New Zealand Doctors Speaking Out With Science advocate for fundamental principles of human health protection. These principles acknowledge the complex interplay between socio-economic factors and biological factors including natural immunity and overall physical health. Preventative measures and early treatments play a critical role in health outcomes.
Over the past two years we have been incorrectly trained to believe that all viral exposures are dangerous and harmful. Yet humans encounter many millions of potentially pathogenic microorganisms, including viruses, on a daily basis. For the most part, these cause no or minimal harm. Exposure to microorganisms is in fact a necessary health protection measure, acting as a training exercise for healthy immune systems. Only in times of vulnerability due to weakened immunity and/or poor underlying health, do we experience illness.
Our vulnerabilities to disease differ according to the unique way in which each organism interacts with human biological factors such as age, genetics, nutritional status and absence or presence, and severity, of underlying conditions. The unique characteristics of each individual’s biological environment are referred to as the “terrain”.
Using age as an example, young children are more prone to certain viral respiratory illnesses such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), especially if other vulnerabilities are present. In contrast, the elderly are more prone to other respiratory illnesses, such as Covid-19, which are again exacerbated in the presence of other vulnerabilities. This is due to specific age-related differences in the terrain which can either resist or facilitate viral attachment and entry into our cells. Terrain theory is described in more detail by World Council for Health in their 22 February 2022 article, The Elephants They Want Us To Ignore: Terrain and Environment.
Measures for Health Protection
The most protective thing we can do for our overall health and specifically in regards to viral respiratory infections, is to maintain a healthy terrain. This reduces our risk of harmful outcomes by improving the capacity of our immune system to respond appropriately, when we are – inevitably – exposed to potentially pathogenic organisms such as SARS-CoV-II. Specific ways to maintain healthy lungs are outlined by World Council for Health in their article How to Keep Your Lungs Healthy, and include exercise, nutrition, hydration and air quality.
There are many tools we can use to promote a healthy terrain with specific focus on protection against Covid-19 illness. Whilst the pharmaceutical industry focus is on highly profitable interventions such as experimental gene therapies and treatments, existing cheap and simple remedies appear to have as much benefit. The importance of sunshine and Vitamin D are two important examples.
Research continues into the many and varied existing natural remedies which optimise human health and may have specific benefits against Covid-19 illness. One recent example is a randomised controlled trial providing evidence of Echinacea purpurea as having SARS-CoV-II antiviral properties making it useful for both prevention and treatment. It is likely that these properties involve enhancing our immune system’s capacity to respond to a viral exposure (ie, strengthening the terrain), at least as much as any specific virucidal effect. These findings need further investigation as outlined in a 2015 systematic review.
This randomised controlled trial used a medicinal formulation, however Echinacea purpurea is a flowering herb which can be consumed safely as a tea and has long-recognised immune health benefits. It is available as a perennial garden flower at many local garden shops, and as a health supplement at many health stores. Instructions for brewing dried echinacea as a tisane are available at various online sites, for example BrewedLeafLove.
Native to North America, Echinacea purpurea was used by indigenous healers and then early settlers, to treat many ailments. As well as the reported medicinal properties, it is an easy to grow garden flower which attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Commencing early treatments when symptoms begin, particularly for those at high risk, is an important protective intervention to reduce illness, hospitalisation and death from Covid-19. Our protocol is one example of many available.
NZDSOS Covid Help Online Clinic are available for advice and support on preventive and early treatment measures as well as access to prescription medications.
Health is influenced and protected by networks of ecosystems relating to individuals, the external environment in which we live, our own biological terrain, and the way this terrain interacts with organisms when exposed. Pharmaceutical interventions are one important but small element of the overall picture and our own behaviours are far more crucial to affecting positive health outcomes.