According to the definition on Google, the Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels and bats. Rarely, these coronaviruses can evolve and infect humans and then spread between humans. Recent examples of this include SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Most coronaviruses infect animals, but not people. SARS and MERS are two examples where the animal virus has jumped to infect humans, and now the Coronavirus current which is believed to be from seafood, probably shrimp.
The following material is specific to the Coronavirus and related virus threats. We have products available at the store that combine these plants which can be helpful for building your immune system and resisting contagious illness. For more information, please come by Organica for assistance. The Coronavirus in particular is specific to the LOWER respiratory system. Unlike many other viruses which affect the UPPER respiratory, the Coronavirus is very serious because it affects the LOWER respiratory which results in pneumonia which in some cases can be fatal. The other concern with the Coronavirus is that we literally have no antibodies against this virus so we have no immune defense. Immunity is built, this is called your acquired immune system. Until we have exposure to this virus and build antibodies, we have to rely on plants to support our immune system and give us the best chance to not contract this world-wide health risk. Here are the herbs and their uses as well as suggestions of processes you can follow to help protect yourself.
The Coronavirus is a very common type of virus with many faces. This particular strain that is our current threat is believed to have been contracted from seafood to people. Usually this transmission does not occur, but just as SARS and MERS, then from swine and bird, now from shrimp or other seafood to humans. With each outbreak the Coronaviruses develop, and as we adapt and build antibodies to fight it, it becomes less of a threat. In the beginning however, it is a serious threat because we simply defenseless and have no antibodies to protect ourselves and our immune system doesn’t have a way to fight back adequately. The problem with this particular outbreak and the reason the world is worried about a pandemic is because we have no natural antibodies to fight it and it primarily affects the LOWER respiratory which is related to pneumonia compared to other strains which affects the UPPER respiratory. Because of both of these two factors, you need to try to boost your own immune system as quickly as you can, avoid crowds, avoid travel- especially by air (unless you have to), wash your hands, and don’t touch your nose, mouth, eyes, and always wash after using the restroom. The incubation period is odd with this virus and takes anywhere from 2 days to 14 days to show symptoms. You can be infected with the Coronavirus and be highly contagious and not have symptoms that you are already sick. If this happens, you would then be a carrier. Everyone you come into contact with at risk of being infected and you would be transmitting it to others unknowingly.
When a vaccine is developed it is used to promote your system to produce the antibodies related to the virus without making you actively sick with the disease. The expectation of a vaccine is about 1 year out. When vaccines are developed, it is important to bear in mind that these components in the vaccine are developed in a lab yes, but the ingredients are not from outer space. The product will be based in a natural plant, an isolate or active ingredient from a plant, and compounds associated. Let’s take the SARS Virus. Many of you will remember Tamaflu, the medication many received during this outbreak. This is not to be confused with Theraflu, which I hear often from the public. Tamaflu has its basis in a common spice we all know– Star Anise. Not regular Anise Seed, but Star Anise.
There are various herbs that can be taken during times of these outbreaks, that along with diet, can help you to support your own immune system and strengthen responses to “invaders”. Remember, you do not have antibodies against the Coronavirus. Somewhere out there in the world of science, they will discover which plant will help scientists develop the vaccine and draw from the plant its isolated compound which can be effective. It is not “that simple”. It is a process and it is complicated. In the meantime, taking the plants daily that can support your ability to fight illness is recommended. It includes multiple things and a complex of plants in all cases. Here are the suggestions to get you started.
1. Make and use our Elderberry Syrup using the Kit. This Kit contains Elderberries in the right ratio and is combined with Astragalus, Cinnamon, and Clove. Take 1 tablespoon daily for adults and 1/2 the amount for children. Teens take product in adult strength. Elderberry affects the UPPER respiratory. Optional; combine with the Lower Respiratory Tea blend or add Tincture to each dose.
2. Take Superbug Tincture; dosage ranges from 15 to 45 drops 1-3 times daily with a 4-6 hours window between doses. Herbal formulation which has all of the herbs for supporting the immune system and fighting viruses.
3. Take 1 dose of the Viral Medicinal Mushroom powder, dosage from 1 gram to 5 grams dissolved in warm chicken or bone broth, or simply take by mouth and wash down. Some find it is simple to mix in coffee, adding cinnamon for flavor if you prefer things sweet but mix with chicken broth if you prefer savory over sweet.
4. Thieves Formula; this essential oil formula is great for strengthening your immune system. Most take about 1-3 drops in an empty capsule and then taking it after a full meal. If you take it on an empty stomach you will probably burp-up the taste. A full meal helps to keep this low. If you take it twice per day, spread this out with about 8 hours between each dose/meal. If you want to, you can put 1 drop in some milk or seed milk, about 4 oz. and drink this anytime during the day 1-2 times. Another good oil that heightens the immune system defences is thyme oil. This oil you only take 1 drop per day. Put it in an empty capsules and take the capsule after a full meal or add the drop to the thieves oil when you take that.
5. Diffusing Essential Oils; using a diffuser and a little wax in the dish, you can burn some oils every day while at home. This is effective for overall air quality and smells great too. The diffuser I prefer the most is the one we sell at Organica. It is made out of soap stone and has a small bowl/dish with a tea light candle below. I put some wax in the bowl and add drops of essential oil. As the candle burns it uses up the oil and reduces the risk of fire or over-heating. I actually had a diffuser that was electric and the cord caught on fire for absolutely no reason. Since then I have stayed clear of these altogether. I have started using a new plug in diffuser that has come out and this uses only pure essential oils and there is no fire risk or need to pay attention to it. The company I found recently that I just love is called Natural Mist by Gurunanda. They sell these at Walmart for about $15. You can refill your essential oil bottles and reuse them. This makes it super economical and the house smells great. I have two of them on my main floor with two different oils. You can use thieves formula or eucalyptus, whatever oil you wish.
6. LOWER Respiratory Tincture or Tea; This herb set can and should be combined into or along with the Elderberry Syrup Recipe to help boost your immune system while also reducing inflammation in the lower lungs while keeping mucus thin. Remember– always drink plenty of water and herb teas- this will keep mucus thinner and easier to break up and expel.
Contains; Fenugreek, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Licorice Root, Star Anise
These together reduce inflammation or pain, and break up mucus in the lower lung region. Tincture dosage ranges from 15 to 45 drops, 1-3 times daily with a 4-6 hour window between doses. The Tea is 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water, steeped for 1 hour, consumed 3 times daily between meals. If you have diabetes you should use just the first three herbs and eliminate Licorice Root which can raise blood sugar in some people. Licorice Root is an important ingredient that should be included for everyone else. It is a remedy herb used for centuries in China.
Herbal Medicines; Compounds, Active Ingredients, and Uses– All of these plants have powerful anti-viral activity
These plants are chosen due to their concentration of particular plant compounds which are known to help your body fight viruses. One of the problems with this approach is the limited research. Making your choices is also individual. Of course, don’t take any herb that you are allergic to. If you have an allergy to a particular herb in the list and are combining plants to make a remedy, simply leave out any plant that is a problem. The formula will still be effective. Each of these plants have powerful benefits to boost your immune system, helping to build strength and reduce inflammation using the plant world. It is very important to try to select plants that are particular to the symptoms of the active virus. Because with new viruses we do NOT have antibodies to fight it, our acquired immune system has to build these, we have to focus on what area the body will be attacked if we contract the virus and strengthen it. For example, if the virus is particular to the UPPER respiratory, then use these plants, if it is the LOWER respiratory, then use these plants. The best bet under these types of problems, viruses that we have no defense for, is to use the plants for the area of attack and then include the minor. The Coronavirus is affecting the LOWER respiratory, ending in pneumonia and in some cases death. So use the LOWER respiratory herbs but include the upper as well such as Elderberry Syrup. We are making these blends for you, so if you don’t want to figure it out, we will have them available at Organica.
Special Note: if making tea out of these medicinal plants, always steep covered in order to hold in the volatile oils that otherwise will be lost to air during the process.
Oregano is in the mint family. Its plant compounds, include carvacrol, known for its antiviral properties.
In a test-tube study, oregano oil and carvacrol as an isolate, both reduced the activity of MNV (murine norovirus) within 15 minutes of exposure.
MNV is highly contagious and the primary root basis of the common stomach flu in humans. It is very similar to human norovirus. The norovirus is especially difficult to grow in lab settings. Oregano, Oregano Oil, and Carvacrol the active isolate, have been found to exhibit antiviral activity against;
- RSV- causes respiratory infections
- HSV-1 rotovirus which is a common cause of diarrhea in children and infants
- Herpes Simplex- type 1 (HSV-1) also a common cause of diarrhea in children and infants
Another member of the mint family. Its plant compounds include safficinolide and sage one which are effective active antiviral benefits. These compounds are found in the stems and leaves (not the root).
Test-tube research shows this herb may help to fight HIV-1, the human immunodeficiency virus type,. The HIV-1 is the virus that leads to AIDS. Sage Extract has been found to significantly inhibit HIV activity, preventing the virus from entering target cells. Sage has also been found to combat HSV-1 and Indiana Vesiculovirus which is the virus that infects farm animals like pigs, horses and cows.
All types; culinary Basil and Holy Basil (Vana, Rama, Krishna).
In a test-tube study, the active compounds in Basil which include apigenin and ursolic acid, have exhibited potent actions to fight against the Herpes Virus strains, Hepatitis B, and Enterovirus. Holy Basil which is also called Tulsi, has been found to fight viral infections and boost immunity. Many take Holy Basil regularly because it is known as a longevity herb.
A another Study with Holy Basil (Tulsi) that was conducted with 24 healthy adults over a 4 week period 300mg. of Holy Basil Extract was administered daily. It was found to significantly increase NK Cells (natural killer) and Helper T-Cells. These are both immune cells which activate with the purpose to defend your body and immune system from viral infections and offering continuous responses to protect.
Fennel is a licorice-flavored plant that has been found to fight certain viruses. The other two plants with similar capabilities that also taste like licorice are Star Anise and Anise Seed.
A test-tube study showed that Fennel Extract exhibited strong antiviral effects against PI-3 (parainfluenze type-3 virus) and multiple strains of the herpes viruses. The PI-3 Virus is a primary inflection common to infecting cattle. The essential oil of Fennel has been found to have powerful antiviral effects against multiple herpes viruses including Simplex (cold sores #1 and #2; the sexually transmitted strain) and Zoster (shingles). The Herpes Virus is vast including not just cold sores and shingles but also chicken pox and mono. Fennel Seed helps to decrease inflammation and boosts the immune system.
Trans-anethole, the main component in Fennel essential oil, acts against the Herpes Virus strains. Anethole is commonly used as a flavoring substance because of its licorice taste. Anethole, also known as anise camphor, is an organic compound and is a derivative of phenylpropene, a type of aromatic compound that occurs widely in nature. Phenylpropene is the flavor you find in Star Anise, Anise Seed, Fennel Seed, Licorice Root, Camphor, and Magnolia Flowers. Isomer Estragole, which is closely related to anethole, is abundant in tarragon and basil, both which have a more slightly aroma of licorice. The issue with Isomer Estragole and Anethole is that both are only slightly soluble in water and need ethanol (alcohol like a tincture) to exhibit its benefits and solubility. If you do not have a tincture handy, using any of the plants as a tea is still recommended. However for maximum benefits, extract in alcohol as a traditional extract and not water or vegetable glycerin. Do not use isopropyl alcohol, you must use ethanol. Remember the old saying to keep these straight- “always dance with Ethel”. Isopropyl alcohol is common rubbing alcohol and should not be used to extract anything consumed internally.
Garlic is a remedy for a wide array of conditions, including viral infections. Mincing fresh garlic and then letting it set on the cutting board for about 30 minutes prior to consuming, will increase its allicin content. Allicin is the active ingredient that makes garlic so amazing. Garlic is in the lily family and is complimentary with Aloe Vera. Taken together it can be helpful for the GI tract and particular the stomach. Garlic is the primary ingredient in old remedy known as the Anti-Plague tincture (produced by the late Dr. John Christopher). Keeping a high strength Garlic Tincture in your medicine storage is always a good idea. If it is extracted with everclear it has an almost unlimited shelf-life. In times of need you may not have 6 weeks to prepare this properly so making it in advance and storing it is recommended. Taking minced clove of garlic 1-5 times a day is beneficial as well. The taste, the smell, and how it sets on the stomach varies from one person to another. If it causes stomach upset, be sure to take it with a full meal. It can also be taken with a 2 oz. shot of Aloe Vera Juice. This is not just complimentary but may reduce stomach upset.
In a study of warts caused from HPV (human papillomavirus), 23 adults applied garlic extract to the affected areas twice daily. In all 23 adults, within 1-2 weeks, all were cleared of HPV.
In other test-tube studies, garlic has been found to have antiviral activity against influenza A and B, HIV, HSV-1, viral pneumonia (lower respiratory), and the rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.
Animal and test-tube studies found that garlic enhances immune system response by stimulating protective immune cells that fight against a multiple of viral infections.
6. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm extract and essential oil contains a concentrated source of potent plant compounds which have been found to have antiviral activity. Many authorities recommend a cup per day of both Lemon Balm and Lemongrass as prevention for a multitude of ailments including as an anti-cancer. The essential oil of lemon balm is called Melissa. As with many quality essential oils, it is very expensive. Only purchase a steam distilled form which is considered therapeutic grade, if taking drops internally.
Test-tube research has shown that Lemon Balm has antiviral effects against Bird Flu (avian influenza), HIV-1, herpes viruses, and enterovirus 71. All of these viruses can cause severe infections in infants, children, and the elderly- especially those in poor health.
Peppermint has powerful antiviral qualities and is commonly used to treat active viral infections. Whether used a tea or essential oil, it contains the active components of menthol and rosmarinic acid. Both have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity.
In a test-tube study, peppermint-leaf extract exhibited potent antiviral activity against RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). It was found to significantly decrease the levels of inflammatory compounds. Peppermint is also a known catalyst. This helps any remedy to be more effective. It affects the contents of the recipe without entering in and changing its function. It enhances the benefits all around when combined with other plants.
Rosemary has a beautiful aroma used in cooking, however, it has multiple powerful plant compounds including oleanolic acid.
In animal and test-tube studies, Olenolic Acid has been found to have anti-viral effects against HIV, influenza A & B, hepatitis, and the herpes viruses. Rosemary Extract has demonstrated to have anti-viral effects against Hepatitis A and a multiple of Herpes viruses. Rosemary is especially known to protect the body against viruses that adversely affect the liver.
Echinacea, all types, is high in the natural antibiotic berberine. Leavers, flowers, and roots are all used for anti-viral remedies.
Multiple test-tube study concluded that the specific varieties of Pallida, Angustifolia and Purpurea are particularly effective for fighting active infections like Flu and Herpes strains. The Purpurea strain is especially useful for treating viral infections.
Elderberries and Elder Flowers are commonly used to naturally treat viral infections like the flu and the common cold. It is effective for body aches, sore throat, sinus congestion and infection. See how to make the Elderberry Syrup remedy. This recipe has a 2 month shelf life so long as it is refrigerated. 1 tablespoon per day is the adult dosage and 1/2 tablespoon for children or a teaspoon for the very young or infants.
A study in mice determined that concentrated elderberry suppressed the replication of influenza virus and activated and stimulated the overall immune system response.
In 4 studies in 180 people, elderberry was found to markedly reduce UPPER respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections. The Coronavirus is particular to the LOWER respiratory system. Combining Elderberry with the 3 primary herbs for the lower respiratory system will cover the upper and lower lungs and airways.
Lab studies have found Elderberry may be effective against the Swine Flu (H1N1). A few studies have suggested that elderberry may also be effective against bacterial sinus infections or bronchitis. Sinus infections are difficult to reach. Face Steams and using the Herbal Antibiotic Formula in the Neti Pot salt water to rinse the sinus cavity is helpful in most cases.
Licorice Root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It can help to produce natural cortisone which reduces inflammation. The active substances in Licorice Root are Glycyrrhizin, Liquiritigenin, and Glabridin, all which have powerful antiviral properties.
Test-tube studies demonstrate; Licorice Root Extract has been found to be effective against RSV, Herpes viruses, and SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus) which causes a serious type of pneumonia effecting the LOWER respiratory. This again should be combined with other herbs to maximize its effects. Some viruses affect the upper and others the lower. This herb is excellent for the lower respiratory infections or for those at risk for pneumonia.
Astragalus is a flowering herb popular in traditional Chinese medicine, known as “the World’s Greatest Immune Tonic”. Astragalus has an active ingredient called APS (polysaccharide), which has significant anti-viral effects and immune-enhancing capabilities. Adding this herb to the Elderberry Syrup recipe is part of our Kit we prepare, along with both Cinnamon and Clove. You can never go wrong adding Astragalus to your first line of protection- prevention.
Test-tube and animal studies have shown that Astragalus is effective against the herpes viruses, hepatitis C, and avian (bird flu) influenza H9 virus. APS may protect human astrocyte cells from the herpes infection strains. These are the most plentiful cells in the human central nervous system.
13. Ginger Root
Ginger Root has been shown to demonstrate impressive anti-viral activity because of its particular plant compounds. Besides being an anti-viral, it is especially helpful for nausea and stomach upset, often experienced when ill. Specific compounds in ginger, gingerols and zingerone, have been found to inhibit viral replication and prevent viruses from entering host cells.
There are specifics however related to Ginger Root and viruses. When Ginger Root is extracted with water or glycerin, such as a tea or glycerin based tincture, it is beneficial for the cardiovascular system and heart. If however it is extracted with alcohol (vodka, everclear, ethol alcohol) it is effective as an anti-viral including against “superbugs” like mass public infections or in cases of epidemics or pandemics.
Because Ginger Root helps to slow down or stop replication of the virus, it can slow down the spread of illness and reduce the risk of contagion. A social contagion is like a biological contagion—both of which will spread through a replication process. Social contagions can be fueled by irrational worry and fear and are often powered by half-truths or exaggerations. In all cases of public illness, it is important to try to keep a realistic perspective and rise above the ignorant mass panic.
If a virus is not slowed or if replication is not thwarted, it spreads from person to person creating an epidemic and in severe cases, a pandemic world wide. Ginger Root slows or helps to prevent replication which is vital to not spreading into an epidemic. The purpose of vaccines for example is to interrupt the spread of a virus by introducing trace amounts of the virus into the blood stream which in turn builds antibodies to fight the virus. A vaccine may be prepared from the causative agent of a disease, and its products which are a synthetic substitute, are treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease, producing immunity to a particular disease and virus. As I stated already, our greatest risk it that we have NO antibodies against a new virus so we have no defense against contracting it. The immune system has to build it. Once a virus spreads through the public, a natural immunity will build into the human system, making it less dangerous in the future. These viruses do morph into new strains and it starts all over again.
Test-tube research demonstrates ginger extract has antiviral effects against the Bird Flu (avian influenza), RSV, and feline (cat) calicivirus (FCV), which is comparable to human norovirus.
Panax Ginseng is found in Chinese, Korean, and American forms. It has been found for centuries to be effective in fighting viruses. Panax Ginseng is an adaptogen and known as a total body tonic. Taking Ginseng in general increases stamina, endurance, disease resistance, and energy. Compounds in Ginseng called ginsenosides have anti-viral effects Hepatitis B, Coxsackieviruses, Norovirus, and an infection of the brain called Meningoencephalitis. These ginsenosides are associated with the prevention of several diseases.
Korean Red Ginseng Extract in animal and test-tube studies, has produced significant effects against the Herpes Viruses, RSV, and Hepatitis A.
Dandelions, both the leaf and the root have many medicinal properties and anti-viral effects.
Test-tube research indicates that dandelion may be effective against Hepatitis B, Flu, and HIV infection.
A test-tube study found that dandelion extract inhibited replication of Dengue, which is a mosquito-borne virus which causes an illness called Dengue Fever. It can be fatal, and demonstrates symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, high fever, and muscle aches and pain.
Adding simple herbs mentioned above through daily teas is an effective way to add these into your diet. It is important however to remember that most research has been performed using test tubes and animals with applications in concentrated extract forms. For this reason we are unsure what the effects of smaller doses can have. All effects tend to be accumulative just as developing poor health or regaining vibrant health. Nothing happens overnight. If working to fight an active virus, threat of exposure to a serious illness, or even an epidemic, be sure to use maximum strengths of the plants to yield results that can be expected with a vigorous application of a plant medicine rather than a culinary use.
If you decide to supplement these herbs whether in single form, extracts, tinctures, prepared formulas or other plant products, consult your health care professional to ensure safe use. Ask your pharmacist for conflicts you may have due to prescription medication you are taking or diagnosed illness you have. with extracts, tinctures, or other herbal products, consult your healthcare provider to ensure safe usage.