Optimistic. I continue to be guardedly optimistic that Ebola will not become the pandemic many people have feared.[1 ] News about its limited transmission in the United States is very encouraging.
Also encouraging is the fact that, should Ebola (or some other dangerous virus) become a pandemic and crash the nation’s healthcare system, we can still purchase our own protective equipment and supplies and even have a reasonable chance of treating it, which was the premise of my recent article “Ebola Unafraid: A Preliminary Ebola Treatment Protocol Part 1  and Part 2 .”
Now I’m hearing three main concerns about that article. The very idea of treating an Ebola patient may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually do-able. Follow me as we look at these three objections:
- So much of it seems arbitrary.
- For sure we don’t know what, if anything, will work against the Ebola virus. However, now that there are so many victims, the outbreak is so long, and people are so desperate, it seems likely we’ll learn more about “what works” pretty soon. There will be changes; of that I’m sure!
- Complicating matters is that there are a lot of natural antivirals to choose from. That’s a good thing, because if one of those is unavailable in our area we can try something else. Or maybe we have a favorite product that has worked well for us in the past and we can try that. The Protocol just focused on products with the best reputation for antiviral activity. It gives people a place to start.
- It would be great if we could “shotgun” an infection with a half-dozen supplements, or even with everything on the list, but trying to treat one person would quickly become prohibitively expensive. That leads me to the second important thing people are saying:
- It’s too expensive.
- An 8 ounce bottle of Elderberry syrup  cost me $23 at a national chain store last week. To have enough of just this one supplement for a low “priming” dose for just one person (my daughter, a nurse supervisor in a Liberian Ebola Treatment Unit) for six weeks requires three bottles. That’s $69 worth of Elderberry, and that’s not counting all of the other supplements we sent with her, which probably came close to $400.
- Now what happens when you want to be able to protect/treat more than one person? What do you do when Ebola (or some other pandemic disease!) comes to town but never quite crosses your “hunker down” threshold for months? How do you keep your entire family at peak health and their immune systems primed? That is a problem.
- People don’t need to be able to treat Ebola if they hunker down.
- In principle I agree with this, of course. Prevention is the best medicine! Meticulous hand hygiene, judicious choices of where to shop, avoiding crowds, and so forth are essential. It would be crazy not to do these things.
- Unfortunately, accidents happen. Your personal “Black Swan” could expose you or a family member in some unexpected way. You must have a Plan B. That doesn’t mean you have to be afraid. You just prepare the best you can. Trust God with the rest, but do your part.
To all of this I say there is good news:
Some of these Protocol supplements are inexpensive. Buying the industrial-sized barrel o’ multivitamins from Costco is cost-effective, since any multivitamin is probably better than none at all. A good multivitamin is just “nutritional insurance” to try to be sure you’re not missing any nutrients in your diet, especially while ill. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and others are readily available and inexpensive.
Not a Costco member? Find a friend who is and get them to pick some up for you. Walmart is a good source, too. (I bought all my 10mg Melatonin tablets there.) Figure out what supplements or over-the-counter drugs are most important in your plan and purchase what you can.
You can also give supplements at half dosage, or (probably better) at full dosage for half as long. Something is better than nothing. Maybe by the time a pandemic actually hits your area you’ll have stockpiled “enough” or someone will make a better, more focused, and less expensive “Treatment Protocol”?
That was actually a surprise to me, but let’s take a quick look at the top supplements, and please, look at the Internet links provided. There is a wealth of information there!
Disclaimer: There are many foods and supplements with antiviral properties[2 ]; some of them are common (Garlic[3 ]), while some of them are exotic (Star Anise[4 ]). What I’ve tried to do with the recommendations below is focus on the most common and highly recommended. Nobody knows what will work against Ebola, so try your own favorites, to see what you can tolerate when ill. None of this is “medical advice” for purposes of federal obfuscation and interference. Consult your doctor, who will have no idea what to do. The information below is not exhaustive. It is not authoritative, and it is untested. Do your own research, and be responsible for making your own decisions. I have no personal interest or investment in any product or item mentioned.
I wrote this up for my own use and for my family’s use. If it can help you, then great, but these are my personal notes that I’ve modified a bit for others to use. You have a favorite herb or supplement? Make your own treatment plan. If new research comes out about some product, add it to the Protocol. If the CDC or WHO or UN announces dosage recommendations for melatonin or some other medication, follow those guidelines. However, until then, we’re on our own.
- Vitamin D3  is pretty inexpensive if you shop around for high-dosage gel caps (2,000 – 5,000 units). Some foods are pretty high in D, such as cod liver oil, herring, salmon, tuna (and other cold water fish).[5 ] You can actually “make” it yourself by being outdoors in the sun:”In the winter, it’s impossible to produce vitamin D from the sun if you live north of Atlanta because the sun never gets high enough in the sky for its ultraviolet B rays to penetrate the atmosphere. But summer is a great time to stock up on the nutrient. When the sun’s UV-B rays hit the skin, a reaction takes place that enables skin cells to manufacture vitamin D. If you’re fair skinned, experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen—will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 international units of the vitamin.”[6 ]Check out the link here[7 ] for an in-depth calculation of how much sun exposure you’ll need for your location, time of day, and time of year. Considering the essential function of Vitamin D, it’s nice to know your own body can make it!
- One vitamin your body can’t make is Vitamin C . Lots of foods contain Vitamin C[8 ] (The top of this list are “foods” with Vitamin C added.) Acerola cherries, guava, citrus fruits, peppers (surprisingly!), kale, cabbage, and more. Fortunately, Vitamin C in supplements is also incredibly inexpensive.
- You can buy garlic supplements  in many different forms; all of them are fairly expensive, but garlic is easy enough to add to our meals. You can buy it fresh, dried and powdered, or chopped and dried. Fresh is better, of course…always. Garlic is such a stunningly nutritious food that you will learn to put up with the smell. One of my favorites is to microwave several cloves (or bake them in the oven) for a few seconds and dip them whole in Ranch dressing! Yum.
- I used to grow our own black Elderberries (and they grow wild in many parts of the U.S.), but our bushes died (out of sight, out of mind, hmm…). Just remember, if you’re growing your own, that unripe Elderberries are mildly toxic[9 ], and so are the tiny stems. Many people who can’t tolerate raw Elderberries like them better once they’ve been cooked.You can make your own black Elderberry syrup that should be just as healthy as the store-bought brands by either picking your own ripe berries or buying them fresh, dried, or freeze-dried. I just placed a three-pound order![10 ] There are many very tasty recipes, so check out these links.[11 ] Don’t blend the cooked berries, because the seeds don’t taste good. You’re just cooking off the fruit flesh, and don’t add your honey (if you’re using honey) until the cooked juice mixture has cooled to avoid cooking the honey and losing some of its medicinal value.
- I had no idea I could make my own milk thistle extract (silymarin )! I found the how-to at this link.[12 ] Apparently people can even just buy the seeds and grind them and add them directly into their food.[13 ] I suppose you could even buy the seeds (multiple providers online) and grow your own plants and harvest the seeds, but your neighbors might object to that (unless you grew them in a greenhouse or under row covers?). Considering how truly powerful milk thistle extract is for protecting your liver, making your own is an important option.
- Vitamin E  and Lecithin . Why are these important anyway? It’s because (among other things) they “potentiate” the milk thistle; they make it many times more effective in protecting the patient’s liver from damage.[14 ] Vitamin E is found in foods such as wheat germ oil[15 ] and peanut butter (one third the amount of Vitamin E in wheat germ oil), sunflowers, and other nuts.[16 ] Doses in the 400 – 600 IU range should be effective. Unfortunately, wheat germ itself has very little oil in it and has to be pressed to extract the oil, so just eating wheat germ isn’t going to get you much Vitamin E. It’s one of the really inexpensive vitamins to buy, so unless you already use wheat germ oil for something, just buy the vitamins. (“Mixed tocopherols”[17 ] is the best.)Lecithin is found in egg yolks,[18 ] and both cod and salmon have about half as much.[19 ] One tablespoon of lecithin granules from a health foods store or pharmacy has about 6.6 grams of lecithin[20 ]. Since we don’t know how much Lecithin potentiates how much Milk Thistle, we’re just really guessing. However, reasonable amounts aren’t going to hurt you if you take more than you need for this effect in the short-term.
I’ll continue, in Part 2 of this article, the list of supplements that you can make yourself as well as provide concluding thoughts with more practical information for dealing with Ebola, or any dangerous virus.
Unfortunately, lecithin extracted from soy seems to have some health problems, but might not be an issue for short-term consumption in regard to Ebola. http://hsionline.com/2001/09/17/soy-controversy/