8 Antiviral Nutrients To Prevent Colds

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anti-viral prevents colds8 Antiviral Nutrients To Prevent Colds

Do you feel like you get colds too often? You would think after your first exposure that your immune system would be able to detect and fight it off the next time without a problem. The truth is, there are over 200 different viruses that can cause a cold including influenza, rhinovirus, and Epstein Barr.   For ongoing protection from cold-causing viruses, try incorporating these 8 antiviral nutrients to prevent colds from getting you down.

Encountering viruses is an everyday occurrence and a normal part of life.  However, some people adapt well to the stress of a virus and fight it off while others struggle with this form of stressor.  Using these 8 antiviral compounds will help improve your bodies resilience and give you the immune power to adapt strong!!

The Challenge With Viruses

Unlike bacteria, fungi, and parasites; viruses are not living organisms. This means they do not contain the cellular machinery necessary to grow and reproduce on their own. Instead, they make their way into the cells of living organisms and use their infected host as a copy machine. They essentially hack the reproductive mechanisms of living organisms in order to replicate and spread.

The huge downside about viruses from a medical standpoint is that they cannot be killed. However, a strong and healthy immune system is well equipped to stop viruses in their tracks. Additionally, there have been several natural compounds that have shown to help fight off viruses.

What are Viral Infections?

A virus is a small infectious agent with genetic material, RNA or DNA, surrounded by a coat of protein, lipid (fat), or glycoprotein. They can only replicate inside the cells of another organism, so they are parasitic. Viruses can infect humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms.

There are more than 400 viruses that can cause infections in your body. When our bodies encounter a virus, our adaptive immune response acts to clear the primary infection. With some viruses, the immune response is not enough to eradicate the virus and it becomes chronic.

The Advantage Of Herbs

Unlike traditional medical treatments of viruses, nutrient-based therapies are typically very safe and create little side effects. Additionally, they tend to work against viruses in multiple ways by boosting the immune system and directly inhibiting viral reproduction.

This combination of safety and broad-spectrum efficacy gets my pick every time. There are 8 that come to mind when someone asks me what they can do about their cold.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a great first step for viral defense. Not only does vitamin C boost the immune system, but has shown tremendous non-specific antiviral support. Non-specific means that it works against a broad range of viruses.

For daily preventative support, I would suggest about 1000mg per day. For acute support after you are already experiencing symptoms of infection, you can go up to 4000-6000 mg until symptoms begin to dissipate.

Zinc 

Another common cold remedy you can find in most grocery stores is zinc in the form of lozenges. Zinc is a powerful immune support compound yet it is estimated that 25% of the world’s population is deficient. For optimal immune protection from cold-causing viruses, you need to ensure you are getting enough zinc (in a form you body can actually use) on a daily basis.

Your body produces a protein called human cytokine interferon alpha whose primary role is to inhibit the replication of viruses. Zinc boosts your immune defense against viruses by potentiating this crucial protein.

Beta-Glucan

Beta-glucan has emerged as a power player for cancer conditions due to its ability to modulate the immune system. For this same reason, it provides powerful immune support in the case of viral infection. When the body is overburdened by infection, the immune system can become dysregulated. The result is systemic inflammation and further contribution to the many unpleasant side effects of infection.

Beta glucan helps balance the immune system so that it can focus on targeting the virus present in the body. Beta glucans also help in the fight against infection by binding to virus-targeting white blood cells called macrophages. By doing so they improve the ability of macrophages to seek out foreign pathogens.

prevent colds

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf is a less commonly known but powerful anti-microbial compound. It possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. This means that not only will it help target your cold virus, but will help rid of other underlying infections that may be distracting your immune system.

Olive Leaf Extract is one of my go-to compounds to prevent colds. A 2014 study has shown that oleuropein, the active ingredient in olive leaf extract has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and disease-fighting benefits (1).

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Monolaurin

Monolaurin is a compound that has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties. It is this reason that coconut oil is a great antimicrobial for the gut lining. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is converted into monolaurin in the body.

Monolaurin has been studied and found to be particularly helpful in disrupting lipid-coated bacteria and viruses. This includes HIV-1, influenza, rubeola, and the herpes family (2).  This is one way that using coconut oil daily can help prevent colds.

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Echinacea

According to a meta-analysis of 14 different studies, Echinacea may reduce your risk of contracting a cold by over 50% (3). Echinacea has also been shown to help reduce the recurrence and complications of respiratory infections, which can be a progression of a cold-causing virus (4).

For daily support, you can consume Echinacea tea. This would be a great way to keep your guard up against cold-causing viruses and prevent colds.

prevent colds

Ginger 

Ginger is a warming herb that boosts circulation and immune activity. At the same time the effects of ginger help to prevent the accumulation of toxins that make you more susceptible to infections of the respiratory tract (5). Additionally, regular ginger consumption will help lower inflammation which will allow the immune system to function more effectively.

I would recommend either consuming a drop or two of a high-quality ginger essential oil in water or consuming fresh ginger ground into recipes on a daily basis to prevent colds and keep your immune system functioning at a high level.

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Yarrow

Yarrow is an herb with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral benefits. Additionally, it can help improve fever symptoms by helping the body induce perspiration (6).

This is important because it is supporting the body’s own response to fighting off the cold-causing virus.  A great way to get yarrow is in specific herbal tea formulation.  I recommend immune supportive herbal teas that contain things like yarrow, ginger and many other traditional cold-fighting herbs for daily support on your journey to prevent colds and other illnesses.

prevent colds

Immunocharge 

ImmunoCharge is specifically designed to provide you with optimal dosages of key immune modulating nutrients and compounds.  The synergy of these key nutrients and compounds strengthens immune function and improves the process of inflammation.

Each Immunocharge capsule contains the same amount of powerful immune modulating compounds.  These include quercetin, resveratrol, vitamin D, vitamin A, selenium, zinc, vitamin C, N-Acetyl Cysteine, vitamin K2 and magnesium.

These ingredients support the body’s natural immune mechanism to help maintain good health.  Rather than taking multiple different supplements to get these key nutrients, you can get the clinical dosages within 4 capsules daily of ImmunoCharge.

***Special Offer:  Save 30% on Immunocharge with the coupon code Immune30 at checkout!

Use a Specific Herbal Support Formula 

Herbs have so many powerful benefits for your health.  The most well studied herbs and compounds for natural respiratory support include lovage root, eucalyptus leaf, peppermint left, rosemary, lemon balm leaf, lungwort leaf, orange leaf, plantain leaf, chapparal leaf, elecampane root, lobelia flower, and peppermint essential oil.

Peppermint and rosemary contain rosmarinic acid which has been shown to block the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals called leukotrienes.  Rosmarinic acids also encourages cells to produce key molecules that keep the airways open for easy breathing (7).  You can use these as herbal teas, essential oils, herbs in your food and herbal supplements to encourage lung, sinus, and respiratory tract health and prevent colds.

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Lung Health:

I also really like using Lung Health if I feel like I am getting respiratory symptoms.  This product is a proprietary blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, lungwort, lemon balm, orange peel, plantain leaf, chapparal leaf, elecampane root and lobelia flower.  These are herbs that are well known for providing respiratory and immune support.

This product comes in an easy spray bottle form that you can use throughout the day to prevent, reduce or eliminate sore throats, cough’s and respiratory infections.  I recommend 6 sprays 3 times a day for optimal recovery.

prevent colds

Bonus – Bioactive Carbons

Bioactive carbons are organic compounds derived from deep within the Earth’s soil.  They are very small particles, 100 times smaller than the cells of our body and they carry nutrients in and out of cells.  In addition, they also carry a specific electrical charge that impacts the energetic components of the cell.

There are two different plant-based acids that are bioactive carbons: fulvic and humic acid.  Due to the small size and electrical charge of the bioactive carbons they are one of the best defenses against viral pathogens.  They can get into cells and pull viruses out and bring them through the drainage channels of the body (8).

prevent colds

ViRadChem Binder

If your goal is to detox from viruses, chemicals, and radiation, I highly recommend that you try ViRadChem Binder.  This is a bioactive carbon product that supports the detoxification of active viruses as well as environmental chemicals and radiation systematically throughout your body.

Many people have an overabundance of pesticide chemicals, viral infections and heavy radiation exposure from EMF’s and frequent air travel.  This binder is the best for reducing these stressors.  You may use it as a starting foundation for any detox protocol as well as provides great maintenance support.

Inflammation Crushing Ebundle

The Inflammation Crushing Ebundle is designed to help you improve your brain, liver, immune system and discover the healing strategies, foods and recipes to burn fat, reduce inflammation and Thrive in Life!

As a doctor of natural medicine, I have spent the past 20 years studying the best healing strategies and worked with hundreds of coaching clients, helping them overcome chronic health conditions and optimize their overall health.

In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential.  Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below!

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Barbaro B, Toietta G, Maggio R, Arciello M, Tarocchi M, Galli A, Balsano C. Effects of the olive-derived polyphenol oleuropein on human health. Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Oct 14;15(10):18508-24. doi: 10.3390/ijms151018508. PMID: 25318054
2. Preuss, H. G. (n.d.). A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid, 310–314. (Link)
3. Shah, S. A., Sander, S., White, C. M., Rinaldi, M., & Coleman, C. I. (2007). Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common colds: a meta-analysis. Lancet Infectious Diseases. PMID: 17597571
4. Schapowal, A., Klein, P., & Johnston, S. L. (2015). Echinacea Reduces the Risk of Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infections and Complications: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Advances in Therapy. PMID: 25784510
5. Chang, J. S., Wang, K. C., Yeh, C. F., Shieh, D. E., & Chiang, L. C. (2013). Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines that lead to colds. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 145(1), 146–151. PMID: 23123794
6. Nemeth E, Bernath J. Biological activities of yarrow species (Achillea spp.). Curr Pharm Des. 2008;14(29):3151-67. doi: 10.2174/138161208786404281. PMID: 19075697
7. Sanbongi C, Takano H, Osakabe N, Sasa N, Natsume M, Yanagisawa R, Inoue K, Kato Y, Osawa T, Yoshikawa T. Rosmarinic acid inhibits lung injury induced by diesel exhaust particles. Free Radic Biol Med. 2003 Apr 15;34(8):1060-9. PMID: 12684091
8. Winkler J, Ghosh S. Therapeutic Potential of Fulvic Acid in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Diabetes. J Diabetes Res. 2018 Sep 10;2018:5391014. doi: 10.1155/2018/5391014. PMID: 30276216; PMCID: PMC6151376

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    1. Ah- another one that has studies on PubMed backing it up: Elderberry. The lectins therein are potent anti-virals. Elderberry can be consumed as a tea, or as sambucus syrup or sambucus ‘gummies’ taken at the 1st sign of a cold. These are especially good for kids or those who can’t tolerate zinc lozenges etc.. Thanks Dr. Jockers for your fantastic articles packed with info. God bless!

  1. I have been receiving your emails for some time David and I have to say I love the clarity of your presentations they really engage me. I like how you balance the science with the practical. The information is good and your products are great. Thank you.

    1. I am very happy to meet dr. Jocker. I love.every area of his study especially about viruses since there seemed not to have cure esp in the case of.HIV/AIDS

  2. Thank you for a load of very good information!
    Concerning garlic, I have a question:
    For many years now I have had excessively strong reactions too garlic.
    Even a tiny bit will cause med to itch as if there are electric wires under my skin, my eyes swell and burn and the burn spreads to all over my face and throat.
    Is there a cure for that?
    I love garlic and used it a lot – until calamity broke out.
    (I get the same reaction to aloe vera, and pepper and vinegar make me itch, too)
    Thanks again.
    Kirsten

      1. I often recommend L-methionine for viral infections. Instead of adding L-lysine would carnitine be appropriate? Would the carnitine cause any appreciable waste of ascorbic acid or other needed nutrients?

  3. Echinacea comes with a warning for persons with autoimmune diseases, but the rest I definitely can and have added (where possible) – but thanks for confirmation!

    1. Yes individuals with autoimmune conditions tend to be more sensitive to herbs although some do quite well with them. I always recommend caution for anyone with a history of food or drug sensitivities when beginning with herbs. Blessings!

  4. COVID-19 is alkaline pH sensitive as in Baking Soda – I drink or sip it: 1-3 teaspoons of baking soda in 32oz of drinking or distilled water !!
    Baking Soda also kills all fungus + moulds 1-2-3 !!
    Good Luck !!

    1. Hi Hannelore,
      The coronavirus strains are well recognized as being pH sensitive. They replicate best at around a pH of 6.0, but slow down if pH rises. Most viruses are not very tolerant to changes in their environment, which can make them relatively easy to neutralize or avoid. Their Achilles’ heel was exploited in various ways during the Spanish flu. One of the many very successful ways was the alkalizing and oxygenating of the patient’s body, much as the simple process you are using. Basically, the virus can not tolerate a pH of 8.0, but humans can. They also don’t do well with oxygen, which is able to increase due to the bicarbonate.
      I would like to make a few suggestions to you. I do not recommend using bicarbonate alone to raise one’s pH. And if a person’s normal fasting urine is less than 6.5, they will need to make major changes to their lifestyle. There are no shortcuts to health. Monitoring of urine is necessary. If pH is maintained above 8.0, it will not just be the virus that is harmed. Bicarbonate for pH purposes needs to be consumed away from meals, such as 1/2 hour before, which preps the stomach. The sipping of bicarbonate, if arbitrary on your part and not treating a virus , is probably inappropriate. I don’t like to recommend baking soda, albeit it is most convenient. It is potassium that people need more of to balance against their high sodium consumption. Thus I prefer that they use potassium bicarbonate as a direct substitute. I hope that you find this info helpful.

  5. Hello, what do you suggest? I have shingles around the midsection and back. It was 4 days of pain before the lesions/whelps began appearing so I did not know what was going on. Which of the above products would be most beneficial?

  6. I have poly-autoimmunity, so I am always concerned about boosting my immune system to do more harm. Any thoughts on what would be safe for me to take in regards to the recommendations from this article?

    1. Medicinal mushrooms, with beta-glucans. One good source: Real Mushrooms (company) products, such as “5 Defenders” or “ERGO”, the latter of which has high Beta Glucans in it also. Dr. Suzanne Humphries, MD, who is currently a practitioner of holistic medicine, is among those who think Beta Glucans (increasing them, via supplementation) will not cause problems for people with auto-immune issues (disorders), but will effectively help boost one’s immune system.

  7. What is safe and can be given to a 2.5 year old with an on going upper respiratory infection for over a month. She was given antibiotics prescribed by a pediatrician but my DIL does not want to give her any further medications.

  8. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Vit D. Maybe that seems like a given. Dr, Ryan Cole has a great podcast where he explains there is no flu season, only low Vit D season.

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