The times are indeed challenging. From one week to the next, our lives have drastically changed. Even when we get through the next three to four months, we will be dealing with COVID-19 for at least a year. Of course, other viruses have had higher mortality rates, but here the situation is that we are dealing with very high infection rates, so we all must be prepared, and stay prepared.
Below are my suggestions on how we can protect and support ourselves, our families, our communities. I have tried to be as comprehensive as possible in listing ways to support your innate immunity and all of the recommendations are supported by scientific research.
While there is not a guarantee for any of us, we do know that a strong immune system can fight off the infection quickly. Researchers in Australia tested the immune cells in woman who recovered from COVID-19: "Three days after the patient was admitted, we saw large populations of several immune cells, which are often a tell-tale sign of recovery during seasonal influenza infection, so we predicted that the patient would recover in three days, which is what happened." (Science Daily, 3/17/20)
Key Aspects of Strong Immunity
In the Face of COVID-19, Here are Ways to Support Your Immune system, your Self, and Others in 2020 and beyond
You CAN Strengthen Your Immune System!
These are key aspects of Strong Immunity. I have ordered them in what I consider the order of importance:
•Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Strength •Biological Terrain Health: The Importance of Nutrition •Digestive Health •Daily Exercise and Lung Strength •Vitamins, Minerals, for Immune Support •Oils and Nutritional Supplements for Immune Support
Below I will provide details on each aspect.
We never know how each individual will respond, but my hope is that that the following will help prevent you from getting COVID-19 or, if you do get it, will help you fight it successfully.
All of the recommendations I list here are backed up by research related to viruses and to innate immunity (our body’s innate ability to fight new antigens). Some of the research is about enveloped viruses (which SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 is), some of it is related to previous corona virus strains (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV), and some is about fighting viruses in general.
You certainly will not need ALL the supplements listed in the supplement section, but I want you to have options. Besides the suggestions below, I will be offering a space where we can be present with each other and support each other via Zoom. I also am still seeing clients via Zoom and will be either leaving items outside my office for pickup or will be mailing out necessary items.
Stay mentally, emotionally and spiritually strong
While some fear and worry is part of the natural response to the news and the statistics we are seeing, and fear is our being’s way of staying alert, present, and prepared (i.e. it helps us be safe), it is essential to our immune system and our wellness that we “become bigger” than the fear. Tara Brach teaches to “becomes friends with the fear” as we honor it and have compassion for ourselves as we feel it during this pandemic. Listen to her talk here.
Some research has shown that stress can enhance immunity in the short-term, but over the long term, stress and negative emotions such as fear, worry, anxiety, resentment and anger decrease one’s immunoglobulins and increase cortisol and inflammation in the body (Dhabhar, 2009; Ma, et. Al. 2018)
You already know ways to stay mentally strong. Here are some reminders:
• Sleep: Do what it takes to get enough sleep (ideally getting to sleep by 10 pm for 7-8 hours)
•Meditation •Prayer •Creativity •Quiet Time in Nature •Affirmations •Support Groups •Family Time •Supporting Those in Need. Grief Circles with Others •Nature. Spring is clearly here for most of us and if we take the time to truly be and listen, the peacefulness of Mother Nature is deeply healing. (Below, in the supplement section, I will also include some supplement ways to help keep you calm and peaceful). •Laughter is Great Medicine. This is challenging right now, but research has shown that laughing for as little as one minute each day can significantly enhance immune function and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression because laughter releases immune-boosting substances such as B-cells and gamma interferon, as well as mood stabilizers known as endorphins. Laughter also reduces the release of stress hormones (Berg, LS 2001). So put on that sit-com that guarantees a laugh, read that joke, look at that meme, whatever you can do.
Mindfulness Meditation. Nikola Tesla said “The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power.” Regardless of your beliefs, the power of a mind that is tuned into our highest frequency, our higher consciousness, our “Higher Selves,” to the energy from which we have all come and is in our DNA is a power that we can call on for increased immunity and for so much more.
Setting a strong intention is a powerful way to resource ourselves. So is simply being as present as we possibly can with compassion with what is and with what we are experiencing in the moment. We can also use this time to contemplate the suffering of so many around the world, sending loving kindness and compassion.
Davidson et.al. (2003) showed an improvement in immune response with mindfulness meditation. If you would like guided meditation, here are some links you might like:
Guided Meridian Tapping, Emotional Freedom, Heart Math
For Emotional Freedom Technique or other forms of energy medicine and emotional support, some people find that they need to work with a practitioner who can guide them. For others, online tapping scripts and guided audios can be helpful. See: Releasing Coronavirus Anxiety with Tapping
for a guided meridian tapping audio. If you would like an individual tapping session, or would like to set up a small-group session, we can set up an appointment via Zoom. Also, at times, there will be open group sessions. I will provide links to these via Yes2Life Facebook page.
“Heart Math” is a simple but powerful breathing and concentration practice that has been shown to lower stress and blood pressure, among other things.Here is a link to a short and basic Breathing Meditation (Heart Math) Practice that will be supportive:
Heart Math is also offering another program that would be helpful:
Limit Media Exposure. Also, while it is important to stay informed, I highly recommend that you limit your time watching the news. A news overload can lead you to focus on worst-case scenarios, and rather than prepare you and support you, this will increase your body/mind stress response and lower immunity. Know what’s going on, acknowledge your feelings about it, then focus on ways to be calm and strong, and how to support yourself, family, friends, neighbors, those in need. And when you disconnect from the news, do what you can to disconnect from Wifi as well. The extra electromagnetic waves create stress on your system and may prevent restful sleep.
Keep your "Biological Terrain" Healthy
Many people have come to rely on taking pills (including supplements) in the short term to boost their immunity or to address an infection that arises. The best practice is really to have a strong immune system through your nutrition and lifestyle. We often think of pathogens as originating only from the outside but with an imbalanced microbiome we become much more susceptible to the opportunistic bacteria that already exist inside our bodies, to fungi that can develop from within, and to external pathogens. This is especially true if we eat in a way that causes increased “acidity” or intestinal permeability (also known as “leaky gut”).
To help ward off pathogenic microbes consume foods and beverages help the body and tissues move toward a more “alkaline” state (Note: to test your acid/alkaline state, you can use pH paper to test your urine in the morning. Ideally it will be between 6 and 7 as you are releasing acidity overnight). To alkalize and improve immunity, eat mostly a plant-based diet rich in lots of organic vegetables (including 5 servings a day) and a moderate amount of fresh fruits.
An example of a good breakfast smoothie is Dr. Hyman’s recipe:
½ cup frozen wild blueberries
½ cup frozen cranberries
¼ cup lemon with rind (optional)
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
½ tbsp extra-virgin coconut butter
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup water.
Blend until smooth. If too thick, add more water.
It is actually best to soak your nuts and seeds for about 3-4 hours (the smaller and softer they are, the less time they need to be soaked); then rinse and place them in smoothie. If you soak them the evening before, you can soak, rinse, drain, then let them “sprout” over night before you use them. Soaking and sprouting helps make them more of a living food and helps decrease phytic acid and oxalates.
In addition, or for variation, you can include lime/oranges (with a piece of fresh rind), fresh flax seeds (important to keep whole until you’re about to consume), fresh ginger, and fresh pineapple. For lunch and dinner, have steamed vegetables, fermented vegetables, plus healthy fats and carbohydrates. For protein use black, pinto, kidney beans and chickpeas to name a few. Soak them overnight and then cook the next day.
Veggies and Fruits High in Antioxidants. Glutathione is the premier antioxidant that our body makes (although productions declines when we age). It has been shown to have antiviral activity in the body (Palamara AT, et. al. 1995; Fraternale A et. al. 2006). Foods high in glutathione precursors are broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. Vegetables with a high sulfur content yield naturally high glutathione levels. Sulphur-rich foods include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, asparagus, okra, lettuce, cress, sweet corn, and eggplant, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives, steamed soybeans and other legumes. The sulphorphanes in the cruciferous vegetables improve phagocytosis of pathogens (Belchamber & Donnelly, 2020). For more healthy dietary guidelines, see my article: “5 Steps to Eat Right.”
Do not microwave your food. This “destructures” the water, just as too many electromagnetic energies in our energy field can destructure the water in our bodies (Thomas Cowan, M.D.)
To keep the body in a more alkaline state (and thus support your immune system), avoid dairy and a large quantity of meat and nuts in your daily diet (especially if roasted and salted) and avoid SUGARS/sweeteners (note: stevia is ok). If you do happen to eat a lot of nuts and seeds, you might consider using L-Lysine (an amino acid) to offset the higher concentration of L-arginine in the nuts and seeds. Also avoid any foods you seem to have an intolerance to (and for many people that includes dairy and gluten).
Attend to the diversity of your microbiome and keep a healthy digestive system
The crucial position of the gastrointestinal system is testified by the huge number of immune cells that reside within it. “Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is the prominent part of mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) and represents almost 70% of the entire immune system; moreover, about 80% of plasma cells [mainly immunoglobulin A (IgA)-bearing cells] reside in GALT.” (Vighi, G, et. al., 2008:4). “Commensal bacteria” (“friendly bacteria that support the body) act on the immune system and the metabolism of the body and create a protective barrier against pathogenic bacteria. It is estimated that the number of commensal bacteria inhabiting in and on a human are greater than ten times the number of cells that constitute the body itself (Tokarz-Deptula, et. Al. 2016: 599)
So the short story of the above is that we need to protect and enhance the friendly bacteria in our microbiome as much as possible. A great way to do that is by culturing your own vegetables. Here is a link for how to do that with cabbage (https://therealfoodrds.com/how-to-make-sauerkraut/). Also see: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/natural-fermentation/how-to-ferment-vegetables/. If you don’t have time or inclination to do it yourself, you can certainly buy fresh sauerkraut in some stores. Kimchi is another good option.
Also consider taking a high-quality probiotic every day. (I have several clinical probiotics that I can recommend depending on your case but the main ones to look for are Plantarum, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardi). In addition, you want to use a good PRE-biotic such as nutritional yeast or inulin to help the probiotics multiply.
Engage in Daily moderate exercise and Deep Breathing exercises to strengthen your lungs
Research shows that innate immunity is stimulated with exercise, and specifically that leukocyte, neutrophil, lymphocyte and Natural Killer cell counts increase with exercise (e.g. Mitchell, et. al. 2002). “Improvements in immunity due to regular exercise of moderate intensity may be due to reductions in inflammation, maintenance of thymic mass, alterations in the composition of "older" and "younger" immune cells, enhanced immunosurveillance, and/or the amelioration of psychological stress.” (Simpson RJ, et.al. 2015).
Thus, at this time of self-isolating it is still vital to exercise. I have been very well served over the years by a group of yoga exercises called “The Tibetan 5.” Even at times when I have not been able to keep my regular aerobic exercise going, the Tibetan 5 have kept me strong. There are several online links to them; here is one:
One of the top immune system benefits of the Tibetan 5 is the way that all the exercises stimulate and help “flush” the lymphatic system, which is the system that holds our lymph nodes. The lymph nodes produce the majority of our lymphocytes (which are the white blood cells that mainly fight viral infections). Add to these 5 exercises things like “The Plank,” Push-ups, Squats, Arm rolls, etc. for more core strength and weight-bearing exercise. Also take brisk walks/jog/bike ride outside for 20-30 minutes a time.
And of course there are plenty of options online for full-body at-home workouts, e.g.:
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Pay attention to instructions. Some cleaners require 10 MINUTES of contact tame for disinfection to occur.
Ongoing immune system support through vitamins and minerals. On March 12, 2020 on “Good Morning America” (and on their website) they said, “Despite more than three quarters of the population consuming supplements, most people with healthy eating habits obtain all of their necessary vitamins and minerals through their diet. Chances are, you’re already meeting your recommended daily intake (RDI) of micronutrients as defined by the National Institutes of Health.”
But statistics and research studies show otherwise. Elderly people are particularly deficient in micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals (ter Borg, et. al. 2015). Six nutrients are considered a possible public health concern: vitamin D, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Calcium, Magnesium and Selenium.
However, the problem of nutrient deficiency is across the whole population in the U.S. In 2017, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) put out a press release with the title “Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables: Men, younger adults, and people living in poverty get fewest fruits/vegetables” citing the results of a new study that highlight the fact that "very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.” (CDC Press Release, November 16, 2017).
And of course, what we know about COVID-19 is that the people who are most risk of being strongly affected are those with underlying conditions. So while we support the immune system, we need to do our best to correct the underlying conditions as well.
Thus, while it may be true that we theoretically could get all the nutrients we need from our diets, most of us are not eating well enough to accomplish that. Then when we consider depleted soils, food processing, toxins in our environment and food chain, etc. it becomes clear that supplementation may be not only helpful, but often crucial.
I am not suggesting that people load up on bags full of supplements. Nor is supplementing your healthy diet any guarantee that you will not get the virus. However, we maximize our chances of fighting off the virus successfully if we have a good level of basic essential nutrients. There are many good herbs and supplements that can support us through a time such as this, so why take advantage of them if we can? In my practice, I individualize the kind and number of things that I recommend for people, and I only recommend the minimum number of things that constitute a complete therapy, but even if we can’t have an individual session right now, here below are the general things that I recommend.
For strong general immunity, I recommend a whole-food multivitamin and a multimineral, but at a minimum these are supplements we would do well to use:
- Vitamin D 2000-4000 IU daily (In the winter I take 3000 IU daily)
- Vitamin A 20,000 IU daily. If you feel you are coming down with something up this to 60,000 until you feel better. Do not take more than 20,000IU if you are pregnant. Vitamin A is especially important for lung health. For your reference, one cup of grated carrot provides about 18,000 IU.
- Vitamin C. Minimum 1000 mg daily. If you use buffered vitamin C you can take up to 10 g daily. Ideally it will be with bioflavonoids. For your reference, there are approximately 50 mg. of Vitamin C in an orange, about 100-120 mg. in a cup of chopped raw green pepper, 90 mg. in a ½ cup of raw broccoli. If you prefer to cook your food, then steaming will reduce the vitamin C content less than any other form of cooking (Zeng 2013). Studies have shown that those who have a higher baseline level of vitamin C intake are less susceptible to Epstein Barr virus (Mikirova & Hunninghake, 2014).
- Minerals. There are many versions of combination supplemental minerals to choose from and it depends on age and bone density status which ones I would choose. I have a few that I like to use in my office, including a marine mineral blend, but the main minerals that you want to make sure you are getting currently are Zinc and Selenium.
ZINC: Diets low in zinc can quickly lead to weakness in the immune system. Elderly individuals are particularly prone to developing zinc deficiency and it has been found that zinc supplementation decreases incidence of infections in the elderly:
(Prasad, et. al. 2007). Foods that are highest in zinc are: oysters, grass-fed beef and lamb, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, shitake and crimini mushrooms, spinach, and asparagus. Since it is difficult to get 45 mg. of zinc daily in foods, a zinc supplement is recommended (from 20-45 mg).
SELENIUM: Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function, and cognitive decline. Higher selenium status or selenium supplementation has antiviral effects, is essential for successful male and female reproduction, and reduces the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease. (Lancet, February 2012). Selenium is key to the production of glutathione peroxidases. The recommended dose is 95 mcg of elemental selenium daily.
Both zinc and selenium are high in one of my favorite recipes: Heavy Metal Chelation pesto. It also contains red marine algae in the form of dulse which is a great antiviral
Essential Oils to Increase Immunity
Essential Oils that have shown Anti-Viral action in research:
Essential Oils to support overall wellbeing during time of stress:
Use a combination of these in a diffuser to keep the air in your home virus-free. You can find several brands online or in a health food store (of if needed, we can make you a blend). Note: if you don't have a diffuser and can't get one, then just mix a few drops of the oil with a little coconut or some other oil such as olive oil and rub into soles of feet. Cinnamon and Thyme are "hot" so you don't want to use them on areas where the skin is very sensitive.
Examples of combinations that I recommend are Now “Nature’s shield,” Young Living “Immupower,” Do Terra “On Guard.” Or you can just use one of the singles above.
A respiratory blend that I recommend is DoTerra’s “Breathe.” The most important ingredient in this blend is the Eucalyptus Radiata. The essential oils generally are very calming, so this is an added benefit.
I also highly recommend warm baths with 1 tsp of Vitamin C powder, a ½-1 cup of Epsom salts, and your favorite essential oil. This is a good way to detox, support your immune system, and relax.
Herbs and Nutritional Compounds
Andrographis is an herb that has “broad-spectrum anti-viral properties (Gupta, et.al. 2017). Research has shown it is effective against Influenza A, , (Ding, et.al. 2017; Cai, et. al. 2015), chikungunya virus (Sharma, V. et. al. 2019) and that it inhibits replication of H5N1 virus (Cai, et. al. 2015), and dengue (Ramalingam S., et. al. 2018) among others.
Quercitin A good deal of research also has shown that Quercitin, a plant polyphenol, has strong anti-viral properties (Nguyen, TT, et. al. 2012; Park, HR et. al. 2012; Yao, C., et. al. 2018, Belchamber, KBR, et. al. 2020) and the ability to increase mRNA levels of IFN-α, IFN-λ, TNF-α (Seo & Choi, 2017). Research has demonstrated that quercetin interferes with various stages of viral life cycle, including viral entry, transcription and translation of viral genome, and processing of viral proteins (Ganesan S, et. al. 2012). “Quercetin also prevents progression of lung disease in COPD and modulates innate immunity of airway epithelial cells” (Ibid.; Ganesen, et. al. 2013).
Red Marine Algae (also known as dulse) has strong anti-viral properties, including anti-herpes (HSV-1 and HSV-2) activity (de Souza LM, et. al. 2012) anti-HIV/AIDS activity (Besednova NN, et. al. 2019) and Barre A, et. al. (2019) reported that a species of red algae called griffithsin was “extensively investigated due to its enhanced anti-viral properties against HIV-1 and other pathogenic enveloped viruses. Compared to other bacterial and plant lectins used as HIV entry inhibitors, griffithsin was reported as an efficient drug, at extremely low concentrations in the picomolar range, and safer toward uninfected cells.”
N-Acetyl cysteine is a precursor to glutathione, the premier antioxidant that our body makes (but as mentioned previously, production declines when we age so we need to maximize intake of the precursors). NAC has been shown to inhibit virus replication and expression of pro-inflammatory molecules in cells infected with highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza A virus (Geiler, J., et.al. 2009; Mata, M., et. al., 2011) as well as cells infected with Influenza B virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (Geiler, J., et.al. 2009; Mata, M., et. al., 2011). I recommend 500-600 mg. twice a day.
Glycyrrhiza glabra is the scientific name of the licorice plant. Licorice root provides glycyrrhizin which has many beneficial properties to support the body. More than 20 triterpenoids (a class of chemical compounds composed of three terpene units that plants and animals produce) and nearly 300 flavonoids (phytonutrients) have been isolated from licorice. Recent studies have shown that these metabolites possess many pharmacological activities, such as antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and other activities. (Wang et al 2015; Michaelis, M. et. al., 201
Green Tea Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) is the major catechin component of green tea (Cameria sinensis) and is known to possess antiviral activities against a wide range of DNA viruses and RNA viruses.
According to news reports, Cuban doctors have traveled to China to successfully treat patients with Covid-19 with injections of Interferon-alpha-2b Recombinant. This is a recombinant DNA, genetically engineered copy of Interferon, a naturally occurring protein which acts as an antiviral agent. Reports have said that this strategy is what has helped significantly decelerate the pandemic in China. “So far it is known that one of the drugs manufactured by Cuba, Interferon alfa-2b, has managed to effectively cure more than 1,500 patients from the coronavirus and is one of 30 drugs chosen by the Chinese National Health Commission to combat respiratory disease” (Morning Star; ETurboNews).
Although we do not have access to this form of Interferon, there ARE some herbs and nutritional supplements that have been shown to increase the interferon that our own immune system makes.
Here are my top recommendations (in order of importance) for herbs or nutritional supplements to support a strong immune system at this time.
- Some forms of green tea are especially potent, e.g. Matcha powder which can have over 100 times the EGCG content compared to regular green tea (I prefer the decaffeinated version so as not to disrupt sleep).
All the herbs that support the adrenals are also important anti-virals. Adrenal support helps us manage our “flight-fight responses” (i.e. they help keep our sympathetic nervous system in balance). Therefore, I very highly recommend these herbs as well:
- Eleuthero or Siberian ginseng
You can often get them all together in some of the adrenal supplements on the market. We have several at the office that I highly recommend.
Other Anti-viral plants and supplements:
- Nano Silver also has anti-viral activity.
In the case of COVID-19, it is best to use your constitutional remedy if you know it. If that does not work, then we will need to take the case to see what will be a good fit.
Gelsemium has been a good fit for flu viruses for this past season but it does not appear to be very effective at this time for COVID-19. For the worst part of the cough, if it comes to that, try Bryonia.
Here are a few recommendations at the first sign (this is important) you are coming down with something:
Take the homeopathic remedy Aconitum Napellus 200C right away. Tap the bottle and take 20 drops under your tongue 20-30 minutes before eating or 1 hour after eating.
3 hours later, take Arsenicum Album 200C the same way.
Often just these two doses will ward a virus off. If you still feel it coming on, then
3 hours later, take another dose of Aconitum Napellus.200C.
3 hours later, take another dose of Arsenicum 200C.
Also, 20 minutes after each of the doses as above, drink a hot cup of Echinacea tea.
If you already came down with something, the above will not be effective.
IF YOU DO feel symptoms of the Covid-19 virus:
I recommend that you NOT take anti-pyretics such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin to reduce the fever. Fever intensifies the antiviral effects of interferons, inhibits the growth of some microbes, and speeds up body reactions that aid repair. However, if the fever lasts more than 3 days, it may weaken you, acetaminophen may be necessary. Although I don't ever recommend acetaminophen due to its known liver toxicity, some French doctors have warned of worsening effects due to the taking of ibuprofen, aspirin or other NSAIDS. It's not clearly proven that they are a problem but hopefully you will need to take anything to lower the fever.
Take the nutritional supplements listed above in higher doses (Andrographis, Quercitin, NAC, Red marine algae and Nanosilver).
Staying peaceful and calm
The following are my general “go to” herbal and other remedies for staying calm:
- Adrenal support (as listed above)
- The Bach Flower Blend called “Rescue Remedy”
- A flower essence Blend that I make called Peace and Calming
- Aconite (a homeopathic remedy). It is helpful in cases of feeling sudden panic.
- Individualized flower essence for specific support you may need
I could say more, but I have already written a small book here (!) and I want to get it out sooner than later, so I am posting it now as it is.
Note: I am still seeing clients, but all are by Zoom. If you feel you need individualized support or recommendations do not hesitate to contact me. I have stocked up on many of the supplies listed above to support you as best I can. For those people who cannot afford some of the recommended supplements I recommend purchasing the loose teas. And for anyone who is interested, I am offering access to my wholesale account where you can get a discount on all the vitamins and nutritional supplements. However, please know that currently many of the products are on backorder so you might need to try to get them directly from us.
May you be peaceful
May you be healthy
May you be strong
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Services in Naturopathy, Homeopathy and Energy Medicine
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Stay well hydrated with plenty of good filtered water and hot teas. According to research, water intake accelerates the transfer of interleukin 22 to the mesenteric lymph, which may contribute, to maintaining and promoting the innate immunity in the body (Nagashio S, et. al. 2019). Thus, hydration and exercise both help the lymphatic system function optimally.
I have seen and heard some say that in Japan they have recommended drinking hot teas to ward off or kill Covid-19 virus because “heat kills the virus.” In the case of boiling foods, this can be true, but there is no evidence that just drinking hot liquids will prevent or kill it. However, it will certainly not hurt to drink hot teas as part of a way to stay hydrated. I especially recommend hot green tea or Matcha tea (get decaffeinated so you won't have trouble sleeping), dandelion, peppermint, and hibiscus teas (save the echinacea for a boost if you feel you are "coming down" with something. Also great is shaving fresh ginger, slicing the fresh ginger pieces, putting them into your favorite hot-beverage container, and then pouring boiling hot water in and steeping for 5 minutes. Add a few drops of liquid stevia to sweeten if you like. A good variation is to also cut up a few slices of lemon and add to the container with ginger before you put in the water. Some of the vitamin C will degrade with the heat, but a good percentage of bioflavonoid content will be preserved. However, do not use lemon with metal containers as it may leach out some metal ions.