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Covid is here to stay.

And our world is not the same anymore. 

Just leaving the house to go grocery shopping causes anxiety. 

At home, moms are acting as gym, art, and school teachers – while raising smaller children as well. 

Essential workers are stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

We’re losing friends, family, and parents due to Covid-19. For that, I am truly sorry for your loss.

All of this concern, leaves you wondering..  Is there hope in boosting your immunity to prevent Covid-19?

I’m writing to share how I’m integrating supplements and herbs into my family’s diet and how functional medicine doctors & master herbalists are helping clients with Covid-19 to recover faster.

>>Please note,  I’m not claiming these herbs/supplements will prevent you from getting Covid-19, but they may, in fact, shorten your symptoms and boost your immunity for years to come.

By the end of this post, you’ll have my 13+ years of herbal medicine experience intertwined with master herbalists and functional medicine doctors who are helping our community get through and overcome Covid-19 with botanicals, supplements & diet.

The 4 little known ways you can boost your immunity during Covid-19:

  • #1 Reduce your inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet
  • #2 Boost your immunity with supplements & vitamins
  • #3 Reduce your stress to improve immunity 
  • #4 Integrate herbs to enhance your health – {Post 2 of 2}

Plus!! Consider Reducing your Oxidative stress to prevent Covdi-19- Read about it here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324863#summary

Let’s dive in.

But first, these remedies and supplements NEVER take the place of your doctor.  Please always see your doctor for ANY emergency and always consult them if you are taking medications.

What is Covid-19?

Stephen Buhner, Master Herbalist explains..

SARS-CoV-2 is an acronym, it is also known as Covid-19 (and sometimes as just the coronavirus or even SARS-2) which does make things confusing.

Regrettably, Covid-19 is also an acronym. It stands for COronaVIrus Disease of 2019, usually written COVID-19 (but also Covid-19). (It doesn’t mean that there were 18 Covids before this one.)

What are Covid-19 Symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

-cdc.org

How is Covid-19 spread?

The virus is primarily spread through the air (inhalation) and transfers during touch between the infected and the non-infected areas. 

What can you do to make yourself more resilient during Covid-19?

Consider these 4 simple steps to support your immune system.

#1 Reduce inflammation with diet

Diet is always first.  Eating well, staying a healthy weight, and reducing medications will always be your best friend for fighting viruses.

Consider the following..

  • Focus on whole, unprocessed/unpackaged, organic foods as much as possible
  • Reduce sugar and starch as much as you can – to reduce inflammation
  • Stop drinking! Yes, I know this one is hard. But, alcohol suppresses the immune system and steals vital nutrients from your body. *
  • Drink herbal teas daily like fresh ginger, peppermint, and lemon balm to soothe your stress, improve digestion, and boost immunity.
  • Consider additional vitamins and supplements to reduce inflammation in your body. {See below}

*Many of us have turned to alcohol to soothe our stress.  But, it is well-known alcohol is very inflammatory, depresses the immune system, and can disrupt your sleep – which is so important to your healing. Cut out the alcohol and replace it with a cup of herbal tea!

#2 Add in vitamins & supplements to boost your immune system.

Boosting Immunity with Vitamins during the Covid-19 pandemic can be beneficial to your health.  Here are the vitamins functional medicine doctors are suggesting we integrate to reduce symptoms of Covid-19 and to boost immunity. Of course, always check with your doctor first!

Here are the vitamins and minerals that have proven to reduce cold and flu symptoms in years past. 

a.  Zinc Acetate {other forms are ok as well}

  • If you tend to get sick a lot or your children have signs of asthma,  you’ll want to add zinc to your diet. (source)
  • One of the first indications of zinc deficiency may be the white spots on your nails. Do you have them?
    • Zinc food sources: oysters, pumpkins seeds – meat, shellfish, legumes
    • Supplement Dosing: 25-60mg/day
  • Pro Tip: give zinc with food to prevent nausea
  • My favorite: Pure Encapsulations is a great company

Zinc lozenges may help prevent viruses from replicating in the nasal passages, may help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, have been shown to shorten the length of a cold by 2 to 4 days, and some studies have found zinc to be specifically preventative against certain coronaviruses, reducing their virulence and preventing their entry into cells. – Dr. Aviva Romm {source}

b. Vitamin D₃

c. Quercitin

Quercetin has antioxidant properties, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, and helps prevent heart disease and even cancer. {source} It’s derived from turmeric and works best when combined with black pepper. 

  • Food sources for Quercitine: dill, broccoli, onions, apples, onions, berries berries, capers, grapes, onions, shallots, tea, and tomatoes, as well as many seeds, nuts, flowers, barks, and leaves. Quercetin is also found in medicinal botanicals, including Ginkgo bilobaHypericum perforatum, and Sambucus canadensis {elderberry}
    • Look for 8-12 servings every day
  • Supplemental Dosing: 500 mg 2x day
  • Children: Children over 5.  Dosing: 150mg 1-2x day
  • Pro tip: Take Quercetin with zinc for full absorption, not to be taken during pregnancy. 

After the 2003 SARS-CoV-1 coronavirus outbreak, researchers in China found quercetin and other small molecules bound to the spike protein of the virus, interfering with its ability to infect host cells. (source)

d. Glutathione

Glutathione is known as an antioxidant, detoxifier, increases natural killer cells, and anti-inflammatory.  It also is known to increase the function of the immune system. Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors, including poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress. Its levels also decline with age.

  • Food sources for Glutathione: cruciferous vegetables, green tea, garlic, onions, and shallots
  • Supplemental Dosing: 600mg 2x day
  • Pro tip: NAC boosts glutathione

e. Green Tea

If you change one thing, it would be to replace your cup of coffee with green tea! Green tea is known as an antioxidant and it produces Glutathione.

If you don’t like the taste of green tea, try a daily supplement.

  • Dosing: 4 cups a day or 225 mg/day through a supplement

f. Vitamin C

Vitamin C may shorten the duration of a cold and prevent pneumonia.

  • Food sources: Think bright orange fruits Cantaloupe, Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit, Kiwi fruit, Mango, Papaya, and Pineapple.
  • Adult Dosing: 500-1,000 mg/day up to 4,500 mg/day during infection
  • Kids Dosing:
    • Age 2-5: 200mg
    • Age 6-11: 250-500mg
    • Age 12+: 500-1000

g. Probiotics

Good bacteria line our nasal system and gut lining and contribute to our overall health. Consider adding in a probiotic if you’ve had many doses of antibiotics throughout your lifetime and after every round of antibiotics going forward.

  • Food sources: yogurtkefirkombuchasauerkraut, pickles, misotempehkimchi, sourdough bread, and some cheeses.
  • Dosing: follow the information on the package.

60% of our immune system is in our gut which is why it is critical to focus on gut health now. – Dr. Mark Hyman {source}

h. Melatonin

Melatonin has an antioxidant capacity and reduces oxidative stress. {source}

  • Dosing: 3-5 mg at night

i. Stress-Reducing herbs

Lowering your stress can be one of the best things you can do for your health today.  When you have an increase in stress, you are more prone to illnesses.

For kids? Read this post to see my favorite sleepy time tea to help my kids sleep better and feel confident heading off to school each day!

9 Simple Shortcuts To Help Your Child Sleep

Read this post, I wrote for ICON on how you can reduce your stress every day with herbal remedies.

7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress & Anxiety

#4 Incorporate herbs during an infection

87% of people have Post Covid Symptoms; including symptoms that are similar to Chronic Fatigue Symptoms- Dr. Mark Hyman

Read this post to see the herbs I would use during and after exposure to Covid-19. COMING SOON…

Conclusion

It’s well-known that many of us are lacking valuable nutrients causing us to be more susceptible to viruses of any kind; including Covid-19.

During the pandemic, is the most optimal time to take note of your health and begin taking steps to improve your health with diet and vitamins. These are the vitamins and supplements that have helped us reduce the flu most years and have helped my son overcome “asthma-like” breathing.

Always consult your physician before adding any new supplements or botanicals into your diet.

I hope this post serves you.

Stay safe~

Tara

P.S.  Ready to use herbs with your kids to boost immunity? I cover all the herbal and homeopathic remedies for children’s health age 1-12 in my online course: Home Remedies for Children. 

 

References:

  • Stephen Buhner: https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/articles/
  • Dr. Mark Hyman: https://drhyman.com/blog/2020/04/01/a-functional-medicine-approach-to-covid-19/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5178847/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4463890/
  • https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/87373
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/
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