Covid-19: A Solution Based Approach
Nature’s Pharmacy has you Covered
Inflammation, Immune System, Influenza
Fear is insidious and more contagious than any virus can ever be. There are countless research studies confirming that stress (e.g. from fear, anger, worry) impairs the efficacy of our immune system.
Firstly, what is inflammation?
You feel a cold coming on: some muscle aches and pains, sniffles, fever. Your throat and nose turn red, forehead warms up and nasal passages start to become swollen. You feel slightly sick! Why does this happen?
- Pain and discomfort serve to alert you to the problem so that you can soothe your throat and nose, and allow your body to rest.
- The swelling puts pressure on nerves to make sure you cannot ignore the injury to your mucosa.
- The redness signals your body to send blood to the site of injury. The blood carries the healers, it is like an ambulance with emergency personnel on board. Lots of blood = redness and heat (fever)
All these are the characteristics of the fire associated with acute inflammation. Your body’s inflammatory response is vital to the healing process. Inflammation commands the Immune System Troops to deploy and each one of the squad members have a specific role to play in healing your cold.
Once the immediate threat is over, you should start to get better. If, however, the troops do not get the command to retreat, because of some unknown break in communication (e.g. overwhelming stress or panic), the squad keeps on working. This is when inflammation turns from friend to foe: worsening or ongoing infection.
Our own fearful thoughts become the silent trigger for ongoing dis-ease, as it gradually destroys our immune cells’ function at a time when we really need an optimally functioning immune system.
Enter: The Immune System
The current frenzied panic around the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has shown once again how fear will lead to renegade inflammation, leading to a suppressed immune system. This virus is part of the influenza (flu) group of viruses affecting the respiratory system.
What is a virus? A virus is a simple organism that carries a code, a piece of information, to replicate itself. ‘It is a biological agent that reproduces inside the cells of living hosts. When infected by a virus, a host cell is forced to produce thousands of identical copies of the original virus at an extraordinary rate’ – Wikipedia.
Statistics: To date of this writing, the coronavirus has led to more than 100 000 confirmed cases and more than 3 000 deaths worldwide. Compare this with the flu, also called influenza: in the US alone, the flu has caused an estimated 34 million confirmed cases, 350 000 hospitalisations and 20 000 deaths this season (US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).
Maintain perspective: even at its worst projected morbidity rate (and we still don’t have precise figures), 97.5 percent of those who get it make a full recovery.
Reported symptoms in patients with confirmed Covid-19 have varied from mild to severe and can include fever (found in all infections as part of the body’s natural inflammatory immune response to support recovery), dry cough and shortness of breath, muscle aches and pains, headache, and sore throat. It is quite clear that all respiratory viruses cause similar symptoms, therefore do not panic if you experience any of them – it might be influenza or even the common cold. In any case, there are many solutions!
By supporting your own immune and respiratory systems, you will be able to prevent pandemics (global epidemic), colds, influenza (flu) and allergies. After all, your body’s natural state is to be healthy!
To minimise the spread of any infection, including usual colds and flu, we should try to keep our immune defences optimal and our exposure down.
Prevention is the best cure
Viral pandemics, including cold and flu viruses, can be transmitted in the following ways: touching respiratory secretions on a person's skin (when shaking hands, for example) or environmental surfaces (such as doorknobs, kitchen counters, washbasins or handrails) and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth; also by inhaling infectious particles in the air (from a cough or sneeze).
The best way to break the chain of infection is by practising basic hygiene, such as frequent hand washing (soap and water will suffice!) and not touching the nose, eyes or mouth. The inner, mucous lining of the respiratory tract is the body’s first line of defence against cold and flu viruses. Drink plenty of fluids, prevent air from drying out by using humidifiers, and take a comprehensive antioxidant combination, that also contains vitamins A, C, B-complex and carotenes (e.g. our Heart Brain Body Support) to protect these delicate membranes.
To minimise the spread, avoid close contact and prolonged exposure to people with colds. Always sneeze or cough into a facial tissue and immediately throw it away. Clean surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant.
It is very considerate behaviour in any case, to wear a mask when we’re sick. This will prevent us from spreading viruses to others, including those with a weakened or compromised, immune system.
Improve and maintain the optimal functioning of your own, and your family’s immune system:
- Eat plenty (minimum 5-9 portions per day, different colours and textures) of seasonal fresh fruit (e.g. all citrus, kiwi, goji and other berries – juice, smoothies, whole) and vegetables (roasted, steamed, freshly made soup, stews, bean dishes, and salads). Take a daily comprehensive antioxidant combination (such as our Heart Brain Body Support) to keep the mucosal lining of your respiratory and digestive systems healthy. Eat superfoods from all the rainbow colours, nuts, seeds like pumpkin seeds, plenty of greens. Take a daily probiotic with live cultures (e.g. yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, fermented food – easy to make your own)
- Make use of nature’s pharmacy! Herbs like Echinacea, garlic, astragalus, ginseng, yarrow, chickweed, licorice root and goldenseal are excellent immune system supporters. A good quality, concentrated extract infusion of Echinacea purpura or Angustifolia improves general immunity against infections and is effective against viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. These are all available from our offices in Hermanus. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses at all! Use spices like ginger, turmeric and cinnamon (pinch each) with some raw honey to taste, to prepare your own hot toddy (taken 3-4 times a day) for inflammation, fever, thickened mucous, or sore muscles. We also have immune booster injections available at our office.
- Drink clean, freshwater - a glass (250ml) per 10kg bodyweight per day (70kg = 7 glasses).
- Control your stress levels with daily relaxation techniques. Disinfecting your mind is just as, if not more, important than washing your hands! Deliberately detach yourself from fear, especially panic. We can stop or slow down highly contagious fear by reducing contact with our biggest enemy, our own thoughts that all is hopeless. Stress is the cause of 95% of all illness and disease. A calm nervous system supports a strong immune system. Your body is resilient and has wonderful self-healing abilities. To help calm down an overactive mind, my Stress Solutions book and Relax and Unwind Relaxation USB can teach you how.
- Avoid crowded, dry, smoky, hot places. Your environment can increase your chances for getting colds or flu, so be aware.
- Turn off the air conditioners and heaters to allow the air to humidify, or put a bowl with water nearby. Dry air and smoke irritates your mucous membranes and this may lead to catarrh (runny nose, phlegm becoming yellow or green).
Maybe our purpose NOW is to bring light into the darkness of ignorance to prevent falling hook, line and sinker for the misinformation and fear-mongering, all too ready to jump on the bandwagon of insane hype, fuelling the fires of inflammation.
As mind-body and medical practitioner of many years, my advice to audiences at my recent talks, radio and TV inserts on Real Health and to patients:
1. Work on inner calmness where Love and sanity abide (learn how to do it using the simple exercises on my Stress Solutions Relax and Unwind Relaxation USB).
2. Practice basic hygiene as with any flu.
3. Support your immune system with rainbow coloured fruit and veges; nuts, seeds, etc.
4. Top up with a comprehensive antioxidant (like our Heart Brain Body Support).
5. Use good quality full strength Echinacea tincture for symptoms (available at our offices).
6. Anger, attack, worry: fear based emotions, have the worst effect on immune system health!
7. Love is the answer and perhaps the lesson of this time. Corona means crown. Viruses carry coded information after all. Let's all lift our vibrations to reach a critical mass of light and healing for all! We can send out love vibes even when we’re washing our hands….or sing like the Italians are doing in the streets and from their balconies! Love singing and laughter are the best immune system support!
More information to assist you:
www.DrArien.co.za - articles on Echinacea; Inflammation; Immune and Respiratory Systems; Emotions, Stress and Illness (Epigenetics and Neuropeptides) and many more.
Health and Happiness book by Dr Arien van der Merwe
Written by Dr Arien van der Merwe, medical doctor specialising in natural and mind-body medicine, herbal remedies/plant medicine, fat loss, stress management and relaxation training, workplace wellness and holistic health counselling.