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//Virus Approach-Herbs and Nutrients-Being Updated on 4/1

Virus Approach-Herbs and Nutrients-Being Updated on 4/1

Vital Ways Institute Approach to Respiratory Infections





The media is continuing to create false news via headlines referring to younger ages as a means to indicate that this virus has more virulence than the data reflect.  It doesn’t.  Health status, in particular immune function, is the determining factor in whether or not, this will be an infection that leads to complications or a cold/flu hybrid. 

Signs of Hope

1- At the time of this writing we are seeing positive trends though there continue to be multiple unknowns.   China is reporting dramatic reductions of disease and death rates, and are resuming their daily activities, and drastically reducing quarantines.   

2-Several existing medications are showing strong promise to help those at highest risk.  While we support a holistic approach, and wish that this was more widely discussed and offered, we still see these types of advances as being positive in terms of protecting those at highest risk and of shortening the quarantine period for all of us.

3-Herd immunity appears to be developing at higher rates than expected as the transmission rates are higher than thought due to the very mild to no symptoms for most people.  See Iceland   This means that if these results are accurate for the world, herd immunity is developing and fatality rates are much lower than currently reported.  We know that antibodies are detected ion 100% of the people infected and tested.  But we are still unsure about the degree of immunity that this represents.   It is promising is the best we can say. 

Don’t drop your guard just because of some potentially very good news.

We still have a ways to go before this respiratory infection period passes, and please don’t forget that as all eyes are on this virus, the flu, has killed 46,000 people the US since last October, largely of the same risk groups.  And our protocol below, is equally effective for the flu, and for this virus.  

One of the most powerful things that we can do, for ourselves and our planet is develop a health immune system.

We can be a part of the solution by not just isolating, but by fighting off this condition quickly if we get it.  This, frustratingly has been 100% ignored in the  media. The more quickly we fight off any pathogen, the fewer people we can spread it too.  

Our immune system, that brilliant collection of cells, and chemicals whose reach extends from our deepest insides to the very limits of our fleshy sac, is not an isolated system.  It functions and takes direction from and gives direction to, every other part of us.  So, in order to ensure that it is best able to do its important role, we’ll need to encourage it as well as make sure it has the right environment and co-factors including nutrients.  With the right environment and nutrients, we can encourage it with properly chosen herbs. Its very hard to stimulate an immune system if the fundamental building blocks of us, the micronutrients are deficient. 

People on all sides of the medical aisle,

allopathic to herbal, reductionistic to alternative, all seem to be chasing the unicorn of an anti-coronavirus magic pill.  And, while we chase the herb, the supplement, the pill, or vaccine, we miss the most effective, albeit sensible approach which is to strengthen our core resistance, resilience and response.  

To do this requires a slighly more broad approach which includes considering the entire person, and not just the virus that infects them.   And when we act holistically, our entire health now, and for the future gets better. 

The germ theory-inspired anti-viral mindset is being so prominently discussed in all forms of media, from mainstream to social media groups, that we are shocked whenever we see anyone offering ideas other than these.  

Whats your feeling on this?  Do you think that the best strategies are to target the virus with botanics, and pharmaceuticals, or do you support doing this alongside strengthening our core resistance?    


If you’ve been eating a mostly micro-nutrient deficient, energy-rich diet,  then the amounts below as supplements can catch you up rather quickly.  if you’re eating a lot of nutrient dense foods regularly, then Vitamin D, C and Quercetin are the most important nutrients in the group below as they are largely not available in the amounts required. 

We love getting all our nutrients from food-Sources are listed below.  In some instances, supplements are faster and come with more compliance. 

Vitamin A: In Palmitate Form 10,000IU per day for 7 days.  Foods: Liver, Egg Yolks, and other animal products have preformed.  Proform Vit A, Carotenoids don’t necessarily convert well, so may not be best choices for all. 
Vitamin C: Liposomal Only 5g per day, in divided doses.  Foods/Herbs: Amla, Rose Hips, Acerola Cherries are good sources.
Vitamin D: 10,000 IU per day, to reach 60ng/ml in the blood, which for most people we’ve worked with, this means just taking this much daily for 6-8weeks, and then every other day. Few things will benefit you more than this. Challenging to get proper amount from food, as this is sunlight conversion factored photobio-product and not truly a vitamin that is only available to we Oregonians, of any size, from early April to Early October due to the sun’s angles. 

Zinc gluconate: 15mg/d Oysters are an amazing source of zinc.  Sea vegetables are also a good source of trace minerals.  Zinc fulfills several roles in immune function and many people are deficient. 

Quercetin: 1000mg per day. Onions, Radicchio, and many other sources but challenging to get at this amount from food alone. 


Herbalism and Immune system approaches need to be divided into 3 categories to most effectively construct a comprehensive formula. 

The Deep Immune Tonics

These are mainly adaptogenic herbs that have been used for millennia by ancient healers to restore and support health especially when recovering from an illness or in older age or while enduring long working conditions.  It wasn’t until soviet scientists eager to win the cold war, started researching them as specifically stress-busting herbs for coal miners and cosmonauts, that we pigeonholed them as stress-only remedies.   The deep acting adaptogens, not all adaptogens, are remedies relied on for providing a comprehensive full-system restorative effect on the endocrine, metabolic, nervous, digestive and immune system.  They were used as part of an extensive lifestyle, and nutrition approach that also included sleep, sunlight, fresh air, nourishing food, and stress reduction. 

Imagine sitting in a comfy lounge chair arranged in the sunshine, along a patio in the high alps, breathing in crisp mountain air, wrapped in warm blanket, gazing over gorgeous vistas, while sipping a rich herbal broth.  That’s the strategy employed at the end of the 1800s by nature cure institutes to restore health.

The herbs that are part of that protocol such as this are:  Reishi Mushroom (and other medicinal mushrooms), Astragalus, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha and Licorice and for those who are severely depleted, Ginseng.   These are each Deep Immune Tonic remedies.  They are used to build and strengthen and nourish the entire system, which includes the immune system.  These are often delivered as a rich, nourishing soup with other nourishing herbs and nutritious foods.  These remedies are best used prior to an infection, after a period of debility, and/or at the beginning of an outbreak.  Ginseng is contraindicated during infections historially but the remainders, we still use during infections. 

Surface Immune Remedies

These remedies encourage a quick immune response, activating various members of our white blood cell army to quickly response and neutralize the invader.  They are used either at the time an infection first begins, or when we suspect one is impending, such as right now. These remedies are not Tonics-They don’t build a deep resistance via the endocrine, nervous, GI and Immune system.  These are  strong stimulants to the immune system. In some cases, they will even aggravate certain inflammatory conditions so we should monitor for that in higher doses.

Both Elderberry and Echinacea have done that but have not ever nor are they likely to  CAUSE OR WORSEN A CYTOKINE STORM . Our favorite remedies in this category are Echinacea, Boneset, Andrographis, Astragalus, Osha, Red Cedar (Thuja), and Garlic. 

These two categories above, deep and surface immune remedies increase your physiological ability

to fight off an infection.  The next category, is the herb/supplement, etc, doing the work independent of your immune system.

Anti-Microbials: Chasing The Unicorn

For an anti-microbial herb to be effective, it needs to physically interrupt the pathogen’s life by coming into contact with it. 

This approach, is logistically and practically much more challenging than strengthening the immune system.  Our bodies innate abilities are more reliable and powerful at dispensing infection,  particularly with a respiratory virus.  But taking that as given, we still utilize anti-microbials and are continuing to research the latest leads and more prominent candidates from the group. 

Two Issues With Anti-microbials:

1-Location: Considering that this virus infects the lungs, to use remedies that will contact the virus, we need to get them there.  Steams with herbs will work, but maybe not in the amounts we need.  Ingesting those that travel to the lungs in a more sound approach. 

2- Efficacy: We don’t know what will kill this thing yet. We have lots of leads, and no winners in the unicorn race yet.   

So we recommend our typical Corona Virus approach, with our more general respiratory anti-viral anti-microbials with the hopes of supporting the entire lung immune environment.  

It’s possible that Quercetin, the flavonoid mentioned above may be one. Its being researched and used in both China, and Canada.  And its possible that a few others may be useful, including our beloved Baikal Skullcap, also being used in China and one of my favorite all time herbs, and a few others that we’re keeping a close look at including Houtyynia, and Andrographis, and now Cichona,   But we don’t know at this point.   

Oregano, Garlic, and Thyme  are standard respiratory remedies that can reduce infections. Quercetin, and Baikal Skullcap are more specific leads to effective approaches to this virus that are being research.  We are hopeful but data are not in yet. 

And Elderberry, of course, is wondeful for being an anti-flu remedy that as mentioned above is still a very significance issue. 

We are looking at several others at present, and will update at the news develops. 

The Prevention Of Respiratory Viral Infections:  Broth, and Immune Tincture/Tea

This Formula Highlights Deep Immune Tonics, Surface Immune Herbs, Anti-Microbial Herbs, Lung Herbs and Nutrition!   The Total Package for a Robust Immune System Having You! 

Decoction or Broth Ingredients: Per Gallon Liquid

1.5oz each
Reishi and/or other medicinal mushrooms
1oz Ginger
.5 oz Licorice

Can add 1.5 oz total Respiratory Roots: Osha, Elecampane, Angelica at the first signs of respiratory illness. 

*For those versed in herbalism, you can modify with demulcents, respiratory anti-spasmodics and relaxant or stimulant expectorants.


Surface Immune Tincture:

35% Echinacea

35% Astragalus

20% Baikal Skullcap

10%  Licorice

1 Dropperfuls, 3x/d prior to infection

2 Dropperfuls 4x per day with infection


Your Vital 5 Determine Your Health more than the absence or presence of a virus.   By boosting your immunity you can be a part of the solution to this virus. The most powerful things you can do in addition to the nutrients and herbs above are based on the Vital 5. 

Consider 1 or more upgrades for a 1-2 month period, as part of a great opportunity to support yourself going forward as you continue to be part of the solution by quickly developing immunity. 

Sleep, Stress, And Movement– are three aspects of lifestyle that most people can identify as being essential to their health.  Of these 3 which is most likely at this moment to be one that is not contributing to your health?   This virus based on current projections, will probably remain an issue for a month or so, so why not plan for a 6-week challenge, in which you choose to be healthier in one of these ways for 6 weeks by changing your habit patterns. 

Have questions about how you can these steps-Please feel free to reach out.

To healing, 



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