Our CEO, Dr. Lois Nahirney, shares her experience of becoming sick at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown – a suspected coronavirus infection. What she did to fight the virus and preventative steps she took to support her immunity.
We hope to empower you with the knowledge of using natural remedies like medicinal herbs, lifestyle modifications, vitamins and specific nutrients to boost your immune system in these uncertain times during the coronavirus pandemic.
As always, we are embracing our company values of health and wellness. There has never been a more important time to practise self-care, including eating nutrient-dense foods and prioritizing safe and healthy daily movement. While a healthy diet, supplements and good lifestyle practices can support your health and immunity, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is social distancing and proper hygiene practices.
I was travelling in the US in March 2020, the day the Prime Minister announced Canadians should return home. On my flight back, the person in the seat directly behind me coughed non-stop during the five-hour return journey. Three days after I arrived home, I started to get sick. Over two weeks, I was sick three times for three days each with fatigue, achiness, sore throat, and loss of taste. Each time it came back, I experienced a stabbing sensation in my lungs and it felt like the virus was trying to enter and become established. I fought it every step of the way.
Being in DNA and preventative health, I have the advantage of knowing where my body needs extra support genetically, and I use a range of natural preventative health steps that I know work for me.
These are my personal prevention tips to help you if you feel you have been exposed and want to increase your immunity. (While I have researched these, please consider these tips as my opinion and personal experience).
COVID and viruses like the nose. The virus tends to first infect the nasal cavity where it finds easy cells for replicating(1). It then travels into the respiratory tract where it can infect the lungs. Infection of the lungs is the greatest risk associated with COVID.
Nasal lavage is probably the most important technique I used to help stop the virus from going into my lungs.
Use a saline solution in your nasal passages to clear away bacteria, viruses, pollen, or pollutants that are colonizing the nasal area. Drugstores sell Netipots or products such as HydraSense. This may improve your body’s natural ability to keep the nose clean.
Herbs, Plant Medicine and Essential Oils
Plant medicines have been used for millennia to support health. Many have natural anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties that can support your body. Researchers have found that essential oils help ‘inactivate’ viruses in one of two ways: by inhibiting their ability to replicate and/or inhibiting viruses’ ability to fuse to cell walls and infect a host cell.(2) (3) (4)
I have a diffuser running most days through the cold and flu season. I ran a diffuser non-stop during my illness. I also have Vick’s nasal inhalers sticks at my desk and by my bed to give a jolt of the essential oils into the nasal cavities, and I take lots of herbal teas and use garlic and ginger in my foods.
- Use the power of natural medicine as a health aid. Herbs can be found fresh, dried, or extracted as tinctures and essential oils. Those most used for anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting purposes include oregano, peppermint, thyme, rosemary, lavender, pine, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, cinnamon, clove, ginger and star anise.
- Use these in your hot herbal tea. Include them in a diffuser. You can also inhale gently using Vick’s inhaler nasal menthol stick or similar natural sticks.
There are reasons Grandma knew best. There are many common health practices passed on through the ages that support our bodies’ immunity and health.
I take a hot bath every evening when I’m not well. I make bone broth and keep in the freezer to use. I take a walk outside or sit in the sun even when I felt sick to get nature’s health benefits.
- Hot bath – Take a hot Epsom salt bath. Soaking in a warm bath will raise your body temperature and exiting will cool it down. This gets your blood moving. The added magnesium supports your immune system.
- Bone broth – This nourishing soup contains 9 essential amino acids and as well as other healing substances in an easy-to-absorb way to literally lubricate, nourish, restore and fortify the body.
- Sunshine and fresh air – Sunshine is one of the best anti-viral agents there is. Getting fresh air, walking in nature and grounding to the earth’s natural frequency all support your health.
The standard North American diet, coupled with increasing nutrient deficiency in food production(5), means that taking vitamins is now important for everyone. During the flu and cold season, your body needs even greater support to fight the bugs and keep immunity up.
Vitamins are a game-changer for my life. My DNA shows I need B complex support. I have to take methylated complex Bs every day to stay healthy. I also take one to two EmergenC or EnerC packages each day and more if I’m fighting a bug, plus a multi, D and omega 3.
- For most people, it is helpful to take a multivitamin, B complex, vitamin D and omega 3 daily.
- During the flu season, extra Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc have all been shown to support immunity.
Our bodies are made to fight viruses if we care for them. There are many preventative health actions such as these you can take to if you suspect you have been exposed to a virus or are starting to show symptoms. These are gentle natural methods to support your health. They are not cures. See your physician or health practitioner for any serious issues and follow all of the standard safety protocols.
Along with physical distancing and masks, focusing on your day-to-day health and immunity is the best way to avoid virus and COVID risk. Should you wish to learn more about your genetic immunity, dnaPower has a new immunePower test with the latest genes related to how your body is most likely to respond to an immune threat. It won’t tell you whether you will get sick, but simply if you have a potential higher risk.
Wishing you good health!
- Chen, Mengfei et al (2020). Elevated ACE2 expression in the olfactory neuroepithelium: implications for anosmia and upper respiratory SARS-Cov-2 entry and replication. European Respiratory Journal. 2020; Vol 56 Issue 6. https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2020/07/23/13993003.01948-2020
- Astani A, Reichling J, Schnitzler P. (2010). Comparative study on the antiviral activity of selected monoterpenes derived from essential oils. Phytotherapy Research.2010 May;24(5):673-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19653195
- Garozzo A, Timpanaro R, et. al. (2011). Activity of Melaleuca alternifolia oil on Influenza virus A/PR/8: study on the mechanism of action. Antiviral Research. Jan;89(1):83-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21095205
- Li X, Duan S, et al. (2013). Melaleuca alternifolia concentrate inhibits in vitro entry of influenza virus into host cells. Molecules. Aug 9;18(8):9550-66.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23966077