Updated: Mar 23, 2020

Facts About COVID-19

Many people are worried about the new Corona virus called 2019-nCo (COVID19), that appears to have originated in a wild animal wholesale market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Following is some reliable information researched from what is currently known.

The Family Of Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. Many of us have experienced coronaviruses as a cause of bronchitis or a common chest cold, but this family of viruses also includes those that have caused serious outbreaks such as MERS and SARS. Coronaviruses from animals can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS corona viruses in the past. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

Signs and Symptoms Of Corona virus 2019-nCoV

Many people who have COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. Someone may have a mild cough and not even feel ill.

Common signs of infection

· fever

· dry cough

· tiredness

Less Common

· diarrhea

· aches and pains

· nasal congestion

· runny nose

· sore throat

· other gastrointestinal symptoms

In more severe cases, infection can cause

· difficulty breathing

· shortness of breath

· pneumonia

· severe acute respiratory syndrome

· kidney failure

· death

1 out of 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficult breathing. Older people, smokers (including vaping), those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, or are taking certain prescription medications are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficult breathing should seek medical attention.

How Is It Spread

Originally it was suggested that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. It appears to possibly be both though. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily through contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when a person exhales, coughs or sneezes. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. The droplets have been shown to be able to last for quite an extended time on things like metal or plastic objects. Additionally, more recent research finds the virus can last about 3 hours in the air. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. It is important that everyone practice good respiratory hygiene. It is also very important for people to wash their hands regularly with either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Although some people will tell you that masks do not help, I disagree. Masks and even eye protection can be helpful to keep from getting this virus if you are in close contact with people who may be infected.

Close contact is the most likely way to get this virus. Staying a few feet away from people will help ensure a decreased chance of it spreading to you.

Once exposed, there can be up to a 14-day incubation period, with an average of about 8 days between being exposed to the virus and acquiring illness. This means you can be passing it on to others during this time without realizing it. It also means other people that appear well, may also pass it to you.

Preventative Measures

· Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water; Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

· Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing;

· Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth;

· When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;

· Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.

· Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

· Avoid touching contaminated surfacesUse a clean paper towel to open bathroom doors. Disinfect dirty surfaces that you use every day, like the touchscreen on your phone and your computer keyboard.

Why People Are Worried And Who Should Be Worried

The reason people are worried about this virus is because they don't know what to expect. People are not sure China has given us "real" data. The population has never seen this virus before, so people have no innate built up immunity. Of course viruses change constantly and this is why a person can get the flu over and over again, so built up immunity is not all we might tell ourselves it is in the case of viruses any way. The data that we have seen so far, tells us that young people have less to be concerned about than older people. In China children from 1-9 are 1% of the infections and none of the deaths. As people increase from their 40s-80s the mortality increases. Clearly the older you are the more you should be concerned about this virus. Of people in their 70s who got the virus, 8% died and nearly 15% of those 80 and older died. That means this age group should socially distance themselves from others. They should use the phone or the internet to connect with others. If you have a family member, friend or neighbor that is older, call them and see if you can assist in some way. If you visit them, wear a mask and keep your distance.

People who are smokers, with heart problems, diabetes, or lung issues like COPD are also at a higher risk for severe disease and death. COVID-19 is similar to viral pneumonias, which tend to have a worse effect on people who already have a weakened immune system.

Pregnant women do not seem to be impacted by this infection, though only a few have been carefully tracked so far. One study published recently in The Lancet found that nine women who became infected with COVID-19 did not pass the virus on to their babies

Persons who develop symptoms after close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider, and persons with the illness should follow CDC guidance on how to prevent transmission to others.


Currently there are no antivirals or vaccines that mainstream medicine has available for this virus and they are suggesting supportive care if someone has contracted the virus. However, I would suggest that prevention is the best way to approach this. This time of year there are many viruses that are contagious in public areas. To protect yourself from viruses, wear a mask when in public if you do not want to get any of them, including this virus. Don’t touch your fingers to your face. When you get home, wash your hands immediately. If you like, carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer or spray with you. Watch out for those wipes with chemicals on them, they have their own hazards. Additionally, support your immune system and general health.

Support Your Immune System To Prevent Infectious Disease

· Get exercise

· Drink clean water

· Eat real food

· Breath clean air.

· Get adequate, restful sleep

· Eliminate chemicals and toxins in your environment and remove them from your body.

· Nourish, tonify, and enhance organ systems that are depleted or not functioning properly.

· Pay specific attention to the immune system, digestive system, and the liver.

· Discontinue recreational drug use.

· Decrease prescription drug use as much as possible under the guidance of your physician.

· Rest and meditation/prayer.

· Bathe in sunshine and relax in nature. If there is a lack of sun, supplement with vitamin D. However, vitamin D is just one thing you get from the sun and does not replace it.

· Enjoy the benefits of massage and hydrotherapy.

· Include joyful activities in your day.

· Disconnect from negative social media and news

· Gut health is necessary for immune system health. A large part of the immune system is in the gut lining. 80% of the antibodies in your body are made here so support the gut immune system by eating fermented foods to supply extra microbiota and feeding the resident beneficial gut bacteria with fiber.

· Vitamin C elevates interferon levels, which is a partial explanation for its anti-viral ability. As a preventative 1-3 grams per day is used. For treatment, take up to bowel tolerance (1-8 grams per day).

· Zinc supplements have been shown to increase immune function. I suggest 25 mg per day for adults and about 15 mg per day for children. Take the supplement with food to avoid nausea. Zinc has also been shown to reduce the duration of flu and cold symptoms from 7.6 to 4.4 days.

· Eat a nourishing diet of whole real or biodynamic foods that are high quality-fat, high quality-protein, high-fiber, and with complex carbohydrates. A healthy diet has lots of dark green leafy vegetables as well as colorful vegetables and fruits included. Make sure the fruits and vegetables are fresh, and ripe.

· Remove any food sensitivities and unhealthy foods from the diet. Elimination diets are a good method to find offending foods if there are any. Sugar is not a friend of the immune system.

· The nutrients associated with maintaining an adequate immune system are the minerals iron, zinc, and selenium and vitamins A, C, D, E, and B vitamins. Many people are nutrient deficient, especially of minerals. So a baseline of proper nutrition is very important.

Things that can affect your immune system

· Age - the very young and very old can have a decreased immune system reaction.

· Nutritional Status - Good nutritional support is necessary to a proper functioning immune system.

· Genetics - We are born with a more or less effective immune system and have to deal with the cards we are dealt.

· Medications - corticosteroids, immunosuppressives used in transplant surgery and other drugs may decrease the immune systems activity.

· Environment - There may be environmental factors in the home or work environment that can effect the immune system.

· Radiation - Given during cancer therapy, diagnostic imaging or due to environmental disasters, radiation can decrease or stop the production of white blood cells temporarily.

· Stress - Chronic stress can decrease the immune systems activity due to endocrine system effects.

· Chronic wasting diseases such as cancer and TB as well as immunodeficiency diseases such as HIV can negatively effect the immune system.

· Mental/emotional outlook - The ability to be content, happy and to be able to roll with the punches has been shown to enhance the bodies immunity.

Nutritional, Herbal & Lifestyle Recommendations

The immune system needs nourishment from the food we take in. It is dependent on a healthy lifestyle for optimum functionality.

· Healthy food

· a safe environment

· sunshine

· clean air

· healthy water

· exercise

· prayer/meditation

All of these are necessary for optimum immune system function.

Nutritional products and herbs can also be used to support the normal function of the immune system. Some basic nutritional information as well as some of the more popular herbs are listed below:

· Caretenoids (as well as other flavonoids) in carrots, yams, squash, tomatoes, melons, calendula flowers, dandelion flowers, elecampane flowers, green leafy vegetables are very beneficial.

· Eat wild foods which are nutritious and immune-supportive such as plantain, cleavers, chickweed, stinging nettles (cooked only): many of these herbs can be used in stir fries, soups, or juiced. The stinging nettles should be cooked due to the possibility of being stung otherwise. The chickweed is great in salad. plantain and cleavers are best juiced. These vibrant green wild foods support our bodies via their vitamins, minerals, enzymes and ways we yet have to discover.

· Foods such as beets and other root vegetables as well as fall greens are helpful for nutritional support to the immune system.

· Eating antioxidants in your fresh fruits and vegetables is very helpful. All brightly colored foods have antioxidants in them. The top 5 antioxidants from a USDA study of 100 plants with antioxidants was as follows:5. Blueberries (cultivated) 4. Pinto beans 3. Red kidney beans 2. Blueberries (wild) 1. Small red beans (dried)

· Also avoid excessive amounts of sugary foods, food additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, excess iron, low nutrient, refined food diets, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones in food, contaminated water, prescription drugs, recreational drugs (including coffee and chocolate).

Herbs for the Immune System

· Lymphagogues are herbs which stimulate lymphatic activity. They will help to move cellular debris out of the body.

· Alteratives are herbs which stimulate the blood as well as the skin and liver in their respective eliminatory functions. Herbs in these categories can be very beneficial to immune system support by assisting in removal of cellular waste, chemical toxins or microbes from the body.

· Immunomodulators support the immune system activity while antivirals specifically have been shown to be beneficial at preventing or treating illnesses associated with viruses. However, the way antivirals are thought to work is through the support of the body's immune system, rather than direct activity on the virus.

· Anticatarrhals decrease excess mucus and diaphoretics reduce fevers.

· Antibacterials are used for bacterial associated illnesses and are useful if you get a bacterial infection superimposed on top of the viral infection. Many of the deaths in the 1918 flu pandemic were due to bacterial pneumonias superimposed on top of the flu. Many of the herbs listed below can be found in more than one category. I will cover immunomodulators in a separate article.

· Immunomodulators - Agent which enhances the body’s natural defense system to assist in infectious conditions or other situations that tax the immune system, such as invasive tumors. These herbs act in various ways to promote different aspects of the immune system as well as support of anatomical functions such as decreasing mucous, tightening up lax tissues and decreasing inflammation so the tissues are better capable of protecting themselves from invasive organisms.

Examples: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Cedar (Thuja spp.), Echinacea (Echinacea spp.), Elecampane (Inula helenium), Flag (Iris versicolor), Garlic -fresh (Allium sativa), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), Oregon grape root (Mahonia spp.), Osha (Ligusticum porteri), Paracress (Spilanthes acmella), Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), Propolis, Red root (Ceanothus americanus), Wu wei zi (Schisandra chinensis), Yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica), Wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria )

A FEW Herbs/Supplments for prevention & Treatment

All doses are for adults: To get child doses for herbs, simply take the child's weight and divide it by 150. Use this percent multiplied with the adult dose. Example for 50# child and 120 drop dose. 50/150 = 0.33, when you multiple 33%x120= 39.6 or 40 drops.

· Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is used for night sweats, deficiency of chi (Indicated by fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite), and diarrhea. Studies have shown that Astragalus appears to restore T-cell counts to relatively normal ranges, even in cancer patients. This is a good herb to use preventatively. It can be made into a tea or added to a soup.

· Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea/angustifolia) increases the production and activity of lymphocytes and macrophages. It also increases the production of interferon. Echinacea enhances the immune system’s resistance to infections. Due to its specificity for infectious conditions, it is often used for influenza and other viruses, but it really shines in bacterial infections.The plant contains 3 groups of constituents, high molecular weight polysaccharides, alkylamides and chicoric acid, that are known to act as immunomodulators. As a liquid extract take 1/2 - 1 teaspoon, three times per day for prevention and 1 teaspoon 4-6 times per day for treatment.

· Garlic (Allium sativum) has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity. Take a clove of raw garlic per day for prevention or 2-3 times per day for treatment.

· Boneset (Eupatorium perforatum) is specific for the type of intense flu pains where you ache to your bones. This herb is also a diaphoretic and is best taken as a hot tea although it can be used as a tincture also. You will see it used the same way in homeopathy also. This herb is used for treatment only. Take a heaping tablespoon per cup water, infused 3-4 times per day.

· Yarrow (Achillea millefollium) is a diaphoretic, astringent, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial that is wonderful to use in the feverish stage and especially if there is a lot of congestion. I only use it short term usually. I like to use it as a tea, but if using it as a tincture it only takes 3-15 drops usually.

· Osha (Ligusticum porteri) is antiviral, immunomodulator, anticattarrhal and diaphoretic. I find this herb has a synergistic effect when used with Licorice and Echiancea. It's especially helpful if you have a lot of mucus as it helps dispel the excess mucus with its drying action. This herb I use as a tincture or suck on a chunk of the root. Wonderful for congestion and quite useful in the initial stages of a viral infection starting. 5-20 drops. I usually use this with other herbs.

· Elder (Sambucus nigra/canadensis) This expectorating, antiviral and diaphoretic herb has become popularized with the extensive advertising for the brand name Sambucol that uses a berry extract. Indeed the berries, leaves and the flowers are useful for the flu. I love to use the flowers as a relaxing diaphoretic. They are safe to use for children and don't taste bad like Yarrow does. You can make a tea with both the flowers, leaves and berries. The flowers and berries are the safest part of this plant to use. They both are nice as a tea.

· Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) This herb has been used for the treatment of the common cold, fever and influenza virus infections. More and more studies show a variety of antiviral activity from roots of this plant or constituents, some being in vivo studies in animals and humans. This is starting to make the herb more well known in western medicine circles. Research has shown ingestion of the constituent baicalein resulted in the inhibition of influenza.

· NAC- or N-acetylcysteine is an amino acid that stimulates the synthesis of glutathione — a compound that helps fight free radicals, unstable atoms that can cause inflammation and damage. It is also a powerful mucolytic that can thin even the thickest mucus secretions. It s currently being used as a hospital treatment for people with chronic lung conditions, such as bronchitis, pneumonia or cystic fibrosis.

· Vitamin C elevates interferon levels, which is a partial explanation for its anti-viral ability. As a preventative 1-3 grams per day is used. For treatment, take up to bowel tolerance (1-8 grams per day).

There has been a lot of talk recently in the news about HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine), an anti-malarial drug being used to manage symptoms of COVID19 infections. HCQ is a powerful synthetic with some very serious potential side-effects. It’s natural form is quinine which can be safely extracted from Cinchona Bark


I will be publishing formulations here on this page that you all can create on your own as well as adding products in our store that contain many of these.

If anyone has any concerns, question or would like a customized compound to accommodate your personal situation, please reach out to me personally at btj@herbalnation.org.

Ultimately, we are dependent on each other for support to one degree or another and to make the best choices for all concerned. I encourage all of you stay connected with family and friends and find way to help others in need!

I love you all.

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