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Pandemic! Now what?

Ok, “this just got real!” Excuse my slang, but this is exactly what I said when I heard the announcement that the coronavirus is now a pandemic. For a second after I heard it, I actually had an out of body experience. In my head thoughts were swirling. I was thinking if I contract the virus, who will care for me, what will happen to my family. What about my mom who is currently dealing with an upper respiratory infection and my brother whose immune system is compromised and facing surgery, my other brother who just recovered from a very serious bacterial infection and on and on until, I literally had to shake myself…”snap out of it, Teresa!” I quickly realized that I was not helping anyone with these sabotaging what if thoughts. It took a minute but my thoughts then shifted to what do I need to do to boost my immune system; what can I do to avoid exposure and if I’m exposed, what will I do. In addition, I thought this is the message that I need to get out to my family members and others.

Following is my daily “keep myself healthy” regimen. I encourage everyone to have a regimen that will keep them healthy at least until this thing is over. If ever, you thought about making some changes toward good health, now is the time! Having a strong constitution and immune system is beneficial to keeping you healthy were you to be exposed to the coronavirus.

  • I’m getting more rest than before; sleeping at least 7 hours most nights of the week.

  • Upon waking, I drink a glass of room temperature water.

  • I pay close attention to my diet being sure to limit processed foods and sugar. I’m eating whole foods every day. Right now all of my meals are plant based.

  • I make a shake using various combinations of fresh fruits and vegetables, chia seeds, maca, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, vitamin c, hemp seeds and flax seeds.

  • I take extra vitamin c, vitamin d, vitamin b12.

  • Just this week I added a daily dose of immune boosting black seed oil.

  • I am trying to get into the yoga studio at least 2 times a week and to the gym a couple times a week. I’m walking and still trying to maintain 10,000 steps a day most days a week.

  • I am drinking at least 96 oz. of water a day.

This is what I’m doing, now continue reading the naturopathic recommendations that can help you avoid exposure to the virus and if you are exposed how to handle it strategically.

  • Avoid large crowds and places with poor ventilation.

  • If you cannot avoid such places, use a properly fitted mask, though research on some more commonly used masks lacks efficacy. Regardless, if using a mask, change frequently as they harbor bacteria.

  • Prioritize handwashing, more often, with soap and water for twenty seconds, especially before eating.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Use hand sanitizers, alcohol-based, when handwashing is not possible.

  • Limit handling doorknobs and other public surfaces without gloves. If in the midst of a severe epidemic, consider using gloves whenever outside to limit contact. Wash gloves daily.

  • Avoid people who are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard or sneeze into your bent elbow.

  • Please stay home if you are sick!

To optimize your reaction to exposure should it occur and prevent or mitigate symptoms:

  • If you are feeling run down, take a day off, for rest and healing.

  • Eat a diet that supports optimal immune function such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Ingest food and drink that are cultured to support an active and robust microbiome which in turn supports proper immunity. Including high fiber foods is essential for that process, too. Avoid sugars, alcohol, and refined, overly processed foods.

  • Remember to keep up exercise, which helps support immune function.

  • Ensure adequate sleep, essential for a well-functioning immune system.

  • Decrease or discontinue smoking as any viral-like symptoms will be worse in smokers. You also help protect loved ones from the impact of second-hand smoke.

  • Try to reduce your stress level. As stress increases, cortisol levels go up, which negatively impacts immune function.

  • It’s also essential to continue to address underlying illnesses and chronic disease. Often it is those who are chronically ill, the very young and the very old who have worse outcomes with various influenzas or viral infections.

The following natural medicines and other approaches foster enhanced immunity while helping to create and maintain healthy mucous membrane tissue, essential for fending off germs.

  • Research has shown there are botanical medicines known to help prevent flu including licorice root, North American ginseng, elderberry, Echinacea, and garlic.

  • Likewise, nutritional supplements can be taken to help insure optimal immune system function. These include: zinc, selenium, vitamin C, probiotics, and seaweed extract.

  • Use a humidifier as higher air humidity reduces virus survival for other viruses and may well decrease transmission here.

Recall approaches that can be comforting during acute illness and help with recuperation:

  • Place 1-2 cups of Epsom salt in a warm bath for a good soak. This helps to draw out inflammation and decrease muscle soreness and joint pain.

  • A hot water bottle can be a welcome presence if patient is chilly and sore.

  • Vegetable or chicken broth will help to replenish electrolytes and has other health benefits.

If you think you have been exposed to 2019-nCoV or that you have symptoms of the virus, be in touch with your medical provider. It will be important to follow quarantine guidelines and to get appropriate conventional care alongside naturopathic approaches. Addressing specific symptoms of 2019-nCoV will be individualized to the patient and the type and severity of the symptoms that arise. Remember, these are only guidelines. If you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms, please consult your physician.

The above guidelines were taken from

After consulting with your physician, if you would like information on starting a natural health regimen email us at


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