Epstein Barr Virus: Symptoms, Causes and Support Strategies

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epstein barr virus7 Natural Remedies For Epstein Barr Virus

Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), also known as mononucleosis or mono, is a virus that is transmitted from human to human through body fluids. EBV is commonly referred to as the kissing disease but can be spread through many different types of contact including through the blood and seminal fluid. Although many people are carriers of this virus, some experience moderate to debilitating symptoms that can make life difficult. In this article, I cover symptoms, causes, and my top remedies for Epstein Barr Virus.

Although Epstein Barr can affect anyone, it seems that those who are younger (especially college age) and up to 40 years old are at higher risk (1). Other factors that may put a person at higher risk of contracting EBV are weakened immunity and intimate contact with varying partners.


If you have been infected with Epstein Barr, it can sometimes be weeks before you have any symptoms. The initial stages of symptoms may resemble those of a cold or flu and include: fatigue, fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and general lethargy.

Although these initial symptoms may diminish within a few days, many experience a nagging fatigue that just won’t seem to go away. Some may also experience chronic pain throughout the body and in more rare cases, a swollen and painful spleen.


Just like any virus, you become a carrier of EBV by coming in contact with it. In the case of EBV this is commonly through saliva from kissing, sharing drinks, or sometimes picked up from shared surfaces like toys.

In rare cases, EBV can be contracted from blood transfusions, organ transplantation, or oral exposure to seminal fluids.

The extent to which you will experience EBV symptoms depends on the strength and coordination of your immune system. An intact immune system should be able to handle viral exposure with minimal or no symptoms but those who are immunocompromised will likely experience lasting symptoms.

epstein barr

How To Detect EBV

Being able to detect the presence of EBV is the first step in employing specific strategies to help your body heal it.

The first major sign to look for is a sudden onset of the flu-like symptoms described above, followed by a residual feeling of chronic fatigue. This residual fatigue that is sometimes accompanied by sudden onset of chronic pain is very indicative of EBV.

For my patients that have experienced this phenomenon I recommend having a Complete Blood Count and functional lab work done to look for specific indicators of EBV.

Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count (CBC) is a commonly used blood draw test that looks at the distribution of an individual’s blood cells. In a healthy person, there is an expected balance of the different types of blood cells. Many people understand that there are both white and red blood cells; white blood cells regulate the immune system, while red blood cells carry oxygen to our tissues.

Because white blood cells are responsible for a huge proportion of immunity, they can be observed clinically through a CBC for signs of elevated immune activity. In the case of mono, you would likely see elevated lymphocytes and monocytes.

Lymphocytes include natural killer (NK) cells, T cells, and B cells. Residing in the lymph fluid, these three regulate the body’s short-term and long-term immune responses. An elevated level indicates an increase in immune activity likely due to viral presence.

Monocytes play a similar role in immunity by forming macrophages. Macrophages are immune cells that reside in specific tissues and protect them from infiltration of foreign materials (such as viruses).

In a complete blood count, a proportion of white blood cells are observed and represented as a proportion out of 100 (as a percentage). A lymphocyte proportion of over 40% and a monocyte count of over 7% are indicative of viral infection.

Comprehensive Viral Panel

While the CBC is great at detecting abnormal immune system status, it doesn’t do much for telling what exactly is causing it. After seeing elevated lymphocytes and monocytes on a CBC, a viral panel can be used to determine the presence of specific viruses in the body.

My Comprehensive Viral Panel looks at 5 different indicators of EBV in addition to cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, human herpes type 6, varicella zoster, and rubeola.

Upon detection, targeted strategies such as the ones listed in this article can be used to help your body fight off EBV and free yourself from the nagging symptoms.

Natural Remedies

Conventional treatment of EBV is very much focused on the mitigation of symptoms and little else. Common approaches include prescription steroids and pain medications to help the individual cope with fatigue and pain.

The common understanding is that there is very little we can do to get rid of a virus. By supporting the body through these 7 natural remedies, you can speed up the time it takes to overcome EBV.

Epstein Barr

Vitamin C

We all know and love Vitamin C as a traditional cold and flu remedy, but this vitamin can actually have a powerful impact on Epstein Barr. A 2014 study observed the effects of high-dose IV vitamin C on EBV and found that it both lowered the presence of the virus in the body while also reducing the duration of symptoms (2).

The doses used within the study are hard to obtain in the diet, ranging from 7.5-50 grams. While small amounts of vitamin C can be obtained from the diet, you may look into supplementation with encapsulated or IV vitamin C from a qualified professional.

epstein barr


Zinc has long been known as an effective anti-viral compound. Commonly found in lozenges marketed to speed healing from cold or flu, it is thought that having optimal zinc levels in the body inhibits the replication of viruses.

This is because zinc potentiates human cytokine interferon alpha which is a protein whose primary role is to inhibit viral replication (3). Zinc also supports the production of a powerful antioxidant called superoxide dismutase which protects your cells from the damaging effects of viral pathogens.

Finally, zinc helps to downregulate the inflammatory response of the body which can help keep the immune system functioning properly. It is estimated that 25% of the world’s population is zinc deficient so this one is important!


Lysine is an essential amino acid that plays important roles in building muscle, production of hormones, and antibody formation. It has also been found that lysine supplementation may lower the severity and frequency of outbreaks in cases of herpes.

It is thought that because Epstein Barr is a strain of the herpes virus that it has similar benefits.

Arginine is another amino acid that has been shown to promote the growth and survival of viral pathogens in the body. It has been proposed that lysine provides an antiviral effect by directly opposing the effects of arginine (4).

epstein barr


Beta Glucan is a powerful immune-regulatory agent. This means it can stimulate or inhibit immunity depending on the needs of the body. In the case of an infection like EBV, the immune system can become overwhelmed.

Instead of a swift eradication of the virus, you get immune discoordination and systemic inflammation.

Beta Glucan activates both short and long-term immune responses to allow a more efficient activity of the immune system and increase the chances of fighting off infection. One way it does this is by binding to macrophages and boosting their ability to target and destroy foreign pathogens.

epstein barr

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf is a powerful herb with a long history of use. It has been shown particularly helpful for supporting the immune system due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral effects.

The effects of olive leaf are beneficial for many reasons. First, addressing other underlying bad bacteria and fungi is crucial for freeing up the immune system to fight EBV. Additionally, it has been shown that olive leaf extract inhibits viral reproduction.

MegaViron has a therapeutic combination of olive leaf extract, Beta Glucan, zinc and a number of other key immune support herbs and compounds to optimize your immune response from many different angles. It is a key component of my EBV protocol (which I outline at the end of this article).


Berberine is a powerful antimicrobial compound isolated from many plants found in nature. A 2017 study looking at nasopharyngeal cancer found that berberine was able to inhibit cancer formation that is commonly associated with EBV.

This is due to the inhibition of a specific gene called EBNA1 (Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen 1). What is significant about this is that this gene also plays a primary role in the replication and survival of the EB virus (5).

Berberine also acts in the GI tract to fight off other unwanted pathogens that may be distracting your immune system from fighting off EBV.  We use GI Clear which contains berberine and other key anti-microbial herbs to support the gut and immune system.


Echinacea is a powerful traditional herb for immunity. Commonly used in cold and flu remedies, Echinacea also has strong anti-viral and immunomodulation effects (6).

Echinacea may enhance healing from EBV due to its specific antiviral activity while also supporting macrophage activity.

Echinacea has also been shown to control the body’s pro-inflammatory responses to viruses. This helps lower systemic inflammation in the body and keep the immune system properly coordinated.

Fulvic and Humic Acids

Fulvic and humic acids are organic substances extracted from deep within the Earth’s soil.  They are called “BioActive Carbons” as they help to support the health of our bodies in a number of ways.  These substances are rich in minerals and there small size allows them to penetrate within cells.  They can help to bind and remove toxic substances and protect cells from viral infections and radiation damage.

ViRadChem Binder is a bioactive carbon product that supports the detoxification of active viruses as well as environmental and heavy metal toxins systemically throughout your body.  It can be used as a starting foundation for any detox protocol as well as provides great maintenance support.  I always use this product to help people overcome Epstein Barr and other viral infections.

Drink Celery Juice Daily

Celery is rich in trace minerals and polyphenolic antioxidants that support the adrenals and the immune system.  Juicing celery can help restore adrenal balance giving you more energy and strengthen the immune system so it can suppress Epstein Barr and other viral infections.

Celery juice is also great for stimulating digestive juice production such as hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes and bile.  I recommend drinking 4-8 ounces, 2 times daily about 10-15 mins before meals.  This will help activate your digestive juices, reduce inflammation and reduce viral activity.

epstein barr

My Personal Protocol

Once I have seen that a patient’s CBC shows elevated lymphocytes and monocytes in addition to the presence of EBV on the comprehensive viral panel, I recommend the following protocol:

Super C:  Take 4–6 grams daily by taking 6–8 caps – 3x daily away from meals

  • If you get diarrhea, lower the dosage
  • If you have low iron, take with meals

MegaViron:  Take 3 caps – 2x daily

  • Contains Beta-Glucan & Olive Leaf

GI Clear:  Take 1 cap – 2x daily away from meals

  • Contains Berberine along with other immune supportive compounds

Zinc Charge:  1 cap – 1-2x daily

L-Lysine:  1 cap – 2x daily

ViRadChem Binder2–4 caps in the AM, 2–4 caps at mid-day and 2–4 caps before bed.

This is a specific fulvic and humic acid supplement that helps the body bind and detoxify viruses, chemicals and radiation.

Additionally, I would recommend drinking 8-16 oz of celery juice each day and consuming 2 cups of Echinacea w/Elderberry tea daily for a week and then 2 weeks on this Everyday Detox tea and continue to cycle like that – 1 week Echinacea and 2 weeks Everyday Detox.

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!

inflammatory, Top 12 Inflammatory Lab Markers and Optimal Ranges

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Hjalgrim, H., Friborg, J., & Melbye, M. (2007). The epidemiology of Epstein Barr Virus and its association with malignant disease. Human Herpesviruses: Biology, Therapy, and Immunoprophylaxis. PMID: 21348109
2. Mikirova, N. A., & Hunninghake, R. (2014). Effect of high dose vitamin C on Epstein Barr viral infection. Medical Science Monitor, 20, 725–732. PMID: 24793092
3. Ohio State University. “Zinc helps against infection by tapping brakes in immune response.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily (Link)
4. University of Maryland Medical Center: Lysine (Link)
5. Wang, C., Wang, H., Zhang, Y., Guo, W., Long, C., Wang, J. … Sun, X. (2017). Berberine inhibits the proliferation of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells via an Epstein Barr virus nuclear antigen 1-dependent mechanism. Oncology Reports, 37, 2109-2120. PMID: 28259949
6. Hudson, J. B. (2012). Applications of the phytomedicine Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) in infectious diseases. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. PMID: 22131823
sirtuins, Sirtuins: What Are They and How to Activate Them For Healthy Aging
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      1. This is really true to hear that there is really cure to herpes i was diagnosed few months ago and i have go to many hospital fro cure but there is no solution until i found someone post online about to dr.abegbe who have the herbal cure until now i never think i will found a cure to my great surprise doctor abegbe cure me within 2 week i was so happy to see my result when i go for test after taking the herbal medicine and if you want to get the cure also you can reach to doctor abegbe now with his email Dr.abegbespellhome@gmail. com or dr.abegbespellhome@hotmail. com

        1. Dear Doctor

          My father Hamish , 81 fit man all his life – sea swimmer until 5 years ago- cycling his bike 6 weeks ago 10 miles a day . Is now breathless , in his bed – haemoglobin down to 65. Unable to move his body – no energy or power at all.

          We are a family that use complementary therapy and eat healthily – My dad has been a personal trainer and kept himself fit into his old age – yoga every day also .

          He has been in hospital for 5 weeks – we discharged him yesterday as they were doing nothing for him and could not fully confirm diagnosis. The consultant say they think it is Angioimmunoblastic T Cell Lymphoma. However on his microbiology summary it says he tested positive for Epstein. Barr virus which I know can mimic cancer. Would be grateful for suggestions having read about you.

          Many thanks


  1. Hello Doctor,

    Is Echinacea okay to take if I am showing signs of an autoimmune disease such as lupus? My blood test are showing this…

    Thank you.

    1. Hey Heather, it might be helpful! You may also want to consider a ketogenic diet that accounts for food sensitivities, along with immune system modulating compounds such as beta glucan.

    2. Lupus can due to gluten. Gluten is in wheat/barley/rye..oats/corn/rice. Rice is low in gluten. Wild rice has no gluten…is a grass. No gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/food with a label/heated oils…taking vitamins/good oils/minerals…probiotic…LDN..detoxing may help. Gluten issues maybe due to low sunlight/Vit D3. Hair test to see good minerals/heavy metals may help.

  2. My two yrs old boy has ebv. he’s a Kidney patient.he had a kidney transplant August 2017.what can you recommend for him.because his emmune system suppressant medication,it is low so that body can’t reject the kidney

    1. Hey Kelli, it may help support your body and immune system to handle any lingering negative effects. It is hard to say exactly without performing a before and after viral panel!

  3. I heard what you said about Lymphocytes and Monocytes on the autoimmune summit. Mine are at the high end like you mentioned plus I had mono at age 16 (I’m now 62 with Hoshimotos). The ImmunoCharge sounds like it would help me (I have low WBC at 4 or less with ferritin of 185 last cbc). Would ImmunoCharge be a good suppliment to try? Thank you.

  4. Hi Dr Jockers,
    I haven’t been conclusively diagnosed with POTS yet but these are pretty much my symptoms. I have read that the Epstein-Barr virus can contribute to these symptoms by affecting the liver.i would value your opinion on this please.
    Thanks Dot

    1. I was dignosed with Epstein Barr. I am a cancer survivor nd i developed lymph node on the atmpit. There are also nodes on groins nd neck. What can you suggest for me to use. My weight is fluctuating.

  5. I am a heavy reflux patient so for me it’s difficult for the stomach to take supplements (like c for example).
    Can you tell me what i can do to get a vitamin c boost to help me with my EBV?

  6. Hi Dr. Jockers,

    After an emotionally difficult year I was diagnosed with shingles in August of this year. Now I got diagnosed with EBV and starting to get symptoms of MS. I am getting really scared because as you know most doctors don’t want to talk about auto-immune disorders, but just treat the symptoms.
    Can you recommend a protocol to control EBV so it doesn’t continue to progress to MS? Thank you so much for all you do.

    1. The immune-boosting supplement protocol above is a good one Rookmani! Getting plenty of sunlight and doing a 3-5 day water fast 2-4 times per year can be helpful as well. You might want to consider working with one of our health coaches as there are potentially many nuances to this!

  7. Hi Dr.Hockers
    My son is 4yrs diagnosed with mono last night at the hospital. I have been giving him Motrin and Tylenol but the Dr at the hospital says there is nothing else to give him. His fever is 102.8 it does going down to one degree but nothing significantly, he is very lethargic and doesnt want to eat, asleep his head hurts and he a a small cough. He is miserable, for the most part all he does is sleep is there anything I can do to help him get better?

  8. Hi there, Recently diagnosed with Pots or Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.. a form of dysautonomia after a car accident at 33… I got EBV when.i was 16 I’m 34 now .. have u any specific recomended supplement to help encourage strength in my legs and not cause fainting when I stand longer than 5 minutes

    So far I’m only on psedufedrine. I take b6 +b 12 complex magnesium citrate
    And amitriptyline at night for chronic migraines. I’d prefer a natural electrolye.. so I drink alot of coconut water a pose to sugary drinks.

    1. Hey Brandy, I am sorry to hear all of this! We recently published an article that offers strategies that can help. I would also recommend a functional health practitioner to customize specific plan that works for you! This article has more information.

  9. My 5 yr old granddaughter had mono within the last year and is having what her mother and I believe, are flare ups from this. Her pediatricians look at us like aliens if we bring it up and I suggested integrative medicine (my preference for my health). Is the testing the same for children and what would the protocol look like for a small child. I am also very concerned about her nutrition.

  10. I keep getting chronic shingles. This last time was horrible w/ about 30 blisters on my right side of scalp/ face. I also got it in my right eye so had to go to ophthalmologist. I had already taken the 7 days of Valcyclovir ( didn’t go away) He put me in a low dose of it ( 1 every day) and of course I ended up in ER 2 months later with every single side effects of he Valcyclovir! What can I take to help get rid of shingles… I feel it always lurking in the background 🙁 it’s horrible!

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