Fighting the Flu Naturally - Dr. Tim Searle, ND

It's still flu season. There has not been a better time than now, as we all watch the news anxiously awaiting more information on the Coronavirus, to consider natural preventions for viruses and flus.

Protection Against Viral Infection

Unlike bacterial infections, viruses are tiny bits of nucleic acids that contain information and use your body’s cells tor create more copies of themselves. The Coronavirus is an enveloped, positive-sense single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) virus belonging to the Coronaviridae family. The CoV family consists of several species and causes upper respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections. The best way to fight these is to support your immune system, wash your hands and avoid people who are visibly sick; however, there are also some herbs and supplements that are virus-specific that you may want to consider adding to your daily routine.

  • Vitamin D – you already have it in your medicine cabinet to beat the winter blahs.  An article in the journal of clinic virology states that the anti-viral properties of Vitamin D may be linked to its ability to up-regulate the anti-microbial peptides LL-37 and human beta-defensin
  • Vitamin C – known to support the immune system in general, vitamin C has been shown to have viral properties as it interferes with the assembly of viral RNA and DNA. In a 2012 study, in vitro experiments showed ascorbate’s ability to kill isolated influenza viruses, as well as viruses from normal human bronchial epithelial cells. Intravenous dosing has been studied (IVC) with optimal results.  Vitamin C can also enhance the production of interferon, which helps prevent cells from being infected by a virus.
  • Mushrooms have been shown to have powerful antiviral effects and can be used preventatively.
  • Herbs such as echinacea, St. John’s Wort, Pau D’arco, garlic, and even green tea have been shown to be supportive in the treatment of viruses.