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January 2020

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"There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow.  It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance." -  William Sharp  



Hello Everyone! 

Welcome to 2020! As per my December newsletter, this is just to inform you all of my upcoming clinical dates (see below). In addition, because many of you wrote to ask me about the coronavirus, I have summarised some research and herbal recommendations for you below. 

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact me. 

Warmly,

Sabrina Biscardi, MNIMH 
Medical Herbalist, Endobiogenic Medicine Practitioner, Systemic Constellations Facilitator
  

What Should I Do About the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (WN-CoV)?


Many of you have contacting me asking about the coronavirus. Here are my thoughts about it, with recommendations, based on advice from my supervising body, the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and some other research (see links below). 
 

Background


As a starting point, I recommend that if you have questions or are looking for some basic information you begin with advice published by the Department of Health (links below) regarding the management of suspected cases of Wuhan novel coronavirus (WN-CoV or officially nCoV-2019). Advice from health protection agencies in Scotland, Wales and Ireland is in line with that given by Public Health England (links at the end). If you live in another country, look into equivalent local agencies and sites. 

Although this is a rapidly evolving situation and information about the recent outbreak is far from complete, these agencies have issued interim guidance for both the public and healthcare professionals to use where the possibility of this infection needs to be considered. This guidance will be regularly updated as the outbreak and understanding of it develop.

The risk of WN-CoV infection to the UK population is currently stated to be low, and in France there are at this time 5 known cases which have been isolated. However, it is important to remain vigilant especially if you have a low or vulnerable immune system or are showing acute respiratory symptoms or have relevant recent travel or contact history.

For people who are unwell and are presenting with symtoms, and in the previous 14 days have either travelled from an area where there is an outbreak, or been in contact with a confirmed case, the recommendations state that they should avoid any further contact with others and immediately contact the NHS helpline, Call 111, and arrange for safe transfer to a specialist infectious diseases unit for further help.
 

My Recommendations


As for my own thoughts, I would say firstly, let's put things in perspective and avoid falling into media fear-mongering. At this stage and given information from authorities including the WHO, the coronavirus has a mortality rate of about 2.2% (all at risk categories) - as a comparison, worldwide seasonal flu average mortality rate is 13% according to the WHO statistics. 

There is no vaccine at this point and as or if it mutates and spreads beyond China the 2.2% can likely rise, however at this time there is no evidence that this is going to sweep the world...but of course as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

I've added a link here to a really helpful (but more technical) article. What this article states is that the genetic sequencing of the virus has determined it to be 75 to 80 percent match to SARS-CoV and 85 percent plus similar to multiple coronaviruses found in bats. SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome. It is also a coronavirus, or CoV. Note that at this time, it seems that this virus, appears to be less lethal than SARS.
 

Transmission and Symptoms


At this stage it has been determined that WN-CoV is transmitted from person to person when a person comes into contact with the secretions of an infected person. This means the virus is transmitted via the following means:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Shaking hands
  • Touching infected object then touching eyes, mouth or nose
  • Handling the waste of an infected person
  • Intimate interaction with an infected person

Symptoms of nCoV-2019 include:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Mild to moderate upper respiratory tract symptoms
  • Sore throat

The elderly, young children and immune-compromised people are most at risk from the infection. 
 

What Can I Do?


The reason I mentioned information from the article above is because research has shown in previous SARS cases that the coronavirus is sensitive to plant medicines and therefore these can be used preventatively and as complements to other possible treatment. More about specific herbs below.

So those of you who see or follow me can imagine that I would probably be saying TERRAIN right about now! Indeed, it is essential to ensure that your terrain is functioning well: that means nervous system, hormonal pathways, immune system and gut health. And of course, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid infection. Specifically:

  • Ensure your digestive system is in good health and that your gut flora is balanced. 
  • Ensure you're eating a varied diet including many seasonal (and organic where possible) colourful vegetables and fruit to boost vitamin and mineral load, and drink plenty of fluids to aid the elimination processes. Avoid sugar and refined foods. Avoid dairy and gluten during an infection (they build up mucous and weigh down the digestive system and pancreas). Add lots of garlic, onions, ginger, and spices to your foods, particularly cinnamon, clove, thyme and turmeric among others.
  • Manage your stress! Stress lowers immune system pathway function.
  • Get enough sleep, relax, and have fun regularly.
  • Move and exercise regularly.
  • Ensure you practice good hygiene such as hand washing and covering mouth when sneezing and coughing, especially in public enclosed spaces like public transport or airplanes. In terms of over-the-counter products I like products made from quality essential oils such as the following brand which is also available in the UK. They make some hand sanitising gel made with essential oils as well as air disinfectants, diffusers etc. I think these products are good enough quality and practical for use for a short while but would not recommend these long term because they are too rich in a mix of essential oils and can also be sensitising to people prone to intolerances and allergies. Alternatively speak with me about bespoke options. 
  • Choose now to quit smoking or vaping to help limit the damage to your lungs. 
  • Supplement in vitamin c, zinc, beta-glucans, NAC and medicinal mushrooms.

In terms of herbs, my favourites for viral or bacterial infections are essential oils - not only can they boost your immune system but they are also powerful anti-virals and anti-bacterials. Some of them like Ravintsara (see below) have preventative anti-viral actions - it can actually keep viruses at bay if you take it prior to contact - of course that doesn't mean it is specific to all viruses including coronavirus but in terms of herbals, essential oils have the broadest scope of reach for microbes and no known resistance! These can be used alongside other herbs which can also help boost your immune system, balance your gut flora and of course help with supporting adrenal (adaptive) health. Remember when using essential oils, quality is non-negotiable: avoid the MLM company brands, and other brands which are not eco-certified or do not give you information on the source material. In the UK, I recommend purchasing them from Materia Aromatica here. In France, for ease I recommend products available in pharmacies since these have been specifically vetted for internal use, for quality, and have chemotypes and sometimes even other chemical compound clearly labelled.

Below is my list of favourite herbs and essential oils for boosting your immune system and fighting an infection.

Herbs for supporting immunity: 
  • elderberry
  • astragalus (or milk vetch)
  • echinacea (angustifolia root is my preferred choice) - best used in strong enough doses and mixed with other plants
  • baikal skullcap
  • liquorice (liquorice seems specific for corona-related family of viruses)
  • elecampane
Essential oils for boosting immunity and specific anti-viral actions:
  • ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora - always include it and make sure you don't confuse it with Ravensara)
  • lemon 
  • eucalyptus radiata
  • niaouli
  • cajeput
  • clove
  • cinnamon (zeylanicum or verum)
  • thyme (chemotyped linalol or thujanol)

Common herbs which show a specificity for corona-family viruses (there are others but I've chosen those which are more accessible):

  • liquorice
  • nettle
  • Griffithsia - specifically griffithsin (an extract made from red algae), and other algae
  • Leek (Allium porrum)
  • Ramsons (Allium ursinum)
  • Black mulberry tree (Morus Nigra)

For those of you travelling in the near future, please take a look again at my article on travel here. Please don't hesitate to contact me for more information or help with a specific protocol.
 

Additional links and updates.

 
  • For full details of interim guidance click here (updated regularly)
  • Information for the general public is available here.
  • Public Health Wales have published their guidance here.
  • Health Protection Scotland have published their guidance here.
  • The Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre have published their guidance here.
  • Additional information from the World Health Organisation is available here.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Upcoming UK Clinic Consultations Dates:  
  • February 25-March 2, 2020
  • March 31-April 7, 2020
Upcoming Endobiogenic Medicine Specialty Courses for Practitioners:  

2 days: 4/5 April 2020: woman in endobiogenic medicine: menstruel cycle and related pathologies, fibroids, benign tumours of the breast, pregnancy and urinogenital pathologies (including men's such as prostatitis).

3 days:

5/6/7 June 2020:

Dysbiosis, digestive pathologies (hepatitis, cirrhosis, gastro-duodenal ulcers, pancreatitis, hiatal hernia etc); Metabolism and metabolic pathologies: (Alzheimer, diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions, gout, dyslipidemia, Parkinson's and dysthymic disorders)

4/5/6 September::

Immune system and "dis-immune" pathologies (auto-immune); infections (ENT, cystitis and UTIs, cervicitis, vaginitis, prostatitis, urethritis, epididymitis); allergies.

6/7/8 novembre :

Review of Endobiogenic "line of Life"; Biology of Function review; ageing; cancer.

If you are a practitioner and have studied the basic foundations of Endobiogenic Medicine, please get in touch with me for more information. 

Et en France...

Je travaille sur 2 ateliers pour février et mars: 
  • Les mono-diètes et les cures
  • Atelier d'initiation aux constellations familiales/systémiques
Pour tout information, veuillez me contacter! 

N. B. En France je vous accueille pour les consultations au "Jardins de la Bourgade", avenue Georges Pompidou à Uzès: un nouvel espace chaleureux et parfaitement adapté, au premier étage avec ascenseur! 

 

I'm happy to help!

For any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact me at sabrina@terrasacra.co.uk or on +44(0)7816650275

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