****This article is not intended as medical advice. I am happy to schedule a telemed for anyone who needs personalized preventative care at this time. Most supplements in pregnancy are to be avoided. Please discuss their use with your midwife/physician
I have very limited time to write today but I woke up in Texas during the Delta wave with utter clarity that I need to teach folks how to find harmony with viruses. I am not sure that the general public knows that there are critical portions of our health that need to be considered beyond simply the vaccine available to us. Although Pfizer tech is moving in my body, I STILL have more work to do to stay healthy in the surge.
How many times have you been to the doctor and they say it’s just a virus and there is nothing we can do? From their perspective this is true. AND, developing immunity to viruses in our environment is key to us living in harmony with the smallest creatures among us. However, as most of you reading my blog know there are actually loads of options open to us to help the body navigate and prevent full on take over.
- Nutrition status
- Inflammation status
- Listen to your body
For some of you wise ones, just reading this list will gently remind you, ok yes I know what to do. For some of you, you will read this list and think F I have let things slide a bit. It’s ok. I slide too. It is part of ease! As awareness arrives again, we begin again!
1. Nutrition Status
This will look unique for every single body. There is not one particular diet that I recommend. HOWEVER, simple carbs (white carbs/processed foods) and simple sugars are the devil to the immune system. The way they act on the body is related to our inflammation status. They cause oxidative stress on our systems. Basically this means that they cause small fires in the body. COVID can cause a forest fire in certain immune systems. You do not want little fires already burning when it arrives. Vit C, D and Zinc are critical to healthy immune function. If your diet is not rich in these or your digestion isn’t strong, I highly recommend supplementing these.
My prayer is that each of us have learned the value of rest. In my mind this is what COVID came to teach us. No more working ourselves to death for nothing. To put an end to the over scheduling of both ourselves and our children. There is NO healing without ease. Our immune system only functions optimally when it has the space and resources to do so. If you are continuing to give yourself away and hold nothing back for yourself, this will be a more difficult illness. If you get away with it this time, another lesson will come. As a society, we must learn how to create more ease in us and around us. It is the only path to healing our bodies and the planet that supports us.
For each of you this category will look unique! For my body I use both olive leaf extract and Ban Lan Gen (Hawaii Pharmacy brand). The reason I use these two particular antivirals is that they are both have anti inflammatory effects as well. My body has a tendency toward the small stress fires I described above. There are many more out there. Each virus requires distinct antivirals. There are ongoing studies on both of these supplements for their effectiveness in supporting the immune system during COVID. I discovered olive leaf research when I was in residency as it was being studied in the treatment of HIV. Ban Lan Gen came to me later as a T cell balancing herb from TCM and later I discovered the MANY viral illnesses that it has been found effective against. It is an herb that must be given early as it effects viral replication. Where as olive leaf is actually being studied in COVID ICU patients that are already deathly ill. Most likely this stems from the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of olive leaf.
4. Inflammation Status
So if you’re a person that knows they shouldn’t be eating bread or dairy, now is the time to tighten up the reins a bit. Our baseline inflammation status is related to both our nutritional status/gut health, our genetics and our lived trauma. Our nervous system and our immune system are tightly woven together. You may have thought this was going to be a paragraph on NSAIDs… maybe just for a moment. Remember initially when COVID broke and there was that strange relationship between increased death and ibuprofen usage? NSAIDs overly used are actually immunosuppressive. Delicate use of NSAIDs is a beautiful thing but overuse is what I most typically see. Parents afraid of fever, discomfort end up overloading themselves or their children with unnecessary medications. COVID has been a wonderful entry point for teaching the value of fever! This to say, if you know you may be coming down with COVID do NOT be tempted to take fistfuls of Advil. As an adult a baby aspirin may be a better choice (still not for kids!) to help take the edge off the discomfort. Very few children run high fevers with COVID and I do not recommend the use of ibuprofen for them either.
Instead again olive leaf, quercetin, turmeric, ginger, garlic, green juices (if you have the digestive strength), bone broth, alkaline water, avoid dairy/gluten, avoid simple carbs, avoid processed foods
I would not take all of these at once. I live on some of these because of baseline autoimmune issues. I swear by food. Yes supplements are fast and easy but a yummy turmeric ginger soup made with love will both nourish you and provide you the biochemical support you need! Cooking slows us down as well. This is particularly true when we stop to make food from scratch. Obviously if you have COVID you won’t feel much like cooking for a few days but DO ALLOW OTHERS TO COOK and drop off homemade foods FOR YOU!!!!!!
5. Listen to your body
I was initially so clear that the mRNA vaccine wasn’t for me due to my health issues. And I waited 6 months and held a clear NO, against so much cultural pressure as a physician. In June something changed. It was clear as day. Like a bell went off. My body asked for a booster (I had already had very mild native disease ~a year prior). I had been following what was happening in India, knew the required travel that was coming for my family this year and it became clear I was going to need some western magic to support me as the next surge hit. I am so happy I listened. For some of you the vaccine is still a heck no for your body. I support this. I will always support embodied awareness and medical choice. Unlike the media thinks, I know we are not all immunologically the same. It may not be for you. If it isn’t, please do all the things you know how to do to be ready to be with this virus. There will be no hiding this time and we CAN be READY!!!!!!
I love each of you and pray for your continued vibrant health in this surge.