VAANP Webinar: Panel Discussion on Immune Support & Resiliency

VAANP Panel Discussion on Immune Support & Resiliency
Thursday April 2nd, 2020 - 8 to 9:45 pm
Public Health - Dr. Leah Hollon, ND, MPH
• This novel coronavirus has multiple routes of transmission. Originally it was thought to only be respiratory droplets. But we know that it is most likely airborne due to recent studies. We have to remember that the viral load is found in sputum, droplets and fecal transmission are thus it is possible that there are other routes. We are still learning information and this is why precaution is necessary.
• Regarding COVID-19 - following the recommended public health guidelines of handwashing, physical distancing, etcetera, are all necessary, important, and will save lives.
• What we do for ourselves and our community matters. We are all one.
• Take the time to sanitize hard surfaces: phones, car steering wheel/ door handles, trash cans, electronics, etc. o Non-toxic cleaning options for sanitizing hard surfaces in the home
▪ Soap & water with friction
▪ 70% or greater isopropyl alcohol
▪ Hydrogen peroxide 3%
▪ Can also use betadine if other options do not exist
WHO Guide to homemaking hand sanitizer can few drops of castor oil for those prone to dry skin and can also add a few drops of essential oils (ie thyme). Check out EPA list for information on thymol and hydrogen peroxide.
• If working in a warehouse, shipping center, hospital, or nursing home, let jackets, bags or backpacks air outside in the sun, disrobe immediately upon coming into the home, throwing clothes into the wash and take a shower.
• Nasal rinses twice daily and saltwater gargles, can help to clean out these areas from microbes and particulates.
• Lung damage can occur even in those who are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. Not everyone has a fever. It is about the totality of symptoms.
• Our ancestors have experienced and lived through pandemics and we can too!
• Resiliency comes when we “stay in our lane”; when we care for ourselves by resting, eat welling well, moving, and staying emotionally connected with those we love.

Nutrition for Immune Health - Dr. Robert Boyd, ND
1) Hydration
a. Water is mucolytic (thins mucous), enhances our circulatory processes and being well-hydrated improves cellular cleanup and almost every aspect of our health
b. Drink at least half of your body weight in oz of water daily – so if you weigh 150lbs, drink 75oz water daily
2) Avoid simple carbs and refined grains
a. Refined Grains - white breads, pasta, white rice,
b. Simple carbs – candy, sweets, juices from concentrate, ice cream
c. 100g of simple carbs reduces immune response from 30 minutes of consumption up to 5 hours after
3) Short term fasting or very light/simple diet for at least the first 48 hours of any illness
a. Simple diet
i. Bone broths, soups, lighter foods
ii. Fresh vegetables and low glycemic fruits like berries (blue/black/straw), grapefruit, apples
iii. Avoid food allergies or sensitivities – foods like dairy and wheat or things that you know you are sensitive to → increases inflammation.
b. Fasting increases immune response– talk with your healthcare professional to make sure it is safe for you to do a short fast.
i. Fasting should not be done for 48 hours because it can actually deplete your immune response
4) What are the best foods to support lung health?
a. Water – blood flow, mucolytic
b. Foods that are rich in vitamin C, beta carotene (orange foods)
c. Onions, Garlic
d. Honey
e. Leeks, Turnips, green leafy vegetables
f. Peppers
i. Capsaicin improves blood flow, stimulates mucus membranes
5) Evidence base for immune supportive effects for chicken soup?
a. Most people have heard of, or experienced the beneficial effects, of having
chicken soup while battling a cold.
b. One study showed that chicken soup had the ability to significantly inhibit excessive inflammation and that could be reason why people experience a reduction in symptoms after having chicken soup
c. Component benefits of chicken soup:
i. Broth – warm, hydrating, clears nasal passages and airways
ii. Vegetables – Carrots, celery, onions are rich in vitamins minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids.
iii. Chicken – healthy source of protein.
iv. Whole grain rice or noodles – source of carbohydrate.
6) Concerns for vegans during a viral pandemic? How can they alter diet accordingly?

a. Protein
i. SOY – only complete source of protein for vegans.
ii. Depending on their diet restrictions, vegetarians may still be able to get
complete proteins from eggs, dairy, cheese.
iii. Both vegetarians and vegans need to focus on combining protein sources
to ensure they are getting adequate essential amino acids
iv. Examples:
1. Rice + Beans
2. Grains + Legumes
3. Grains + Vegetables
4. Grains + Nuts and Seeds
5. Legumes + Nuts and Seeds
b. B12
i. Fortified foods (cereals, grains) are the only source for vegans
ii. B12 is mainly found in animal foods
iii. May need to supplement
c. Iron
i. Plant-based irons can help but are difficult to absorb → leafy greens,
legumes, grains
ii. Cooking with cast iron can add iron to foods
iii. May need to supplement
d. Zinc
i. Plant foods have phytates that bind to zinc to make it less bioavailable.
Legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables.
ii. May need to supplement
7) Other diet-based approaches that have good evidence for immune support, especially
from viral upper respiratory tract infections.
a. Hot Water, Cold Water vs Chicken Soup
i. Both hot water (sipped, no straw) and chicken soup increased nasal
mucus velocity which helps clear out the nasal passageways
1. Drink warm fluids and herbal teas.
b. Cooking with anti-microbial herbs
i. Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic

Key supplements - Dr. Sarah Giardenelli, ND, MSOM, LAc
• Vitamins – typically recommended doses listed are for healthy adults – check with your health care provider
• Vitamin C – 500 to 1000 mg taken once to twice daily with or without food, decrease if loose stools occur

o An affordable option with low risk of side effects.
o Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, is essential to immune health and vitality.
o Foods high in vitamin C include: kiwi, fresh or frozen strawberries, fresh papaya,
sweet red pepper, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts.
o Of the mammals, only humans and primates do not synthesize, therefore we must ingest.
o Known to lower histamine levels and histamine is related to worsened immune defense against respiratory viruses.
o Is a nutrient adaptogen, helps support a healthy stress response and adrenal hormone levels.
o Is a cofactor in the production of catecholamines, including serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine – which are important for supporting our mood and energy.
o Helpful in balancing the inflammatory cascade involved with acute respiratory distress syndrome.
o Recent meta regression analysis shows usage can reduce mechanical ventilation in critically ill patients and another meta-analysis indicates a near 8% reduction in intensive care unit stay.
Vitamin D – 4000 to 5000 IU per with food (best to take with vitamin K, such as vitamin
K1 100 mcg)
o Not a vitamin by strict definition because it can be synthesized by the skin when exposed to sunlight
o Best time for sun exposure is mid-day for about 15 minutes
o Best, most bioavailable form is vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) which is available over the counter – the prescription form, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), is only 20 to 40% as effective in raising blood levels.
o Naturally occurring vitamin D is rare in foods, sources include: cod liver oil, pink salmon, fortified foods such as milk and non-dairy milk, with smaller amounts in
eggs and beef liver.
o Has been shown to protect pulmonary function in those infected with influenza.
o Has been shown to lower the viral load and decrease symptoms in infants with influenza.
o Higher serum levels associated with higher lung function and low serum levels are associated with serious adverse effects from influenza.
o If you struggle with chronically lows serum 25-OH vitamin D levels or if your levels are currently low, check with your health care provider about strategies to quickly increase the levels, such as a 10-day loading course.
o Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so there are risks for toxicity in high doses, especially in infants and young children. Zinc – 25 to 50 mg per day – need to be mindful of copper levels if taking doses of 50 mg
or higher for weeks to months
o Deficiency difficult to identify on standard serum testing

o Deficiency reduces immune function through loss of lymphocytes or white blood
o Signs of deficiency include: loss of appetite, loss of taste, diarrhea, skin changes, hair loss and immunological abnormalities
o Foods high in zinc include: meats, seeds, and shellfish. Vitamin A – as recommended by your health care provider.
o Especially important to children in the developing world or those on low fat diets.
o Vegans, vegetarians, and those with issues converting beta-carotene into vitamin
A (genetic issue) can tend towards deficiency.
o May actually suppress natural immune response in older adults (one study suggested)
o Fat-soluble, can be toxic in high doses, especially to infants and young children, and to the fetuses of pregnant women, especially prior to 8-weeks. Natural mast cell stabilizers/ antihistamines
o Vitamin C – see above
o Quercetin – 1000 to 1500 mg taken once to twice daily on empty stomach or ulcers (not for those with chronic stomach inflammation or ulcers). Mucolytic – thin the mucus
o N-acetyl cysteine – for general support 500 mg per day, to think nasal or lung
congestion 500 to 1800 mg taken two to three times daily with or without food.
▪ Otherwise known as NAC, is a modified form of the amino acid cysteine
▪ Helps to clear histamine from the body, with detoxification of hormones
and toxins, supports healthy neurotransmitter and hormone levels, and is
a biofilm disruptor
▪ Has been shown to inhibit H5N1 or Avian flu viral replication and H5N1-
induced production of pro-inflammatory molecules
Key Botanicals - Dr. Brian Keenan, ND
• No botanicals have been researched in the treatment of COVID-19, it is a novel virus, so we can’t make claims that say “works on COVID-19” and anyone who says that is technically incorrect.
o Currently dozens of studies actively being carried out in China and other parts of the world, so stay tuned for that exciting evidence.
o Case reports from China that discuss herbal medicine being used conjunctively, and successfully with standards of care (such as oxygen,antivirals, antibiotics, and corticosteroids)

Herbs have evidence base in other strains of coronaviruses – does NOT mean these will be helpful in COVID-19. o Licorice root (Glycerrhiza glabra)
▪ This herb is very multifaceted, supporting healthy energy levels,
robust immune response, being anti-viral against colds and flu’s as
well (at least in cell cultures), and is sweet so people tend to like it.
▪ Not recommended for those with high blood pressure.

o Bupleurum (Bupleurum chinense)
▪ An herb you’ve probably never heard about, saiko-sapponins it contains appear to inhibit intracellular viral replication of other
o Turkey Rhubarb (Rhuem palmatum)
▪ The root, not the stalks or leaves
▪ It has been used in anti-viral research, but if you get your hands on this, do note that is a direct stimulating laxative and using too much can
o Chinese Skullcap or skullcap bicalensis
▪ This herb made its fame in the US for supporting cancer patients but has been used in Asia for a plethora of different conditions, in conjunction with modern medicine
▪ There is research that supports it being anti-viral against viruses such as coronavirus in vitro.
o Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
▪ Feel free to throw in your diffuser if it’s a scent you like.
▪ The essential oils in your house can really do a lot of good for you right now. Not so much in the way of being anti-viral, but as we are all self-quarantining at home, stress, fear, and monotony can really affect
us, and we know aromatherapy can be really useful for lifting our mood, calming our minds, and just helping us float on during this trying time. Elderberry syrup - can it cause "cytokine storm" - what is a "cytokine storm"?
o A cytokine storm is a severe immune reaction in which the body releases too many cytokines into the blood too quickly.
o Cytokines play an important role in normal immune responses but having a large amount of them released in the body all at once can be harmful.
o A cytokine storm can occur as a result of an infection, autoimmune condition,
or other disease. It may also occur after treatment with some types of immunotherapy.
o When it comes to elderberry, it is an amazing antioxidant rich food that absolutely helps support a healthy immune response and some data suggests it may help be preventative for the common cold and the flu. Additionally, it has been shown to shave off about 1-2 days of the lingering infection.

In its wide history of use, there has never been a known cytokine storm resulting from elderberry use. Other herbs that help with immune support that you can find at the grocery store
o Traditional Medicinals “seasonal pack” which has 4 types of teas that all support healthy immune function.
o Tulsi tea, or Holy Basil, is really easy to find, quite delicious, and this plant has so much history of use for helping people feel calm, safe, and relaxed. Plants are definitely our friends, growing right by our side and ready to help us for all our needs, not just COVID19. And with spring spring-ing, be sure to ee all the plants come out to play and say hi 🙂

• The contrast of hot/ cold to the skin stimulate natural immunity
• Easy, free, accessible and not out of stock!
• *Warming socks (see below)
• Alternating hot/ cold sinus compresses
• Alternating hot/ cold chest compresses
The warming socks treatment is best if repeated for three nights in a row, unless I have otherwise instructed you.
1. If your feet are cool or cold it is important to warm them first. This is very important as
the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful. Warming can be accomplished
by soaking in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
2. Next, take a pair of cotton socks and get them wet with cold water. Be sure to wring the
socks out thoroughly.
3. Place the cold wet socks on your feet. Cover with thick wool socks. Go to bed. Avoid
getting chilled.
You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning. Many patients report
that they sleep much better during the treatment.
Homeopathy - Hanna Schmittat, ND
• Homeopathy is an energetic medicine that takes a super diluted form of any mineral,
plant, or animal product, and stimulates the body to start healing from inside out. It
works on the principle of the minimum dose to stimulate healing.

Homeopathy works on the principle of “like cures like”. For example: Allium, which
comes from onion. Eating onions causes eyes, nose, mouth-watering. Homeopathic
onion, allium helps resolve symptoms like watering of eyes, nose, mouth, such as in
The worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918 killed 22 million people worldwide and
500,000 in the U.S. The death rate was 30% or higher for those treated conventionally,
while homeopaths helped an amazing 98% of their cases!
“The "Spanish Flu" began in 1918 and was the most devastating pandemic in human
history that had ever been, claiming more lives than World War I. The flu virus had not
yet been discovered, and the usual therapy measures were merely symptomatic. In
many parts of the world the pandemic was treated by homeopaths. At the time,
homeopathic medical practices, out-patient clinics and hospitals existed in various
countries. To this day homeopaths refer to the successful homeopathic treatment of the
"Spanish Flu".”
The homeopathic Gelsemium and Bryonia were successfully used in the Flu of 2018,
known as the Spanish Flu . Both of these remedies are still used today for the flu, quite
Genus Epidemicus: (Def: Combined symptoms of a large group of people afflicted with
a disease or epidemic, or a remedy that covers all the symptoms which that particular
epidemic is capable of producing” → Camphora
o Characteristics of Camphora, that apply here: Sudden collapse, cold sweat
and a relative absence of restlessness. Nagging headache, forehead. Fever low
grade. Perspiration upper body. Forehead cold. Shivering, chills. Extreme
prostration. In cycles, Swinging. Collapse, Sudden, sit, lie down, legs together, not
falling. Sinking, SUDDEN COLLAPSE. Sleepiness during/ before the fever. I want
to lie down. Inability to sit. Desires cold drinks. Thirst less. Irritation in throat
causing cough. Cold hands. Touch aggravates. Skin is sore. Weakness is so great
that they don’t want to change their position. Respiratory distress but
completely conscious. No restlessness.
o One needs to be open to the fact that some people will continue to have their
own symptoms in the epidemic and may respond better to their individual
remedies if the genus epidemicus is not effective.
Dr. Rajan Sankaran has after successful in helping those infected patients in Iran
concluded that the similimum remedy for corona is camphor.
o To strengthen your immune system and build resiliency: Camphor 1m 4 pills
twice daily 2 days. Keep under tongue until it melts. 30 min away from food,
before and after.
o To stimulate the body’s immune response during mild infection: camphor 1m 8
pills in 100ml water..1 tablespoon 6 hourly for days until symptoms largely
improve…nothing but water 30mins before after.
o To help the body during severe infection: camphor 10m 8 pills in 100ml water..1
tablespoon 6 hourly for days until symptoms largely improve…nothing but
water 30mins before after.
Other useful remedies for upper respiratory tract infections.

o Arsenicum Album -You feel chilly and exhausted, along with an anxious
physical restlessness and mental anxiety. You may be thirsty, but often only
takes small sips. If the digestive system is involved, nausea with burning pain, or
vomiting and diarrhea may occur. If the flu is respiratory, a watery, runny nose
with sneezing and a dry or wheezing cough are often seen. Your head usually
feels hot, while the rest of the body is chilly.
o Carb-v: “Low, grave, depraved, or cachectic states. Atony, failing reaction or
obstinate sequelae. Complaints of old age. WEAKNESS, FLATULENCE, FETOR OR
AIR HUNGER, with most complaints. Tremulous WEAK, SICK AND EXHAUSTED,
suddenly, with pulselessness. Fainting. Collapse. Easily chilled. Cold, yet wants
air or to be fanned, or thirsts for cold water. BLUENESS and decomposition”. –
Source: Boger
Cramps, in chest, bowels, fingers, toes, etc., whooping cough, ague, etc. Delirium,
early, with violence, loquacity or lewdness, during pain. Prays, curses and howls
in turn. – Source: Boger.
Other commonly used homeopathic remedies during flu’s/colds:
o Bryonia
o Eupatorium perforiatum
o Gelsemium
Homeopathic remedies are made through the process of dilution. So, if you have
purchased one small vial of homeopathic remedy, one can replicate this into a larger
o Take a clean water bottle with lid, and add 90% water, 10% alcohol (preferably
grain alcohol, or vodka, or rum).
o Place 3 pellets or drops of the homeopathic remedy into the bottle, close the lid.
o Succussion: hit closed bottle against a book or the palm of the other hand 10x.
o Take 1 tablespoon of this new dilution, as needed for your purpose.
Some Resources (Inner and Outer) For Our Time from Dr. Marie Rodriguez, ND
Helpful Practices to Consider
Grounding - Being present with your body on a regular basis, tending to physical needs.
Movement and time outside very important for grounding, processing emotions and
improving well-being.
www.vaanp.orgBoundaries - Saying ‘no’ to what is not helpful or supportive right now. Making yourself
and well being a priority. Limiting news consumption to what is essential. Too much
negative news can be traumatizing.
Resourcing - Filling yourself up with positive and supportive measures. Consider reaching
out to friends to make video contact to break up the monotony of your alone time. Your
daily spiritual practices will go a long way now as will time in nature. Consider lighting a
candle, incorporating essential oils for aromatherapy as well as playing some soothing
music - these all great ways to cultivate a safe and healing space in your home.
Exercise - some type of physical movement each day is very helpful for reducing stress and
improving immunity.
Stress reduction techniques -
EFT tapping is a wonderful resource to quickly help lower anxiety levels.
Deep Breathing - slow belly breathing for 20-30 minutes will turn on the parasympathetic
nervous system and promote calm.
Make sure you are getting quality sound sleep to support nervous system health, optimal
immune function and adrenal health - all are critical for building resilience for making it
through this time now.
More Resources:
On limiting your exposure to the news:
How to protect yourself and your family - an empowering view from a NY
physician (edited 10-minute version from his 57 minute talk on YouTube):

Listening Care Package from On Being: 3 sites have a plethora of FREE mindfulness and resilience practices,
An abundance of mindfulness offerings from many different sites summarized by the
Awake Network:
More mindfulness offerings from Mindful Magazine:

Free Mindfulness Resources to Find Calm and Nourish Resilience During the COVID Outbreak

From Sounds True - Resilience:
On the grief we are all feeling from the Harvard Business Review:
Greater Good Science Center out of UC Berkeley has many good resources for us and
for parenting children and teens:
Daily Quarantine Questions:
What happens when you make stress your friend? All it takes is a shift of perspective.
A TED talk by Kelly McGonigal:
Brene Brown’s podcast on the weariness and exhaustion of this pandemic with
guidance on taking good care of yourself and dealing in with family/couple dynamics:
A Moral Challenge from literary professor posted on LitHub. This is so beautifully
written and helps us aspire to our better selves:

To Expand the Moral Imagination in the Confines of Quarantine

And…not letting fear turn into hate:
Couples may be interested in signing up for Esther Perel’s FREE 4-part series. It will be
delivered live and recorded if you can’t attend the live sessions:
Julie Gottman on surviving lockdown with our partners from an article in the
Washington Post:
Feed yourself with beauty. Visit a museum virtually:
Mental Health Crisis Hotlines:
Crisis hotline available 24 hours/day from SAMHSA:
More info and offerings for mental health hotlines:

Mental Health Hotline

Resources compiled by the Viva Center in DC:
Tapping is a well-studied way to deal with stress and easy to learn:
From Nick Ortner’s Facebook page:
Downloading the app gives you access to more video:
Extra support for financial fears from Bari Tessler:
Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings are an invitation to deeper reflections:
www.vaanp.orgBits of wisdom from the School of Life in London:
I’m sure you have seen some of the lovely things happening on porches, balconies
and windows, our new connection point to the world.

For parents with younger children:
Mindfulness practice to deal with big emotions:
Author reads his book Everything is Connected:
Coloring pages from that story:
Art activities:
Parenting in a pandemic:
For parents of teens:

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