Dear patients and friends,
I would like to announce that during the COVID19 pandemic I will be providing telehealth appointments to abide by our current lockdown requirements.
I will be offering 15-minute consults for herbal medicine and supplements prescriptions.
During this time, I will be providing information on how to self-care at home to support one's immune system to stay as strong as possible during this home-bound time; as well as simple strategies that might be useful to help combat infections if you are sick at home.
Wind, cold and immunity.
Since ancient times in China, ancient doctors advised to stay away from the cold wind and to protect oneself properly during cold temperature periods to avoid catching "colds". Our current challenge during this pandemic is that we are heading into winter in the southern hemisphere.
Some evidence suggests that cold weather can diminish the immune response and allows for a quicker proliferation of the viruses that can create the common cold (1,2,3,4) and possibly increase the propensity for pneumonia (4).
A recent study of some immune responses against COVID19 showed that the body creates a vigorous response involving many complex stages in some recovered cases (5)
An article by Science Daily helps clarify that this immunity role is essential to survive pandemics such as this one and the lack of proper response possibly occurs in those who unfortunately died (6).
Thus, in light of this I would like to give you this advice:
-Keep warm at all times by covering properly, especially if being out in the open. Try to wear a scarf and cover your head if necessary
-Avoid cold drinks and foods at cold temperature, especially if you are in a cold place. Aim to drink more warm herbal teas and warm soups
-If you become cold for any reason, try to warm up as soon as you can
-If you are caught in the cold rain, have a hot shower as soon as you get home and try to stay indoors afterwards
-Overall, keep warm
Let's all do our effort in staying warm to avoid overstraining our immune system and please look after each other during these challenging times.
- LaVoy, EC., et. al. (2011). Immune responses to exercising in a cold environment. Wilderness Environ Med. 2011 Dec;22(4):343-51. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Oct 7.
- Foxman, E. S., et. al. (2014). Temperature-dependent innate defence against the common cold virus limits viral replication at warm temperature in mouse airway cells. PNAS January 20, 2015 112 (3) 827-832; first published January 5, 2015 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1411030112
- Mourtzoukou, EG., & Falagas, ME. (2017). Exposure to cold and respiratory tract infections. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2007 Sep;11(9):938-43.
- Liu, Y., et. al. (2014). Temporal relationship between hospital admissions for pneumonia and weather conditions in Shanghai, China: a time-series analysis. Open 2014;4:e004961. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-004961
- University of Melbourne. "COVID-19: The immune system can fight back." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317103815.htm>.
- Thevarajan, I., et. al. (2020). Breadth of concomitant immune responses prior to patient recovery: a case report of non-severe COVID-19. Nature Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41591-020-0819-2
Image Credits: Ben Sprengler. Taken from Flickr