We already have on our website information for “how to beat the flu,” but people have been asking what to do when they travel so I wanted to share some additional information here.
I was actually just on a flight this past weekend and noticed quite a bit of coughing and sneezing, which isn’t all that unusual for this time of year. But with so much in the headlines right now about the outbreak of the coronavirus, it’s understandable that people are even more concerned – and scared - about any signs of illness.
Every few years it happens. A new virus emerges somewhere, it’s all over the news, and we all nervously pay close attention. In 2002 it was SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), then the H5N1 bird flu in 2004, followed by swine flu in 2009, MERS in 2012, and Zika in 2015. And now we have the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 and belonging to the same pathogen that causes SARS, which since emerging in Wuhan, China, has infected over 60,000 people worldwide and caused over 1,300 deaths to date.
What we can do to stay well
Perhaps our best defense against pathogens that make us feel totally defenseless is to keep our own immune systems has healthy as possible. This should be a perpetually, ongoing effort and I have spoken extensively about the importance of eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugar, processed foods, opting for organic foods when available, exercising, reducing stress and getting ample sleep. These are all the cornerstones to staying well…or, in the absence of same, not being well!
The flu this season has been particularly bad too. The CDC said last year that the flu vaccine was less than 30% effective and at one point it was only 9% effective so I don’t think the flu vaccine is the way to avoid getting the flu especially if we don’t adhere to the common sense rules of good health maintenance.
Dr Zach Bush, one of the few triple board certified physicians in the country explains, “The public health system is telling us we need to have a vaccine that will protect us against five or six virus strains out of a possible 10,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000 that exist today. Every breath you take, every nook of your bloodstream is full of viruses, living in synergy with your biology." When you look at those numbers, it’s hard to imagine one vaccine could protect us from all variations of the flu virus each year.
My “prescription” for healthier travel, healthier living.
Our “Travel Tips” handout, also available in our Medical Resources section on our website, has a number of supplements I find to be very helpful on a regular basis and especially when traveling.
Herbal therapy offers another opportunity for staying healthy (remember that years ago, we didn’t even have pharmaceuticals and herbal remedies are what our ancestors used to treat anything and everything). Dr. Steven Buhner, one of the most renowned experts in herbal therapy has written over 20 books about this topic over the last 40 years with his publication The Lost Language of Plants recognized by the BBC as “environmental book of the year.”
It’s important to note that a number of Dr. Buhner’s herbal protocols are strongly antiviral specific to coronaviruses. In general, I would only begin using these formulations IF there is good reason to believe that the virus is entering your geographic area and always consult your primary care physician specific to your individual health issues.
Stealth Bio Burden Protocol by Buhner
This consists of the following:
Core tincture formulation: 4 oz. or 8 oz. Baikal skullcap, Japanese Knotweed root, Kudzu, Licorice. Dosage: 1 tsp, 3x daily as a preventative, 6x if you have an active infection.
Elderberry Tincture: 2 oz. or 4 oz. Elderberry and Blossom. Dosage: 1 tsp, 3x daily.
Immune system, cellular protection, cytokine interruption tincture formulation, supportive for core tincture activity: 4 oz. or 8 oz. Cordyceps, Dong Quai, Rhodiola, Astragalus.
Dosage: 1 tsp, 3x day preventative, 6x if active infection.
Cellular protection, cytokine interruption, spleen/lymph support tincture formulation: 4 oz. or 8 oz. Dan Shen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), Red Root, Cinnamon.
Dosage: 1 tsp 3x day preventative, 6x if active infection.
For more information see www.herbalamy.com/buhner-antivirals
A message of hope, empathy and prayer:
I want to express great empathy and offer our prayers for the people in China who are suffering greatly with the outbreak of another pandemic within their country. It is so true that disease knows no boundaries and the health of one determines the health of all.
Wishing you, and the world we share, peace and good health.
-Dr. Suzy Gazda
Another nod to my mom.
Can you recall growing up hearing an “old wives’ tale” or putting up with what seemed like a silly remedy that your mom always brought out if you started to cough or sniffle? As usual, moms do know best – we know now just how powerful that chicken soup can be for colds and keeping your herbals handy is definitely a long-proven defense too! So thanks, Mom. We can all still appreciate and benefit from your wisdom!
Dr. Suzanne Gazda, Integrative Neurology