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The Key to Good Health is PREVENTION …



By Dr. Ashraf Girgis N.D. 

updated 03/16/2020


As Benjamin Franklin said it so very wisely, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. In days of hyped up news and information overload, it is important to remember that we can have control over taking preventive steps so our body can be strong enough to combat the disease on it’s own with minimum damage.

So here I would like to talk about few of these steps to strengthening our immune system. While hoping for the best and knowing that we are here on earth temporarily and doing our best to live with piety, helping others must be our most important goal. The rest is in God’s hands.

Our immune system consists of an intricate network of the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, thymus gland, chemicals, and tonsils. In order for us to live a normal, healthy life, we need to keep our immune system strong in such a way that our body can defend itself against germs and bacteria that cause diseases. Our immune system, if kept in good shape, acts like a security system in our home, guarding against intruders. Interestingly, our food choices and our state of mind all have important roles to play in keeping our immune system intact. After all, we are what we eat and what is going on in our mind.

So how can we give the necessary tools to our immune system to DEFEND our body from INTRUDERS?

1. Stay away from toxins weakening your immune system,

 Everything we eat turns in to metabolites. These chemicals can act as healing medicine or poisonous venom that in the long term can damage our body. To eat good means staying away from toxic food that lowers and weakens our immune system.

High Sugar Diet: These are simple sugars and simple carbohydrates. According to scientists studying the effects of diet on the immune system, a high sugar diet decreases the strength of the innate immune system that wards off the foreign invaders.(24) Most notable simple sugars are the soft drinks and many cereals. Sometimes one soda has about 39 grams of sugar; every tea spoon is about 4.2 grams, meaning there is almost 9 tea spoons of sugar in one soda. So STAY AWAY from all sodas to keep the immune system healthy.

Alcohol: There is a clear link between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related effects, such as susceptibility to pneumonia and greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, alcoholic liver disease and certain cancers. In addition alcohol slows the process to complete recovery from infection and physical trauma and poor wound healing has been observed. (28) Alcohol seems to significantly weaken both innate and adaptive immunity, therefore weakening the defenses of the host. (28)

Preservatives and food allergens:

If we have food allergies and sensitivities, this can effect and lower our immune system.  The ones we have developed sensitivity to must be eliminated. These are typically foods containing gluten, dairy and egg.

Pastel Macarons


2. Manage stress,

The relationship between stress and the immune system is well established. In a study by scientists in the 80’s and 90’s showed a direct relationship between stress and the immune system. One study on medical students showed that during 3 days of exams, the students stopped producing immune boosting gamma interferons and Tells to fight viral infections.(30)

In addition individuals with chronic mild depression have weaker lymphocyte-T cell responses to viruses and bacteria. (37)

Most of us are very familiar with individuals complaining how they had a very stressful situation and later developed cancer. So in this stressful era of coronavirus, we need to try to tame the dragon of stress as much as possible.

 The best ways are to continue to stay active and exercise. Include fun in our daily life despite the situation. Watch funny shows, practice pretend laughterMeditateart (painting writing, dancing), listen to music, and keep viewing of the toxic news to a minimum necessary (once or twice a day). Dance to your favorite tune and enjoy family ties by playing games, while enjoy closeness and BONDING. Make sure to follow good sleep hygiene, as sleep plays a very important role not only in the body’s repair but also in lowering of the stress level.

3. Take needed vitamins,

Vitamin D
It is very important to include vitamin D daily as Vitamin D deficiency seems to increases susceptibility to infection in addition to autoimmune diseases. (5).In early 1900s patients with tuberculosis were sent to sanatoriums where patients had exposure to sunlight to directly kill the tuberculosis. In addition, Cod liver oil, which is great source of vitamin D was added as treatment for tuberculosis, in addition to providing protection from other infections. Of course that was done without knowing the power of vitamin D. (5)

However, later it was understood the reason behind cure was the vitamin D that was helping the immune system in fighting the infection. Currently the guidelines consider the level below 50 nmol/L corresponds with deficiency. (16)

Vitamin D toxicity is rare, however nausea and muscle weakness, kidney failure, irregular heartbeat , poor appetite and many more symptoms have been seen taking very high does for long time. It is important to consult your doctor when taking high dosage.  Adults age of 40 and below, suggested daily requirement is vitamin D 600 IU daily, while above 40 years old need 800 IU.( International Unit).Food containing vitamin D are fatty fish, salmon, mackerel, tuna, swordfish, cod liver oil, egg yolk, fortified orange juice and beef liver. Otherwise being exposed to sun will convert cutaneous 7-dehydrocholesterol to pre vitamin D3, which in turn becomes vitamin D3 (4).

Vitamin E,
Vitamin E consists of 4 types of tocopherols (α-, β-, γ-, and δ-tocopherols) that are fat soluble chemicals with anti-oxidant proprieties. (32)Vitamin E is found in leafy vegetables, egg yolk, Wheat germ oils and vegetable oils and nuts are good sources. Vitamin E has shown to play a very important role in immune modulation. Vitamin E deficiency is associated with an increased number of infections and cancer. (33)  Vitamin E can affect the clothing factors due to inhibition of protein kinase C activities therefore reducing platelet aggregation (clot formation). (33). Recommended daily does for adult is 15 mg. Most multivitamins offer 13.5 mg of vitamin E.Vitamin C,

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that plays significant roles in:
Strengthening the immune defense by supporting immune cellular functions in both innate and adaptive immune system.
Supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin.Other vitamins are Omega 3 fish oil and Multivitamin and vitamin B complex,ZINC.

4. Take daily Probiotics,

I have been writing many articles about the importance of probiotics. While most scientists are looking to make a vaccine to combat COVID-19, I was wondering if researchers can study the composition of the microbiome in patients with COVID-19 in comparison to young healthy individuals who seems to have innate résistance to the coronavirus, as they are not often developing the COVID -19 flu symptoms as opposed to older generations.

Studies have shown Lactobacillus plantarum is very effective in dealing with the flu by stimulating macrophage/dendritic cells to produce T helper and related cytokines.(35) Scientists gave heat-killed Lactobacillus palntarum to mice infected with the flu virus and found that survival time was significantly prolonged. (35)

In addition, Japanese scientists found that oral administration of Lactobacillus plantarum in mice resulted in an increase in IgA (Immunoglobulin A anti body) production in the small intestine and lung. This is strongly associated with protective ability. (36)

So while the scientist around the world are looking in to the finding ways to curb spread of COVID 19, they can look in to microbiome in prevention of COVID-19. 

Meanwhile please take your macrobiotic daily. You can read my article about probiotic and prebiotic here. 

5. Staying hydrated,

Water keeps our body detoxed through sweat (.5 liter of water daily) and urine (average of 1.4 liters or 6 cups daily) as well as through breathing (about 237 ml or a cup of water daily).We lose more water if we have diarrhea, vomiting, or fever through our intestinal system.We also lose water in the form of feces (.21 liter daily).

Make sure to drink all the time--a minimum of 8-10 cups a day. It is also important to avoid coffee, soda, and alcohol, as they have dehydrating effects on our body. So keep drinking delicious, clean water, and enjoy every drop of it. If you do not enjoy drinking plain water, add fruits such as berry or lemon or cucumber and few fresh leaves of peppermint or other herbs to enjoy. Immune boosting herbs and vegetable can help as well.

6. Eating healthy,I have highlighted many fruits and vegetables that can be beneficial not only in boosting our immune system to fight nasty virus and bacteria, but also consuming these fruits and vegetable and food regularly can change how your DNA behaves trough epigenetic modifications. Here 

7. Incorporate herbs in to your daily lives,Please make sure to visit our herbal sections to include many herbs that can help not only strengthen immune system, but due to their anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They can help with many diseases. Examples are: Garlic, Echinacea, Chamomile, Astragalus etc.

8. Include homeopathy if needed,

Homeopathy is a healing method built on the foundation of the “Law of Similars.” This fundamental principal is the belief that “like is cured by like,” meaning that we give a person with a disease a medicine that has similar characteristics to their symptoms. An example of this is the homeopathic remedy Coffea, which can be given to a restless person or a person suffering from insomnia; the main constituent of Coffea is caffeine.

This healing method was developed by a German physician in late 1700s; Doctor Samuel Hahenmann (1755-1843) used the Law of Similars to create remedies which shared many characteristics with the symptoms of his patients.  Hahenmann, a physician and a pharmacist, was tired of not being able to heal his patients using the methods available at the time. He even decided to quit his practice all together, until one day he met a friend of his – Scottish herbalist and physician William Cullen – who talked about the power of Peruvian Bark (known as cinchona, and the source of quinine) as a cure for malaria. Cullen believed the reason for the bark’s healing power was its bitter taste, which caused it to act as a tonic.

Herbal Remedies

Homeopathy, of course, also has many critics who do not believe it is a science; such opponents dismiss it as a “sugar pill,” providing nothing more than a placebo effect. But many very reputable doctors – allopathic and naturopathic alike, as well as those in various fields of alternative medicine – swear by its effectiveness. Personally, I am a firm believer in homeopathy, having seen amazing responses in my own small number of cases.

In case of coronavirus I believe China (Cinchona) can be used in treating it. Cinchona as mentioned is from the Peruvian bark and it was the key treatment for treating Malaria (which is a parasitic disease) and saved many lives in 1800s. Most likely it can do it again, hope hospitals give it a try.  As it is cheaper and readily available and can be used around the world.
Other common names for Peruvian barks are loxa bark, calisaya bark, Jesuit’s bark and yellow cinchona.

It is also used headache in digestive disorders and in insomnia and high fever and extreme lethargy. It is good to talk to an expert in naturopathic medicine OR a homeopathic doctor in order to take it. Especially in time of coronavirus it is ABOSOLUTLY IMPERATIVE to let authorities in healthcare know if you suspect you have coronavirus and place yourself under self-imposed STRICT QUARANTINE.

These steps are mostly preventive in case of homeopathy it is if you suspect you have follow the direction your hospital orders.Other steps to stay healthy is making sure you have good night’s sleep. I have written several articles about herbs that you can incorporate in your daily regimens.  Make sure to add lots of vegetable full of phytochemicals and anti-oxidants. You can follow my daily tweets @CureNaturally or read articles about nutrition and healthy lifestyle and stress management at www. Please follow the recommendation by the CDC and stay inside while keeping your immune system stong and healthy.  

It is also IMPERATIVE in this times of hardship stay in touch with those in need of HELP and OFFER TO HELP. Keep an eyes on your neighbors and HELP ONE ANOTHER with LOVE and CARE.

Happy Persian new years to all who celebrate. May the light of JOY and HAPPINESE be upon all taking away the cloud of darkness hovering over the WORLD away. May God be with all of us and within EACH ONE OF US.


Thanks for visiting

Ashraf Girgis N.D.


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