We’ve all had those days when we start to feel achy, our heads get a little stuffy or we start to sneeze we can just tell we are “fighting off a virus”. Although we all use that term few of us have given much thought to what a virus is or how to defend against it. A virus is a strange creature, they are not classified as living things -talk about weird, for they cannot reproduce on their own. They are made up of genetic coded material of DNA or RNA wrapped in a protein coating to protect and hide them.
When you walk through a grocery store there are literally billions of viruses in the air all the time. Billions – wow, shouldn’t we all be sick all the time? Viruses are dormant when in the environment, they activate once they get inside a host’s cell. This is probably why there are so many of them just floating around all the time, just waiting for the right opportunity to come along. The best analogy I can think of for a virus is that they are like computer programs which get into your cells and take over. Once inside your cells the viruses hijack your cellular structure and turn your cells into virus replicating machines. Your cells are forced to follow their DNA and RNA coded instructions. Yikes! Once enough virus particles are produced inside the cell, the host cell may burst, which releases the virus into the bloodstream. Some viruses create buds which come out of the cell and open to release the virus (like little pollen pods). At this point we call this a viral infection, as it now enters your bloodstream and travels in the body.
Some viruses create full blown infections such as a flu virus, and the body responds to this with coughing, sneezing, and diarrhea. This allows the virus to leave the body and make its way back into the environment to spread further.
Other viruses travel to other cells in the body and can hide there for years or decades, activating when your immune system gets run down, such as a herpes virus or shingles virus.
So how do we protect ourselves and fight such a weird insidious invader?
The body is very intelligent and has several mechanisms to defend against viruses. When your cell is infected by a virus it puts out a warning signal to your immune system and to other cells “help I’m under attack. ” To send this distress message the cell produces special proteins called Interferons which are a type of cytokine (signaling cell). Interferons interfere with the virus’s ability to replicate, they do this by warning the other cells about the presence of the virus. The interferon also triggers the release of immune cells such as T-cells and natural killer cells, this helps the other cells protect themselves from the virus, and inhibits its ability to spread. My favorite antiviral supplement is NSP’s Nature’s Immune Stimulator I keep this powerful immune activating formula in my natural medicine chest all the time. The herbs and supplements in this formula help your body to produce interferon and cytokines and activates the virus fighting immune cells. At first sign of a virus I take 3 capsules 2-3 times a day, normally this is enough to knock the virus down and stop the attack.
Many viruses, like the flu virus constantly mutate so it is hard to build a resistance to them and this is one reason I do not recommend flu vaccines. By the time a flu vaccine is formulated and produced, and ready to distribute, the virus has already mutated to another form.
Viruses do not like high temperatures so the body often produces a fever to deactivate them. Viruses are typically inactivated at temperatures above the normal body temperature. Our eldest son has a great immune system, if he starts to get sick his body immediately raises his temperature, he goes to bed and in 24 hours he is all better. Not all of us are so lucky to have this efficient of a system. You can mimic this effect in the body by taking a hot ginger bath to raise the body temperature and induces sweating may be a useful tool for knocking out a virus.
Ginger Bath - fill bathtub with very hot water (to your comfort level) add:
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger, or 1 tsp of ground ginger (empty ginger capsules if you like)
1 cup of Epsom salts and a ½ cup baking soda to help relax the muscles, alkalize the body and releases toxins
20 drops of NSP’s Essential Shield oil blend (#3887-8) or other anti-viral essential oils like tea tree oil, eucalyptus, clove, lavender or lemon balm (very relaxing), Soak for 20 minutes
Get out of the tub and wrap yourself in a sheet or bathrobe and get under the covers to encourage sweating.
Antiviral herbs are very helpful when fighting a virus. But remember, since a virus is not a living thing, you are not killing off the virus. Antiviral herbs help activate the part of your immune system which protects against viral replication. My favorites are Echinacea, Olive leaf, Garlic, Astragalus and Ginger. Sometimes you don’t know if you are fighting off a virus or bacteria, that’s Ok as these herbs are also anti-bacterial as well.
Several formulas that top my chart for fighting viruses are: Immune Stimulator, Chinese Lung Support, Chinese VS-C (designed to help fight the herpes virus), Colostrum, ALJ (good for fighting the flu), Chinese Trigger Immune (if you are run down and get sick easily) and Fenugreek and Thyme (when a lot of mucus is involved).
Essential oils can also help fight viruses some favorites are NSP’s Essential Shield, oregano oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil. Diffuse or wear these oils when you feel you are fighting off a virus.
The first and foremost protection is to not let the viruses into the cells in the first place. Remember those billions of viruses floating around? The reason everyone is not sick and fighting them off every day is because they need a key to get into your cell.
There is a lot of technical stuff on how they do this, but what we want to know, is how do we block this action so their “key” does not fit? The answer lies in having a healthy cell membrane. A healthy cell membrane blocks the entry of the virus into the cell. Some factors which affect the health of the cell membrane are controlling free radicals which damage cell membranes, providing essential fatty acids for healthy cells membranes, eating foods which contain electrolytes and trace minerals (greens) which charge the cell membrane, and eating a diet high in glycol nutrients (fresh sun ripened fruits and veggies, Noni juice and Aloe Vera juice).
Key supplements which protect cell permeability from viruses:
COQ10, EFA (fish oils,) and Evening primrose – protects cell membrane from virus
Ionic minerals, alfalfa, and greens for trace minerals and to activate enzymes. Enzymes break down the protective coating around the cells, in which viruses can hide.
Green Foods, organic foods, real foods – turns on disease fighting DNA and keeps the blood alkaline – viruses thrive in an acidic environment.
Defense Maintenance 2-4 daily – provides key antioxidants which activate the B-cells and T-cells which hunt and destroy viruses.
B-Complex – liver function, immune function – especially important when you are under a lot of stress. High stress creates free radical damage which leaves the cells open to a viral attack. Nutri-Calm is my favorite B-Complex because it also includes herbs to feed and balance your nervous system and some vitamin C to strengthen your adrenal glands.
Calcium is very important in stopping virus replication. Note: Nature’s Sea Calcium is a plant based calcium which also contains magnesium and all 77 trace minerals. I like this form of calcium for daily intake, and use a manmade calcium only when I want higher concentrations.
Clean up the diet, no white sugar or white flour products. No processed foods.
Exercise, breathing exercises – very important as viruses do not thrive well in an oxygenated environment. Qi Gong is the best exercise to oxygenate the blood.
I pray this inspires you to take steps to build your health. May you honor your body and the food from the earth, and live a healthy vibrant life.
Disclaimer: Supplement recommendations are not designed to treat a disease condition. Discussions are for educational purposes only. Supplements should be used to nourish and strengthen the natural function of the various body organs and systems so that they will have a greater capacity to heal themselves. It is not intended to replace your doctor's recommendations. Any questions or concerns that you have regarding existing medical conditions, or the use of medications with supplements, should be discussed with your nutritionally oriented medical doctor. Copyright 2017 Restoring Light