I love that science is proving again and again what traditional folk medicine has taught for many centuries: certain foods have powerful chemicals (phytonutrients) that can help us maintain or recapture our health. We’ve been following Dr. William Li’s work since watching his TedTalk from 2010 on eating to starve cancer. Another person we have been following and studying is Dr. Aggarwal, author of Healing Spices. These doctors are among the many medical professionals who are actively doing scientific research on the healing benefits of foods and plants. When discussing preparing the immune system to resist viruses, we are blessed to have access to the research and findings of doctors like these.
There are four plants in particular that nutritional medical researchers have found to be extremely beneficial to your immune system:
Eucalyptus oil contains high levels of viral integrase inhibitors. The enzyme integrase is what allows a virus to integrate with the healthy cell wall and then inject its own inner pod that contains the viral DNA in order to merge with your DNA and be able, then, to replicate. You can learn more about the entire process here. By increasing the level of integrase inhibitors in your body, your healthy cells get a bullet-proof jacket. This process has been tested with success to treat HIV-1.
To get the best benefit from eucalyptus oil, diffuse 4 T. per day in a small pan of simmering water. Please use either an electric cook top or an electric HOB plate. Diffusing over a gas flame could cause a stove-top fire. We know this by personal experience! We buy large jars of 100% pure eucalyptus oil and diffuse it daily. Especially when we are traveling.
Lemons have powerful anti-viral properties. Citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene promote immunity and fight infection. There are many ways to access the lemon’s healing properties. The easiest thing to do is to drink the fresh juice of an organic lemon in warm water first thing when you get up. You can also gargle with warm lemon water with salt (1 lemon juiced, 1 t. sea salt, 1 cup warm water) for one minute two or three times a day when you even begin to feel a sore throat starting. Swallow after gargling to let the mixture coat your throat. Lemon essential oil (I love Young Living Oils) can also be diffused into the air of your living space for added benefits.
Olive oil supports liver health. Your liver is one of the strong players in your immune system. The liver is host to Kupffer cells which signal the natural killer (NK) cells when a virally infected cell is detected in your body. These NK cells are like the Navy Seals of your immune system. It is really amazing to watch them work. Their job is to remove infected cells from your body.
Olive oil is best used on foods after they have been cooked. Although it does have a high smoke point, we prefer to use this powerful tool unheated. We like to use our lemon-olive oil on just about everything we eat. We are getting the lemon juice and the olive oil – that just makes sense AND it tastes great, too. The healthiest form of olive oil is expeller-pressed, extra-virgin, organic olive oil. Bragg Live Foods has the one we prefer for flavor and quality.
Garlic . . . wow. I cannot say enough about the healing anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of garlic. High in organosulfur compounds, crushed or chopped garlic is most potent against viruses when allowed to rest after chopping/crushing for about ten minutes (so the enzyme alliinase can intensify) and then eaten raw. You can easily blend it in your NutriBullet with some olive oil, avocado, cilantro and sea salt for a great dressing to use on vegetables, salads, fish and even poached eggs. Cooking will destroy the alliinase, so you will lose a lot of the healing potency of the phytonutrient after cooking. For serious virus protection, chew 1/2 clove, hold the crushed garlic under your tongue until the burning sensation abates, then drink it down with some organic milk, preferably goat’s milk. You have to be pretty committed to use garlic this way. One clove of garlic per day can have a positive impact on your health.
These are just four of the plants that are equipped to fight viruses and help us keep our immune systems strong and powerful. There are more, but these are good ones to focus on if you want to build up your immune system in order to resist a wide variety of viruses. Viruses like Ebola can spread easier when they come in contact with people who have weak immune systems.
Make sure you are not one of those people!