“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

During these unprecedented times, it’s important for all of us to focus on positive steps that we can take to stay healthy, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. As difficult as things may appear to be, remember that within every crisis lie opportunities for growth and change.


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How Zinc Supports Immune Function

Zinc is well known for the significant role it plays in immune response and immune health. It enhances both innate and adaptive immunity, is vital for immune cell function, and is crucial for the formation and modulation of inflammatory processes. In persons with zinc deficiency, zinc supplementation improves not only type I and II interferon production/response, but also immune cell survival, maturation and function.1-4


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False information can spread like wildfire, particularly during times of fear and uncertainty. Right now, there is misinformation circulating about elderberry (Sambucus nigra) and COVID-19.

Elderberry extract is being falsely accused of triggering a cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome (CRS), an intense inflammatory response that can be deadly. During the SARS epidemic, CRS caused severe lung damage and was a driving factor in many fatalities.

Elderberry

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A fever can actually benefit a sick person, and both traditional healthcare practitioners and now even modern researchers have attributed tendencies to over-treat to “fever phobia”–a fear that fever is harmful, which likely originated after the introduction of anti-fever drugs like Tylenol.

Fever is a protective adaptive response that should be allowed to run its course under most circumstances. This approach has been supported by several recent randomized controlled trials.1


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“I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.” Alexander Smith

In Western tradition, boneset is perhaps the single most important herb for combating the flu. There have been six major influenza pandemics (worldwide outbreaks) since 1889. The 1918 influenza pandemic (“Spanish flu”) was the deadliest pandemic in history. Approximately 5% of the world’s population was infected, and the number of deaths has been estimated at 50 million (CDC).

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) might be the single best herbal remedy for influenza. During the severe “Spanish Flu” pandemic, boneset was one of the safest and most successful remedies employed and contributed much to the successful management of the disease under the Eclectic treatment.


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The Traditional Medical System Perspective

Long before the advent of modern conventional medicine, traditional doctors in the East and Western herbalists from the Vitalist and Eclectic traditions were using plants to help people overcome infectious acute diseases. The constellation of symptoms that the patient presented with were considered to be caused by the entrance of pathogenic influences into the body, and appropriate herbal remedies were administered to alleviate symptoms while addressing underlying constitutional imbalances.


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