At the date of this writing the Coronavirus is spreading very quickly and in Europe we are all at risk. We can also see what is the risk of importing the 2019-nCoV (COVID-19) virus in Europe per country in this representation of Eurosurveillance by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). If we want to know how to prevent coronavirus and other virus or bacteria infections or if we want to know how to cure virus flu, it's worth to know more about how the immune system works, and what to do to make it work better.
The goal of this article is to promote health, awareness and good practices, no matter if a person is interested in tantra, neotantra, tantra massage, buddhism, etc. This article can be also a reminder for doctors for good sources of information, that can be of course filtered and interpreted by the Medicine Doctor's knowledge.
How to prevent the Coronavirus or every kind of Influenza virus infection?
First of all it's worth mentioning that there is no vaccine for Coronavirus (yet). The only thing we can do is to try to prevent such infection. So how to prevent Coronavirus or other viral infections? As with any kind of influenza (flu) virus infection there is no medicine that will "kill" the virus, because viruses are not "killable". Bacteria are often unicellular, like Salmonella, Entamoeba coli and others.
Difference between virus and bacteria
But there are also bacteria composed of more than one cell. The main difference between a virus and a bacteria is that bacteria is a living organism with at least a functional living cell. Whereas virus are much smaller microscopic particles that inject their genes into the organism cells and the cells start to replicate and reproduce and "multiplicate" the virus. Thus, viruses need cells in order to survive. Antibiotics are created only for bacteria.
Some viruses are DNA viruses and others are RNA viruses. Coronavirus for example is a RNA virus. This is worth highlighting, because RNA viruses are known for their ability to quickly mutate. This makes their diagnose and healing more difficult.
They only thing that can kill viruses is our immune system!
The American "National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)" suggests that the best way to prevent a virus infection is to prevent the exposition to the virus following the following steps:
- Often wash the hands. Take care about all the parts of the hand. For no less than 20 seconds. After washing the hands, use a alcohol-based disinfection liquid, which should contain minimum 60% of alcohol.
- Avoid to touch the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with the people that are sick
- If you are sick - stay at home
- When you cough or sneeze, cover with a tissue and then throw the tissue away
- Clean and sanitize often objects and surfaces you touch
How does the immune system work?
The immune system can work properly or not. It all depends on many factors, other concurrent diseases a person may have or had, surgeries, cancer healing, medicines taken, autoimmune diseases, lifestyle, stress in daily life, food, habits, sport. Everything in our life can have a good or bad impact in the efficiency of our immune system.
As soon as there is virus in our body, the immune system activates and tries to fight it. But not so quickly. First the virus enters into a cell of the body. This is the only way for the virus to particle to "survive" and replicate itself. Since the virus is inside a cell, the immune system is not aware of it and it doesn't activate. The cells however have their mechanism of sending information to other parts of the body. How does it work?
The cells use MHC class I proteins, also called class I major histocompatibility complex proteins to send information of inner proteins to the surface of the cell itself. If there is an infection, a piece of peptide (a piece of protein) is sent to the surface of the cell. In the blood circulate T cells, which one of their roles is to detect infections. A kind of T cells of are the Cytotoxic T cells, which thanks to the T cell receptors (TCRs) that are in the surface of them, can recognize the virus infections based on the MHC class I patterns. The cytotoxic T cell are the most important cells that are responsible to "kill" the virus. There are also other cells like the NK cells, etc. However since this is not a scientific article, and to understand how the immune system works is helpful, but not really necessary, we won't focus on that. We will focus instead on what to take into consideration in order to help our immune response to be more efficient in order to avoid big virus influenza, or in case of infection, to help our body to be cured in fast time.
How to increase the efficiency of our immune system to fight viruses?
If only the immune system can fight the viruses, then it's worth to take care of it. What can be done? How to cure coronavirus or other virus influenza?
Meditation can help fight viruses
As we can see in the graph below, meditation, especially mindfulness meditation has been and is being studied every year more and more. Hundreds of new researches about mindfulness are being done and published every year.
How does meditation help to fight virus infection?
Meditation is extremely helpful to help the human body to reach homeostasis - a level of normal body functioning. We live lives on the run, most people live under stress pressure, life, work, projects, plans, family, lack of sleep, etc. We are always in the head, always thinking, and we really don't have time to take care about the body. Most people feel the body only when something start to give sense of pain, or when high fever manifests itself.
Good and regular mindfulness meditation is helpful to drastically decrease stress. It also helps us to change our character and in stressful situation we won't feel the level of stress we did before.
Stress is the biggest killer of these years. It not only increases the chance to get Coronavirus infection, but the drastic decrease of immune response of the body leads to a plenty of other diseases, such as cancer. Also chances to have a cancer can be decreased by a healthy immune system. Every person has cancer cells, that every day are "killed" by the immune system. A decrease of its efficiency can have devastating effects to our health!
Avoiding a stressful life, or trying to deal stressful situation in a non-stressful way can be lifechanging. Mindfullness meditations and Zazen meditation really help a lot. Only the intentions "not to stress" is not enough. Meditation helps to activate parts of the brain that will help us not to stress, at the same time deactivating other parts of the brain such as DMN - default mode network, which in turn will help us to me more "here and now" avoiding to have many thoughts that pollute our mind.
Meditation is good for it to be a regular practice. For example starting twice a day for 15 mintues. Of course the longer the better. But even 30 minutes a day is better than nothing. Even 15 minutes a day is 15 times more than 1 minutes a day. If we want, we can all find the time for meditation - we all just need good motivation, which will increase as soon as we see the first positive effects of meditation in our body, our health, our job and family relations.
Tantric massage is a good form of meditation is as well, because during the massage we enter into meditation state - all the instructions on how to breath and what to focus the mind on are given in the talk we have before the massage. However tantric massage is suggested in non-acute infection phases. In simple words, if you have already the first symptoms of flu it's not a good idea to take a massage, but it's a good idea ot make static meditation. However in order to prevent influenza or after a fully cured flu, then massage can be a great helper to keep good health and full body homeostasis.
D3 vitamin for virus infections. Know how to prevent virus infection and fight them
If we want to know how to prevent coronavirus, how to fight flu virus, there is a very important thing to take care of = the level of D3 vitamin in our body. In society it is common to think about Vitamin D only in terms of a source of calcium for the bones structure and building. That's true, but bones is just part of the story. Researches confirm that D vitamin influences each cell of the body.
In the USA, Europe, and Poland especially most people have D vitamin deficiency. In Poland, if a person is not regularly supplementing the right dose of D vitamin, has for sure a big deficiency.
As documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association the Deficiency of D3 vitamin in the body increases the risk to contract flu. The lower the level, the higher the risk.
In sunny countries, before supplementing vitamin D it is better to check the level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood. Usually the test is called 25(OH)D.
As Dr. Mercola writes on his article The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention, the ideal therapeutic levels of D3 vitamin in the blood to reach and maintain are the following:
As Dr. Mercola states
The ONLY way to know is to test your blood. You might need four to five times the amount recommended above. Ideally, your blood level of 25(OH)D should be 60ng/mlDr. Mercola
In Poland the D3 vitamin is the only one that has strict guidelines, whereas all the other vitamins and minerals have general recommendations. A safe daily intake of D3 vitamin in Poland is of 2000 ui per day. Of course in case of deficiency can be 4000 ui per day, however it's always a good practice to test the level of 15(OH)D in the blood before the supplementation and during the supplementation, and discuss with the physician or endocrinologist the right dose, because some people should take a higher dose. But this can be stated only by a doctor. We can only fit the guidelines to be safe, since we are not doctors!
Dr. Mercola also says that if somebody has cold/flu symptoms, and has NOT been suppplementing D vitamin on a regular basis, then can take 50,000 international units (IUs) a day for three days in order to help the body to treat the infection in its acute status. 50.000 is calculated: 1,000 IUs per pound of body weight. About 1000 per 500kg of body weight. So thinner people with low weight should take less. However, in my opinion, before taking so much D vitamin, it's better to consult a physician or endocrynologist before!
Vitamin C and Zinc to fight viral and bacterical infections
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidand and in case of flu/influenza it's worth to increase the income of vitamin C through diet and supplementing. The best way to supplement vitamin C is via food and a liposomal form of vitamin C. Liposomal vitamin C is better absorbed by the body, otherwise it's going out with the urine and doesn't help so much. Vitamin C helps to kills bacteria, fight viruses such as Coronavirus (EDIT of 14.03.2020 - it has been observed that in patients with Coronavirus, supplementation of Vitamin C do not have good effects on health, and it has even been noticed that it some cases it may have also negative effects as it may increase the inflammation of the lunghs. For this reason please contact yoyr physican before supplementing Vitamin C), and free radicals thanks to the increase of efficiency of the immune system.
Zinc is also very important. It supplementation at the first symptoms of flu, especially if taken together with Vitamin C, can decrease the severity and the duration of the influenza. The supplementation of Zinc helps the immune system to produce more white blood cells, which in turns make the immune system more efficient to fight infections. If there is a higher need of production of antibodies because of infection, then also a higher need of Zinc is present. If the body doesn't store so much zinc as needed there is a higher risk to get ill also for little non dangerous viruses, because the production of antibodies can malfunction without the proper amount of zinc in the body.
Please note that also in case of a simple and common vitamin such as vitamin C, it is necessary to consult the intake with the physician, because too high doses of vitamin C in some cases can me lethal in patients that seem to be healthy but have diseases such as Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, which can be uknown for many people. So always consult the doctor first!
Beta-glucans to help fight influenza
We wrote above about the NK cells - Natural Killers. There have been many studies on the supplementation of beta-glucans and their effect on the production of NK cells. In simple words we can describe the NK cells as killers and detectors of hidden viruses. They are able to detect and fight viruses that other T cells couldn't detect. It's know by medicine how beta-glucans supplementation increases the body capacity to defend and protect against flu. So if the physician agrees, it may be worth to supplement beta-glucans. These can be found in different formats, like pills, as well as in shiitake mushrooms.
Less than 8 hours sleep is dangerous for our health
Different researches, such as the one from the University of Surrey's Sleep Research Centre demonstrated how at least 8 hours of sleep per night is important to keep our body and mind healthy. Lack of sleep, such as little as half hour less of sleep per day, like 7,5 hours of sleep on a regular basis affects more than 500 genes. When people sleep even less, such as 6,5 hours per night, genes associated with processes such as inflammation, immunity response and response to stress become more active. The researches also discovered that lack of sleep affected also genes associated with cancer and diabetes. When those people back started to add 1 hour of sleep to their routine, for it to become 7,5h per night, the same genes had the opposite effect - instead of being active, started to be non-active.
It's worth to note that going to sleep and waking up 8 hours later does not mean that we are sleeping 8 hours. Many people need time to get asleep, some wake up in the night, or slowly wake up in the morning. So the total sleeping time can be in some cases much shorter than 8 hours.
Night apnea can decrease the immune system response
There are a lot of cases when people sleep 8 hours, do not wake up in the night, but when they wake up they do not feel in full power. They have the feeling as if they didn't sleep enough, even though they were sleeping and didn't wake up in the night. This is for sure a case to talk about with a physician, since it may be a case of night apnea. There may be times at night, during sleep, when the body is not breathing properly, thus the brain and different organs do not receive the necessary amount of oxygen, which in turn leads to other dangerous chemical-physical effects in the cells. If you sleep 8 hours, but you usually or always wake up tired, check it out with a good physician.
Praktyka Arya Tara for healing and protection
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and other Monks in the Tibetan Buddhism tradition encourage to send prayers to the Arya Tara. Tara is associated with protecting the body, stabilization of the life force, and quick healing. The practice of the Tara mantra "oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā" also protects our minds from ignorance, attachment and aversion. It is also a form of meditation, that in addition incorporates all the benefits of meditation.
If you do not feel Buddhist meditation, it can be a prayer or meditation of the tradition you feel comfortable in. In every tradition or religion there are good practices that can help us to feel better. Choose the one you feel the most and practice, should it be a Buddhist meditation, Sadhana, a prayer to Angels, etc.
Herbs and plants to help fight virus, coronavirus and bacteria infections
Star anise (Illicium verum)
As some know, conventional academic medicine and the whole pharmacy, often takes "inspiration" from nature. Very often herbs and plants used in non-conventional medicine for their healing qualities are then analyzed the the main compound with the healing benefit is separated and medical drugs are created out of it. Star anise is one of those exaples.
Star anise contains shikimic acid, which is used by pharmacy to produce an antiinfluenza drug such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Apart from shikimic acid it has been discovered that star anise contains a plenty of other healthy flavonoids, like as terpenes, lignans, and phenylpropanoids, which include anethole, limonene, linalool, quercetin, alpha-pipene, beta-pipene and nerolidol. Many of those ingredients have been proven to have high anti- inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial.
It is scientifically proven that Star Anise reduces stress and helps in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms. Star anise can be consumed via infusion or in essential oils that are made for being consumed orally. Not all of the essential oils are made for being eaten.
Echinacea - (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea is used in indigenous medicine of the native American Indians via external application for wounds, burns, and insect bites, chewing of roots for toothache and throat infections. It is also used via internal application for pain, cough, stomach cramps and snake bite.
Echinacea can be found in nature, and its effects are demonstrated by conventional medicine. For example in Poland it is possible to find Echinacea in pharmacies in registered medicines.
Many studies have proven Echinacea's important immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, especially the alleviation of cold symptoms thanks to the effect it has on the activation of the NK cells (in a similar way beta-glucans do), polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) as well as neutrophils. In case of flu, if the physican or pharamcist agrees it can be a good idea to include echinacea purpurea from the first flu symptoms.