Each year at about this time, I send out some information on ways improve immunity for the upcoming flu season. This year is the same but different! Prevention is best.
The initial fear that came with the arrival of COVID-19 may have lessened for some. People now have enough toilet paper to last a couple years, and the Government may have reduced financial fears, but do you have enough immunity? This disease affects all age groups. Although most deaths are occurring in the elderly, hospitalisations are also seen in 30yr olds. It’s best if we are all vigilant. Those affected by cold and flu may find they have reduced immunity at this time they need it most.
I would like to stress that our best defence is physical distancing and hygiene. Physical distancing and hygiene. Next you can boost your immunity with diet, exercise, supplements, stress reduction and adequate sleep.
The onset and severity of infection in response to viral pathogens is greatly influenced by the virulence of the pathogen and the host’s immune defences. Apart from distancing and hygiene (yes I said it again) to reduce the spread of COVID-19, improving an individual’s immune response is the most effective strategy to protect against any pathogen (cold, flu, Rona, gastritis, herpes etc.)
Chinese Herbs for Better Immunity
Over 300 clinical trials regarding herbs have been launched in China. And although we don’t have results for COVID-19 trials, previous trials show that Chinese Herbal therapy is useful in the prevention and treatment of infectious disease like Influenza/H1N1, SARS and Hepatitis.
One of the most common Herbal formulae I’m prescribing at the moment is Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Windscreen Powder). This formula contains 3 herbs shown to improve resistance against viral infections affecting the lungs, reduce inflammation and improve digestive function. These herbs are Astragalus (Huang Qi), Atractylodis (Bai Zhu), Ledebouriellae (Fang Feng). This formula is used in improving immunity not for treatment of a viral infection. I will provide information regarding formula to treat viral infections in the next newsletter. Please contact me if you would like to add Chinese Herbal therapy to your current health regime.
Other Supplements to Help Immunity
Hospitals in China and USA report current COVID-19 treatment includes 50-100mg/kg Vitamin C each day for mild cases. Higher doses are used for more severe cases. I currently take up to 2g/day. China reports the effective use of Chinese Herbs used for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Other supplements which improve immunity include:
- Zinc, Vit D3, medicinal mushrooms and probiotics (lactobacillus).
- Getting more than 6hrs sleep per night enhances immune response.
- Stress reduction – Poor mental health/stress leads to poor immune response.
- Vitamin B’s can help with fatigue.
Who’s at risk
Groups at risk include those with hypertension, diabetes, coronary disease and obesity. There is no evidence so far to suggest asthmatics or allergy sufferers are more at risk. Avoid NSAID’s like Ibuprofen as it may worsen conditions and slow recovery. Do not cease any current medication without speaking to your Dr.
Our communities have worked well together using distancing and hygiene (yes again!) to ‘flatten the curve’, reporting a reduced infection rate. However, this situation will continue for months and there are many in our communities who are at greater risk if infected.
What to do if you develop symptoms
If you do develop symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath, seek immediate guidance from a medical professional.
The most up-to-date reliable information is available on the Queensland Health website at www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus