COVID-19 has dominated the headlines this year and it has monumentally changed our lives. We’ve had several questions from our customers, so we’ve pulled together facts from trusted authorities to help support you with the best information available.
So, here’s what we know. Like the flu and the common cold, COVID-19 is a droplet-spread virus. That means it can be spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, as well as contact with a surface or object with virus particles on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a cough, shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and a runny nose, and temporary loss of smell. These symptoms can be similar to other viruses like a cold or flu so it is important to be tested in order to establish COVID-19. It can take 2 – 10 days for symptoms to show after the person has been infected.
Therefore, the steps to preventing infection with COVID-19 are the same as for colds and the flu: practice good hygiene. The World Health Organisation & NZ Ministry of Health recommend:
- Stay home if you're unwell and self-isolate
- Avoiding close contact with people with cold or flu-like symptoms
- Covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or by coughing into your elbow. Dispose of the tissues in a closed bin once used
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and
soap and dry them thoroughly:
- before eating or handling food
- after caring for sick people
- after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
- after using the toilet.
- Regularly disinfect shared surfaces
It’s a good time to consider what you can do to support a healthy immune system, as well as what you might want to have on hand if you were to become unwell. Here are some of the common questions our customers have been asking us and our best practice suggestions to support your immune system.
How can I support my immune system?
To support your body, we want to encourage a well-functioning immune system that is ready to act when needed. It’s best to approach your immune health by providing the ingredients it needs to modulate and prepare it for good functioning. Some options may include:
- Vitamins A, C, D, and Zinc
These nutrients are considered essential for a strong healthy immune system to respond to viral challenges.
- Cod Liver Oil is a great source of
Vitamins A & D.
- Aim for about 200 mg per day of Vitamin C. One kiwifruit has about 80 mg of Vitamin C.
- Zinc is an immune ‘all-rounder’ and provides great support to keep us healthy.
- Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
This adaptogenic botanical can support balanced levels of stress hormones. High periods of stress can lower immune function.
A probiotic designed specifically to support the immune system with strains like Lactobacillis GG, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis.
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
Along with vitamin C, garlic can help strengthen the body’s resistance to immune challenges.
What can I have on-hand if I become unwell?
In terms of supplements that might be able to help, the following herbs and nutrients have been shown to support the body during viral challenges.
- Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata)
Can be taken before and during times of feeling unwell in order to support a strong immune response and healthy bounce-back. Also useful for supporting the way the body responds to fever.
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea root)
Supports a balanced and well-functioning immune system. Supports the number of T-helper cells working actively for our immune system.
- Pelargonium (Pelargonium sidosides)
Researched ingredient that has been shown to help support the severity and duration of feeling unwell.
- Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Has been shown to relieve symptoms while feeling unwell, particularly in the nose and throat (upper respiratory area). It is also useful if fever is present.
- Eucalyptus inhalation
Inhalations are a wonderful way to support clear lungs. Add a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to a large bowl of boiling water. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel and breathe deeply for about 10 minutes. It’s ok to take breaks, if it is a bit intense.
It’s always important to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet, but even more so if you become unwell. Herbs not only add wonderful flavour to meals, they can help to support our health and wellbeing too. Adding thyme and oregano to savoury meals is a good idea, as is plenty of onion, garlic, and capsicum. Lemon, honey, ginger, and cinnamon hot drinks are a supportive way to keep hydrated and are immune helpers. Keep sugar, alcohol, caffeine low and vegetables and protein high on the list. Rest, and keep yourself away from public places.
These suggestions are not intended as a cure or treatment for COVID-19. Before trying any of these, you should discuss if they are suitable for your individual health status with a trusted health practitioner. We advise that you contact your healthcare professional if you become unwell.
Call your GP or Healthline (0800 358 5453) if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19.