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With the COVID -19 pandemic You Boost your Immune System


During this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is essential that we all do what we can to prepare and prevent this virus from spreading. Aside from hand washing and limited social events, there is more we can do. We should all be boosting our immune system.


COVID-19 currently has very limited research and no vaccine. With such little information, the least we could do is to strengthen our immune system to fight off all viruses and hopefully this one as well. Enhancing our T cell immune function can be key to help us successfully inhibit viral replication so we do not get sick and reduce the spread.

WHO has reported that 80% of the population develops mild symptoms of the flu. These are the people whom have stronger and more efficient immune systems that can successfully battle off the infection. The other 15% get worse symptoms and the other 5% have the worst outcome and don’t recover. Generally, the ones who are not recovering are the elderly and the medically compromised, in other words, people with weak and taxed immune systems.

Therefore, supplementing to increase our immune function makes a lot of sense during this time. There are numerous of herbs, vitamins and supplements that have demonstrated over centuries to be antiviral and immune building. There are many that have even been researched for their Antiviral capacities.

Many of the listed herbs have shown to help the T cells in the immune system. T cells activate innate immunity, cell mediated immune responses and antibody production. T cells are involved in fighting off viruses and other pathogens. Some of the herbs listed also regulate the T cells, modulate immune activity and reduce proinflammatory cytokines and therefore reduce inflammatory symptoms like cough and lung inflammation.

1. ELDERBERRY is known as one of the strongest plants to fight of viruses. Hippocrates the father of Medicine referred to the elder tree as his “Medicine Chest”. PUBMED alone has about 1200 research articles on Elderberry. In this research it has shown to have antimicrobial affects against Gram positive and Negative bacterias and inhibits the proliferation of Influenza Virus A and B. It has shown to also decrease Hepatitits, H1N1, HRV14, RSV infections and even completely block entry into cells at higher doses. Elderberry has shown increase in non-cytoxic cytokine response to direct an efficient immune response. It has shown to increase TNF significantly to induce immune response. It has also shown to significantly decrease the duration, proliferation and symptoms of viral and bacterial infections.

2. ECHINACEA is one of the most researched and used herbs for immune.

Research has shown that it fights Influenza type A and B, Swine origin H1N1, avian origin APAIV, HSV 2(Herpes), RSV (viral lung infection) and RhinoVirus. Echinacea has shown to activate lymphocytes and macrophages. Echinacea has a compound called echinacein that inhibits bacteria and viruses from penetrating healthy cells. It has direct virucidal activity against several respiratory viruses, it has shown reversal of pro inflammatory response on tissue from the viruses (which means less symptoms) and reduction in excessive mucus production in airways.

3. ASTRAGALUS has been used for thousand of years in Chinese medicine to boost immune function. Most of the studies show its positive effects on viral myocarditis. It has also shown to have immune modulation and enhanced immunoglobulin production to help T Cell function. It also have shown to activate mitochondrial function, helps with cardiomyopathies and cardiovascular disease, fights inflammation, diabetes, fatigue and kidney disease. This is only to be used in the preventative phase or the early onset of an infection, if you get sick, you must stop astragalus. Currently in China, it is the main herb being used in the suspected or very early phases of the CoronaVirus. 

Please note: Those with autoimmune diseases should use other antivirals aside from Astragalus and Echinacea because they can activate the part of the immune system that causes autoimmunity. Only use with guidance of an experienced Functional Medicine Physician.


Glutathione is the most important intracellular antioxidant. It quenches inflammation EVERYWHERE. It is being particularly studied in Lung health. There are about 8,000 studies on PubMed and how it helps with cystic fibrosis, asthma, allergies and other lung diseases. This is key as it quenches inflammation in the lungs and scavanges Reactive Oxygen Species to fight inflammation. Being the COVID 19 creates so much lung damage and inflammation, this is a key tool. It is also antiviral and shown to decrease Influenza A titers in the lungs and tracheas of infected mice. Glutathione is key for autoimmunity as well as it decrease TH17 cells and is used just to help autoimmunity. 

The rest below are other herbs and supplements that have been used for years as an antivirals. There are many research articles on their efficacy as well. Most of these herbs are general antimicrobials so they also fight of candida(yeasts) and bacteria. So if you take them you are gaining immune power against ALL infections, removing current hidden infections and improving your over all health.

At this time, we don’t know exactly what will stop the COVID-19. But we can at least supplement to stand a chance and to hopefully increase our odds of fighting it off successfully. At this point, lets do what we can to avoid exposure and to strengthen our immune system.


N Acetyl Cysteine and Glutathione*

• Berberine*

• Olive Leaf*

• Calendula*

• Siberian Ginseng*

• Oregano*

• Basil*

• Cats Claw*

• Vitamin C *(preferably intravenous)

• Vitamin D*

• Vitamin A*

• SkullCap*

• Probiotics*

• Zinc*

• Licorice*


• Lemon balm*


• Peppermint*

• Rosemary*

• Ginger*

• Goldenseal*

• Maitake

• Shiitake

• Reishi

• Cordyceps*



NOTE: Herbs that are starred are suggested for Autoimmune patients. With an Autoimmune condition you want to avoid certain immune boosters as they may activate the part of your immune system that is dyregulated and attacks its own tissue. The starred herbs dont stimulate TH1 or 2, but are more modulating in nature and other mechanisms of action. 

These herbs and supplements can be found at local drug stores, health food stores and online. You are also welcome to contact our office to purchase, we will also have an online store soon. PLEASE try to purchase as soon as possible, as most immune supplements are sold out and are on back order. Our office stock is also limited and we hope to get more products in stock next week.  


1. Cai  J,ChenY, Seth S, Furkawa S, Compans RW, Jones DP. Inhibition of Influenza virusinfection by glutathione. Free Radic Biol Med. 2003 Apr 1;34(7):928-36

2. Geiler J, Michaelis M, Naczk P, et al. N-acetyl-L-Cysteine(NAC) inhibits viral Replication and expression of proinflammatory molecules in A549 cells infected with highly pathogenic H5N1 Influenza A virus. FASEB Bioadvances Pharmacol.2010 Feb1/79(3):413-20.

3.Sgarbanti R, Amaotre D, Celestino I, et al. Intracellular redox state as target for anti-influenza therapy: areantioxidants always effective? Curr Top Med Chem.2014;14(22)L2529-41.

4.Amatore D, Delestino I, Brundu S, et al. Glutathioneincrease by the n-butanoyl glutathione derivative (S=GSH-C4) inhibits viral replication and inudces a predominat TH!immune profile in old mice infected with influenza virus. FASEB Bioadvances. 2019; 1:296-305.

5. Barak V, et al. Effect of Sambucol, a Black Elderberry based, Natural Product, on the Production of Human Inflammatory cytokines: I. Inflammatory Cytokines. Eur Cytokine Netw. April-jun 2001

6. Krawitz C, et al. Inhibitory Activity of a Standardized Elderberry Liquid Extract Against Clinically- Relevent Human Respiratory Bacterial Pathogens and Influenza A and B Viruses.BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011

7. Zakay-Rones Z, et al. Inhibition of Several Strains of Influenza Virus in Vitro and reduction of Symptoms by Elderverry Extract During an outbreak of Influenza B Panama. J Altern Complement Med. Winter 1995

8. Hudson J, Vimalanthan S. Echinacea- A source of Potent Antiviral for Respiratory Infections

9. Yuhan L, Wang H. Berberine Inhibits enterovirus 71 replication by downregulating the MEK-ERK signaling pathway and autophagy. Virology Journal 14, 2(2017)