Immune Boosting Herbs for Protection from PandemicsRichard DeSylva, RH DNM February 18, 2020
By the time you read this, the issue of the coronavirus will have either died out, or it will have grown into a pandemic wreaking havoc in countries around the world.
I hope that it never becomes as deadly as the Spanish ’Flu of 1919. That was when 25% to 30% of the world’s population became infected, and up to 40 million died. What made the Spanish ’Flu so deadly was that it started out as an H1N1 virus in 1900, but then combined with an avian bird flu (H5N1) around 1918. This new combination of genetic material is what made the virus so deadly, as humans had previously only been exposed to H1N1 on its own.
I mention this in the context of the most recent corona-virus, known as COVID-19. Some research indicates that the genome (genetic material) of the coronavirus is 96% identical with that of bats. Thus the preliminary explanation of its origin lends credence to the meat market scenario in Wuhan that has live animals, including bats and snakes, for sale. It remains to be seen, but this cross-species transmission may well turn out to be the cause of its yet to be proven deadliness.
According to Dr Chris Martenson, PhD, and other experts, the transmissibility of this virus is asymptomatic – it can be transmitted from one to another even though the original carrier isn’t showing symptoms of fever, chills, aches, etc. 
Due to this apparent lack of symptoms in the early stages, the result has been a fairly rapid spread of coronavirus throughout countries in Asia, Europe, and North America. Given the details noted above, it would be prudent to prepare oneself for any possible eventuality by strengthening the immune system.
Since I am a trained herbalist, my thoughts immediately turn to herbs for their immune strengthening power. While most people would tend to think of Echinacea, I believe that in this situation our attention needs to focus on herbs that are both immune boosters as well as antiviral agents. Furthermore, it is important to understand the connection between viruses and fungi.
Many years ago, Ron Gdanski, a brilliant researcher and author of Cancer: Cause, Cure, and Cover-up, said that in his opinion a virus was actually the male spore of a fungi. When comparing the shape (morphology) and design of both, he noted striking similarities. This is remarkable since many herbs that are antiviral are also antifungal.
And to complete the picture, it is my professional opinion that over 70% of people today have Candida albicans – the end stage of which is a fungus. So it would not be unexpected to see how a virus could take hold – especially one that has mutated from a form that humans are adapted to, into one that is new and potentially deadly.
For this reason, I recommend one of the most powerful immune boosters and antiviral herbs – Elecampane Root (Inula helenium). Its compounds (alantolactones) have the ability to strengthen immunity and offer significant antiviral activity. However, for those who suffer from allergies to ragweed, daisy, marigold, and other members of the asteraceae and compositae family, it would be best to avoid using Elecampane as it may cause an allergic reaction.
In my herbal practice, I originally used Osha Root (Ligusticum porteri) as a strong antiviral agent, along with Elecampane Root. However, Osha has been largely over-harvested so I now use Lomatium root (Lomatium dissectum) instead, which has a strong antiviral effect as well. Further, I highly recommend Olive Leaf tincture because its oleuropein compound has antiviral, antibacterial, and immune building effects.
While these herbs are excellent remedies, there are others worth considering for their specific immune building properties. Red Root (Ceanothus americana) is an excellent agent to stimulate the spleen and lymphatics, both of which are also involved in immune function. Finally, Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) will stimulate the production of naturally occurring interferon – a substance that has demonstrated antiviral activity. 
Typical dosages for an alcohol extract of any of these herbs would be in the range of one-half to 1 teaspoonful, 2 to 3 times per day, on an empty stomach. Keep in mind that the dosages for the above noted herbs will vary according to the condition, age, height and weight of the individual. For this reason I strongly recommend that readers consult with a knowledgeable herbalist or other natural health care practitioner who is skilled in the understanding and use of these herbs. Prevention in the face of a possible pandemic is prudent; and so is knowing how to use natural medicine.
 Taubenberger JK. The origin and virulence of the 1918 “Spanish” influenza virus. Proc Am Philos Soc. 2006;150(1):86–112.
 Jeanie Lerche Davis WebMD Febr. 5th 2004
 Julianna Le Mieux PhD Genetic Engineering & Biotech News Jan 31/20
 Dr Chris Martenson PhD www.peakprosperity.com Jan. 28th/20
 Ron Gdanski, author of “Cancer: Cause, Cure and Cover-up” (2000) follows the protocols of Dr. Hulda Clark, which address parasites in cancer causation. Visit: https://www.cancercontrolsociety.org/bio2000/gdanski.html
 Antiviral elecampane: https:// tinyurl.com/antiviralelecampane
 Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Aviva Romm 2010
 by Syed Haris OMAR College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, P.O. Box-31922, Buraidah-51418, Saudi Arabia
 Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West, Michael Moore 1979
 Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine December 2006 Volume 12 Issue 4, and https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/astragalus
Richard DeSylva, RH, DNM is the owner of The Herb Works in Rockwood, ON. He is on the Board of the Ontario Herbalist Association. Richard is an advocate and lobbyist for the appropriate regulation of herbs and herbal medicine. For more information visit: <a href="http://theherbworks.com/">theherbworks.com</a> or call 519.856.1636