Virus Resilience, Jaunita May ND



We now know since the borders have opened and the national rise in COVID-19 and Omicron cases that regardless of your vaccination status you can still contract either virus. Currently health practitioners are in great demand to assist with people who have contracted a virus or whom wish to further enhance their family’s health to avoid severity of the illness.

Resilience definition: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties (Oxford)

From a Naturopath’s skill set below are key recommendations to help you and your family remain resilient in these health challenging times:

Build your knowledge and understanding:

  • Get familiar with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19

  • Learn how to enhance your immune system

  • Learn what foods are healing for colds and flus

  • Learn what nutrients and herbs you can take to support your immune health

  • Post-recovery food, nutrients and herbs to help you if you do contract a virus

COVID-19/Omicron variant Signs and Symptoms:

  • fever

  • coughing

  • sore throat

  • shortness of breath

  • runny nose

  • headache

  • fatigue

  • muscle aches, joint pain

  • nausea or loss of appetite

  • vomiting or diarrhoea

  • temporary loss of smell, or taste

  • Covid-19 symptoms are similar to allergies and colds. Go to the health.gov.au/healthalerts/covid-19 website and use the symptom checker if you are uncertain.

  • (Australian Government Department of Health)

Care for your immune system:

  • Maintain regular exercise - helps increase infection fighting cells, reduces inflammation, reduces stress with release of endorphins.

  • Improve your sleep quality - sleep is a precious restorative time for your immune system, ensure you are practicing good sleep hygiene practices: 8-10 hours sleep, bed before 1030pm rise with the sun, dark, cool room, clean and comfortable bedding, avoid screen time up to 1 hour before bed. Eat before 7pm.

  • Gut, brain, immune function - ensure you are practicing good mindset techniques, nature walking, meditation, yoga, singing/musical instruments, creative activities, reduce screen time and social media. Your brain is intrinsically connected to your gut your gut is home to up to 80% of your immune system. So what you feed your mind and your body has a positive and negative impact on your gut.

  • Reduce processed foods, sugary foods, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs all of which lower your immune health significantly. Take it a step further the first sign of illness reduce dairy and gluten as these are highly mucous forming foods.

  • Stay hydrated filtered water 1L/25kg body weight per day

Healing foods for cold and flu viruses

  • Shiitake mushrooms contain fungal polysaccharides that are immunomodulating helping to reduce fatigue, relieve coughing and fight infections.

  • Garlic traditionally used for common colds and flu viruses contain allicin a phytonutrient that decreases excess mucous and upper respiratory tract congestion. Can relieve the symptoms of mild upper respiratory tract infections and debility.

  • Green tea recent research has found that the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea is effective in inhibiting live infections of the SARS-CoV-2 and variants by interfering with the engagement of viral spike proteins.

  • Broths vegetable or bone broths that are slow cooked are packed full of nutrients to improve your health. Further more when additional herbs and foods such as mushrooms and garlic are added. Also broths are soothing for a sore throat and fever.

  • Fresh cold press organic fruit and vegetable juice will give your body an instant hit of nutrients packed also full of fresh enzymes to help healthy cellular activity. Chase your juice with a tsp of coconut oil to help your blood sugar stablise. Consider: beetroot, ginger, turmeric, celery, apple, lemon, parsley and pineapple - include the core, bromelain enzyme is a brilliant virus fighter!!

  • Quercitin rich foods: garlic, onions, apple, fruit and green tea, rich in anti-viral flavonoids.

Anti-viral nutrients preventative:

  • Iron (check your levels before supplementation), zinc, selenium, Vitamin A, C, D and E, Omega 3 oils

Antiviral nutrients for colds and flu viruses:

  • Zinc, Vitamin A, C, D and E, N-acetylcysteine (powerful antioxidant, anti-mucolytic)

Herbs for prevention of cold and flu viruses:

PLEASE NOTE: the following herbs are recommended to be dispensed by a qualified Naturopath or Herbalist for therapeutic purposes.

  • Echinacea root, Andrographis, Calendula, medicinal mushrooms Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi, Thuja, Astragalus (only prevention not acute), Curcumin (turmeric), Siberian ginseng, Licorice, Rehmannia, Withania, Pelargonium, Holy basil, Garlic and St John’s Wort.

Herbs for colds and flu viruses (acute):

  • Echinacea root, Pelargonium, Holy Basil, Elderberry, Peppermint, Chamomile, Garlic, Medicinal mushrooms (above), St John’s Wort, Qing Hao (7 days use only), Ginger, Green Tea, Curcumin (turmeric), Andrographis. For coughs: Elecampane, Thyme, Licorice, Horseradish, Mullein, Ribwort.

*** It is best to seek help from a professional to create a suitable herbal formulation for you/your family that is based on your signs/symptoms/health status/pharmaceutical medication use etc. The quality of practitioner only herbs ensures you are consuming safe (toxin free) herbs that are TGA approved and have certified active constituents to optimise your recovery***

Post-viral recovery:

  • Fuel up on healthy, nourishing foods, rich in all the nutrients mentioned such as garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, hearty broths and stews rich in vegetables and nourishing stock, fresh juices. Limit junk and processed foods, alcohol and drugs. Stay off gluten and dairy if possible. Aim to consume up to 8 cups of fresh fruit and veggies daily and children 3-5 cups.

  • Gentle physical outdoor activity, get your Vitamin D hit as well as fresh air. Nature is incredibly healing too.

  • Once you have no respiratory symptoms left start magnesium, selenium and a good broad spectrum multi-vitamin to boost your depleted nutrient status.

  • Hook in to pre/probiotic rich foods: slippery elm, bananas, onions, leeks, sauerkraut, coconut yoghurt, coconut kefir. Avoid dairy/gluten until you feel yourself again.

  • Keep taking your zinc, A, C, D, E nutrients (only supplement with D if you know your status through your health practitioner and/or have limited sun exposure). Omega 3s fresh wild caught fish or organic flaxseed oil, or hemp protein.

  • Remain well hydrated 1L/25kg body weight

In these challenging and stressful times we must remember that “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change” Brene Brown. Let this inspire us to strengthen not only our immune and health but also our mindset. Don’t let fear navigate you towards the storm, rather sail gracefully with strength and determination in knowing that we all have great power and responsibility in caring for our own health and wellbeing.

In good health, good spirits and healing light, Jaunita May ~ Your Family Naturopath

References:

Australian Government, Department of Health

Functional Herbal Therapy, Kerry Bone

Epilgallocatechin gallate from green tea effectively blocks infection of SARS-CoV-2 and new variants by inhibiting spike binding to ACE2 Receptor, Cell BioScience, Liu. J, Bodnar. B.H, Meng. F, Khan. A.I, Wang. X, Saribas.S, Wang. T, Lohani.S.C, Wang.P, Wei.Z, Luo.J. Zhou.L, Wu.J, Luo.G, Li.Q, Hu.W, Ho.W.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids and COVID-19: A comprehensive review, Hathaway.D, Pandav.K, Patel.M, Riva-Moscoso.A, Singh.B.M, Patel.A, Min.Z.C., Singh-Makkar.S, Sana.M.K, Sanchez-Dopazo.R, Desier.R, Fahen.M.M.M, Manella.S, Rodiguez.I, Alveraz.A, Abreu.R.

Role of food nutrients and supplementation in fighting against viral infections and boosting immunity: A review

Thirumdas.R, Kothakota.A, Pandiselvam.R, Bahrami.A, Barba.F.J.

Anti-inflammatory potential of Quercetin in COVID-19 treatment, Saeedi-Boroujeni.A, Mahmoudian-Sani.M.R

The Gut-Brain Connection: How it works and the role of nutrition, Robertson.R PhD

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