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Staying Ahead of the Curve, Naturally

Posted March 15, 2020

We find ourselves in a challenging time as news of this novel c[CENSORED]virus has inundated our daily experience. Involuntary time off from work & school, cancelled events, small businesses under stress, bold headlines, passionate opinions, excitability percolating, emotions rising to the surface… Let us stop a moment and take a big, collective, deep breath so we can gain some perspective.

What if we channeled this energy into taking positive, nourishing action? There is SO MUCH we can do to diffuse our stress, bolster our immune systems, and teach our loved ones, who may be at higher health risk, to do the same.

It’s understandable that fear overshadows calm when something is not fully understood and the sources we tend to trust for updated information are using scare tactics to sell news. Mindfulness practice helps us recognize when we are feeling stressed or anxious and catch ourselves in actions that are motivated by fear. Our mental health affects our physical health (including the efficiency of our immune systems) so let’s take the reins of this runaway horse and get back on a healthy, positive path focused on self-care and supporting one another.

As we know the average, able-bodied person’s risk of developing serious illness is not very high, however, if they haven’t built their foundational understanding of how to stay healthy or gathered holistic healthcare tools for daily use, now is a great time to start.

This c[CENSORED]virus will have more of an impact on the vulnerable people in our lives with underlying health conditions, chronic illness, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, respiratory issues, cancer, pregnant women, and our elders. Doing what we can to keep this part of our community safe is important because any serious infection can be life-threatening for those who are immune compromised. While it’s easy to get hyper focused on caring for others it’s also important that we continue to focus on our own self-care. We can only provide effective support if WE are healthy and strong.

There’s no better time than the present to really tune in to our bodies and check-in with how we’re feeling each day. “Am I feeling run down?” “Am I getting enough rest?” “Can I take a good, deep breath into my lungs with no challenge or coughing?” “Is there anything I can do to reduce my stress?” This will allow us to catch any shifts in our health before they have a chance to snowball : )

What role can holistic healthcare options play in preventing the c[CENSORED]virus?

By definition, the holistic approach takes into consideration the “whole” person, including all aspects of physical & mental wellness, when choosing the best options for individual support. Though there are many effective natural medicine options when it comes to acute needs, the unique power of nourishing foods, medicinal herbs, & nutritional supplements is in their ability to strengthen our defenses diversely against ANYTHING that may come our way. Think broad-spectrum immunity!

To get technical for a minute, let’s touch on some virology basics. Viruses are strands of either RNA or DNA molecules. It is thought that once inside host cells they pair with components in order to replicate. While DNA viruses tend to make billions of stable, exact copies of themselves, RNA viruses produce copies with lots of variation. (Think of a game of telephone as an example.

Because c[CENSORED]viruses are RNA viruses we can expect them to mutate frequently, which would theoretically make it difficult to produce a single va[CENSORED]cine that would be effective for any length of time. Food for thought.

As always it is our mission to empower you in your healthcare. Let’s zero in on the plethora of effective tools we already have available to us. Prevention through thoughtful health practices is key!

  • We’re keenly aware that it is important to clean our hands & frequently touched surfaces regularly, but it is actually best not to go overboard with the conventional “antibacterial” products. Even the CDC & FDA agree that antibacterial soaps are no more effective against germs than the mere act of washing hands thoroughly with regular soap & water. Furthermore, many of the active chemicals in these soaps, wipes, sprays, & sanitizers are challenging for our livers to process & are proven endocrine (hormone) disruptors, including the chlorine in bleach. We need healthy hormonal systems to have healthy immune systems, so if you work with the public and find yourself having to use more conventional items frequently we suggest wearing gloves. Using household cleaners at home that contain essential oils like tea tree, lavender, oregano, eucalyptus, & thyme that have proven antibacterial & antiviral properties is a great alternative.
  • We want to avoid touching our faces, eyes, & noses without washing our hands first. (Harder than it sounds, right? ; )
  • Keeping our nasal passages clear and breathing through our noses filters out airborne dust and germs. Using a neti pot can be very helpful for this.
  • Our environments need to be aired out at least once a day. Also keeping the air moist will help make sure that our nasal passages do not dry out. Consider using a humidifier.
  • Keeping our bodies comfortably warm, especially our feet and necks, supports our efforts to stay well. While being cold doesn’t cause a cold, susceptibility increases because our bodies’ defenses are being undermined when our core temperatures are reduced. Consider using an infrared sauna regularly.
  • Strong links have been drawn between stress and immune system efficiency. Stress impedes immune function by reducing white blood cell, natural killer cell, and T-cell production. Practicing stress reduction is a great place to start with any wellness routine. Deep breathing, long walks in nature, listening to/playing music that feeds your soul, dancing, yoga, meditation, time with loved ones, and good, hearty laughter are great tools to incorporate regularly in times like these! Comedy movie night, anyone?
  • We can choose to avoid consuming content that is stressful, divisive, violent, and mentally exhausting. This includes T.V. shows, media, books, & people that add to our stress instead of helping to reduce it. Choose your CV[CENSORED]19 information sources carefully.
  • Limiting caffeine can do wonders for reducing anxiety, tension, & stress. If possible, try a healthier cup of coffee if you still want that energy boost.
  • Getting plenty of sleep helps to keep our immune systems healthy. (If this is difficult for you, let’s talk. CONTACT US HERE : )
  • Daily outdoor movement of any kind boosts circulation, detoxification, & supports our immunity.
  • Drinking plenty of water helps flush our systems regularly and keeps our bodies’ natural pathways of elimination functioning optimally so we can “take out the trash”. Shoot for half your body weight in ounces per day capping it off at one gallon (128 oz.) (ex. – 180 lbs = 90 oz. per day)
  • Our local farmer’s markets are the ideal resource for food at its highest nutritional peak because it’s not picked prematurely so that it can travel long distances.
  • If home cookin’ is not your jam consider ordering from an organic meal delivery service. There are tons of options out there now! Our recommendations would be Trifecta Nutrition and Paleo on the Go.
  • Avoiding overly processed food-like products that are high in inflammatory vegetable oils, additives, & preservatives will reduce the burden on our bodies and free up energy to fight infections.
  • If we want to be super proactive we will avoid alcohol, white sugar, and refined grains (bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, baked goods, and anything made from white, refined flour), at least temporarily. They deplete our immune systems & feed infection.
  • Our grandmothers were right! Incorporating a lot of nourishing bone broth warmed up by itself, in soups & stews, and as a base when making brown rice or quinoa is a great way to bolster our defenses!
  • Eating plenty of good quality, probiotic-rich, fermented foods will help to train our immune systems. (Some evidence suggests good gut bacteria can be effective in helping to prevent respiratory tract infections.) Organic, whole fat yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles (found in the refrigerated section) & other fermented vegetables are delicious options : )
  • Garlic has protective properties and has been known to kill the viruses that cause the common cold and flu so eating at least 1-2 cloves a day can keep our immune systems strong. (Now’s the time to get over the fear of smelling like garlic folks!)

In addition to making shifts with food and lifestyle this is the perfect time to tap into holistic tools like high quality nutritional supplements & medicinal herbs. We always recommend getting our vitamins & minerals from food when possible, but there are times (like these) where higher potencies can be useful, so we suggest supplements that are concentrated from food.

Medicinal herbs can be incorporated into our food, used in tea form, or the more potent liquid tincture form to support our health in diverse ways like bolstering our immune systems, supporting our bodies’ natural abilities to detoxify, protecting us from viral infections, assisting our respiratory systems, and calming our nerves to keep our stress levels low. You’ll see some herbs on multiple lists because they all have multiple benefits : )

Immune System Support

  • Vitamin A food-sourced supplement (Dose dependent on individual)
    • Vitamin A from food: liver (from healthy, grass-fed animals), cod liver oil, butter (organic, grass-fed, ideally raw), egg yolks (organic, pastured), milk & cheeses (organic, grass-fed, ideally raw)
  • Vitamin C food-sourced supplement (Dose dependent on individual)
    • Vitamin C from food: guava, black currant, red bell peppers, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, papaya, kale (cooked), parsley, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, peas, cauliflower (cooked), mango
  • Vitamin D3 food-sourced supplement (Dose dependent on individual)
    • We make vitamin D in our bodies when we are exposed to the sun so getting some time outside during non-peak hours, without being covered from head to toe with sun block, is essential. This ability does decrease with age.
    • Vitamin D from food: seafood, cod liver oil, liver (from healthy, grass-fed animals), duck eggs, chicken eggs, blood sausage
  • Zinc food-sourced supplement (Dose dependent on individual & can be customized based on a home test)
    • Zinc from food: oysters, lamb, pumpkin seeds (ideally sprouted), grass-fed beef, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (ideally sprouted), cocoa powder, cashews (ideally soaked/sprouted), yogurt or kefir (organic & full fat), mushrooms (cooked), spinach (cooked), chicken (dark meat)
  • N.A.C. (N-acetyl cysteine)
  • Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus spp.)
  • Astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus)
  • Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
  • Holy Basil a.k.a. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma spp.)
  • Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes)
  • Turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Antiviral Herbs

  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus spp.)
  • Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) (Commonly contraindicative w/ pharmaceutical medications)
  • Holy Basil a.k.a Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus)
  • Olive Leaf (Olea europaea)
  • Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)

Antibacterial Herbs & Products

  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
  • Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Oregano (Origamum spp.)
  • Oregon grape root (Mahonia spp.)
  • Holy Basil a.k.a. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
  • Olive Leaf (Olea europaea)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Propolis (Resina propoli) (made by bees)
  • Manuka honey (made by bees that pollinate manuka flowers native to New Zealand)

Lymphatic & Gentle Detoxification Support

  • Cleavers (Galium aparine)
  • Red root (Ceanothus spp.)
  • Wild indigo root (Baptisia spp.)
  • Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)
  • Prickly ash (Zanthozylum spp.)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Burdock (Arctium lappa)
  • Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Respiratory Herbs & Supplements

  • Osha (Ligusticum porteri)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Elecampane (Inula helenium)
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Mullein (Verbascum spp.)
  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.)
  • Peppermint (mentha piperita)
  • Holy Basil a.k.a. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Oregano (Origamum spp.)
  • Cordyceps mushroom (Cordyceps spp.)
  • N.A.C. (N-acetyl cysteine)

Nervine Herbs

  • Skullcap (Skutellaria lateriflora)
  • Damiana (Turnera diffusa)
  • Holy Basil a.k.a. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
     (Commonly contraindicative w/ pharmaceutical medications)

This is merely a list to provide you with ideas & perspective and is nowhere near exhaustive. Since each of us is biochemically unique and comes to the table with different health histories, dietary habits, stress handling methods, current states of health, pharmaceutical medications, and self-care regimens there is no way to generalize which holistic tools would be best or safe for all of us.

FRET NOT! We’re here to help you make customized decisions.

We are more than happy to provide short, remote, one-on-one consultations to discuss your personal wellness needs & opportunities to strengthen your immune system via convenient phone or online chat. 

In order to better serve our community we started working with Fullscript: an online nutritional supplement & medicinal herb resource. We know that getting quality, supportive products delivered to your door would be extremely helpful right now, right? 

Once you enter your email and finish setting up your free account you can look forward to having access to your favorite brands AND quality practitioner lines at OUR ONGOING COMMUNITY DISCOUNT!

We are offering a FREE WEBINAR to discuss this topic further and give you a chance to ask your questions!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 from 11:00-11:30 am PST

Let us all be an example of calm, grounded, positive action for those around us who are having a difficult time. This link is shareable via email or by posting it on your social media pages. You can also CONTACT US to ask us any questions that may arise.

YOU’VE GOT THIS, AND WE’VE GOT YOU! ♥

 China Rose & AJ Zamora have been in the business of empowering people with holistic health tools for over 20 years! China Rose is a functional nutritional therapist, clinical herbalist, & yoga teacher who found her perfect “partner in wellness” in AJ: a functional fitness trainer, wellness coach, & green living extraordinaire. Together they serve their community as China Rose Wellness providing remote health coaching options, online programs, inspirational workshops, & transformational retreats!
Disclosures: This blog does not constitute medical advice and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Consult your care provider for specific suggestions for your personal needs and circumstances, especially if you have any medical conditions, are taking medications, or are pregnant or nursing. 

* This blog was updated in December 2021 to obscure specific words that have led to censorship. We feel it is important that people have this valuable information.

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