Antiviral Strategies and Cytokine Support for the Immune system amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic

This past week has been surreal. Watching our economy and school system grind to a halt, I have come to realize that the Corona virus pandemic is something much greater than I ever anticipated. 

At this point in time, social distancing is probably the most important factor in whether or not we will be forced into a crisis like Italy’s or not. 

I have three children at home with me and am dedicated to commit to social distancing as long as necessary with the hope and prayer that the “curve will go down”. While social distancing gets exponentially more difficult with kids, it is critical to do so at this time. 


For me, this is a time to practice self care, nourish my family with food and immune supportive supplements while also take time to check in with others who are in need. I have listed support systems that I think are extremely important at this time.


Note* A lot of the leaders in the functional / traditional medicine realm are covering the basics of immune system health at this time. This is something that cannot be overlooked. If you are not taking every opportunity to strengthen your immune system then you are really missing the boat. Methods of self care include: eating an anti inflammatory diet, cutting out alcohol and sugar and any other inflammatory substances, while practicing extreme care for self and others with acts of kindness.


I would like to also note that due to the panic, a lot of immune supplements are selling out online. The panic that pushes people to hoard supplies started with hand sanitizer and toilet paper and now is moving into food and supplement territory . A week ago, the platform I use for recommending supplements to clients was almost completely sold out of professional grade immune support. I am fortunate that due to my work, I have my own apothecary, but I realize that many people are severely lacking support during this crisis and this is concerning. We must all do what we can to offer support to those who are lacking at this time and do not take more than you need!


Given the recent information relating to the cytokine (inflammation) storm that the COVID 19 virus is responsible for in the body, I wanted to offer up both foundational and specific forms of support for both situations. While most health care practitioners have foundational support down, the cytokine support is not as well known.

Please note*- This is not medical advice. These are nutritional and lifestyle suggestions that are recommended to improve general health and well being. Please consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID 19.

1. Medicinal mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms are loaded with beta-glucans. Beta glucans are essential for strengthening the immune system. They act by increasing the immune defense by activating systems that macrophage and natural killer cell function. The strains (maitake, chaga, reishi and cordyceps) are specific for preventing and fighting off viral infections. I will put some bottles together in my drop box this week for those who don’t have access online currently. Contact me if needed.

2. Zinc

You need zinc to help the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Zinc plays an essential role in immune system health and effects how the immune system responds to inflammation. Many people are deficient in zinc so this is a critical mineral to have in place. I recommend a minimum of 22 mg daily.

3. Vitamin C

This essential nutrient for healthy immune system response. Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immune function. I had my kids on 5000 mg 3x a day last week as they both had a cold/flu that ran its course. You can take Vitamin C to bowel tolerance if necessary.

4. Vitamin D

This essential vitamin is often depleted during the winter months and you need Vitamin D3 to modulate the innate and adaptive immune response in the body. Deficiencies lead to an increased susceptibility to infection. Ideally you would get this from the sun but right now I would recommend daily use of D in supplement form. It is helpful to know where you are at with your levels for dosage but due to the health crisis, I would recommend 3000 IU daily at the lowest dosage, some people are moving up to higher doses at this time but work with a trusted health care provider on dosage. Using a liposomal form is best for absorption.

5. Skullcap

This potent antiviral herbs reduces the cytokine storm in the body (which seems to be a big problem with COVID 19).  Skullcap is also a nervine tonic which calms the central nervous system and helps to decrease anxiety and stress. This can be taken in tincture form 60-90 drops 3x a day.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is anti inflammatory and inhibits inflammatory cytokines. Turmeric is very protective for respiratory tissue. I highly recommend TurmeroXL which is turmeric in a liposomal liquid by Apex for its anti inflammatory support.

7. Andrographis

Known as the “king of bitters”, this herb has been used for its antiviral effects and also regulates cytokine activity to prevent a cytokine storm. If you are dealing with a viral infection I would begin the use of this powerful herb if you have access.

8. Black cumin seed oil

Antiviral, antibacterial, anti inflammatory and immune supporting herb. Black cumin seed oil contains Crystalline nigella which is well researched for its beneficial effects on respiratory immune system health.

9. Infrared Sauna Therapy

Sauna therapy raises body temperature and stimulates the immune system. 20 minutes in an infrared sauna is known for killing viruses in the body. If you have the fortune of owning a sauna, this would be the time to use it. Daily if at all possible. Everyone in my family is now using the sauna daily to keep our immune systems function strong during this time.


Halotherapy is the use of himalayan salt bricks in a sauna to help with respiratory health. I added bricks to my sauna a year ago and have noticed the respiratory benefits.


For more of the benefits of infrared see article below.


10. Walking/Running in Nature daily

This activity will help your lymph to detoxify and will also help the stress response. Exercise is absolutely essential for proper immune function and stress relief. If you are fortunate to live in nature, get out with your children whenever possible! If you are inside, you can still do yoga, and exercise your body daily as it will help to decrease stress and oxygenate tissue.

11. Bone broth soup

Nourishing and loaded with amino acids, gelatin and marrow for your immune system and GI health. You can make this at home with organically fed or grass fed bones. I have a recipe here:


Currently, the news is predicting that the US is 11 days away from the situation in Italy. We must take every precaution and stay away from others by practicing social distancing while simultaneously caring for ourselves and our families in whatever ways we can.

Please stay safe and keep others safe by practicing social distancing!


Wishing you a Radiant Reality!

If you have questions please email me at radiantrealitynutrition@gmail.com