Amidst the hype and mass hysteria of coronavirus, we deem it necessary to share natural prevention options readily available to boost your immune system. With many clients stocking up on herbal and homeopathic immune tonics during this time, we are offering our advice on how you can be proactive and aim to help dispel some of the surrounding fears. Why is coronavirus more disconcerting that the common cold or the flu? The main causes for concern relate to ‘the unknown’. We are yet to determine the virulence/severity of this particular strain of coronavirus; how it is transmitted and how long it can survive on surfaces; and whether someone who is infected can transmit the virus before symptoms appear. We do know that it is highly contagious, but does appear to have a much lower fatality rate (1-3%) than previous outbreaks such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Ebola virus. The vast majority (80%) of those who have died from this coronavirus strain (2019-nCoV) are those who are already immunocompromised, elderly, weak or frail. One main potential issue for those at risk is the combination of contracting coronavirus and influenza together. There is already a push for flu vaccinations in the elderly, however an article published by the Annals of Internal medicine earlier this month stated that there is “no evidence indicating that vaccination reduced hospitalisations or mortality among elderly persons."

Common Sense Strategies

Arming yourself with awareness, knowledge and strategies to prepare yourself against the spread of coronavirus is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk. Stick to basic hygiene practices and make sure you do these regularly. These include: • Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more • Covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough with a tissue, not into your hand • Avoiding individuals who have cold and flu-like symptoms • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth when out in public places • Avoiding travel if you elderly, immunocompromised or have a chronic illness and likewise minimising your contact with those who are to help reduce their risk too If you experience a fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing and tiredness, and have come in close contact with someone who lives in or who has recently travelled to an area with a known coronavirus outbreak, then we urge you to see your doctor. Other symptoms can include a sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion. Notify and alert the personnel at the medical clinic prior to attending if you do suspect you may have the virus. Wear a mask and avoid public transport (trains, buses, taxis, ride-sharing services, etc.) when you go to minimise the risk of contracting and/or further spreading the virus.

Stop the Spread of Germs

It goes without saying that limiting the spread of infection, as with the common cold and influenza, is one of the most important considerations. Avoid sharing germs within the household and in public places by using natural surface and hand disinfectants/sanitisers with proven antiviral activity, not just antibacterial properties. Essential oils can do this and can be dispersed into the air using an aromatherapy diffuser in your bedroom, living room or kitchen. Clove, eucalyptus, melaleuca, myrrh and oregano essential oils are among the most common that you can find, buy and use for this purpose.

Immune-Boosting Foods and Antiviral Add-Ons

These are our top 10 recommended foods that you should be eating and cooking to keep your immune system fighting fit: • Garlic • Ginger • Turmeric • Mushrooms • Spinach • Bone broth/vegetable broth • Blueberries • Oranges • Pineapple • Manuka honey

5 Herbal Immunity Heroes – What Tonic to Start Taking?

These can be prescribed in herbal tincture form and some can be found in syrup form making it easier for kids to take. Herbs are often infused into warming and soothing teas, which also help keep you well hydrated. 1 Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) to help protect the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and lungs against invading viruses 2 Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) one of the most widely used botanical remedies for influenza, the common cold, sore throats and sinusitis. Echinacea enhances the immune system response and has antiviral activity to help relieve symptoms 3 Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) traditionally recognised for its ability to support the immune system, andrographis has antiviral properties. It may also decrease the duration and severity of symptoms, specifically a sore throat and nasal congestion 4 Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) a warming antiviral herb used to reduce flu-like symptoms in their early stages 5 Olive leaf (Olea europaea) a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb that can improve your immune defence. With proven antiviral activity, olive leaf extract may potentially neutralise viruses and make them incapable of replicating

Some Super Supplements

Zinc for Prevention

For prevention zinc is an important immune boosting mineral and plays a role in multiple antioxidant and anti-inflammatory processed within the body. When taken within 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms, it can help to reduce their severity and significantly shorten their duration, but you have to continue taking it until symptoms have resolved. It would be ideal to take zinc if you do plan on having the flu vaccination. It has been shown to decrease the frequency of respiratory infections contracted and increase the robustness of the immune response upon exposure to the attenuated virus in the elderly. Giving zinc as a preventative for children during flu season can also reduce the risk of getting sick.

Vitamin C for Relief

For relief a high dose of vitamin C (1-2g) at the onset of a cold or flu can reduce the duration of symptoms in children and adults. Vitamin C best benefits those who are highly stressed and/or have a low intake of vitamin C within their diet.

This article covers the basics on what anybody and everybody can be doing for a fighting fit immune system. For personalised herbal, nutritional and homeopathic prescriptions and advice based on your symptoms and health, call and book an appointment today on 02 4721 3198.