Coronavirus has helped to focus our attention on the best ways to support each other. In particular being protective towards the people to whom coronavirus impacts the most, people who are over 70 and those with underlying health problems.
Our first obvious priority is to prevent spread and we can help achieve this through isolation and increased hygiene. In addition we can look at other ways to protect ourselves and others during this difficult time by using herbs and food that boost our natural resistance.
Although we do not know much about the behaviour of this coronavirus, and there is no treatment yet available, the principle of improving our resistance is still likely to apply and there is good quality evidence that the following improve defences against respiratory viral infections.
Antiviral herbs in food , as teas capsules or tinctures include astragulus, andrographis, berberin , Chinese skullcap, echinacea, elderberry, garlic , ginger ,liquorice, lemon balm, melissa, milk thistle, olive leaf, rosemary, St Johns wort.
-Vitamin D 3 supplements can reduce the risk of catching colds or other respiratory infections. The sun is often seen as the best source of vitamin D3 but at latitudes above about 40 degrees (like the UK) blood levels of vitamin D3 decline between October & March not only through paucity of sunlight and covering up to keep warm but because the required ultra violet radiation declines, organic eggs, oily fish and shiitake mushrooms are good food sources.
-Mushrooms containing β-glucans and other immuno active constituents can boost the immune system and reduce the incidence of respiratory tract infections. The main species studied are reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms.
-Probiotics containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, strains have been shown to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of respiratory infections
Prebiotics by regulating the immune system can also be beneficial. Fructans and inulin are the best-characterized plant prebiotics. Many vegetable, root and tuber crops contain prebiotics including onions, leeks, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, beetroot, cabbage.
In addition powdered herbs of burdock root, elecampane root, mallow root, slippery elm, chicory root have a prebiotic effect.
-Vitamin C has been shown to shorten the duration of colds. Good sources of vitamin C include rosehips, citrus fruit and broccoli.
-Polyphenols are compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties. Polyphenols give fruits, berries, and vegetables their vibrant colours, and contribute to the flavour. By supporting the immune system polyphenols play an important role in maintaining your health and wellness. Good sources include raw cacao powder, blueberries, black beans and red onions.
-Zinc can reduce the incidence and duration of colds. Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds, nuts and seeds.
Knowledge and best practice in the health field are constantly changing. Each person and illness is also unique and no general information can anticipate every circumstance, nor be appropriate for every reader.
For further information contact Julia on 07968 366783