Vitamin capsules

Freedom to Choose

The Government have been very good at putting out the message about social distancing, hand washing and mask-wearing are to try to minimise the spread of Covid 19. What we haven’t heard from them or from the mainstream media are the steps we can take to look after our immune systems so that we can improve our own resilience and minimise the impact of the virus on our health.

It seems that anything written about natural remedies and Covid19 is being heavily censored and unless it has been proven by science and approved by the powers that be then it’s simply not up for discussion. I’ve had several wrist-slaps from FaceBook about posts that I have shared as they are not part of the scientific or governmental rhetoric – even though they contained sensible and appropriate advice about how to support immune health.

Government U-turn

It’s only now, in the autumn, that we are beginning to have positive messages from the Government about using vitamin D to improve outcomes with Covid 19. Yet information has been circulating for months about it minimising the severity of symptoms.

We already know that taking vitamin D increases our resilience to viral infections, so why should it be any different with Covid19?

Do we always need scientists or the Government to approve the obvious? And should we believe everything they tell us anyway?

The UK government recently did a U-turn after it came to light that they hadn’t actually carried out the study they quoted about vitamin D not being of benefit. Really?

Taking responsibility

If we are to learn anything from this pandemic it should be that we not only need to take collective responsibility as a society for our health through public health measures, but we also need to take individual responsibility for our health, too. Period!

I passionately believe that herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and a healthy diet have an important, if not an essential role to play, in supporting robust immune health in these challenging times.

Why wouldn’t you want to take some extra vitamin C, or some extra zinc or some echinacea or olive leaf or elderberry to improve your chances with Covid19?

What’s wrong with taking omega 3 or supplementing with black seed oil or turmeric or boswellia to reduce inflammatory cascade in the body?

Immune system support

I’m not for a minute saying that any of the above treats Covid19 or improve outcomes. But for me, personally, it strengthens the faith I have in my immune system and makes me feel better if I eat well, sleep well and supplement my diet.  It’s simple.  If I feel healthier, I am healthier.

Most of us are quite capable of discerning the difference between snake oil and bona fide remedies. But if you are in any doubt, there are amazing independent health food stores up and down the country with experienced staff. They can safely advise you about over the counter remedies. And for more complex and serious health concerns there is literally a health army of medical herbalists, nutritionists, naturopaths and other therapists working in complementary medicine who have undergone rigorous training in their specialty.

I’ve no doubt that ultimately science will provide us with the answers to this pandemic and, of course, the Government has to take robust public health measures.

In the meantime, keep taking vitamin D and any other supplements or remedies that you feel improve your immune health.  Whether mainstream media agrees or not, what matters ultimately is what feels right to you and me.

Keren Brynes MacLean is a Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and has been in practice since 1996.