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Archive for the ‘Natural Antivirals’ Category

Get Ready for Cold and Flu Season with Natural Antivirals 

In antioxidants, COVID-19, Epstein Barr and Cancer, inflammation, Natural Antivirals, Natural remedies for Flu and Covid, Uncategorized on November 2, 2022 at 8:10 am

Is there really such a thing as flu-season and can we rely on vaccines? I am not certain, but with colds (which are viral), flus, and COVID-19 in the air, it makes sense to bolster our immune systems. A good overall strategy to prevent getting sick this winter or during the other seasons could include natural antivirals that support the body and do no harm.

Natural therapeutic food supplements have always been considered an excellent source against viral infections. Viruses hijack healthy cells and reprogram them to make more viruses, which allows the virus to spread more virulently. Therefore, halting the process can reduce viral load and make symptoms less severe.

The original “flu shot” our grandmothers concocted was typically something that contained raw garlic, onion, ginseng root, cayenne pepper, green onion (similar to scallions) turmeric, and ginger. But there are many fruits, herbs, and supplements to consider taking now for prevention and others to keep on hand if you do feel a bit under the weather. Below are a few to consider.

Resveratrol and Other Polyphenols

Studies have shown that the polyphenol resveratrol can assist in various stages of COVID-19, colds, and other viruses. A study done at the Institute of Microbiology in Rome found that resveratrol “strongly inhibited” the replication of the flu virus in cell cultures. They credited resveratrol’s antioxidant properties for targeting viruses at the cellular level. [i]

The researchers found it highly effective when administered three hours after infection or symptoms, but if your roommate, spouse, kids, coworkers, etc. are symptomatic, perhaps consider it now. While there is no conclusive evidence that it prevents viruses altogether, it might lessen the severity. Resveratrol is found in red grapes, red wine, grape juice, blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries, but can also be found in supplement form (typically extracted from Japanese knotweed roots).

Another study published in Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that resveratrol has antiviral activity against numerous viruses responsible for severe respiratory infections.  Its anti-inflammatory properties can be credited for lowering the risk of severe virus-related complications related to the overactivation of the host-immune response, leading to lung damage. [ii]

Polyphenols, in general, are found to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial and thus can be effective against viral infections. Most plant-based foods such as vegetables and fruits contain polyphenols that exert these antiviral activities. But berries, herbs, and spices have some of the highest polyphenol content. Berries such as elderberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries have consistently proven to be effective against viral infections. They are known to strongly impede the replication in cell lines which may relieve the symptoms of cold and flu viruses. A 2021 study published in the National Library of Medicine, “Berry Derived Constituents in Suppressing Viral Infection: Potential Avenues for Viral Pandemic Management” found that “berries could be an alternative source for managing viral infections.”  [iii]

Previous studies have shown that elderberry can reduce flu symptoms and shorten the duration of symptoms in half, but more recently scientists have identified a compound in elderberries that binds to cell receptor sites to block viruses, essentially immobilizing the flu virus. Apparently, a unique phytochemical in elderberries blocks the virus from hijacking healthy cells, preventing the virus from replicating. In doing so it may cut recovery time to 48 hours. The extract was also able to stimulate the immune system to coordinate a more efficient response to the virus, contributing to the shortened duration. [iv]

A study published in the American Journal of Physiology/Endocrinology and Metabolism, “Can Phytotherapy with Polyphenols Serve as a Powerful Approach for the Prevention and Therapy Tool of Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?” reported on the clinical utility of plants-derived polyphenols in fighting viral infections. The researchers found that “polyphenols help to suppress viral replication, inflammation, and additional pathogenic conditions as well as to help restore the natural immune response.” [v]

While the following conclusion was made in 2020 before vaccines were offered, it amazes me that polyphenolic compounds have not gotten much attention with respect to COVID:

“Given the lack of vaccine and effective antiviral agents for COVID-19, evidence is provided to propose that natural polyphenolic compounds may serve as a useful arsenal to mitigate coronaviral infection in view of their established beneficial properties and functions.” (levy, 2020)[vi]

More Options

Ginger has anti-inflammatory, fever-breaking (although fevers do help the body to heal, too high a fever is not always great), blood-thinning, and antiviral activity.

A good multivitamin, adequate vitamins A, C, and D, zinc, selenium, probiotics, mushroom extracts, beta glucans, selenium, and astragalus support immune function, helping to slow down the speed at which pathogens replicate and mutate.

Zinc and Chaga mushroom inhibit the ability of viruses to reproduce and spread. Magnesium, fish or krill oil, vitamin E, and curcumin (turmeric) are natural anti-inflammatories. Also helpful are holy basil/ tulsi, ashwagandha, raw garlic, propolis, and NAC (N-acetylcysteine).

Antiviral colloidal silver, quercetin, olive leaf extract, monolaurin, and lysine are also quite helpful. One of my absolute favorites, especially for COVID (or the vaccine) is black cumin (also known as nigella and black seed).

Given the general lack of efficacy of past flu shots and considering the inability of COVID vaccines to prevent a person from getting or spreading the virus (and the risks involved with these shots), natural means of support may be worth considering.

On a side note:

Found that in preclinical studies, resveratrol also helped prevent malignant transformation of human B cells in response to the Epstein Barr virus (EBV), a process linked to many cancers. (For more information on EBV and cancer, please visit Epstein Barr and Cancer.

For Supplement information and brand recommendations, please visit my supplement page HERE.

In your everlasting good health,

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make healthier, less-toxic choices for their healing. She emphasizes the importance of not just surviving cancer but surviving well and reducing the risk of recurrence. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in-person. Elyn does not provide online advice.

DISCLAIMER:
Elyn Jacobs does not provide medical advice. The information provided is for general information only. No online site should be used as a substitute for personal medical attention.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment. This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice, nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice. I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence. Elyn Jacobs Consulting, Inc. does not provide endorsement for the content, claims, or products discussed in this article.

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[i] https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2005/05/24/Resveratrol-could-prevent-flu-epidemics#

[ii] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163725820301431

[iii] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34857187/

[iv] https://backyardbend.com/study-elderberries-block-flu-virus-from-attaching-to-and-entering-human-cells/

[v] https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpendo.00298.2020

[vi] https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpendo.00298.2020

[vii] https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpendo.00298.2020