Coronavirus Natural Approaches
Coronavirus disease currently has no proven drugs, vaccines, or natural agents to prevent, cure, or lessen the disease impact.
People often seek out natural remedies, especially ones that have, in the past, shown possible benefits for prevention, immunity-boosting, or severity reduction. With no known current verified treatments for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the best advice to date has been to follow public health guidelines as social distancing and exposure avoidance.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a brand-new and more dangerous strain of viruses belonging to the large Coronavirus family.
A characteristic of this group of viruses is their transmissibility between animals and humans. Symptoms of the infection may range from the respiratory signs of the illness like fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties to more severe and even life-threatening complications as infections, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and kidney failure.
Most of what is known about the use of various vitamin, mineral, herbal, or other natural agents, has been from the scientific research and studies of specific vitamins, minerals, and botanical medicines.
There have been years and centuries of investigations into the use of plant-based medicines. Some modern medicines have come out of the studies of herbs and botanicals. Though there has often been the suggestion of benefits to humans, totally conclusive research has often been lacking to support the use of many of the natural substances in mainstream medicine.
There has been some suggestion of benefit from using natural agents on other coronaviruses, as SARS in the past. Also, some human cell lines and animal studies have shown inconclusively some possible benefits. Testing to validate the beneficial use of natural substances, however, has not been done in well-designed human clinical studies, especially in regards to Coronaviruses.
There remains, however, the widespread use of many of the available and marketed natural substances with the hopefulness, that the beneficial use, will be proven in the future with testing that meets scientific standards.
If the use of any of these natural alternatives is considered, look to authoritative information or recommendations and if purchasing do so from a reputable manufacturer or supplier and at your own risk. In the Reference and Recommendations section, below is a list of the often-cited or recommended ingredients that “may have possible benefit.” There, of course, is no guarantee that they will be helpful or even tolerable, and the list may be the beginning step for those that wish to do further investigation.
Do seek guidance from authoritative sources, knowledgeable nutritional counselor, or nutritionally trained and savvy healthcare providers. There is in-depth information on natural and nutritional medicine from many current sources, including the book from one of my former colleagues and mentors, Alan Gaby, M.D., who compiled an excellent textbook on nutritional medicine. Alan Gaby’s book on Nutritional Medicine
Practices to prevent and reduce the spread of Coronavirus are paramount, essential, and should be your first consideration now with a pandemic at hand and would include all the
Recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and your local health authorities. A Summary is listed below for your convenience in the Reference and Recommendations area.
Examples of nutritional supports for general health and immune function often cited by natural medicine or holistic physicians as being potentially beneficial are
1. Vitamin D in adequate amounts have been suggested as 1000-6000 IU daily, on an as-needed basis, and as advised by your healthcare provider (some practitioners can do Vit. D testing to bring serum level of 25(OH)D in a range between 50-80 nmol/L)
2. Vitamin C orally in adequate doses and as tolerated and as recommended by your healthcare provider
4. Zinc as oral or lozenges preparation sometimes suggested as an aid to help in defenses against respiratory viruses
5. Multivitamin combination products
6. Probiotics – part of the immune system is thought to depend on a healthy gut and digestive system. Probiotics help with establishing a normal healthy bowel flora (bacteria) which aids digestion
7. Melatonin – is felt to helps sleep and supports positive TH1 immune response and, therefore, reduces stress. Suggestive use has been with as little as 0.5 mg 30 to 60 minutes before sleep
8. Botanical, Mushrooms, and Herbals – that are often recommended for their potential immune and health benefits by practitioners of botanical medicine or naturopathy, either as single agents or in combined formulations. A list of the more commonly referenced natural agents in this group is for your interest listed below in the Reference and Recommendations section.
*The above discussion is focused on the role of nutritional and natural medicines that are popular for their potential for health and immune support. The intention of the article is not to make any recommendation for the treatment for coronavirus as there is no definitive treatment know or proven effective at this time. In my opinion, the essentials of health and immune support are generally with a multi-level holistic approach and program, as discussed in the article, Coronavirus Health Steps.
Thank you for your interest and review of this article. You are welcome to make comments below.
Ron Parks MD
If you or a loved one needs help or guidance about any mental, emotional, physical, or related spiritual health issues, consultation is available directly with Dr. Parks by telephone or telemedicine services like Skype or VSee. To schedule a session or if you need a question answered, fill in the contact form at https://parksmd.com/scheduling/. Hopefully, I will be able to correspond with you directly about questions or address them in a future article or in my periodic newsletters. see the article on expert mentoring
**The above is for informational and educational purposes only, not as medical or mental health advice. It is the reader’s responsibility to direct personal medical or mental health questions to their primary care provider and specialty physicians. The information and statements contained in this material are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or to replace the recommendations or advice given to you by your primary or direct care providers. Your reliance on any information provided by Dr. Parks is solely at your discretion. You are advised not to disregard medical advice from your primary or direct care providers, or delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of information contained in this article. Management of severe mental or physical health problems should remain under the care and guidance of your primary care physicians, specialist, or psychiatrists.
References and Recommendations:
1. Info & Recommendation from WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
2. See article Coronavirus Holistic Health Steps
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand rubs covering all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry, or use hand sanitizers.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (sanitize hands afterward).
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
- Clean your phone, computers, and other frequently touched areas with sanitizers or disinfection agents.
- Wipe down or spray any surfaces, possibly virus contaminated with sanitizers.
- Limit unnecessary social interactions in the community where there are large groups of people.
- Maintain social distance between yourself and others by 6 feet when possible.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing,
- Stay home if you are sick and stay away from people who are sick
- See CDC information on Coronavirus
8. Botanical, Mushrooms, and Herbals – that are often recommended for their potential immune and health benefits by practitioners of botanical medicine or naturopathy, either as single agents or in combined formulations. A nonexclusive list of the more commonly referenced natural agents are listed below
- Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
- Flavonoids as Quercetin and Rutin
- Epigallocatechin gallate from green tea
- Red Marine Algae
- Chinese Skullcap (Biacalensis)
- Licorice – glycyrrhizin
- Astragalus Extract
- Green Tea Extract
- Lauric Acid
- Cordyceps mushroom
- Shiitake mushroom
- Maitake mushroom
- Reishi mushroom
- Beta 1,3 Glucan
- Rhizome Rhei
- Olive Leaf extract
- SCHISANDRA CHINENSIS
*Dr. Parks has used Emerson Ecologics/Wellvate and Moss Nutrition, as well as other distributors, as a supplier of nutritional products for some of his private patients in the past, when there were interested in doing so. In my opinion, these companies were reputable and responsible nutritional and supplement distributors who sourced most of their products from trustworthy manufacturers. Again, if interested in help in the natural medicine area, you are encouraged to seek out further information and guidance from trusted and professional nutritional and healthcare resources.