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Integrative Medicine and Natural Immunity Boosters for H1N1

August 31, 2009

Integrative  Immunity  Boosters & the H1 N1 Vaccine

Hippocrates taught that food is our medicine. Since when did medicine become synonymous with drugs rather than the original meaning of “thoughtful action to establish order.” In our  ongoing search for viral immunity do we have to look any farther than our kitchen spice rack or pantry?

I prefer the term integrative medicine to complementary, alternative or holistic medicine  when considering various natural options for the health care of  families, CEO’s and their businesses. There are some truly amazing discoveries of the 21st Century that take us way beyond the obvious 20th Century physical methods of antiviral protection: hand-washing, wearing a mask and allopathic vaccines, especially in light of  flu season and the Swine Flu (Novel H1N1 RNA Virus) Pandemic.

As far as vaccines are concerned, the squalene-containing adjuvants in the various influenza vaccinations, used to boost immunogenicity, dramatically reduce the amount of attenuated live virus needed for production purposes. This translates into more efficient production of desired vaccine quantities. That might not be a good thing for your body even though it gets the job done for manufacturers stock prices.

Are you in a vulnerable risk group for Swine Flu? Get really sick easily? Could you end  hospitalized requiring advanced respiratory life support and intravenous antiviral medications. Don’t want to end up there? Consider these essential natural plant substances, untested by the FDA, but  that could one day become integrated as complementary medicine approaches to wellness.

The following are few notables: vitamin C, supplements, nutraceuticals,  herbs, spices and plants like mushrooms, as well as eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils.

As for high doses of Vitamin C . How high  is high? Linus Pauling of orthomolecular medicine fame said, therapy with megadoses  of multiple grams per day  was claimed to be an effective antiviral.

Some studies suggests the mucolytic,  n-acetylcysteine and glutathione works against viral symptoms in general. A proper diet of fruits might provide adequate levels of glutathione without the risk of upsetting the delicate homeostatic balance and ratio of intracellular to extracellular glutathione caused by adding a supplement.

What actually boosts the immune system? The answer could be sitting in your cupboard or refrigerator: Food is your medicine and foods like apples, broccoli, tea and red onions are rich in the immune flavonoid called quercetin.

  • Queen of fruit, mangosteen when combined with essential minerals, vitamins  and aloe raises human ORAC, interlukin, CD cell counts and complement while decreasing the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein.
  • Cordyceps Mushroom, contains essential sugars, the polysaccharides d-galactose, L-arabinose, D-xylose, L-rhamnose, when intranasally administered decreased virus titers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and the lung of mice infected with influenza A virus and increased survival rate.
  • Your Spice Rack contains bottles of condiments  used in laboratory experiments  to kill many types of viruses such as lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), peppermint (Mentha x piperita), prunella (Prunella vulgaris), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), sage (Salvia officinalis) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris).
  • Basil, Ocimum basilicum has undergone successfull antiviral invitro testing of a few it’s essential components, namely apigenin, linalool and ursolic acid against (herpes viruses (HSV), adenoviruses (ADV) and hepatitis B virus) and RNA viruses (coxsackievirus B1 (CVB1) and enterovirus 71 (EV71).
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): this herb’s anti-viral activities has direct activity on the respiratory tract, the coughing reflex and the airflow in the nasal tract.
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris):  both essential oil and the extracted monoterpenes exhibited high anti-HSV-1 activity by direct inactivation of free virus particles.
  • Curcumin (diferuloylmethane): a yellow pigment in the spice turmeric (also called curry powder) possess potent antiviral activities against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
  • Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata), main constituents of the essential oil are phenylpropanoids such as carvacrol, thymol, eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. Topical application relieves pain and promotes healing. The biological activities of clove have been investigated on microorganisms and parasites, and antiviral activity against Herpes simplex and hepatitis C viruses. Clove also has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and  antiinflammatory, insect repellent and anaesthetic properties.
  • Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis):  this oil was characterized by the presence of beta-ocimene, 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene as the main constituents exerting an interesting activity against SARS-CoV.

I share these non-FDA approved and invitro (in glass petri dishes) non-human spice studies because everybody ought to know the current state of research and potential for future discoveries in the field of integrative medicine for personal preventative health care. No health care claims are made for their use as antiviral treatments. Don’t you agree they are interesting and wish the FDA would study them.

James Tad Geiger MD

the oilMD

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