down-regulating inflammatory cytokines. So, it is one of the best botanicals we could have in our home medicinary.
If you would like a 4 ounce bottle of our Anti-Viral Immune Tonic ($55 + shipping and handling), please reach out to us at [email protected] with your Name, Address, and Phone number. This is by no means meant to be a prescription or cure!
Do you have symptoms that might resemble coronavirus and you want to know for sure? There is a home-test-kit available here. I cannot speak to the accuracy of this test but it can most likely be a great at-home testing option.
Other ways to get support:
I’m offering a Fertility & Immunity Circle weekly through this crisis. You can sign up HERE. (You don’t have to be trying to conceive or pregnant to join, it’s available to anyone who wants to participate)
If you’re concerned about Coronavirus and need to speak with a doctor, you can schedule a discounted appointment called “Acute-coronavirus” HERE.
I continue to update this page, as well as offer pro-tips on my Instagram page @holistic_fertility_doctor – if you’re on IG, please follow along for more tips and research updates as they become available.
P.S. If you want to get our free newsletter that offers ongoing tips and tools for anyone pre-fertility, trying to conceive, pregnant, or postpartum, you can sign up below.
Dr. Aumatma, ND
Holistic Fertility Specialist | Author | Speaker
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