So, there is a nasty, aggressive virus circulating worldwide, it is deadly, what do we do, what do we do, what do we do, OMG, OMG, OMG???? It is not the first one, and it will not be the last one, realise that.
We should be aware, concerned, vigilant and take all precautions that do make any sense and have often be shown as useful and effective throughout history. But first of all, we should lose that irrational panicky fear that grips us, understandably, when we look at what is happening around us. We know very well that fear as well as negative emotions depress the function of the immune system, the very same we need in optimal condition right now.
If you are still with me by now, let us go through what we can rationally do to protect ourselves from any virus, bacteria, pathogen with whom we have been living with on Earth; this is not limited to the covid19 one, it is valid for any type of infectious disease, with needed modifications when required. I will not give references, this being a simple letter, not an academic paper.
The pathogen or the terrain? Pasteur or Beauchamp? A continuous argument in the world of medicine. The answer is simple: both. Even a very aggressive pathogen will have a hard time surviving or creating serious damage in a fully healthy person; that damage will rarely create death although it should not be construed as something impossible.
By the same token, dealing with a pathogen within the confines of a weakened terrain/system leads to the necessity to destroy or at least radically diminish said pathogen’s ability to create havoc, so that the organism, with its weakened defenses and the help of natural therapies can emerge from the disease. Prevention is the main issue.
The first and maybe the most important step is to eliminate the common factor to all diseases: chronic pathological inflammation; on that everybody agrees.
Obviously, it starts by not creating it, not perpetuating it, not allowing it to remain in our bodies. This comes down to eliminating radically and permanently all foods that create and maintain inflammation: all cereals (the ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth, teff, buckwheat, are OK), all high glycaemic index foods, cereals being the main culprits again and all dairy products.
There is enough published literature about that to give you a serious headache and hangover for a week if you care to read it. Healthy eating that reinforces the immune system is the real Paleo diet (a misnomer in my opinion) and not the modifications made by some “celebrities”, removing pulses, legumes, beans, lentils. There are many more advantages health wise to that nutritional pattern.
Optimising the immune system is a valid step regarding every infectious disease as well as allowing the physiology to deal with cancer cells if and when they appear in our bodies. Nothing to sneer at.
We start again with nutrition as mentioned above: the proteins in the cereals (not just the gluten but the others too that are present in the gluten-free cereals) block the immune system; sugars and high glycaemic index foods block the immune system; so do casein and lactose. Enough said.
Now for a catalogue of supplements:
Vitamin A strengthens respiratory mucosa and other ones; this mucosa, from the nose to the alveoli as well as the mouth and conjunctiva, is the point of entry for many viruses; it must become the first barrier. Up to 10,000IU/day for an adult is safe.
Vitamin C does not need any introduction when it comes to immunity. My criterion for optimal dose is bowel tolerance: as much as you can until the stools become soft, then back off slightly. This marks tissue saturation; the gut cannot absorb any more of the vitamin.
Vitamin D3 is also a well-known immune enhancer on top of its other properties. The dosage should be determined according to the blood levels of 25-OH-vitamin D, which we like to see at 150 nml/L or 60 ng/L.
Tests are necessary because the dosage will vary from person to person with no clear way to predict a needed dose or even a minimum dose. It should always be taken with Vitamin K2 (a calcitonin activator) and Magnesium to avoid the formation of lithiasis and calcifications in the body.
Vitamin B6 has been demonstrated as an important cofactor in lowering the severity of the recent pandemic. My suggestion is to take it in a well formulated multi-B complex, as it is known that all Bs work together in synergy.
Zinc (acetate or gluconate), Selenium (selenomethionine), Iodine are all needed for optimal immune function.
Olive leaf extract, 1000 to 2000 mg/day, will keep the bugs away.
Nigella sativa seed and/or oils (Black cumin) is traditionally said to prevent and cure every disease but death. You will find many studies reinforcing this traditional approach.
Camellia sinensis in the form of green tea has so many components, antioxidants, proanthocyanidins that improve immunity that full textbooks have been written about it. The most powerful one is the traditional Japanese Matcha tea. I make mine with Ginger root (fresh one) which is also an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and I add Tulsi (Holy Basil) for its traditional Ayurvedic indications and as an adaptogen.
Turmeric is also one of the best immune stimulants and anti-inflammatory, but it needs to be taken with fat (I use coconut oil) and black pepper.
Last but not least, let’s not forget blueberries and Spirulina!
What about some herbs?
Sambucus nigra is a specific herbal remedy attacking the influenza virus but is also active against many other viruses. Here are a few more in no specific order, with repetitions, and you can find many more in herbal textbooks:
Salvia milthiorrhiza, Strophantus, Rheum, Camellia sinensis, Aesculus, Withania (Ashwaganda), Zingiber, Curcuma, Nigella sativa oil, Scutellaria baicalensis, Prunus, Lonicera, Mentha, Moschus, Calendula, Phytolacca, Drosera, Allium S, Armoracia (influenza), Matricaria, Calendula (flu, herpes), Origanum Compactum, Phytolacca (flu, HSV1, polio), Glycyrrhiza (inactivates HSV and others irreversibly), Drosera (plumbazine against flu virus), Chelidonium, Taraxacum, Agrimonia, Hypericum (hypericin against retrovirus), Carduus M (hepatitis B), Melissa (HSV 1& 2), Chamomilla (inhibits RNA synthesis in Polio virus), Allium S (fresh = viricidal against all viruses), Eucalyptus (neutralizes rabies virus in 10 hours), Tabebuia Avellanda (rabies too), Buplerum falcatum, Scutellaria baicalensis, Arctium lappa, the “Shrooms” Cordyceps, Reishii, Shiitake, Andrographis, Adathoda Justicia.
See, you have a vast choice according to what you know, what is available, but read about them before using them.
Am I neglecting homeopathic remedies? Absolutely not, but we need to divide the homeopathic approach into its components, some being called homeopathic but not really being it as they are not individualised and have no proving.
Starting with those is Homeoprophylaxis, or the use of the nosode of the actual infectious germ, based on the same very ancient principle as vaccination but without all its problems: presenting the information about the germ to the immune system so that it can recognise it and act against it before it had the opportunity to install itself in the organism and create havoc.
You may use the system created by Dr. Isaac Golden or simplified systems, whatever you fancy and have experience in will be good, often effective and without side-effects.
Genus epidemicus does not need any presentation if it is available. But to wait passively to have enough cases to find one or a few remedies answering to the criteria of genus epidemicus, while people are suffering and dying, is in my opinion at least unethical, malpractice and even criminal, given that we have Homeoprophylaxis available.
Over the last year, many remedies have been presented as being THE one to treat all cases… all too often with affirmations by some pseudo-gurus that theirs was the best and only one to be used. Looking at them, it becomes clear that those remedies, being effective in the hands of those practitioners, were simply local genus epidemicus remedies.
Each patient will need the usual personalised approach. Being an acute pathology, it would take just a few minutes of quick collection of symptoms, signs, complaints and modalities, looking in the throat and the ears, lung auscultation, abdomen palpation, check that all pulses are present, clinical repertorisation and remedy prescription. We have no interest in those circumstances to understand why the patient is afraid of watermelons or has erotic dreams!
What about “geography” and the environment?
First our clinics: I simply use a diffuser with essential oils. Most of them are virucidal and bactericidal, therefore the choice is yours. I chose Eucalyptus, Oregano and Lavender to which I am now adding Pine as it has been shown that pine extract has the ability to neutralise the famous “spikes” that vaccinated people are now disseminating. They also smell good, which is an extra bonus.
Mask or no mask, that is the question… oh the war that has torn humanity apart, for no reason! As a surgeon, neither I nor any of my colleagues or nurses has ever shown any of the dramatic complications of mask wearing that invade our screens and mailboxes. And for a good reason.
We wore them when needed; we changed them all the time, preventing bacterial and fungal growth; we used high quality clean uncontaminated masks, not the “crappy” single-use ones that have been commercialised in haste.
I now use a fabric one, triple layer, only when needed or compelled, for the minimum of time and wash it immediately. When do I use it? In planes, for two reasons: one, it makes the others feel more comfortable; two, it prevents me from inhaling blobs of mucus from others in close proximity.
I also put some Vaseline with the aforementioned essential oils up my nose when I fly and spray my throat with a herbal antiseptic… and of course my immune system is in optimal shape. Is it really needed? Maybe not but it is a small inconvenience for maybe big benefits.
Isolation and social distancing: just take the time to read the history of epidemics. Even in the Middle Ages, cities and villages isolated themselves, refusing entry to anyone else after the gates were closed and those were the survivors, even though they did not know anything about what I wrote earlier on, except for the essential oils that were used in masks (hello!) by Doctors, corpse collectors and grave diggers to protect them very effectively.
Good enough for you guys?
Dr. Joe Rozencwajg provides a potpourri of suggestions for avoiding Covid. These are excellent and can be implemented by anyone without having particular medical knowledge. Man of his ideas are ones that conventional doctors would not think of.
Thank you for these tips.
Just one thing concerns me – this is NOT a deadly virus, affecting all and sundry. I don’t like the idea of mask wearing, isolation, social distancing, hand sanitising and use of essential oils – at any time.
By decreasing the chance of Covid getting through all these barriers, you are also decreasing your exposure to ALL viruses, bacteria and germs in general. This is not desirable – the immune system needs constant exposure to germs in order to remain flexible, vigilant and effective.
So take away the fear, boost your immune system and…breathe! Live! We’ve never done this for the flu – why start now? This bug is NOT on the same level as Ebola or the Sweating Sickness!
this is a deadly virus, thats why so many have died, please wear your mask
Joe, thanks for your no-nonsense, practical and multidisciplinary approach to this issue. You’ve provided us with a refreshing and informed read and reference.
Hi Dr. Joe, thank you for the compassionate, comprehensive and easily attainable suggestions for most of us. Also, the historical comments add much validity to the discussion. Too, I might add, social distancing has been effective and historically documented for 3500 years.
Also, I especially appreciate your compassionate use of the mask when you might not want to or think it is necessary and thank you because the first quality of a healer should be compassion and empathy. Your wanting to make others feel comfortable in an uncomfortable circumstance is, to me, certainly one of the reasons you are so successful in helping others to heal. There is no healing with fear, warranted or not and certainly the others on a plane (or elsewhere) are not trained to sort through all of these issues but instantly understand when compassion and empathy is displayed.