The COVID-19 virus is 1,000 times more virulent than the 2003 SARS virus. That virus affected around 8,000 people whereas COVID-19 has already infected over 500,000 folk and counting. COVID-19 is capable of entering all body cell types, with potentially sinister effects in the lungs where it can cause Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Acute Lung Injury.
Apart from physical distancing and staying at home, the following foods and remedies and gas (nitric oxide) are all helpful for your immune system with a special focus on the lungs. Of course, these remedies are not a cure for Covid-19, nevertheless, many traditional remedies have a growing body of evidence showing their importance in immune health.
Old and Improved
Perhaps a little retro, Cod Liver Oil is due for a comeback in these Covid times. Containing a generous amount of Vitamin D which helps prevent respiratory infections and boost the immune system, Vitamin A for protection of mucous membranes (our lungs are lined with these) and fish oil which is anti-inflammatory. For those still having nightmares about being dosed with Cod Liver Oil as a child, you will be relieved to know it’s now available in ‘you don’t need therapy for the rest of your life’ citrus flavour.
Herbal medicine has a long history of lung tonics. Science is only now catching up with why these remedies are so effective. Some of my favourites include the delicious Elder Berry with proven antiviral properties, Licorice, sadly not the allsorts variety, is soothing for the lungs and is also antiviral. Thyme, the culinary and garden herb is excellent for the lungs and often used in bronchitis formulae. Garlic, a herb no one should be without is also a specific lung tonic. Not only antibacterial and antiviral, garlic is a mucolytic, meaning it breaks down and eliminates mucus. Add garlic to your salad dressing, or why not bake and enjoy a whole bulb.
Nitric Oxide (NO) is a simple gas made in copious quantities within our sinuses and nasal cavity. The clinical importance of NO was only discovered in the 1990’s. NO improves circulation, is an antioxidant and is antiviral. In fact, NO is being tested as a potential treatment against the Covid-19 virus. Why not use your own home-grown NO? Make sure you breathe through your nose so all the NO goodness spreads to your lungs.
Patrick McKeown has done a lot of research on Nitric Oxide. Listen here for his podcast.
Stay warm, stay safe…. And please, breathe through your nose!