I will start off with a disclaimer: I am not a doctor and none of the supplements below have been clinically proven to prevent or treat disease related to the Corona Virus (COVID-19.) However, many of these supplements have demonstrated promise treating previous versions of the Corona Virus and easing influenza symptoms. Correcting vitamin and nutritional deficiencies can have downstream effects on the immune system which could contribute to your ability to fight off infection. Certain anti-viral solutions hold promise but once again not proven.
Selenium has potent anti-viral properties. Selenium deficiency increases viral pathogenesis and increases your chance of contracting a viral infection. There is mounting evidence suggesting Selenium is crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system and the ability to fight off disease. Selenium deficiency is most pronounced in parts of China where the soil is lacking and populations largely live off a vegetarian diet. Serious deficiencies cause Kaschin-Beck disease, a degenerative bone disease. Due to poor nutrition many western populations are deficient as well.
Recommended: Natures Bounty 200mcg Tablets
2.) Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Elderberry is a flowering plant rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Traditionally Eldeberry has been used to treat flu symptoms. The plant is loaded with Polyphenols and lectins which contribute to the anti-viral properties of the plant.
The following excerpt was taken from this study:
Sambucus nigra extracts inhibit infectious bronchitis virus at an early point during replication
These results demonstrate that S. nigra extract can inhibit IBV at an early point in infection, probably by rendering the virus non-infectious……
In addition to polyphenols, lectins are commonly found in plant extracts and often show antiviral activity by binding to viral proteins or host receptors, preventing their interaction [49-54]. S. nigra berry extracts are known to contain three plant lectins [55-59]. ….. Lectins bound to the virions of both an alpha- and beta-coronavirus did inhibit infection , lending support to this idea.
Elderberry has also proven to be an effective treatment against H1N1 infection.
Recommended: Black Elderberry Liquid Extract
Echinacea is a source of potent anti-virals especially effective for respiratory illnesses. Some extracts display powerful anti-inflammatory effects in virus infected cells. Echinacea is perhaps the most popular herbal remedy used in folk medicine. The cool thing? The science is beginning to catch up with its tradition.
From the study:
In mechanistic studies the influenza virus-specific hemagglutinin and neuraminidase were inhibited. In addition some extracts displayed anti-inflammatory activity in virus-infected cells, and numerous other effects on the expression of cellular genes. Multiple components, either discrete compounds or mixtures, appeared to be responsible for the various antiviral activities.
Recommended: Gaia Herbs Echinacea Capsules
4.) Garlic extract
Good ol mother nature provides us with what we need once again. A high quality garlic extract provides strong anti-inflammatory properties and helps fight infections of all sorts. This is another home remedy time tested year after year. You can purchase a garlic extract or cook with raw garlic if you don’t mind the taste.
Recommended: Now Foods Odorless Garlic Extract
5.) Oregano oil
Oregano is a plant native to Mexico and boasts a wide range of health boosting properties relevant to fighting off disease and viruses. Oregano has powerful anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties but only recently has its anti-viral capabilities been examined.
From the study:
Mexican oregano was effective in inhibiting five of the eight viruses examined. The results of the antiviral activity of the essential oil against five DNA viruses (HHV-1, ACVR-HHV-1, BoHV-1, BoHV-2, BoHV-5) and three RNA viruses (HRSV, RV, BVDV) are summarised at Table 1, while Table 2 displays the results of carvacrol activity against the same viruses,
Recommended: Therapeutic Grade Oil of Oregano Liquid
6.) Nigella Sativa (black seed oil)
Black seed oil is quoted in ancient folklore as capable of curing “every disease except death.” The seeds are popular in middle eastern countries to treat illnesses and diseases of all types. Scientific literature boasts an impressive amount of studies proving the potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of black seed oil.
PubMed has over 1300 studies referencing this powerful herbal plant. Black seed oil truly boasts an impressive range of benefits to the human body. Improvements in Diabetic markers, asthma, Depression, inflammation, and a host of other diseases make the above quote seem not so far fetched. I experimented with black seed oil in the past with good results.
Recommended: Cold Pressed Black Seed Oil
7.) Vitamin C
Vitamin C has long been used as a staple to prevent colds, infections, and to boost the immune system. There’s no reason not to have a bottle of vitamin C in your medicine cabinet. Its primary role seems to be that of an anti-oxidant – preventing oxidative stress in the body. Vitamin C increases resistance to various viral and bacterial infections. Once again, anything you can do to increase nutrients related to the immune system is an overall net positive.
Relevant quote from the following study related to respiratory and common cold illness :
In each of the three studies a considerable reduction in common cold incidence in the group supplemented with vitamin C (0.6-1.0 g/day) was found. The pooled rate ratio (RR) of common cold infections in the studies was 0.50 (95 % Cl: 0.35 – 0.69) in favour off vitamin C groups. Accordingly, the results of the three studies suggest that vitamin C supplementation may be beneficial for some of the subjects doing heavy exercise who have problems with frequent upper respiratory infections.
Recommended: Natures Bounty Vitamin C
8.) Vitamin D
It is theorized that illness and sickness is most prevalent during the winter due to less sun exposure. Vitamin D is synthesized through direct sunlight and we get much less sun in the winter. Vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies contributing to illness and disease. Even in the summertime people spend much of their time indoors whether they are working or in the habit of being sedentary. Vitamin D is crucial to the function of the immune system so it’s important to supplement if you’re not getting enough sun.
Here is an interesting article on Vitamin D and its importance for the immune system.
Recommended: Nature Wise Vitamin D3
Anything you can do to bolster your immune system will help you fight illness and viral infection. The healthy habits you create today will benefit you tomorrow. Reducing your weight when you are obese, exercising, and eating a diet rich in vital nutrients all contribute to immune health, thus helping you in the best ways possible. Building a healthy immune system is a long term goal but supplements can certainly help in the short run.
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