Will CBD and natural approaches help during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We cannot say that CBD is going to cure or prevent COVID-19.
But we do know that CBD helps to relieve anxiety which is beneficial to our immune system.
We also know that CBD helps to modulate inflammation to promote homeostasis in our bodies.
It is a stressful time for many as we heed warnings of taking precautions such as self-quarantine and social distancing in hopes of “flattening the curve” to reduce the number of illnesses from this rapidly spreading virus. This article will discuss locally grown CBD along with other botanicals and preventative approaches.
Symptoms of the corona virus include include: Fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath.
Our immune system is made up of different types of white blood cells that sequester invaders.
When presented with a pathogen, such as a virus, white blood cells activate each other.
Natural killer cells spill their enzymes to perforate cell walls and cause cell and viral death. The result is inflammation. It may be uncomfortable but it is a necessary reaction. We know that excess inflammation is also associated with many other disease states. The hope is that our immune system works just enough to halt infection but doesn’t overreact and cause too much collateral damage of tissues. Balance or homeostasis is our goal.
There are several ways that we can support our immune system apart from relieving anxiety and modulating inflammation with CBD. For starts, take time to practice mindful breathing.
This not only reduces blood pressure and stress hormone production, but it also supports lung health and circulation of immune cells. The Butekyo method has historically been recommended to those that suffer with shortness of breath due to asthma. Here is a short video that can help to promote relaxation and mindfully dilate and support lung function:
Take a walk, dance, and stretch. During this time of quarantine, it is especially important to make sure that we are physically active each day. Sedentary living leads to stagnation, breeding of organism in our system and can set us up for pneumonia and blood clots. Our immune system lays waiting under our mucus membranes. Move the body to promote circulation of the lymphatic system and immune cells to take care of invaders.
Our lung cells are amazing in that they have finger like projections that rhythmically move mucus and pathogens up and out of our lungs.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fgiphy.com%2Fembed%2F2ZYMRB5EViPvpotXL2%2Ftwitter%2Fiframe&display_name=Giphy&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.giphy.com%2Fmedia%2F2ZYMRB5EViPvpotXL2%2Fgiphy.gif&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.giphy.com%2Fmedia%2F2ZYMRB5EViPvpotXL2%2Fgiphy-downsized-large.gif&key=61d05c9d54e8455ea7a9677c366be814&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=giphy&wmode=opaque
Humidify and temperature
Both temperature in humidity have been found to reduce viral viability. Thankfully spring is in the air. Higher temperatures are associated with a shorter viral half-life. Therefore, we see more colds and flu in the winter and less as temperatures rise. Researchers also found that low humidity hindered the body’s ability to remove viral particles and mucus and reduced the ability of airway cells to repair damage caused by the virus.
Consider using a crock pot filled with water and herbs. Many antimicrobial, aromatic essential oils (aka terpenes) are found in plants. You might have star anise, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary or oregano in the pantry that could be added to the water.
COVID-19 is stable for several hours to days in the air and on surfaces. Heed the warnings to be diligent about thorough hand washing and cleaning of surfaces.
Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide, when diluted, is the safest, most earth friendly disinfectant we have found. H202 has as all the properties of bleach without the harmful environmental effects. We now carry it at Canvas Maplewood!
Hydrate well (drink at least half of your weight in ounces of water). Infuse with lemon, lime, hibiscus, rosehips, or berries to increase vitamin C.
Eat a balanced diet that includes:
- Adequate essential fats (building blocks of cell membranes).
- Protein (for repair of tissue and building blocks of white blood cells)
- Fruit for Vitamin C and fiber
- Greens to prevent many other nutrient deficiencies
Take a quality multivitamin that contains many of the nutrients mentioned below that are necessary for healthy immune function.
Vitamin A (25,000 IU/day), Vitamin D (5000 IU vitamin D), B Complex, Vitamin C (potentially 1,000mg every hour at first sign of illness to bowel tolerance), and NAC to support lung health (potentially 1000mg, 3 times a day).
We cannot say that botanicals will cure but we are seeing reports from China that those who included Chinese medicine and IV vitamin C had better outcomes and shorter hospitals stays. There are many immune support options, here are just a few:
Medicinal mushrooms are found to modulate the immune system. Examples include: Shitake, Maitake, Reishi, Chaga, and Turkey tail
CBD Canvas Boutique & Dispensary stocks a great coffee alternative loaded with immune supportive mushrooms. Click here for details.
Other well know herbs for supporting our Immune system:
Astragalus: This plant helps us adapt to stress and is found to be anti-viral.
Garlic: Also shown to be anti-viral.
Elderberry: Historically used as a preventative in that it is found to increase white blood cell secretion of cytokines to inhibit the early stages of infection by blocking viral proteins responsible for attachment and entry into host cells. Research indicates elderberry is effective against 10 strains of influenza virus and was also found to be more effective than Tamiflu. (Note: COVID-19 and elderberry has not yet been studied.) Human clinical trials find no evidence that Elderberry causes a “cytokine storm”. The primary symptoms of a cytokine storm are high fever, swelling and redness, extreme fatigue found to happen in late stages of COVID-19 infection.
Echinacea: Works best at the beginning of an infection by inducing cytokine production to aid clearance.
Demulcents: Help to coat and soothe mucus membranes. Examples include hydrated chia and flax seed, marshmallow root, licorice, cinnamon and slippery elm bark.
Enzymes: Nearly all environmental threats contain proteins that the immune system must identify and break down. Enzymes that break down protein (proteolytic) can support this immune process.* Enzyme Defense gives the immune system a much-needed boost while also supporting healthy circulation.*
Colloidal Silver: Silver had been used in medicine for centuries, touted as a cure-all for everything from tuberculosis and arthritis to herpes and cancer. Even today, many alternative practitioners believe that colloidal silver offers health benefits by supporting immune function and preventing or treating infections, both common and severe.