Our understanding is that a human being is not just made up of physical parts, but is a synergy of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions, including our relationships with ourselves, our community and our environment. Our aim as an integral medicine centre is to utilise a comprehensive approach to health and to address all these aspects in treating any illness, acute or chronic.
Our multidisciplinary team, which combines allopathic medicine with natural therapies and mind body techniques, offers diverse ways to address the issues that may be occurring in any of these realms.
How to protect and support your body against viral infections
The WHO recommendations to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus are common-sense recommendations which are applicable to viruses such as influenza, and especially apply to people travelling or working in healthcare.include:
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with a tissue or flexed elbow. Avoid coughing into your hands. Throw the tissue into a closed bin
- Avoid close contact with individuals who display cold and flu-like symptoms
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. A face mask may help you to remember to not touch your face
- Stay at home when you are sick, unless you need urgent medical attention. You may be increasing your possible exposures to COVID-19 if you don’t have it, or exposing others unnecessarily if you do.
- Avoid travel if you have a fever or a cough
- Avoid travel if you are immunocompromised or have a chronic illness, or if you are regularly in close contact with individuals with such conditions
- If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early, and share your travel history with your health care provider; let your doctor know before you present to their clinic that you have respiratory symptoms so that you are not kept waiting with other patients
- If you feel unwell during your travels, notify your travel crew
- Eat only well-cooked food while travelling
Naturopathic recommendations to prevent and help combat viral infections in general are as follows:
- Irrigate your nose. a preventative measure you can do for any viral respiratory illness is to irrigate your, and your children’s, nasal passages with Xlear nasal spray at the end of every day and after any potential exposure (work, school, playgroups, plane travel, etc.). This is a saline nasal spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both of which have antimicrobial properties. Other options for nasal irrigation are a regular saline spray, Neti pot, and other sinus rinses like Neilmed. (Xclear can be bought online through Iherb).
**Apart from regular hand washing, daily and frequent nasal irrigation is one of the MOST important things that we can do to prevent influenza and other viral respiratory infections from taking hold.**
This is because after exposure to a virus, the influenza virus tries to invade and multiply in your nasal passages for at least 1-2 days before you develop any symptoms. Nasal irrigation can wash away viral particles before they have the opportunity to take hold, and thereby prevent many infections from happening in the first place!
- Load up on foods with antiviral properties. These include coconut oil, raw garlic, oregano, kimchi and other fermented foods, walnut, pomegranate, green tea and medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, reishi, cordyceps,)
- Eat lots of colourful fruits and vegetables. They are full of antioxidants which will destroy the free radicals that weaken our immune system and are responsible for making us feel sick when we catch a bug. Each colour provides different antioxidant power – so be sure to eat a rainbow everyday. If your children are not the hugest vegetable eaters yet, give them their antioxidant dose with a smoothie packed with fruits AND veggies, use that smoothie to make jelly with grass-fed gelatin or popsicles, sneak pureed vegetables into your spaghetti sauce, soups.
- Stay well-hydrated. Stick to water, coconut water, herbal teas, and bone broth. Avoid soda or sugary drinks.
- Drink bone broth! Bone broth has amazing immune-supporting properties.
- Eat fermented foods. The probiotics contained in fermented foods have tremendous immune boosting powers. In fact, the fermented Korean cabbage, kimchi, was found to have significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza virus! Other examples of delicious fermented foods to try include sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, and kombucha.
- Avoid simple sugars and processed/junk food. Did you know that your blood shows lab evidence of a lowered immune system within 30 minutes of eating simple sugars (like glucose, refined sugar, and fructose), and causes a 50% reduction in your white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs? White blood cells are our “army” cells that fight off germs. This effect is most noticeable 2 hours after ingestion but is still present 5 hours later! Keeping blood sugar levels healthy has been shown to improve immune system activity.
- Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise. Moderate exercise can boost the production of macrophages, the kind of white blood cells that “eat” bacteria and viruses. However, intense exercise can actually temporarily decrease immune function – so don’t overdo it!
- Get adequate sleep. An increase in sleep actually increases the number of your white blood cells. On the other hand, loss of sleep even for a few hours at night, increases inflammation in our body which makes us more susceptible to catching the flu and having more severe symptoms. So make sure your whole family is getting enough sleep.
- Minimize stress. Emotional stress creates physiological stress in our bodies that lowers our immune defences and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Stress has been shown to lower our white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs, and actually creates more inflammation that may make us feel even sicker.
- Ensure vitamin D status is adequate in those who are more susceptible to low levels such as the elderly, those not exposed to enough daily sun, those with darker skin. See your GP for a Vitamin D blood tests and dose accordingly.
Preventative and Maintenance
Imrex 1 cap 2 x a day
- Imrex is a broad-spectrum nutritional and herbal formula containing vitamins A, E, D, zinc, selenium, green tea and medicinal mushrooms and has been formulated to provide comprehensive immune support without over stimulating it.
Liposomal Vit C 500-1000mg 2 x a day
Acute Immune Support – if coming down with flu symptoms, if exposed to an infected person, if travelling in airplanes.
3 days max at the following potency and then stop and then go on above maintenance protocol.
Children 4-12 years old = ¼ potency
Less than 4 years old – 1 drop vita A, 1 drop vit D
Breastfeeding- all same potency but halve dose of Vit A
Liposomal Vit C – 1 tsp 3-5 x a day
Optimal Vit D – 50,000 IUs by mouth. Swish, hold, swallow. ( 2000IU per drop, so 25 drops = 50,000IUs)
Optimal Vit A – 50,000to 100,000 IUs per day by mouth and hold,swish, then swallow. ( 5000IUs per drop, so 10-20 drops = 50,000 to 100,000Iuss)
Zinc – 30-50mg per day – 1 cap 2 x a day
The following Mother-Well practitioners specialise in General Health:
Janine Cuff. Acupuncture
Loula George. Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine
Rebecca McKay-Watts. Osteopathy
Rebekah Paddy. Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine
Morella Lascurain. Hypnosis for Health
Lydia Dorotich. Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine
Ute Frerichs. Homeopathy and Reiki
Inga von Benzon. Bowen Therapy