By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
March 23, 2020
Things are going to be a bit strange for the next few weeks. The coronavirus pandemic has been a non-stop presence in the news and in people’s minds.
In fact, I was thinking about it myself on the way to Publix the other night. I was headed there to pick up some water and frozen foods. So I could be prepared for the days ahead.
Yes… preparation is the key here. We should all prepare ourselves so we are more likely to stay healthy as this illness spreads through our population.
First off, I urge everyone to take a practical approach. Yes, the virus is spreading through our communities. It’s putting certain populations at risk of severe illness.
But the pandemic of fear may actually be much worse than the viral pandemic. So don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by the news and excitement you hear from others.
Many people don’t realize that a “corona virus” is named for the crown-like knobs that pepper its surface. And this new one isn’t the first of its kind we’ve seen. In fact, there are 7 types of corona viruses that can affect humans.
It’s the same type of virus as the common cold and SARS. It’s just this particular version, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is brand new to us. Hence the concern.
One of the best ways you can take action is to do all you can to boost your own body’s immunity.
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As people are saying, this is one way we can help “flatten the curve.” In other words, as a society we are trying to slow the transmission of coronavirus through our communities.
This is especially important for ‘at risk’ populations like elderly people or those with already weak immune systems.
The most basic advice you’ve probably seen is good advice. Everyone should wash their hands often with hot soapy water. Sing through the ‘happy birthday’ song twice so you get in a good 20 seconds of scrubbing. This works well to actually break apart and kill the virus if it’s on your hands.
Other practical tips include not touching your face. Stay away from the ER or doctor’s offices if you don’t have symptoms. Anyone who has been infected may be shedding the virus to others without knowing they’re ill.
That’s why these natural means of boosting your own body’s immunity are so important in the coming weeks…
Natural Ways to Boost Your Immunity
First off, you should know that most over-the-counter medications can only really treat the symptoms of a viral disease. At the time of this writing, we don’t have any vaccines to prevent COVID-19.
This means, the absolute best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The natural methods listed below will also help boost your immunity should you accidently become exposed to coronavirus.
Since this virus is so new, we don’t have any research to confirm that any of these methods work specifically against coronavirus. However, they are good steps to help relieve symptoms and also boost your immune system if you do come down with an illness.
Self-care: Plenty of rest and proper hydration are key when you’re battling an upper respiratory infection like COVID-19. Drink plenty of fluids including liquids like homemade vegetable or bone broths. Herbal teas and other hot drinks can also help reduce symptoms.
I especially like drinks made from peppermint, ginger, eucalyptus, or chamomile. Or, simply try hot water with lemon, honey, and cinnamon.
Sore throats: If you are starting to feel a sore throat, salt water gargles can be an excellent way to loosen mucus and fend off throat infections. Hot teas and lozenges with slippery elm bark can help relieve minor pain and inflammation of your mucous membranes.
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You might also try two tablespoons of honey in hot water. This helps to soothe and decrease throat pain and inflammation. I also like chamomile and peppermint teas to soothe sore throats.
Respiratory congestion and sinuses: If you have respiratory congestion, a humidifier may be your new best friend. Vaporizers, steam inhalers, or even time spent in a steamy bath or shower can also help soothe your airways.
You might add in decongestants or essential oils such as eucalyptus, menthol, peppermint, or frankincense. Finally, nasal xylitol sprays work well to help clear your sinuses. Also try using a neti pot or nasal irrigation bottle.
Supplements, Foods, and Nutrients to Support Immune Function
As with most things, I love finding the most natural way to help boost immune function and provide symptom relief. Here is a list of nutrients, foods, and supplements that can boost your immune function and provide symptom relief for an upper respiratory infection like COVID-19.
Vitamin A: Help your body fight off infection particularly when it comes to respiratory infections by taking some Vitamin A. This works well for short-term use and helps people with moderate vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has short-term antiviral properties so it can help prevent infections. When used regularly, it has been shown to shorten the duration of colds. Plus, higher doses can act as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. Take a couple of grams twice a day.
Vitamin D: It’s known as the “sunshine vitamin.” But it’s also one of the most important and powerful nutrients for supporting the immune system. Daily use (especially in the form of D3) will help the high percentage of the population who is deficient in this important nutrient.
Zinc: Zinc can help reduce the frequency of infections when taken within 24 hours of symptom onset. It also helps you recover faster and experience less severity of illness. It plays a significant role in boosting immunity.
Silver: We know that bioactive silver hydrosol can kill viruses. As a result, many people are turning to this to help protect themselves. 
I’ve used it many times over the years for this purpose to great effect. This is not the unsafe large particle colloidal silvers peddled by opportunistic charlatans as a cure for Covid-19.
Selenium: This antioxidant helps boost your body’s defenses against bacteria, virus, and cancer cells. It’s easily obtained from foods – especially Brazil nuts. 
Honey: Organic raw honey is a wonderful way to relieve minor pain and inflammation in your mucous membranes. It also has antioxidant properties and even antimicrobial effects. I enjoy using honey for coughs and sore throats, especially when it can be added to my hot green tea.
Garlic: Garlic is a powerhouse of compounds that can influence immunity. Studies have shown that both fresh and aged garlic extract can reduce viral upper respiratory infection severity. It can also help prevent viruses that commonly cause colds. 
Probiotics: This “good bacteria” support a healthy gut and also influence the immune system. In fact, they work even better than Vitamin C or zinc in lessening the severity and duration of your viral infection. Studies have also shown that probiotics can decrease the number of respiratory infections in children and the elderly. 
Remember, preparation not panic. Use these practical tips to help boost your own body’s immunity and keep yourself healthy in the days to come.
 Human Coronavirus Types, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed 17March2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/types.html
 Coronavirus (COVID-19), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed 17March2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
 Marambio-Jones, C., Hoek, E.M.V. A review of the antibacterial effects of silver nanomaterials and potential implications for human health and the environment. J Nanopart Res 12, 1531–1551 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-010-9900-y
 Christine D Thomson, Alexandra Chisholm, Sarah K McLachlan, Jennifer M Campbell, Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 87, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 379–384, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.2.379
 Gebreyohannes, Gebreselema and Gebreyohannes, Mebrahtu, “Medicinal values of garlic: A review,” International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Vol.5(0), pp 401-408, Sept 2013.
 Guillemard, E., et al. “Consumption of a fermented dairy product containing the probiotic Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 reduces the duration of respiratory infections in the elderly in a randomised controlled trial.” British journal of nutrition 103.1 (2010): 58-68.