I had mentioned that I would share my patient recs for immune-boosting etc as well as info about the Year of The Rat forecast, about a month back. Then I started feeling bashful about sharing with the greater public, non-patients, and as we are so deep into this pandemic now; it was my own ego and disorganization blocking me, then a website glitch kept me from posting, but at last, here we are. Catching a breath and a break… which may be the most important part of all, just allowing ourselves to stop and rest now and then.

The overall goal of increasing my patients’ baseline vitality at any time requires a conversation, a review of their individual constitutional makeup, current diet and habits, environmental exposures and daily activity. So, generalized recommendations such as these are always problematic. nonetheless, we all also turn to such lists and use the information, hopefully, guided by our own intelligence and knowledge of what does and does not work for us. And, hopefully, guided by a medical professional as well. Having said that, this is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, but rather as information to bring to a conversation with your own primary care providers. If you would like to proceed with any of the suggestions here, please schedule a telemedicine appointment with me and we will create your personalized herbal protocol. I can order and deliver your prescriptions directly to you.

Please forgive my redundancy and for restating what you likely already know. If you don’t, it bears repeating.

I am sure you are aware of the suggestions for handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap, using a hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol, having adequate microbe filtering masks (one per person in the house) in case you or someone you need to care for becomes ill. It is also a good idea to start to carefully look at your diet to be sure there are A TON of leafy green vegetables, onions and leeks, less salt and less processed foods, plenty of iron-rich foods. Right?

Then, consider a regiment of herbs and supplements to preventatively boost immune health and potentially reduce viral load and have a stocked medicine cabinet with some basics should you or your family get sick. As you know, it is probably good to have some non-ibuprofen fever reducers on hand as well as some over the counter Rx that addresses lung congestion. While Chinese herbal medicine formulas typically work better than these, and usually it is beneficial to have a low-grade fever in the initial stage of any viral infection, it is very important to note that with CoVid-19 we are seeing that these fevers can quickly rise very high and fast and so with the onset of any fever at this time you will need direct support form your Primary Care Provider. So reach out immediately.

As you have likely heard, the Covid-19 virus has a fatty lipid layer around the outside that helps it to stick to things. One reason handwashing is so important is that this lipid layer is broken down by soap or an alcohol-based solution of at least 70% alcohol. We want to be sure not to touch things – and then touch our face or mouth – that someone who is carrying the illness has coughed or sneezed on, as the liquid droplets they have expectorated may carry the virus. It has been said that 60-80% of those infected may be completely or almost completely asymptomatic and not know they have it before passing it on to someone who is actually at risk of coming down with it more seriously or fatally. This can be because the viral load they are exposed to is greater or because they have some condition which compromises their health.

There is an herbal formula traditionally used to boost the immune system prior to allergy season, Yu Ping Feng San (aka Jade Windscreen) which has been shown in a recent clinical study in China to be partially effective in prevention against the coronavirus. There are several formats in which to take herbal Rx, mostly, teapills, granules or as a tincture. I like the Yu Ping Feng Tang tincture form as it tends to be a bit more potent than tea pills or granules if it is a true tincture. And, it is a good formula for immune-boosting generally. The granule (powder) form of Jade Windscreen, which you would dissolve in hot water and drink, is also pretty potent, and then the tea pills are more diluted but slightly easier to take.

An example of a regular regime:
·         Jade Wind Screen (Yu Ping Feng Tang) as a tincture, 1/2 tsp 2-3 x/day, or Yu Ping Feng San as teapills or granules as directed on the container. (Tang means tincture, San means pills).
·         Vitamin C, 3k mg/day split in to 3 or more doses (increase that to 1k mg per hour, which is approx max absorption rate, to bowel tolerance, if actually sick). Some people prefer to take Liposomal vitamin C as the absorption rate may be much greater. Some people prefer to take a “buffered” Vitamin C which can be a good idea if it is typically hard on your stomach or Vitamin C with flavonoids aid absorption.
·         Vitamin D: if not getting at least 15 min of sun exposure over most of your body each day, then supplementation is needed; it can protect against any tendencies of respiratory viruses to trigger more severe consequences.consequences. Aim for around 50- 60k IU’s per week, in the absence of elevated Liver enzymes, as it is a fat-soluble vitamin processed through the liver. Can do sublingually in drops under the tongue or by Capsule. CAUTION against Vitamin D with any form of “K” if taking a blood thinner or other prescription medications, ask your pharmacist about K. Without the “K” it is fine.

·       Elderberry has been shown to be protective against the corona virus as well, it may help block attempts by the virus to enter the cell by inhibiting anenzyme used to drill through the cell membrane : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1756464619300313?via%3Dihub
·       Eat onions, leeks – these contain ‘monocot mannose binding lectins’ reported to block viral receptor sites.
·       Stinging Nettles Root – contains a lectin with known antiviral qualities that has in fact been shown to be effective against similar strains of Coronavirus- Selenomethionine (selenium) has been suggested by others. Eating one brazil nut each day gives you the RDA of selenium.
·       Probiotics: good intestinal flora boosts overall immunity. History of antibiotic use damages these beneficial bacteria.
·       Zinc: Studies show that taking zinc lozenges or throat spray can help kill viruses in the mouth/throat/ upper airways before they reach the Lung. With Zinc, aim for around 15 milligrams daily, in an acute condition and you can go up to 45 milligrams a day acutely, but not for more than three days.

If you do contract the flu, there are different Chinese herbal formulas to take to help your body fight the flu.

Jade Windscreen / Yu Ping Feng San will NOT adequately treat you if you have the flu, you will need a different formula, based on your presentation.

If you are starting to get sick with a fever or other upper respiratory illness:
·         Contact your PCP and follow instructions for testing and treatment. 
·         Stay put at home and communicate with your community about your next steps.
·         Increase Elderberry to 3-5 doses/day.
·         Vitamin C – injections from an ND or other medical doctor would be ideal. Short of that, increase to at least 1k mg/hour
to bowel tolerance, then reduce until bowels become less watery. This will usually kick in between 5-8 doses, then can reduce to every other hour. You want at least 6-8k mg per day, minimum.
·         Nasal Steam Bath for your sinuses and airways. Do this by inhaling steaming water with some of theses herbs 2-3 x / day: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Niaouli, Lemon, Cinnamon leaf, Clove, Rosemary, Thyme, Frankincense, Myrtle or if you have none of those, oregano oil is another good antibacterial and antiviral.  You can reuse the same solution several times by reheating it to steam, so long as the aromatics are still very strong. See the link to Dr. Heiner Fruehauf’s article on this below, “Methods to Protect Your Respiratory System from Infection During the Current Flu and Coronavirus Season”.
·         Antiviral gargle: Gargle warm salt-water with the essential oil of one or more of these and spit it out (do not swallow) 1-3 times a day. Be aware of what essential oil formulations are for internal vs external use. Do not swallow any oils meant for external use, but you can inhale them and gargle with them – it will likely be very potent.
·         Try doing the wet sock treatment to boost your immune response. The Wet Sock Treatment reflexively increases circulation, stimulating the immune system and decreasing congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It may help improve sleep. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections. The Wet Sock treatment works best if performed at the onset of illness and repeated for three nights in a row. See directions for “Wet Sock Treatment” in the post of that title.

·      Contact me or your herbalist for a formula.

     Lastly, reducing the viral load present in your airways before they reach the lungs is believed to have been accomplished in the past with the use of strong antiviral aromatics, as in the time of the plague when thieves and perfumers fared better than others, possibly because of their use of these aromatics. In his article, “Methods to Protect Your Respiratory System from Infection During the Current Flu and Coronavirus Season”,  Dr. Heiner Fruehauf shared this information on oils found to be most useful during this flu season in early 2020: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Niaouli, Lemon, Cinnamon leaf, Clove, Rosemary, Thyme, Frankincense, Myrtle

     Dr. Fruehauf notes that, “Any or all of the oils described above can be mixed together to produce an essential oil blend. Massage oils should incorporate 30 drops of essential oils per ounce (blended into a base of high-quality olive oil or apricot seed oil). “Perfumes” should be mixed 50/50 with a base oil like jojoba oil or apricot seed oil, and used by applying 1-2 drops of the blend to the area below the nostrils. Alternatively, according to a recent report I received, Chinese medicine practitioners during the 1938 epidemic in China successfully swabbed their nostrils with vinegar before seeing afflicted patients.”

Read the full article here: https://classicalchinesemedicine.org/natural-methods-protect-respiratory-system-infection-during-current-flu-coronavirus-season/ This is similar to the use of zinc spray or lozenges, which one allows to dissolve slowly in the mouth so the throat is coated and can impact the virus before it gets to the lungs. I do not believe colloidal silver is helpful unless you have a viral infection.

There are lots of other options out there. These are some. Please remember to stay calm, try to get quality sleep every night and increase your communication with the important people in your life, we must all support each other.

Lastly, anyone can access my clinic’s “online dispensary”, which is Emerson Ecologic’s “Wellevate” system, to get a discount of 25% there. Access this by clicking on the Emerson/Wellevate link at the bottom of the WATC home page. There are supplements and also more “natural” personal care items. Many items may be out of stock. You could compare the amounts of active ingredients to those I have in my favorites or recommended previously and choose similar alternatives.