Thursday, March 12, 2020

Potential Natural Options for Prevention and Treatment of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

My Integrative and Functional Medicine training has helped me to consider ways to naturally boost our immune system and fight infections. My family and I use many of these strategies to prevent the flu each year, however, there are several specific concerns and recommendations that I will cover that are specific for this virus.

In the case of this novel coronavirus, there are several goals. 

First, prevent exposure to the virus, Second, optimize the immune system, Third, help kill any virus in our nose and mouth if we have been exposed. Fourth, prevent the virus entering cells and replicating if an infection occurs (this is the way many antiviral pharmaceutical medications work). Fifth, prevent a “cytokine storm” in the event of infection which is an inflammatory response that may be so excessive that this it can be deadly.

Here is the protocol that my family and I are now following in response to this virus.

To prevent exposure - we try to avoid spending extended periods of time in poorly ventilated buildings, we wear masks regularly when we are away from home and we socially distance. We also wash and sanitize our hands regularly for any exposure outside our home. 

After any potential exposure, we try to decrease the virus in our nasal passages and throat. We use XClear Nasal Spray (Xylitol and Grapefruit Seed Extract) and/or Iotech International Molecular Iodine nasal spray as well as Iotech International Molecular Iodine mouthwash

To help our immune system we use a variety of supplements including Stephen Buhner's immune support herbal tinctures (see below). We also choose healthy foods, try to get enough sleep, exercise daily and use relaxation therapies (including meditation). See below for an expanded discussion of these options. 

At the first sign of symptoms, we start the Buhner herbal tincture formula, we increase our use of nasal spray and mouthwash, we steam with organic essential oils, drink fresh ginger tea throughout the day (see below for expanded discussion).