Antiviral Herbs and Natural Immune Support

Antiviral Herbs and Natural Immune Support

Can natural herbs cure the Coronavirus?

Most likely no.

So let’s be smart and let the scientists work on a cure/vaccination.

HOWEVER…now is probably a good time to make sure we are doing everything we can for our own immune systems and those of the ones we love.

It’s estimated that over 60% of our population will get the virus–so while we may not be able to cure it–having a strong immune system and empowering our bodies with a strong defense is definitely a good idea.

5 ways to boost your immune system naturally (including antiviral herbs)

1. Immunity herbs: Astragalus +Echinacea +Bee Propolis + Goldenseal + Ginger + Garlic

These herbs have been used for centuries to boost the immune system.

Astragalus is a great long term immune tonic that builds up the immune system over time and is safe (and recommended) for long-term immune support. It’s a great preventative herb and you can buy sticks of it to add to rices, quinoa and soups (similar to a bay leaf).

Echinacea is more of a fast acting immune stimulant and moderate antiviral. It’s most beneficial when you first start to get sick. It’s not usually recommended as a preventative unless you are traveling or have been around sick people. In this case, it may be a good idea since the incubation period of the coronavirus is pretty long.

Bee propolis is the strongest natural anti-everything. It’s been tested on over 10,000 (gram positive and gram negative) bacterias and so far they’ve been yet to find one that is propolis resistant or can become propolis resistant. It may be a good idea for short term use but as it’s a resin, long term use should be supplemented with a kidney support.

Goldenseal  is a very powerful immune support herb but is also endangered so not usually recommended.

Ginger is a very common spice that is very beneficial for the immune system and also delicious as a tea!

Garlic is another great immune booster and extremely easy to incorporate into meals (you probably already do!)

2. Antiviral herbs: Olive Leaf Extract + Myrrh + St. John’s Wort + Lemon Balm

Some herbs that are high in antiviral activity are Olive leaf extract, myrrh, St John’s wort and Lemon Balm. While none of these have been tested against the coronavirus, finding a good immune support formula with these isn’t a terrible idea.

St John’s Wort may also help improve your mood while Lemon Balm is nice and calming to the nervous system (if you are feeling particularly stressed at this time, think about making a tea out of these).

Due to Myrrh’s resinous nature, it’s not recommended at high doses or for long-term use.

3. Vitamins + Minerals: Vitamin C + Zinc

Vitamin C and zinc are crucial for your immune health. You can get vitamin C from citrus, bell peppers, strawberries and a lot of fruits and zinc is found in beef, pork, oysters, crab, beans, pumpkin seeds and cashews. Vegetarian sources are recommended over meat as they contain a lot of other valuable nutrients. If eating meat, be extremely mindful of quality and quantity (only very small portions).

4. Functional Mushrooms: Turkey Tail + Chaga + Reishi + Cordyceps + Shiitake

Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi and Cordyceps are medicinal (not psychoactive) mushrooms that you can get in powder, tincture or capsule forms. Among their many therapeutic qualities, hey are all extremely powerful immune boosters and most are adaptogenic as well (bringing the body into balance/good for stress).

Shiitake is a bit more common and found in many Asian recipes, but you can add it to any recipe that you would normally use white mushrooms in for an added immune-boosting effect.

I personally mix a functional mushroom powder with cacao for a healthy morning drink, but you could also add to your coffee or into a smoothie. I also use a reishi tincture before bed if I’ve had a stressful day as it is a more calming mushroom.

OM Mushrooms carries most of the mushrooms above in powder form and you can order online. Use code “dancetothebeet” for 20% off. (note – this is an affiliate link and I may receive commission if you click. I would never recommend something I don’t believe in/use myself)

5. Avoid Food Allergies + Intolerances

If you’re wondering what food allergies have to do with your immune system, think about it this way: If you are putting things into your body that it doesn’t know how to process, it may trigger an immune response. If your immune system is busy dealing with these foods, it’s going to have less energy to put towards fighting off outside invaders.

I commonly see people who get sick often when they are unknowingly eating a food that doesn’t agree with them. Listen to your body and be extra mindful of what kinds of foods may trigger you and do your best to avoid them.

Tips for taking herbs

  1. Delivery methods matter. When taking herbs, drinking them as a tea or taking them in tincture (dropper bottle) form (dropped into a little water) is more effective than taking them in capsule form. This is because liquids are absorbed at a much higher rate than solids they don’t have to be broken down in our digestive system and the important constituents are already drawn out and much more bio-available.
  2. Quality matters. Recently there were tests done on a lot of the herbs found in stores and some of them contained HOUSE PLANTS. Yes, you read that right. Most were contaminated and only some actually had what they said they had in them. When it comes to herbs, unless I’m buying the actual herb for a tea (locally or from Mountain Rose ), I only buy Gaia or Herb Pharm Brands (I do not make any commission from these links, they are just the gold standard in the holistic industry). 
  3. Dosage matters. For maintenance, a standard dose of herbs is one cup of tea or 1 full dropperfull of a tincture in water, once a day. For acute issues, up to 3-4x/day is standard.

So what should you do?

Now that you know how the herbs and foods work and how to take them…should you just go buy everything?

First off. Listen to the CDC, listen to your local government, and heed their advice (wash your hands!!) They are the experts. While we don’t need to panic, we do need to be mindful so that we don’t unknowingly spread it and overwhelm the hospitals all at once. We will get through this if we just lay low for awhile and take care of ourselves.

Putting it all together / What I recommend:

  • Do as much as you can to take care of your health overall, especially avoiding any foods that don’t agree with you
  • Buy a good herbal formula that contains some of the herbs above
  • Incorporate foods high in vitamin c and zinc and/or grab a quality supplement
  • Buy a functional mushroom and/or incorporate shiitakes into your cooking
  • Cook with ginger + garlic as much as possible
  • If there’s someone in your life that’s older or at risk, share this information with them or help them incorporate some of these tips

While none of this information is meant to diagnose, treat or cure anything (including the coronavirus), giving your immune system as much support as possible is never a bad idea, especially right now. 

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