The government has unveiled plans to start reopening the country in phases but failed to address the one thing that can keep the ‘pandemic’ under control as we get back to our normal lives – a healthy immune system. COVID-19 is a new virus which means we don’t have herd immunity to it yet, this makes it much more contagious (although no more dangerous) than the cold and flu. In fact, it’s estimated that 40-70% of adults worldwide will contract the virus over the next two years. It’s also estimated that 80% of infected individuals have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, which is a sign that their immune system is functioning properly.
If you take action to bolster your immune system now, it will reduce your likelihood of contracting the virus, lead to mild or no symptoms if you do, and reduce viral shedding, which will help protect more vulnerable populations from contracting it. One of the most important things you can do to support healthy immune defenses is to boost adrenal gland function. Below I will explain why this is so important, and share safe, clinically proven herbs for optimizing adrenal and immune function.
The Adrenal Gland-Immune System Connection
Despite their miniature size, the adrenal glands play an indispensable role in your health. They are key modulators of immune function, responsible for secreting glucocorticoids and catecholamines which regulate immune cell activation, microbial proliferation, and the expression of cytokines (small proteins that coordinate the body’s response against infection). They also help your body manage stress (which is a major immune system sabotager), and they produce DHEA which plays a key role in immune competence. And finally, they release cortisol to keep inflammation in check, which is helpful because out of control inflammation is responsible for much of the damage that can occur when immune compromised individuals contract viral infections.
Viruses themselves are rarely deadly, it is the immune systems reaction to them that leads to out of control inflammation, tissue and organ damage, oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) and acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS), which is the primary cause of death in COVID-19 patients. William Jeffries, Professor at University of Virginia has dedicated his life to the search for a solution to deaths from flu pandemic outbreaks like the coronavirus, and he explains: “Although most fatalities occur in older patients with complicating illnesses that could impair resistance to any infections, at least a small percentage of deaths in influenza epidemics occur in young apparently healthy persons, suggesting an impairment of their defense response.”
Cortisol – The Immune Systems Best Friend
The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing the stress and inflammation regulating hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the most important hormone in the body because it provides amino acids, fatty acids, and blood sugar to all cells of the body while serving as the main trigger to the immune system. In his book Safe Uses of Cortisol, Jeffries reports a study where sick patients were given cortisol: “Clinical responses were striking. Within twenty-four hours all patients felt much better, and within forty-eight hours symptoms such as fever, malaise, and generalized aching had completely subsided, and they felt quite well. The initial dosage of cortisol was decreased after forty-eight hours and discontinued after six days of therapy. No relapses or complications occurred.”
Due to a high-stress lifestyle and the use of sugar and stimulants, many people have underfunctioning adrenal glands, which are not able to produce enough cortisol for optimum defenses. Fortunately there are several herbs that can boost adrenal function and help nourish them back to health.
How to Boost Adrenal Function and Cortisol Levels Naturally with Herbs
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
GSE has very high amounts of disease-fighting, free-radical eliminating antioxidants and phytonutrients called bioflavonoids. One of these powerful bioflavonoids is Hesperidin, a well-known natural immune-system stimulator and booster. A recent study from The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found GSE was effective in killing over “800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single and multi-celled parasites.” No other naturally-occurring antimicrobial can come close to these results.
Licorice root has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine to boost immunity, alleviate pain, tonify spleen and stomach, eliminate phlegm, and relieve coughing. Researchers have identified several compounds in the licorice root which demonstrate potent antimicrobial activities and found glycyrrhizin (a naturally occurring compound in licorice) can significantly inhibit viral activity. Licorice root is considered so effective at fighting off viruses and other infections, that some researchers are proposing we use it to create affordable medicines to combat diseases in third-world countries. Licorice is additionally beneficial because studies show the glycyrrhetinic acid it contains, helps maintain healthy cortisol levels by inhibiting the enzymes that break it down.
Echinacea increases the “non-specific” activity of the immune system. In other words, unlike a vaccine which is active only against a specific disease, Echinacea stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient in attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells. Echinacea also improves the way that white blood cells fight against infective bacteria and viruses, lowers inflammation, reduces symptoms and speeds recovery.
Lomatium Root Powder
This robust desert parsley has been extensively studied for immune health benefits and antioxidant abilities and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat influenza and other respiratory tract infections. A recent study published in the AARM Journal found Lomatium helps reduce morbidity and mortality of influenza viruses by lowering levels of the cytokine CXCL10. This is beneficial because high levels of CXCL10 is associated with the initiation and progression of infectious diseases, and can lead to out of control inflammation and immune dysfunction. Another new study, published in Nature Reviews Immunology Journal, found continuously high levels of CXCL10 (as well as CCL7 and IL-1 receptor antagonist) is associated with increased viral load, loss of lung function, lung injury and a fatal outcome in COVID-19 patients.
Garlic Bulb Extract
Garlic ranks highly among foods that help prevent disease, largely due to its high content of organosulfur compounds and antioxidant activity. Garlic boosts immunity, enhances immune cell numbers and activity, and increases the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, which destroy viruses and other invading organisms.
Although this is not a herb, it’s effects are instant and potent, so it’s worth mentioning. Adrenal cortex derived from bovine sources contain important adrenal hormones including hydrocortisone (cortisol) which helps to support healthy cortisol levels in your body and reduces the workload of the adrenal glands. Adrenal extract is used for low adrenal function, fatigue, and stress, lowered resistance to illness, severe allergies, asthma, skin conditions, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Defend Yourself Against COVID-19 with Adrenal Immune Support
Adrenal Immune Support is a clinically formulated nutraceutical that contains all of the above herbs as well as adrenal cortex and several other adrenal optimizing, immune boosting, stress-reducing and energy enhancing herbs. To support immune defenses, take 3 capsules morning and afternoon. If the flu (coronavirus) develops, increase your intake to 3 capsules, up to 4 times a day to ward off symptoms. While this supplement is recommended for anyone who wants added protection from infectious diseases, if you are on anabolic testosterone boosters, you are elderly, sick, or have a chronic disease, this immunity booster becomes even more critical.
Adrenal Immune Support Ingredients: Proprietary Adrenal Cortex Blend, Dimethylglycine HCL, Cranberry Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Garlic Bulb Extract, Caprylic Acid (as Sodium Caprylate), Tea Tree Leaf Powder, SensorilTM Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Root and Leaf Extract, Licorice Root Powder, Adrenal Cortex, Policosanol, Echinacea Purpurea Herb Extract, Wild Cherry Bark Powder, Lomatium Root Powder.
*To learn additional safe and effective steps for optimal immune defenses, RSVP to my FREE upcoming emergency web event, on April 22nd, 4 pm PST: Coronavirus: 5 Proven Ways to Strengthen the Immune System. You can also take a free immunity quiz at http://DocNutrients.com/immunequiz