Optimizing Immune Function During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak : Natural Therapies

Dr. Sunita Kanumury, MD

 There are ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep you healthy and give you a sense of control in an uncertain time. These include proper handwashing, maintaining good nutrition, being physically active, meditating and managing stress and getting adequate sleep.

 Although there is no research to determine what is effective specifically for coronavirus, the following are some natural modalities you can utilize to both address symptoms as well as boost your immune system if you do come down with an illness:

We can  boost immunity in three parts. Here we focus on your diet, self care and nutraceuticals /botanicals  and agents that help in





One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a nutritious diet. That's because our immune system relies on a steady supply of nutrients to do its job.Watch for food intolerances and sensitivities.Consider high fiber diet 

 Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables—aim for 10 servings per day.   .Here are some key nutrients that play a role in immunity, and food sources of them:

Vitamin C:   Research shows that it may reduce the production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6.  1000 mg 3 times daily is beneficial a Vitamin E - Immune booster.Effects enhanced when taken with Vitamin C.:Oranges, strawberries and broccoli

Vitamin D: alters the activity of T 2 killer lymphocytes, which can reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses, Levels should be 60ng/ml and 7000IUs daily from all sources   :Eggs, cheese, tofu and mushrooms

Vitamin A:   supplementation helps fight  respiratory infections:.Carrots, kale and apricots for beta carotene

Zinc:  helps when taken within 24 hours of onset:.Beans, nuts, cereal and seafood 30–60 mg daily, in divided doses

Selenium:  is  an antioxidant that helps boosts the body’s defenses against bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. The richest source being Brazil nuts.

Garlic:  Very effective antiviral. Best if fresh (raw) and crushed. Must be consumed within 1 hour of crushing. Dosage is initially 2 to 3 cloves per day but later reduce until no body odour occurs.

 Probiotics: Probiotics and prebiotics support the health of the gut but also influence immune system functioning and regulation. Some prebiotics : whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes and beans

 ,StJohnsWort (Hypericum),Resveratrol -Scuttellaria (Skullcap),Cat’sClaw (Uncaria tomentosa) GreenTea (Astragali Radix)    have strong antiviral properties

Andrographis extract, locorice root  ,Indigowoad root extract promote upper respiratory health and immune response

Curcumin (Tumeric Spice) – attentuates collagen-induced inflammatory response through gut-brain axis

-Melatonin is effective in critical care patients by reducing vessel permeability, anxiety, sedation use, and improving sleeping quality with a high safety profile.  Melatonin has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the NLRP3 inflammasome.[


  Quercetin (as quercetin dihydrate) 250mg a day  is essentially the functional Analog to Plaquenil  1 gm po bid; phytosome 500 mg bid Some of the most commonly consumed quercetin foods include apples, onions, green peppers, red leaf lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, grapes, beans and tomatoes. Black and green teas are also good sources.


Omega :specialised proresolving lipid mediators (spm) PUFA”s especiallyDHA and DPA offers antinflammatory by acting on G coupled protien receptors .Omega6;3 ratio cause 70% reduction in mortality  :Cold water fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, beans, winter squash, and olive oil .


NAC (n-acetyl glutathione) helps with capillary fibrosis in the lungs


Other modalities :

. Sore throats: Salt water gargles are excellent.  Hot teas and lozenges containing slippery elm ar  Chamomile ,marshmallow root and licorice root, peppermint teas are  helpful for soothing irritated sore throats, as these teas or infusions can act as soothing demulcents.

Respiratory congestion & sinuses: vaporizers,humdifiers and inhaling steam  with decongestants or essential oils such as eucalyptus, menthol, peppermint, or frankincense or Tea tree oil are beneficial

Some natural immune boosters to avoid during the pandemic as they increase production of cytokines TNF -a ,IL 6


Elderberry Juice (Sambucal) - Micro Algae (Chlorella and Spirulina) - Honey - ,Chocolate - ,Kimchee, Colloidal silver .


Women should aim to consume 2.7 liters or 91 ounces of fluids daily, and men, 3.7 liters or 125 ounces; an amount that includes all fluids and water-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables and soups.

Low Level Laser Therapy 9 minute treatment at virus setting 20-73-625-787 for personal use and practice is helpful

Naturalmedicines.com has potential medication and supplemet interaction and also help validate the nutritional therapies

IFM .org has information on the supplements .Have adapted some information from IFM.org

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