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Prevention and treatment for novel coronavirus COVID 19

 
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Possibly we should consider a specific thread on CPAP's. It sounds as if Eric Hanson had a *really* bad experience, but both my sister and a good friend use them and they've done what they were designed to do.

For example, my sister needed to have surgery and took her machine with her. Since the nurses were monitoring her blood oxygen level, they gave her a severe talking to - she was to put the machine on during the day if she was going to nap, because otherwise all sorts of alarms started going off in the nursing station - the drop in her blood oxygen level when she slept without it was clear and unambiguous!

In Eric's case, it sounds as if both the machine was not adjusted well for him, and it truly wasn't solving a health issue that was connected to his insomnia - I hope Eric that you keep looking for other possibilities, but I totally support your decision to reject this particular treatment. It's sort of like plants - the right plant in the right spot is happy and works with its surroundings, the same plant in a different spot may not work at all, and sometimes, the plant just needs the right friends to make the difference.
 
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r ranson wrote:I like to make a fever if I'm just on the edge of getting ill.  I don't know if this is healthy, but it often kicks the illness before it gets hold.  It's great right on that edge with the swollen lymph glands but before the sinuses begin to run.

I have a hot bath just before bed, then wrap myself up in extra blankets so I can sweat.  During my sleep, I usually toss some of the blankets on the floor, but sometimes I don't.  In the morning, I have a shower and it usually gets rid of the malaise.



Looks like you're spot on, according to NZ Herbalist Richard Whelan's informative article about sweating therapy here
 
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lesley verbrugge wrote:

r ranson wrote:I like to make a fever if I'm just on the edge of getting ill.  I don't know if this is healthy, but it often kicks the illness before it gets hold.  It's great right on that edge with the swollen lymph glands but before the sinuses begin to run.

I have a hot bath just before bed, then wrap myself up in extra blankets so I can sweat.  During my sleep, I usually toss some of the blankets on the floor, but sometimes I don't.  In the morning, I have a shower and it usually gets rid of the malaise.



Looks like you're spot on, according to NZ Herbalist Richard Whelan's informative article about sweating therapy here



That's good to know.

I ended up doing this last night.  I spent most of the day around other people and when I got home, I felt a bit iffy.  I feel great this morning.  
 
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We do something very similar to R Ranson when feeling crummy (about to get sick): grate up fresh ginger and make tea out of it. Just add hot water. you can strain it or no, add lemon or honey or no. I like it plain, strong, with the fiber in it, and I'll make a whole thermos full. It will make you sweat. Do it before bed and put on an extra blanket or two and some warm pajamas and often enough you'll be good to go in the morning.
 
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Huxley Harter wrote:Apparently there are a few outbreaks of a new coronavirus, what herbs can help one prevent and treat it?



Viruses are pathogenic to humans only to the degree the human host is immunocompromised.  Corona may be more prolific with more acute symptoms, but it is still a virus and will behave as such.

Most of our bodies' immune activity is just behind the lining of our digestive systems' walls.  Viable mucosa is important, so if you do not keep yourself hydrated with clean, chemical-free water, you are behind the curve on defending yourself.  Organic sulfur has a unique and beneficial relationship with our bodies' water, so on-boarding cruciferous veggies (rich in sulforaphane) grown in a healthy soil is a good start.  Honestly, I do that, but I still have my family supplementing with a very clean source of organic sulfur.  It's that important.

Strong gut defenses are also related to maintaining the proper microflora in your gut.  We feed ourselves with real food from the garden, but we also feed favorable bacteria and fungus every day with the "insoluble" plant fibers.  The metabolic waste (poop) from those bacteria produce compounds like butyrate which helps maintain GI integrity and function, precluding perforations and malfunctions of the gut defenses.  (I have never recommended supplementing for butyrate, though.)

Naturally-sourced vitamin C--and lots of it every day--is critical for both health and beauty. The US RDA is a joke.  I take 5,000 mg daily and when I feel myself getting a bit run down or maybe getting sick, I ramp that up, sometimes even doubling it.  Shy of buying C60 (cleanly-sourced and nano-tech produced Carbon-60 is a very powerful anti-oxidant, up to 120x more powerful than vitamin C), Vitamin C is still the most cost-effective way to keep healthy.  Humans and guinea pigs are the only two mammals that have outsourced the aggregation of Vitamin C.  We do not produce our own,  so it's critical to get it from Nature.  Vitamin D is also critical to protect against viral attacks.  Your body produces it when you are in the direct sun as long as you have the requisite minerals and other building blocks--notably cleanly-sourced magnesium and cholesterol--on board.

There's many other things you can do to shore up your body's defenses, but these should get you moving in the right direction.  

Peace to you.    
 
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My strong recommendation is to take vitamin D.  I used to get the flu every single winter (for decades), and would be very ill for weeks, to the point where I almost needed to go to the hospital.  Never actually had to go, but came very close.  About ten years ago or so, my daughter and I started taking vitamin D as part of my on-going effort to find things that would help her (she is autistic and has lupus).  The D did help her quite a bit, but after a while, I also realized that I hadn’t gotten the flu that year, or if I did, it was so mild as to be unnoticeable.  In all the years since, that has been the case.  I think I have gotten sick two or three times, but it was insignificant.  We average about 50,000 IU per week, and now take a liquid form of the vitamin, though we started out with tablets.  I think the liquid form is better, but the tablets did work.

Also, please do take this new corona virus seriously.  Yes, China has all kinds of issues which mean it is probably a lot worse there than it will be here.  Hopefully it won’t get really bad here.  But the potential is there.

 
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At the moment, if you have ANY pneumonia-like symptoms you should be tested. if you are frail, or have respiratory weakness of any type, or have elderly or tiny ones at risk, watch them carefully and perhaps get tested if you have serious respiratory symptoms.. The CDC is concerned that  the 13% or so that will get a serious illness from this corona virus  will be overlooked if they have not traveled to China. The rest who GET the virus will just get flu symtoms that they will easily recover from. So , boost  your immune system, watch yourself and those around you for pneumonia and good luck!
 
pollinator
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I watched a presentation by Dr. Wes Youngberg yesterday giving his recommendations regarding this virus.  Here's a link to it if you are interested.  My main takeaways are his recommendations of supplemental vitamin C and D to help strengthen our immune systems, as well as making sure to get lots of sleep which is needed to help the body heal.  This is in addition to eating a quality diet of nutrient dense foods.
 
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Huxley Harter wrote:Apparently there are a few outbreaks of a new coronavirus, what herbs can help one prevent and treat it?



All living things have consciousness. Your interactions with nature follows a certain structure. Nature has it's way, and the system set up by humans has its way. The system uses words to produce emotions. One of these words is the word virus. It used to refer to a toxic substance, but in 17something that changed. Was that a big mistake? This documentary is about the most famous of all viruses. HIV. A word that instills so much fear that people have died just from the diagnosis alone. If you are a bold truth seeking adventurer that loves nature, this documentary is for you.    
 
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The spread of this coronavirus  thing - best plan is to regularly disinfect your mobile phone -
I have seen people who work for example: in a coffee shop taking a break outside, smoke in one hand holding their mobile and tapping away busy on their mobile phone with the other hand -
then put their phone in their pocket and the pocket is where it was placed earlier and they retrieved it from.
I saw them come back inside grab a cup for a customer and fill it with coffee. ( I refuse to go back to that coffee shop ) Think of the bacteria just passed on that cup?
I also imagine that as they cannot be without their mobiles looking to see who likes them? I can guess that they scroll their phones while on the loo as well..
How many times do they disinfect their mobile phones?
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:I tried into my upper arm and it's borderline.  If I bend both elbows and cross my arms and crane my neck down and forward it seems like it would be effective to cough into that cranny.  I think we have a plan!  Thanks team



Walmart has those small 4'x6' fleece blankets on sale pretty often for a couple bucks.  Maybe you could fashion one into an entire head-hood by wrapping it around your head, in it's entirety, several times, cut tiny eye slits in it, and just throw it away each time you cough...

Sorry Mike, I'm just picturing you contorting yourself into all kinds of interesting positions every time you cough...  Didn't you mention somewhere that you are quite tall?  I'm picturing Ichabod Crane going into an elaborate arms-around-the-head fetal position at every cough, and trying to make your way around springing in and out of that position...

My disclaimer is that I'm laughing my ass off thinking about this.  No offense is intended to anyone.  My sense of humor often appeals to me much more than others.
 
r ranson
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When I have a bit of a cough or during allergy season, I often wear a big long scarf and cough into that.  Linen scarf in summer, superwash wool or cotton in winter.  
 
r ranson
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Question:  Can germs live in a towel?  There's a shared towel we dry our hands on after washing.  I notice it gets damp by the end of the day.  Can I get germs from sharing a hand drying towel or are the germs gone from washing with soap and water?

 
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r ranson wrote:Question:  Can germs live in a towel?  There's a shared towel we dry our hands on after washing.  I notice it gets damp by the end of the day.  Can I get germs from sharing a hand drying towel or are the germs gone from washing with soap and water?



Sadly, yes
 
r ranson
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Carla Burke wrote:

r ranson wrote:Question:  Can germs live in a towel?  There's a shared towel we dry our hands on after washing.  I notice it gets damp by the end of the day.  Can I get germs from sharing a hand drying towel or are the germs gone from washing with soap and water?



Sadly, yes



Happy to know this.

The others either work or have kids in public school so I'm going to be bringing my own hand drying cloth from now on.  I already bring my own tools and pens

Next thing - shared keyboard and mouse.  How long between uses can the virus last?  Sometimes they use the computer the day before I arrive, but once I'm there, I have sole use of it.  
 
Carla Burke
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r ranson wrote:

Carla Burke wrote:

r ranson wrote:Question:  Can germs live in a towel?  There's a shared towel we dry our hands on after washing.  I notice it gets damp by the end of the day.  Can I get germs from sharing a hand drying towel or are the germs gone from washing with soap and water?



Sadly, yes



Happy to know this.

The others either work or have kids in public school so I'm going to be bringing my own hand drying cloth from now on.  I already bring my own tools and pens

Next thing - shared keyboard and mouse.  How long between uses can the virus last?  Sometimes they use the computer the day before I arrive, but once I'm there, I have sole use of it.  



I'd clean it each day, before you start working, frankly. Cold viruses can easily survive for weeks, even leaving and entering the atmosphere, to go from earth, to space.
 
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Carla Burke wrote:

r ranson wrote:

Carla Burke wrote:

r ranson wrote:Question:  Can germs live in a towel?  There's a shared towel we dry our hands on after washing.  I notice it gets damp by the end of the day.  Can I get germs from sharing a hand drying towel or are the germs gone from washing with soap and water?



Sadly, yes



Happy to know this.

The others either work or have kids in public school so I'm going to be bringing my own hand drying cloth from now on.  I already bring my own tools and pens

Next thing - shared keyboard and mouse.  How long between uses can the virus last?  Sometimes they use the computer the day before I arrive, but once I'm there, I have sole use of it.  



I'd clean it each day, before you start working, frankly. Cold viruses can easily survive for weeks, even leaving and entering the atmosphere, to go from earth, to space.



A health spokesman has stated that flu viruses can survive on surfaces for 1 day and 15 minutes on infected tissue.  In air droplets e.g. from a cough, they can survive for several hours.  We are 'at risk' if 2 metres from an infected person for 15 minutes or more.
 
Carla Burke
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Amy Francis wrote:

Carla Burke wrote:

r ranson wrote:

Carla Burke wrote:

r ranson wrote:Question:  Can germs live in a towel?  There's a shared towel we dry our hands on after washing.  I notice it gets damp by the end of the day.  Can I get germs from sharing a hand drying towel or are the germs gone from washing with soap and water?



Sadly, yes



Happy to know this.

The others either work or have kids in public school so I'm going to be bringing my own hand drying cloth from now on.  I already bring my own tools and pens

Next thing - shared keyboard and mouse.  How long between uses can the virus last?  Sometimes they use the computer the day before I arrive, but once I'm there, I have sole use of it.  



I'd clean it each day, before you start working, frankly. Cold viruses can easily survive for weeks, even leaving and entering the atmosphere, to go from earth, to space.



A health spokesman has stated that flu viruses can survive on surfaces for 1 day and 15 minutes on infected tissue.  In air droplets e.g. from a cough, they can survive for several hours.  We are 'at risk' if 2 metres from an infected person for 15 minutes or more.



Agreed. But, knowing what I know about the cold germs, I'd be cleaning it every day, before I start, anyway.
 
Amy Francis
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This link evaluates wearing face masks for this virus (as is spelt out by the title of the link!)

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/coronavirus-can-face-masks-really-protect-you/ar-BBZRdem?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=mailsignout
 
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Jay,

Holy cow, thanks a bunch for your words regarding my CPAP!  When I decided I just could not utilize the CPAP I caught loads of flak from most of my various medical providers.  And I am extremely skeptical that the CPAP was ever going to do anything for my insomnia—in fact it made it worse, what with feeling like I was strangling as I was trying to get to sleep at night.  Only one of my doctors could see that this was not helping.

Bottom line, thanks for understanding!

Eric
 
Jay Angler
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Eric Hanson wrote:

Only one of my doctors could see that this was not helping.

I've been close enough to medical/drug experimental models to understand that the models are designed for just that - to model. Humans are far too varied for one dose or one specific treatment regime to work for every human. As a bit of an outlier it's easier for me to get that. Where many friends would "take two aspirin and go to bed", a half an aspirin for me was usually more than enough.

It's *really* important that people listen to their doctor and try therapies that might help if only because it can be very difficult with some treatments to figure out if it will work, providing the risk associated with the treatment isn't unreasonable. But it's equally important that people listen to their bodies and look for concrete signs as to whether a treatment is doing what it's meant to do, and not causing undue side effects. Lastly, it is also equally important that doctors listen to that feedback. Seems like communication is key, and communication is one of those skills that popular myth has it is "absorbed by osmosis". It's a skill most of us need to practice and learn - particularly the "listening" part!
 
Eric Hanson
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I think my wife would say something along the lines of “not every treatment works for every person.”

Eric
 
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Oystein Tandberg wrote:
All living things have consciousness. Your interactions with nature follows a certain structure. Nature has it's way, and the system set up by humans has its way. The system uses words to produce emotions. One of these words is the word virus. It used to refer to a toxic substance, but in 17something that changed. Was that a big mistake? This documentary is about the most famous of all viruses. HIV. A word that instills so much fear that people have died just from the diagnosis alone. If you are a bold truth seeking adventurer that loves nature, this documentary is for you.    



Thank you for posting this video, Oystein. It shows so clearly the M.O. of what is happening with so many things on our planet. Fear is an incredible force to use to push for a wanted outcome, and it's happening everywhere with very few seeing behind the veil of deceit. It is incredibly sad; so many people on this planet are suffering because of it.
 
lesley verbrugge
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Good explanation of how important sleep is, in supporting our immune system.
it's not long, it's worth making time for and it's here

and next update from same source here with info of studies supporting theory that sleep helps immune system
 
master steward
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Mike Haasl wrote:I tried into my upper arm and it's borderline.  If I bend both elbows and cross my arms and crane my neck down and forward it seems like it would be effective to cough into that cranny.  I think we have a plan!  Thanks team



Walmart has those small 4'x6' fleece blankets on sale pretty often for a couple bucks.  Maybe you could fashion one into an entire head-hood by wrapping it around your head, in it's entirety, several times, cut tiny eye slits in it, and just throw it away each time you cough...

Sorry Mike, I'm just picturing you contorting yourself into all kinds of interesting positions every time you cough...  Didn't you mention somewhere that you are quite tall?  I'm picturing Ichabod Crane going into an elaborate arms-around-the-head fetal position at every cough, and trying to make your way around springing in and out of that position...

My disclaimer is that I'm laughing my ass off thinking about this.  No offense is intended to anyone.  My sense of humor often appeals to me much more than others.



I'm thinking it might not just be height, but also maybe arm size and flexibility. My husband is 5'9" and has proportionatly long arms. They happen to be as long as my own arms (I'm 5'4" with long appendages), and he's got rather beefy arms. His are at least 3 times the size of mine. He can't bend his arm across his body easily due to these factors (meanwhile, my hypermobile shoulders allow me to fold my arm flat against my chest). So, it's really easy for me to reach my mouth down the entire length of my arm, from shoulder blade to wrist without any problems. He, however, just can't do it without it being a major effort. I've watched him try, and it's not easy for him.
 
Donald MacLeod
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Donald MacLeod wrote:
The spread of this coronavirus  thing - best plan is to regularly disinfect your mobile phone -
I have seen people who work for example: in a coffee shop taking a break outside, smoke in one hand holding their mobile and tapping away busy on their mobile phone with the other hand -
then put their phone in their pocket and the pocket is where it was placed earlier and they retrieved it from.
I saw them come back inside grab a cup for a customer and fill it with coffee. ( I refuse to go back to that coffee shop ) Think of the bacteria just passed on that cup?
I also imagine that as they cannot be without their mobiles looking to see who likes them? I can guess that they scroll their phones while on the loo as well..
How many times do they disinfect their mobile phones?



You might find valuable information on this sight.
It was sent us by a Chemist friend in Portugal.
It is keeping an up to the minute tally.
Scroll down – See the photos of the Wuhan Market also the diameter of a hair
compared to the holes in those masks ( which are useless ) and the size of the Corona Virus

Regards
Don MacLeod
New Zealand

https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/china/article/3047038/wuhan-virus/index.html?src=social
 
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Olga Booker wrote:...  I too, like to wipe down door knobs, shopping cart handles etc...


Haven't read the whole thread yet, so pardon me if it's already been said, but it's important to let your disinfectant of choice remain in contact with the surface for awhile. How long depends on what you're using. So probably best to still use a physical barrier between your skin and the public doorknobs, cart handles, etc.
Which leads me to wonder how long the virus survives on softer surfaces, like, say, food packaging (for those of us who can't/don't grow all our own).
Hrm..
DH & I fully expect that we'll likely wind up getting the virus, and be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. We're more worried about spreading it to others who are medically vulnerable - MIL, for example.
 
Amy Francis
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Here is the latest info I have heard from Dr. Natalie McDermott, a clinical lecturer at Kings College, London, a specialist in infectious diseases:-

The flu virus is now known to survive on surfaces for up to 9 days!!!  (Previously this was thought to be one day!)

Re. surgical masks - the kind most often seen, that are blue.  They are made to not infect others i.e. if you already have the virus.  They are not fully sealed (i.e. have air gaps) so are mostly ineffective to prevent catching the virus plus get moist quickly (within 10-15 minutes) further impeding their effectiveness.

(Here in UK, the rush on sales = dentists are now running out of surgical masks and 'may have to stop working'!  At least clove oil works to relieve toothache).
 
V Kay
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...what a lot of people do for colds and the flu, shingles and herpes, is likely to work for coronavirus also. Baking soda puts your body temporarily into an alkaline state, which probably kills off the viruses currently active in you...

About 1 tsp is the dose for a 150 pound adult. (Overdose is over 4 teaspoons a day, sustained for several days, so exact dose is not required.) Scale it down for kids, or up for heavier people. One teaspoon of baking soda, in water, taken before bed.



One hesitation would be that a teaspoon of baking soda has 1200 mg of sodium, which could be problematic for those who are hypertensive or sodium sensitive. One of Dr. Campbell's early vids on SARS-2 mentioned hypertension as a co-morbidity factor. Proceed with caution.
 
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Just wanted to add two potentially useful links, the first for symptoms and the infection cycle of the current coronavirus in question and the second a cautionary writing about potentially amping up your immune system too high with regard to this type of infection:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/heres-what-coronavirus-does-to-the-body/ar-BB100EJ8?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout


https://naturallysimple.org/living/2020/02/14/why-elderberry-might-not-be-the-best-adjunct/?fbclid=IwAR0r8IvsoZEwcInIl651HTkymuC7r1tDHcMOfp9D44XsTxPSnZWKrjMHelM
 
pollinator
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Another helpful plant based medicine is Khellin made from Bishop's Weed as a bronchial dilator
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1019140/


More plant based medicines for fighting asthma and COPD
https://clinphytoscience.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40816-015-0005-0


Some stuff on bronchiole dilators
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3245822/
 
D. Nelson
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Something to consider
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+the+military+preps+for+biological+warfare
 
Amy Francis
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John Weiland wrote:Just wanted to add two potentially useful links, the first for symptoms and the infection cycle of the current coronavirus in question and the second a cautionary writing about potentially amping up your immune system too high with regard to this type of infection:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/heres-what-coronavirus-does-to-the-body/ar-BB100EJ8?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout


https://naturallysimple.org/living/2020/02/14/why-elderberry-might-not-be-the-best-adjunct/?fbclid=IwAR0r8IvsoZEwcInIl651HTkymuC7r1tDHcMOfp9D44XsTxPSnZWKrjMHelM



Thank you John for this important (second) link disclosing how some cytokines in elderberries can actually be damaging to lungs, e.g. that already have high bacterial infection.  I did not know this!  I have a genetic lung condition and have recently bought Sambucol capsules (based on black elderberry) that I will be now returning, reluctantly since I've been a great fan of elderberries.  

On another page of that link ...."Immunostimulants like echinacea and elderberry mostly interfere with viral replication or suppress inflammation pathways, so they are more useful after exposure and the long term prophylactic use is contraindicated in people with autoimmune issues or other complicating factors."

The author of this link has some impressive credentials and is a clinical herbalist who has been working with acute illness and herbs for over 20 years.  She has a low opinion of herbalism on the internet " You have to earn respect and the shoddy excuse for herbalism that proliferates on the Internet, isn’t going to do that for us. We need to do better."

https://naturallysimple.org/living/about-stephany-2/

I'd be VERY interested what Sharol Tilgner, a herbalist on this forum has to say on this issue.

I hope those here that have promoted elderberry, obviously with good intention, read the link you have provided.  It's important to get it right when it comes to this situation!  
 
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John Weiland wrote:Just wanted to add two potentially useful links, the first for symptoms and the infection cycle of the current coronavirus in question and the second a cautionary writing about potentially amping up your immune system too high with regard to this type of infection:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/heres-what-coronavirus-does-to-the-body/ar-BB100EJ8?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout


https://naturallysimple.org/living/2020/02/14/why-elderberry-might-not-be-the-best-adjunct/?fbclid=IwAR0r8IvsoZEwcInIl651HTkymuC7r1tDHcMOfp9D44XsTxPSnZWKrjMHelM



Food for thought on the elderberry information? I interpret it as if someone has an immune issue already they should not take it. Do you see it as healthy people should avoid elderberry? This is quite puzzling to me as in North American Native Americans have been using elderberry for centuries.
 
Gail Jardin
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Is there any way to increase the potency of pleurisy root? I have a pound or so of other medicinal herbs like slippery elm, echinacea, elderberry, feverfew etc but only a few ounces of pleurisy root. Typically I use medicinal herbs in the second fermentation of water kefir as my children prefer a cool effervescent drink over a tea if they are running a fever, as well as in a hot tea if they are having chills etc. I also make tinctures but currently only have feverfew, echinacea and lemon balm currently in menstruum to extract as a tincture when we need it. Is pleurisy root most effective as a tincture, or a hot tea or is there another method I have not thought about?
 
V Kay
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Amy Francis wrote: It's important to get it right when it comes to this situation!  



Agreed! As always, it's a case of bio-individuality. No solution will work for every person, and we must each do our own due diligence for our own unique set of circumstances.

I, too, have an auto-immune disorder, managed very successfully with a whole foods plant based diet. I cannot take echinacea as it triggers flare-ups, but have not had that happen with elderberry for the decade or more that I've been using it to sidestep full-on colds and flu.

Since it is also flu season in our part of the world, we'll continue taking it at the first sign of something cooking, but will stop if there is *any* indication of something other than a regular cold/flu developing (fever is a mostly-reliable indicator w/SARS2, as I read it). If I can find the paper skimmed recently that talked about how elderberry was effective for preventing virus attachment in the first place, I'll share that link. (Might've found it on here originally anyway.)

Be well.
 
author & pollinator
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Amy asked me to chime in on this discussion and although I did not have time to read through everything she sent, I hope this is helpful.

The only time an herb can work directly on a virus is if that herb has direct contact with a virus. This is why research in a petri dish with a virus does not equate to it being antiviral in the body.  Systemically, in the body a virus hides inside our own cells. There is rarely going to be direct contact with a virus unless it is on the external skin or mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, such as in a herpes infection that is flaring up and the herpes is at skin/mucous membrane level (where you see the sore). The rest of the time it is hiding in the nervous system and no antiviral herb can get at it. This is why viruses can not be killed similarly as bacteria. The way that herbs called antiviral herbs actually work in the body is through the immune system. This is why herbalists will usually identify these herbs as immunomodulators rather than antiviral herbs. They modify the immune system either through support, stimulation or even decreasing an over-active immune systems. Sometimes the same herb is known to both decrease and increase the immune system and is called an amphoteric herb, meaning it has two opposing possible activities. This is why these herbs are often called immunomodulating rather than immune stimulating. We are just beginning to understand from a scientific point of view how some of these immune system herbs are working. There are herbs known to be immune stimulating such as Echinacea that have caused some people with autoimmune diseases to get worse. However, I have also seen people with autoimmune disease use Echinacea and decrease the symptoms of their autoimmune disease. By the way, we don't fully understand autoimmune diseases either. The idea of what an autoimmune disease is and how it comes about is changing quickly and newer ideas make more sense than the older ideas still popular in mainstream medicine. Many people who end up with autoimmune diseases were reacting to toxins and/or had inflamed and leaky guts that started the process of them reacting to foods, herbs or an infectious condition that instigated an autoimmune condition. These people will often react to more and more things including themselves. Some of them will react to many herbs in a negative manner, not just immune system herbs.  So, although I am weary of using Echinacea and other herbs considered to be stimulating to the immune system in someone with an autoimmune disease, I would not rule it out completely. Each situation needs to be evaluated on its own merit. I use elder flowers and rarely use elderberries, but I have not seen any autoimmune flare-ups with the berries or flowers. That does not mean people are not getting flare-ups, but I have not seen them. I do see many people on the internet warning of possible fare-ups and indeed any herb that acts on the immune system is an herb to be watched with someone who has an autoimmune condition. That does not mean it automatically is going to cause an issue. Also remember that using scientific data from research done outside of the body, or on individual constituents can also not be assumed to work the same as taking a whole herb and ingesting it. The most meaningful research is clinical research where individuals are given the whole herb and monitored for results in a double blind study. Other bits of research are useful and can point us in the direction of ideas, but can't be completely taken seriously.
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