1) VITAMIN D
Vitamin D deficiency is likely responsible for the high incidences of colds and ’flus during winter in Canada. By nature, vitamin D is anti-inflammatory. Deficiency causes immune system weakness and chronic inflammation. For prevention, supplementing with 5,000 – 10,000 IU daily from October to May of each year is safe for most adults. It is effective for prevention of ’flus, colds, cancer, and approximately 200 different diseases.
Humans manufacture their own antibiotic through vitamin D stimulation. Vitamin D promotes the production of cathelicidin, a protein with natural antibiotic properties. Cathelicidin kills viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. The more vitamin D in the system, the more the body makes this antibiotic.
For those unfortunate enough to get the ’flu or any viral illness, Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council recommends taking 50,000 IU daily of vitamin D at the first sign of the ’flu for 5 days, then dropping the level down to 5 – 10,000 IU daily for the winter season.
This strategy can also be employed if you get the ’flu or a cold right after receiving the ’flu shot. (Most conventional doctors do not believe that you can get the ’flu after a ’flu shot. Then again, most conventional doctors continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence that vitamin D prevents infection.) In any event, vitamin D is both great prevention and effective treatment for colds, ’flus, and probably many other infections. World authorities on vitamin D verify that up to 30,000 IU daily for a healthy adult is quite safe and that periodic higher doses (50,000 IU daily for 5 days) are also of no concern.
Vitamin D works even better if taken with vitamin K2. Both are anti-inflammatory and can prevent as well as treat infections successfully.
2) VITAMIN A
is often deficient in the North American population, especially in people with problems absorbing fat soluble vitamins from food. Vitamin A is not only vital for healthy vision but also important as a viral illness preventive. Dr. David Brownstein recommends that healthy people take 5,000 IU daily, and 100,000 IU daily for four days at the first sign of illness. This is not a recommended dose for pregnant women who should just stick with a good prenatal multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. Be sure to take vitamin A, not beta-carotene (which won’t work for this purpose).
is a tremendously important mineral for optimal immune system functioning. Most people know iodine is important for thyroid function but few know that there is no bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite known to be resistant to iodine. To have an antiviral effect, one must take doses much higher than the RDA. Dr. David Brownstein, who has written a book on the therapeutic uses of iodine, recommends taking 25 mg daily for prevention and 50 – 100 mg daily at the first sign of illness. You will need a prescription for these higher doses but you can easily get iodine from fish, seafood, kelp, dulse, and other seaweed options. Kelp, sea salt, or dulse powder can be sprinkled on food for added iodine. Avoid the high prescription doses if you suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis because it may make the condition worse.
4) VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)
1,000 mg or more daily has antiviral and immune enhancing effects. Megadoses above and beyond bowel tolerance (i.e. dose that produces diarrhea) can be given intravenously to fight serious infections like Lyme disease as well as cancer. In cases of pneumonia, the IV form may be the best way to fight the infection and avoid the diarrhea side effects. One of my patients receiving high dose intravenous vitamin C for a viral illness was recently loudly scolded by her infectious disease specialist for receiving it. I asked the patient to ask that doctor to give me a call but the doctor never tried to do so. (I find the ignorance and arrogance of some conventional doctors very disturbing.) The scientific support of this use of vitamin C is very well documented, and only the uninformed and out-of-date doctors believe it to be otherwise.
“I have not seen any ’flu yet that was not cured or markedly ameliorated by massive doses of vitamin C.” Robert F. Cathcart, MD
The daily requirement of vitamin C is still in debate but most would agree that the RDA of 60 mg is too low an estimate of actual human need. Vitamin C is used up quickly during conditions of stress, allergies, diseases like diabetes, and by tobacco smoke, drugs, antibiotics, alcohol, mercury, and other toxic heavy metals like lead and cadmium. Some vitamin C is stored in the adrenal glands, pituitary, brain, eyes, ovaries, and testes and is in greater demand whenever the immune system or any connective tissue is stressed.
The best food sources of vitamin C are the citrus fruits. Other fruits with high amounts of C include rosehips, acerola cherries, papayas, cantaloupes, and strawberries. The best vegetable sources are red and green peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, parsley, dark leafy greens, cabbage, and sauerkraut.
Vitamin C was first isolated from lemons in 1932 but it was well known to be a factor in the prevention of scurvy back in the 18th century. Vitamin C is used by the body in the formation of collagen, a protein required by all joints, ligaments, skin, cartilage, capillary walls, bones, teeth and connective tissue. Vitamin C is needed to help heal wounds and to maintain healthy blood vessels.
Vitamin C may well be the most controversial of all the vitamins. Most of the medical establishment still objects to the use of megadoses of vitamin C for treatment of cancer, the ’flu, allergies, stress, adrenal fatigue, or just about anything else. Yet there is a growing body of medical literature supporting the use of vitamin C in very high doses to both prevent and treat infections. So in my opinion, if you have any serious viral illness like coronavirus, insist on high doses of IV vitamin C. It can save your life.
Vitamin C in larger than physiological doses have been successfully used to treat a range of viral, bacterial, fungal and inflammatory conditions including colds, ‘flus, mononucleosis, herpes simplex infections, and shingles. Vitamin C boosts production of interferon, a potent anti-viral and immune enhancing substance. Chronic inflammatory conditions not necessarily related to infectious disease will also respond to vitamin C therapy. These include arthritis, bursitis, gout (vitamin C pushes uric acid out of the body), asthma, and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
One of the strategies that I have recommended for people who have just acquired an infection is: “take vitamin C to bowel tolerance.” When someone is plagued with a viral infection, the tolerance for high doses of vitamin C is increased. It takes far higher doses of vitamin C to produce loose bowel movements which occur at the vitamin C tolerance dose. Pushing vitamin C to that level will produce a strong antiviral and antihistaminic effect, reducing all the signs and symptoms of the common cold and the ’flu. Doses of 20,000 mg or more might be required to reach that bowel tolerance level when, ordinarily in times of good health, the bowel tolerance dose might just be 3,000 mg daily. In other words, the sicker you are, the higher the dose required.
(lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and numerous others) – are friendly bacteria that usually inhabit the gut, the oral cavity, and the skin. They are very well documented optimizers of the immune system. Probiotics function as natural antibiotics against unfriendly bacteria, viruses like the ’flu and cold virus, as well as yeast like Candida albicans. Probiotics can also be used for both prevention and treatment.
Cultured dairy products like raw non-pasteurized cheese, yogurt, acidophilus milk, buttermilk, sour cream, cottage cheese, and kefir are well-known sources of friendly bacteria. Equally effective probiotic sources include cultured/fermented vegetables (cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers (pickles), onions, squash, olives and carrots), soy products like organic tempeh and miso, kombucha, natto, and apple cider vinegar. Other food sources are sauerkraut and sourdough breads. Ideally, one can get a good supply of probiotics from one or more of these diverse foodstuffs. If dietary sources are not easily available, supplemental probiotic powders and capsules are good alternatives. Choose a brand that has at least 10 different strains of friendly bacteria and between 10 – 15 billion live organisms.
is the first mammary secretion nourishment that any mammal, including humans, provides for its newborn during the first 24 to 48 hours of life. Colostrum is available at most health food stores as a natural health product. Those wanting to prevent infections can take between 3 and 6 capsules daily to prevent viral infections.
Polio vaccine developer, Dr. Albert Sabin, discovered that colostrum contained antibodies against polio and recommended it for children susceptible to catching the disease. Well known colostrum components include interferon, gamma globulin, growth hormone (GH), IgF-1 and protease inhibitors used by medical specialists in the treatment of cancer, chronic viral infections including HIV, and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Jeffrey Dach is one doctor who provides evidence in a recent publication that colostrum is three times more effective at preventing the ’flu than the ’flu shot.
7) OIL OF OREGANO
2 to 4 drops, 3 times daily, is an effective natural antibiotic for numerous infectious diseases, including those that are proven to be resistant to prescription antibiotics. Oregano oil contains carvacrol, a phenol shown to stop the growth of multiple bacteria. It also contains thymol (a natural antifungal) and rosmarinic acid (a powerful antioxidant). Side effects are rarely, if ever, seen and the spicy taste can be offset by mixing it with olive oil, foods, or beverages. For sinus and nasal infections, one can inhale vapours from a bottle of oregano oil several times daily to reduce or eliminate symptoms. If using high doses of oregano, make sure to take it at least two hours away from probiotic supplements.
8) BLACK SEED OIL
It is often said that black seed oil will cure anything except death. Its best use would be for viral infection complications such as pneumonias when combined with intravenous vitamin C infusions. Black seed oil comes from the medicinal plant Nigella sativa (N. sativa) which has been used in various traditional systems of medicine like Unani and Tibb, Ayurveda, and Siddha. The list of diseases or health conditions that it is purported to help run into the hundreds. Most of the benefits have yet to be proven by clinical trials. Nonetheless, a great deal of scientific studies have been published supporting the use of black seed oil as a natural antibiotic.
It has been widely used as an antihypertensive, liver tonic, diuretic, digestive, anti-diarrheal, appetite stimulant, analgesic, anti-bacterial, and for skin disorders. Extensive studies on N. sativa have been carried out by various researchers and a wide spectrum of its pharmacological actions have been explored which may include antidiabetic, anticancer, immunomodulator, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, hepato-protective, renal protective, gastro-protective, antioxidant properties, etc.
Asthma is one of the many chronic conditions that often responds well to black seed oil. Most of the therapeutic properties of this plant are due to the presence of thymoquinone which is the major bioactive component of the essential oil.
There’s a warning on the bottle of black seed oil that pregnant women shouldn’t take it. The so-called danger is pure speculation. There is no proof of harm. Given that black seed has been available for centuries and there is no record of hazards, this warning on the label is unscientific and scared off at least one of my patients who could have used it for her dry skin and fungus infection.
An extract of turmeric, curcumin has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic activity. It is well known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its anti-cancer benefits. Curcumin is a stronger antifungal than most prescription antifungals. One study showed it to be superior to fluconazole, an effective but expensive antifungal. If you are on a prescription antibiotic, fungal infections can be one of the side effects. So, curcumin and probiotics could be very good things to take to prevent candida or fungal infections of other kinds. Doses are variable depending on the infection and the individual.
10) SILVER HYDROSOL
This form of colloidal silver is effective against numerous viruses and harmful microbes. Be careful with taking colloidal silver in amounts higher than 23 ppm for extended periods of time. Higher non-nanoparticle sized amounts could accumulate in the system causing a blue skin discolouration. Small particle sizes of colloidal silver (10 to 20 ppm) are generally safe and effective for many different types of infections, especially those resistant to prescription antibiotics.
Echinacea, berberine, zinc, garlic, hypericum, goldenseal, cloves, Manuka honey, elderberry, astragalus, grapefruit seed extract and ginger are other natural supplements that people can consider for strengthening their immune defences against viruses. But I feel my top 10 list is the most effective. Most of these will be effective for a large number of people to kill unwanted microbes. Consult a natural health care practitioner for personalized advice on one or a combination of the top 10 remedies.
Warning: This article is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor. Please consult with your personal physician before making adjustments to your health care routine.