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Dr. Weil's Preventative Tactics against Coronavirus

Nicholas Noble | March 05, 2020

Kevin Rose & Dr. Weil on Coronavirus

As fear builds around the Coronavirus virus (COVID-19) outbreak, world leader in integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil, and Kevin Rose (host of the Kevin Rose Show podcast), a peak-performance internet entrepreneur, together discussed tactics and strategies to stay healthy.

The recent podcast covered best practices and intriguing ways you can improve your immunity. They discussed natural protections against viral infection, including what is known (and not known) about the virus.

Dr. Weil also addressed rising levels of panic and what, instead, reasonable precautions may look like. In this podcast summary, we review the basics of preventative tactics and key takeaways (hygiene, adaptogens, etc) that can give you an edge as this unfolds.

Be sure to share this one with family, but if you’re short on time or want the most credible (least misleading) updates on the situation, Dr. Weil adamantly recommends the CDC’s official COVID-19 landing page.

Reduce Risk of Infection with COVID-19

Standard hygiene and preventative behaviors normally recommended to protect from flu, common-cold, and other pathogens also apply to COVID-19. That includes washing your hands, avoiding contact with those sick or exhibiting illness, avoid touching your face, and staying home if you become symptomatic.

Face-masks for Coronavirus?

If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. In the event that one becomes sick wearing a mask can limit the spread of viruses to other people. If you are sick wear a mask.  

Regular face masks may be penetrated by COVID-19 due to the microscopic size of the virus and due to the air gaps around the edge of the mask. There is limited evidence of masks protecting people against viral infection. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.  

Antiviral Herbs for COVID-19

There are a number of antiviral herbs and supplements which may give your immunity an edge during the COVID-19 outbreak. Among Dr. Weil’s recommendations are daily supplements of astragalus, vitamin D, medicinal mushroom extracts, and crushed garlic. What about matcha?

ASTRAGALUS

This Chinese herb is one of the safest available. Unlike other natural sources of antiviral support (e.g. elderberry which has limited evidence), astragalus is widely studied to directly elevate your natural viral immunity, while being safe to take daily and indefinitely. 

VITAMIN D3

Make sure your vitamin D levels are optimal. If necessary, supplement with daily vitamin D3 (3,000-5,000IU). Deficient levels of vitamin D have been linked to viral susceptibility.

CRUSHED GARLIC

Dr. Weil frequently recommends crushed garlic or garlic extract for regular health maintenance. The active compound, allicin, isn’t present in fresh garlic. It has to be crushed from fresh garlic (not aged or fermented) to trigger the reaction to create this antiviral compound. You may also find it as a dietary supplement.

It’s reported that one county in China which produces most of their garlic is yet to have a single case of coronavirus. This area’s population is over one million, 30,000 of which work in Wuhan (the outbreak’s epicentre).

To activate the most allicin from fresh garlic, crush cloves with a garlic press, allowing to sit for at least 5-10minutes before use (cooking or direct consumption).

IMMUNE-ENHANCING MUSHROOMS

Dr. Weil is a huge proponent of medicinal, typically Asian mushrooms (e.g. maitake, shiitake, reishi). The wide selection of adaptogenic mushrooms offer immune support and many other benefits (metabolism, cognitive health).

He especially recommends ‘Host Defense’s MycoShield Throat Spray’.

“If you’re around people who might be sick, this is a great thing to have on hand. It reduces the risk of contracting something through your oral and nasal cavities.” – Dr. Andrew Weil

Should You be Afraid of COVID-19?

Dr. Weil mentions that it’s increasingly difficult to sort legitimate news from paranoia and internet misinformation. He reminds listeners that the annual flu is statistically more lethal in the U.S. each year. Also pointing out that more than 80,000 people died from the common flu in 2019, a figure which dwarfs the coronavirus.

What is the Coronavirus Death Rate?

In response to claims of a 2% rate of lethal infection, Dr. Weil reminds those concerned for their safety that this is only one of many estimations, and only time will tell. For context, the rate of flu deaths is 0.1% of infections.

HOW IS CORONAVIRUS TRANSMITTED

Kevin and Dr. Weil together remind listeners that much is still unknown about the virus. Including the incubation period and a full list of accurate symptoms. Other questions include how long, if at all, the virus may persist on surfaces.

The Bottom Line

With more questions than answers, Dr. Weil’s sense remains that fears are disproportionate to actual events and the facts available. Remember to check the CDC website, and if you’re healthy (without extenuating risk factors), there’s not yet cause for exceeding concern.

Only the most reasonable precautions, most critical being hygiene to prevent the spread of infection, are justified by the information available. Daily practices to boost your personal immunity and pathogenic resilience are also great precautionary measures.

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