It's that dreadful time of year where you cant go to an airport, supermarket, school or any other public place without the sounds of coughing and sniffling in the air. That's right, it's cold and flu season and this year these viruses have caught the world's attention. The caution around the contagious coronavirus has the world on high alert. It was just announced today that the number of infected people in the Hubei Province of China has skyrocketed with almost 15,000 new cases overnight! This only adds to the staggering number of cases in China where they are reporting 59,805 infected and a death toll of 1,367. To add to the hysteria, the United States has officially reported it's 15th case of the coronavirus after a person under quarantine tested positive. So what should we do to protect ourselves and our families from the ominous threat of this vicious virus? Well, the answer to this question lies in many areas and can be solved by several natural remedies and physical precautions.
While the world should be alarmed by this outbreak in China, we can't forget about how dangerous the flu is. This contagious respiratory illness infects 9 to 45 million people every year, causing symptoms including fever, coughing, chills, body aches, and fatigue. Many of those infected will recover fully but the flu virus still claims the lives of 12 to 16 thousand people each year. Because this virus can be contagious before symptoms start and spread rapidly in public places, it is important to do a preemptive strike on the flu by strengthening your immune system year-round with natural herbs and superfoods provided by mother nature herself!
The earth provides us with many great plants that pack the proper nutrients to boost our body's immune system to fight off infections and diseases. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful of these nutrients. This vitamin can strengthen our immune system and fight off infections. Vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system. It helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infections. Vitamin C can also reduce the severity of colds and the recovery time by 8% in adults and 14% in children, making it one of mother nature's most powerful weapons to combat infections and build immunity.
Natural sources of vitamin C include Kakadu plums with 481 mg of vitamin C per plum, acerola cherries with a whopping 822 mg of vitamin C per half a cup, green chili peppers with 109 mg of vitamin C per pepper, and oranges with 70 mg of vitamin C per medium-sized fruit. The pink-fleshed tropical fruit known as the guava also contains 126 mg of vitamin C per fruit and can be found as a flavoring ingredient in our Organic Pre-Workout. In fact, several of our health and fitness products contain vitamin C including our Organic Replenisher, Superfood Reds, and Superfood Greens.
Vitamin C isn't the only natural defense to illness and infections either. The powerful superfood spice known as turmeric almost has too many benefits to count including its strong antibacterial effects that can reduce the growth of many disease-causing bacteria. Turmeric's sensational superpowers don't end there! Because oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases, the high antioxidant content of turmeric makes it a go-to for naturally preventing disease. The active compound in turmeric called curcumin also boosts the activity of your body's antioxidant enzymes. These are great benefits, but the most incredible property of this spice might be its antiviral effects. Curcumin found in turmeric exhibited antiviral properties against several viruses including dengue virus, hepatitis C virus, as well as the Zika and chikungunya viruses. These are just a few of the many reasons why we had to have turmeric as a main ingredient in our Organic Superfood Golds.
While the antiviral effects of turmeric are something that should be praised, mother nature has another antiviral powerhouse that could be even more beneficial when trying to fight off viruses. Colloidal silver is a product containing microscopic flakes of pure silver suspended in demineralized water or other liquid. It can be taken orally, sprayed on, or applied to the skin. It is often promoted as an antibacterial agent and a topical wound dressing. Others claim it can cure a cold faster, heal the body better, and even treat cancer or HIV. So what are the facts behind this silver speckled holy water?
First off, this is a substance that is no stranger to controversy. In 1999 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that colloidal silver products were neither safe nor effective and sued several manufacturers over false health claims. Even though many colloidal silver products were removed from drugstore shelves following the FDA ruling, they have since been rebranded as dietary supplements or homeopathic remedies, neither of which require FDA approval. This means the use of colloidal silver taken by mouth can’t be recommended. Furthermore, the FDA states that over time, colloidal silver can build up in the tissues of your body and give your mucous membranes and skin a grayish appearance. This is a symptom of an irreversible condition called argyria. Argyria by itself isn’t dangerous, and is defined as being “medically benign,” but skin discoloration isn’t a welcome side effect of a supplement.
Now that the official warnings have been cited we can now turn to the benefits of this silver substance. Benefits whose evidence all comes from test-tube studies that have shown colloidal silver to exert powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. The studies just fail to show the effects outside of test tubes. There are additional studies that show that the silver particles exerted antibacterial properties that aid the treatment of diabetic ulcers, skin grafts, bedsores, necrotizing fasciitis, and other serious skin injuries when applied topically.
This is a classic case of a supplement that has claims, evidence, and studies that differ drastically. Always keep in mind that colloidal silver is not regulated by the FDA so you should be cautious about who makes it and where you buy it. It is also important to note that everybody reacts differently to supplements and medicines. Do your research on the number of cases in holistic health circles about its benefits and weigh it against the potential dangers to see if this antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral bombshell is right for you.
Beyond the herbal and holistic actions, physical precautions are a great way to prevent or fight off various diseases and viruses. Simply actions like washing your hands to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria can go a long way in preventing illness. The CDC lists handwashing as one of the best ways to protect yourself from germs. In the cases where soap is not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be a great substitute. This practice is so important in preventing the spread of viruses that the CDC created a guide on handwashing tips called Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives.
Keeping your distance from those you are infected is another simple but effective way to prevent illness. Covering your nose and mouth while you are in public during cold and flu season is another great preventative. A 2008 study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases concluded that when used correctly, masks are highly effective in preventing the spread of viral infections. This method is no secret though. Costco in South Korea is selling out of surgical masks as the country battles the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Amazon is also experiencing a sales spike due to the precaution of the virus with 24 million masks and 20 thousand hazmat suits being sold!
Fight back with the power of mother nature this flu season by fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods that provide lots of vitamin C and minerals like zinc. It is the second most abundant mineral in the body, which is present in every cell and critical for the development and function of immune cells. A review of seven studies demonstrated that 80–92 mg of zinc per day may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%. Additional studies show zinc supplements significantly reduce the risk of infections and promote an immune response in older adults. These nutrients along with superfoods like turmeric and supplements like colloidal silver can be a holistic haven for anyone looking to prevent the flu and spread of infectious viruses. Especially when combined with physical precautions like handwashing and the use of face masks to limit exposure. The flu won't stand a chance this year when you throw the full power of mother nature and simple precautions in its way!