This is the continuation of a list of supplements that you can make yourself to help in dealing with Ebola or any dangerous virus. Disclaimer: There are many foods and supplements with antiviral properties; some of them are common (garlic), while some of them are exotic (star anise). 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.
- Zinc helps support your immune system. Oysters have a lot of zinc, kidney beans (cooked!) are a decent source, and meats like turkey and chicken and mozzarella cheese have some (but you’d have to eat two cups to get as much zinc as in half of a 50 mg supplement tablet). You’d have to eat 1 1/2 pounds of beef to get that much. If you don’t have zinc supplements, which are cheap, especially since a half-tablet per day (25 mg) is probably all you need), then meats and cheeses might be a good option to eat to boost your zinc levels.
- Yes, you can make your own antiviral Olive Leaf Extract. If you have your own olive tree (as long as it’s not a Chinese olive (apparently), you can pick your own leaves and dry them to make this widely-recognized antiviral supplement. Or you can just buy dried olive leaves online; it’s cheaper to make your own extract than to pay for someone to dry, powder, encapsulate, bottle, and market the commercial equivalent. Know someone in a southern state with their own olive tree? Talk them into drying their leaves and mailing them to you!
- Vitamin K is found naturally in green leafy vegetables, such as amaranth, parsley, chard, spinach and kale, and even in some spices. You might have to eat a lot of greens to equal the amount in a vitamin K supplement, but that’s not such a big price to pay. One cup of kale has 1mg of vitamin K1. Compare that with the vitamin K2 supplement we bought for our daughter that has 1/10 that dose per capsule! So the kale (or other greens) really is an alternative. For the person who is in the bleeding phase of an Ebola infection, you might be able to juice the kale to make it easier for them to ingest. (Chewing makes nausea worse sometimes.)
- Probiotics to keep your digestive system healthy can be homemade. Whip up your own batch of Kefir or Yogurt. Even sauerkraut is full of healthy bacteria that are normally killed by heating/canning in commercially-available sauerkraut. It is essential to keep your system healthy because all supplements, many medicines, and all nutrients depend on digestion to help them reach the body for health and healing. Of course if we’re trying to be as healthy as possible we’ll want to avoid refined sugars, refined flours, and all foods treated with hormones, pesticides, herbicides, or antibiotics– most commercially-prepared foods.
- Melatonin is a real challenge for the do-it-yourselfer, but even here there are things you can do! Melatonin is important because it’s the most “potentially” powerful over-the-counter supplement that might make a big difference to someone with Ebola. The problem is that even a low-dose tablet of synthetic melatonin contains many more times melatonin than we can find in food sources. (They used to extract it from cow urine, but I’m pretty sure we’re not going down that path…) So what do we do?
I would like to suggest a four-step strategy for getting more melatonin into your patient:
- Ingest melatonin from food sources.
- Eat foods that stimulate the patient’s own body to produce more.
- Protect their digestive system so it will continue to produce it.
- Protect the patient from light at night, so it won’t temporarily halt their melatonin production.
Let’s look at these four steps more closely.
- Some plant foods contain small amounts of melatonin: orange bell peppers, walnuts, tart cherries (sweet cherries have 50x less than tart ones), but the best source of natural melatonin comes from goji berries. (Still, the goji berries do not have a lot, at 15 micrograms per ounce.) They’re less expensive if you buy them from an Asian grocery store or restaurant as “lycium” berries. (Watch out for preservatives, though.)
While we can’t consume anything near the dosage of melatonin found in commercial over-the-counter supplements, it’s possible (lots of speculating here) that natural melatonin is superior to synthetic melatonin and will give you more “bang for your buck.” If you don’t have synthetic melatonin then try a natural source, however small the dose!
- The other good news is that some foods stimulate the human body to release more melatonin: “The researchers found pineapples, bananas, and oranges were able to increase melatonin presence significantly. Pineapples increased the presence of aMT6s over 266%, while bananas increased levels by 180%. Oranges were able to increase melatonin by approximately 47%.”
Oats, sweet corn, rice, tomatoes, and barley are all foods that have an effect. If you’re desperate, give them a try.
- I bet you didn’t know that your digestive system produces more melatonin than your brain’s pineal gland (400 times more)! This is yet another reason why we want the patient to have as healthy of a digestive system as possible. We want them to be able to ingest and benefit from the food they eat. And we want to support the “good” bacteria in their gut so those bacteria will continue to produce beneficial amounts of B vitamins and keep the gut organs as healthy as possible so they in turn can produce more melatonin!
- Nighttime light exposure reduces melatonin production. Complete darkness is best for sleep. Exposure to light causes the body’s melatonin production process to pause, and bright light at bedtime shortens the period of time the body has to produce melatonin.
Red LED lights may be best for night lighting (though there is controversy about which light color is worse). Just keep it dim, if you can, when you visit the sickroom, so the person’s body will make more melatonin.
- What do we do if there’s no milk thistle seed available, or olive trees don’t grow where you live, or no one you know has an elderberry bush? For preppers in countries other than the United States, Canada, and Britain/Europe, some of these plant sources simply are unavailable on the market. What then?
Find someone (an herbalist, healer, or a master gardener even) who can advise about local plants that might have the properties needed. God put medicine in thousands of plants; it’s just a matter of time to figure out what will work for you. Also, if there is a plant, you need then grow it yourself, if it will grow in your area and climate. You think there’s not enough time to do that, but we don’t actually know. Order the seeds, learn how to grow it, and get growing!
- Just because you have a workable treatment Protocol doesn’t mean you’re “ready.” You still need adequate protective equipment and supplies. (Someone could write a whole article just on this topic!) “The Disaster Crash Course II: Establishing a Disaster Medical Center,” page 59 will be a tremendous help; it even includes directions on how to make your own bleach from salt and water!
The Centers for Disease Control recently upgraded their guidelines for what constitutes appropriate protective gear. Here’s their list:
- Double gloves
- Boot covers that are waterproof and go to at least mid-calf or leg covers
- Single use, fluid-resistant or impermeable gown that extends to at least mid-calf or coverall without integrated hood.
- Respirators, including either N95 respirators or powered air purifying respirator (PAPR)
- Single-use, full-face shield that is disposable
- Surgical hoods to ensure complete coverage of the head and neck
- Apron that is waterproof and covers the torso to the level of the mid-calf should be used if Ebola patients have vomiting or diarrhea.
This stuff is not “rocket-surgery”. You can buy these items from Amazon, Grainger, Home Depot, or other hardware stores or industrial suppliers. Sit down with a list of what you want to have on hand. Decide which items you will re-use by bleaching or boiling (such as rubber boots and hoods) and which will be disposable (such as nitrile gloves and respirator filters). Consider how many people you expect to have to treat. Then go shopping.
I created a list of items (mostly) drawn from Grainger online for my daughter’s orphanage in Kpando, Ghana, and it’s in the endnotes below. Many online suppliers are beginning to indicate that they’ve run out of stock on some items and won’t be getting resupplied until December or January, so keep that in mind, especially if you’re ordering something that’s out of the ordinary, like a powered air purifying hood or Tychem QC coveralls!
Here’s just a thought: Pick protective gear colors that will show blood or vomit. Dark colors are probably not going to work as well. You might even pick “cheerful” colors, because you’re going to be the only human the poor patient is going to see for a week or so and you don’t want to look like a villain out of some sci-fi video game!
- You’re still not “ready”, just because you have a treatment Protocol, a whole box of supplements, and an entire pile of protective equipment and bleach. How you set up your sickroom or clinic, how you move from “cold” to “warm” to “hot zones,” how to get medical waste out of the sickroom without potentially contaminating other areas. It’s not too hard, you just need to think it through. Get someone to help you and review your plan. Draw up a floor plan with arrows to indicate movement flow. Mark the locations of the trash cans, disinfecting spray, bedding supplies and everything else; I mean everything.
If that’s too daunting, then consider teaming up with one or more local preppers to agree to set up a clinic if the national healthcare system has hosed up. You don’t actually have to own all this gear, if someone else is willing to host the clinic and you can split the costs. Just be very, very clear what the arrangement is and how you’re going to handle it if you get too many patients or who gets treated first. There are a lot of details in the fine print there…
- If the hospitals are closed and the medical system has collapsed, don’t just do nothing. Do not give up hope! Do not abandon your patient. There are always things you can do. They might be one of those persons to get a mild case and start to recover after a week or so. They won’t need a lot of help, but they will need your help. Simple interventions won’t require a whole lot of equipment!
Alternatively, your patient might be one of those persons with a robust immune system that kicks the infection, even though they came down with the more severe symptoms. They might only need Oral Rehydration Solution and a big pile of towels and bleach and they’re good.
If a Liberian nursing student can save her family (with a 25% mortality rate) by using trash bags as protective gear, then you can certainly help someone, or even yourself, to survive. Ebola is not an automatic death sentence. The odds with treatment might be 50/50 or better (?), but only if you fight for them. So fight!
Maybe you can find someone who’s already been exposed and recovered. They’re immune! Maybe they’ll be willing to help, if you give them the right equipment, supplies, and incentives. If they’ve recovered, they have a powerful gift that hopefully they will be able to share. (Just realize that survivors will be very weak for weeks afterwards!)
- Finally, let me encourage you to be the “hands” and “feet,” “voice” and “compassionate eyes” (if that’s all they can see of your face!) of God to your dear suffering patient. Guard their humanity and their dignity. Make them feel loved. Talk to them, and even more important, listen. Show them patience and courage; be courageous for them. Convince them that they are not alone. Convince them that there is always, always hope.
You don’t know if they will live or die. However, to do your part, you need to confront death and your fear of death, the death of your loved ones, and the loss of everything. Is God enough? Can you let go? Are you confident what lies beyond the grave? Find those answers now. You’d be surprised what people can accomplish who are no longer afraid to die. Then in the quiet of the sickroom, holding a dying one’s hand, the peace God gives you will be contagious. Share it with them.
It might be the highest service a human being can give to another human being.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:3-4
Trust God. Be Prepared. We can do both.
Tychem QC collared coverall,
Nitrile disposable gloves (worn under the reusable gloves),
I think that a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) hood is ideal for preppers. They will fit over glasses and beards, don’t have to be carefully fitted to avoid leakage (a big problem with N-95 masks), and can be hosed down to disinfect. The only downside is that they run on batteries, but I have figured that $50 worth of batteries (C123) would give plenty of time to work in a “hot zone” over the week’s time a patient is deathly ill. Enterprising preppers could even hard-wire it to a power supply outside of the sickroom area. In theory, the entire filter and blower assembly could be outside of the “hot zone” with a blower sending the attendant/nurse fresh outside air that doesn’t even need to be filtered. No filters. No batteries. Just a bunch of hose and a good blower motor!
PAPRs carried by Grainger are horribly expensive. However, a company named Supergum, from Israel, carries models designed for Israeli civilians to survive chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks. They carry models with one and two blowers. The two-blower model takes twice the batteries and twice the NATO gas mask filters but might be the better choice. I wonder how much time a nurse will have if their one-blower model quits/fails/runs out of power before they start sucking in outside (contaminated) air? Two blowers give redundancy.
The Supergum hoods were available through Amazon right at the beginning of the Ebola scare and quickly sold out. RDDUSA used to be the biggest reseller of Israeli gas mask equipment. Even if none are available now, they might come back on the market before you really need them, so don’t give up.
If you’re not going to buy a PAPR, then you’ll need a hood, respirator, goggles, and a face shield: Promax Hood
Goggles. Many models will do, but be sure to get “indirect” venting goggles with antifog coating. (You might consider buying some antifog treatment or spray for the goggles like Cat Crap.)
I wanted to order disposable face shields (new CDC guidelines), but Grainger USA says they’re out so they are not listed on their website. Home Depot has shields that would do just fine. Be sure to buy a shield that extends well below the face! Here’s a model from Home Depot.
We’re also going to need a lot of duct tape or medical tape to tape up the protective outfits, but I’m concerned that it NOT be too adhesive or it will tear up the coveralls and other items. Also, it needs to be really inexpensive, because they’re going to use a lot of it. THIS tape is ideal (tears by hand, not very adhesive), but it’s too expensive for most people.
Tape doesn’t really need to be “chemical resistant”, it just needs to be impermeable to water/vomit/blood/etc. and stick for up to two hours at a time without coming off. Maybe even something like this. Don’t forget the tape is not only to seal out contamination but to make your protective gear a single unit that won’t come apart if a delirious end-stage patient grabs at you.
We also need forehead thermometers, but Grainger doesn’t carry them. Here’s what Walgreens has. Don’t forget to get spare batteries! (The model from Walgreens uses AAA batteries.)
Of course there will be the odds-and-ends supplies and equipment, which should be available from many other sources. This list of items includes things like rope-handle tubs for soaking protective gear in bleach, clothesline, dowels for drying the reusable gloves and boots, rubber boots, trash cans, bed pads, buckets for building a cholera bed, lots and lots of rags and towels, and maybe an intercom or walki-talki type radio to communicate with the patient when you’re out of the sickroom, lime for dusting medical waste before burial, et cetera.
It ought to even be possible to set up an Ebola victim with a supply of ORS and a gravity-fed bite-valve-controlled hydration solution that would keep them hydrated without having to get out of bed. Also, if you’ve got them on a “cholera bed”, they will do much better with the diarrhea and urination. They MIGHT be able to take care of themselves through the entire infection. This is something to consider if you’re hunkered down by yourself with no one to help you. With proper planning you might even be able to survive Ebola by yourself…
Of course, you still take every precaution you can. Then you just trust God with the outcome. It’s simple enough… “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” – Hebrews 2, 14-15 (KJV)
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV)