Staying healthy during the
Coronavirus Update – March 6, 2020
By: Dr. Fleck and Dr. Bernardy
Many of our patients have been asking us what we suggest for protecting ourselves and our families against this potential threat.
It infuriates me (Dr. Fleck) that me that even though there are literally thousands of studies on the effective use of natural agents for antiviral properties, NOTHING is being said in the news about them. People are dying and the corrupt pharmaceutical industry still resists acknowledging these agents in preventing and treating viruses and other illnesses.
Dr. Bernardy had someone say to her this week in regards to the coronavirus “There’s nothing we can do to protect ourselves – there’s no vaccine”. This statement made us very sad. In the world of naturopathic medicine, we have so many tools to prevent and treat illness. While it is true that there isn’t a vaccine, there are many things we can to do to keep ourselves healthy and treat viral infections naturally.
Prevention, as always, is the best way to prevent illness. The best prevention – and treatment - is to have a healthy and robust immune system.
What it is:
Coronavirus, aka. Wuhan virus (scientific classification SARA-CoV-2 causing CoVID-19) is a new virus never before seen in humans. It originated in the Wuhan province of China in December 2019 from a yet to be determined animal vector. Unfortunately, due to lack of quick government response and no quarantine of sick individuals in that area, it spread outside of the region. We are in the first wave of the illness and will likely see another wave later this year.
We are now starting to see cases in northern California. As of today, there have been NO cases in Santa Cruz county, 14 cases in Santa Clara county and 2 cases in San Mateo county. As for global numbers, they have been as of this writing been misreported and we are still waiting to get true numbers out of many countries that saw the virus earlier than the US. We don’t know the true fatality rate (death rate) but it’s estimated to be 0.2% - 1%.
The illness looks similar to the flu or the common cold. You may start to experience symptoms 2-14 days after exposure. It causes no or mild symptoms in most individuals exposed. The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable population is in the elderly, where we are seeing the highest death rates.
What you can do:
The best medicine is prevention. Always. So if you haven’t been in to see your doctor at SCNMC in awhile, now’s the time!
Hygiene and quarantining yourself if you are sick are effective measures to prevent the spread and catching of any virus including this one:
Wash your hands frequently for 20-30 seconds in warm soapy water (sing the happy birthday song twice). Masks aren’t very effective – with the caveat of the R95 masks working moderately well and only if you change them frequently as they themselves harbor bacteria.
Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Use alcohol based hand sanitizers when hand washing is not available.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard or sneeze into your elbow and wash hands after.
Stay home if you feel sick and isolate yourself from your family and/or roommates.
Don’t panic! At this time we are not in imminent danger or in an epidemic. We are still learning about this new virus to humans.
From a Naturopathic perspective we also recommend adding in more antiviral herbs and nutrients and don’t stress your body too much.
Here is a simple yet effective run down:
Get good sleep. Poor or little sleep is directly related to a lowered immune system.
Eat super clean. Avoid processed & packaged foods. Avoid foods you are sensitive to. Eat whole foods. Eat organic. Eat light. Consume veggie juices and bone broths. Practice intermittent fasting. It takes a LOT of energy for our bodies to digest. Research shows that fasting boosts our immune systems.
Eat lots of ginger and garlic.
Sauna followed by a quick cold plunge or simply a quick cold rinse at the end of your shower boosts immunity.
Weekly B12 shots and general adrenal support. When our adrenals are healthy, we are less susceptible to getting sick.
Immune Boosting Supplement Suggestions for Prevention of Illness:
Vitamin D - an average of 3,000 iu per day or more
Vitamin A - an average of 10,000 iu per day (do not use if pregnant)
Vitamin C-an average of 2,000 - 3,000 mg 1-3x per day (back off if you get loose stool)
Chaga & Reishi Mushrooms
Herbs to Boost Immunity:
Herbs work best in synergy. We prefer tinctures over capsules. You can pick up a tincture blend at any of our local health food stores. Look for a label that says "Immunity" or "Anti-Viral" on the label.
Herb Pharm and Gaia Herbs are some of our favorite companies you can access.
Personally, we swear by Dr. Fleck's Immune tincture that we sell in our office. As Dr. Fleck often says, "It will cure what ails you."
Wondering how to dose your herbs? For prevention, we suggest taking a standard dose 2-3x/day. If you are starting to get sick, we suggest kicking up your dose to every 1-2 hours until your symptoms subside.
Taking herbs at the first sign of illness will greatly reduce the risk of you getting really sick.
DIY Herbal Hand Sanitizer:
Use when there is an outbreak of colds and flus in an area or when you or your family have an infection. Many different essential oils can be used. This sanitizing spritzer was chosen as an alternative to conventional hand sanitizers and for it’s ease of use.
10 drops Lavendula angustafolia, Lavender essential oil
10 drops Citrus limon, Lemon essential oil
1oz amber spray bottle
Using a funnel, fill a 1oz glass spray bottle 3/4 with 100% alcohol. Add 20 drops of essential oil. Top off with alcohol to fill bottle. Secure lid and shake to mix.
Spray 1-3 times on hands and rub together. Use as needed.
It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, that governments and the media aren’t reporting on natural measures that have research backing them that you can do at home.
In contrast to conventional medicine, which has very little to offer when it comes to treating viruses, we as Naturopathic Doctors have a full array of natural anti-viral remedies as well as multiple modalities to boost your immune system.
Patients – if you feel you have been exposed to the coronavirus and would like to see one of our doctors please schedule a phone visit.
And remember, don't panic! We are here for you!
To our collective health & well being,
Dr. Tonya Fleck & Dr. Jessica Bernardy