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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Through the Lens of Traditional and Functional Medicine

March 16, 2020 5 min read

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Through the Lens of Traditional and Functional Medicine

    By Dr. Charles Meakin, M.D. |

    As you are aware, concerns about Coronavirus, also known as “COVID-19,” are increasing throughout the U.S. While the media have been quick to provide real-time updates on the spread of the virus, we, at Oxygen Plus, highly recommend you rely on trusted and respected health services when researching and communicating about the novel coronavirus. We are relying on information primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov. Remember: Recommendations for COVID-19 may change as officials learn more, so monitor your local health department and the CDC for updates.

    A Traditional Medicine Perspective on COVID-19:

    Below is a brief summary of information and best practices published by the CDC to help you protect yourself from this health concern.

    What is the Novel Coronavirus?

    Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses, some that cause illness in people and others that cause illness in animals. Coronaviruses include the seasonal flu and common cold. Novel (new) coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.

    Symptoms

    Reported symptoms can include a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and may appear in as few as two to fourteen days following exposure. If you develop cold or flu-like symptoms, especially after traveling, it is recommended to call your local healthcare provider for personalized expert advice.

    How It Spreads

    According to the CDC, transmission of the virus is primarily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. It is also believed that a person can be exposed to the new coronavirus by touching a compromised surface or object. However, due to the delicate nature of the virus, the CDC has stated that exposure from products or packaging that are shipped or mailed over a period of days or weeks as “very low risk.”

    Prevention & Treatment

    The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended the following steps to help reduce the risk of exposure and to help prevent spreading the virus.

    • Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wash for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
    • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow, and frequently dispose of used tissues
    • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
    • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
    • Stay home if you feel like you have cold or flu-like symptoms
    • Practice social distancing to help flatten the curve or spread of this virus
    • Do not gather together in groups of more than 10 people (current as of 03/15/20).
    • Avoid contact with anyone who may be more vulnerable to this virus

    A Functional Medicine Perspective on COVID-19:

    As a wellness-minded company, we also want to offer some additional actions healthy people can take from the lens of Functional Medicine, which looks at root causes and thus, root solutions. (NOTE: Anyone with concerning symptoms should seek medical advice and treatment. Nothing in this article is intended to serve as personal or prescriptive medical recommendation or advice. The following is for healthy individuals only.)

    At a recent educational program I attended, the following information on COVID-19 virus protection was presented:

    1. Wash your hands. Use regular soap and water when possible and take your time. Carry a good essential oil blend in your bag, like Thieves or Immune Boost, and use a couple of drops on your hands. Surgeons have done studies on essential oils for antibiotic-resistant wound infections and found almost all of them to have anti-microbial action, even more so in combination.
    2. If you start feeling sick, don’t wait to see if it gets worse. Start your regimen ASAP. The sooner you mobilize your immune system, the less severe your symptoms are likely to become.
    3. Eat less sugar and more green veggies. Sugar suppresses your immune system. Bitter compounds in dark leafy greens mobilize it.
    4. Drink ginger tea.It’s fine if you use teabags, but for the real medicinal effect, cut up a thumb-sized piece of ginger root and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-20 minutes. Add raw honey (none for babies below a year!) and drink non-stop.
    5. Take healing and anti-viral supplements and herbs.

    Our immune systems are remarkable if we support their maintenance and function.

    Right now, we should do all we can to make sure we are not the vector or path of the spread of the COVID-19 virus to others, especially those who are medically frail. Oxygen Plus is aligning with this public health advisement of “social distancing” by transitioning its employees to work virtually - while still aiming to produce its products for people who want it during this stressful time.

    Many times, these viral infections foster damage by stressing the system and bringing out existing cardiac or respiratory diseases. Oxygen support for anyone with these risks would be beneficial either by home oxygen, if available, or by supplementing oxygen levels with FDA-facility manufactured portable recreational oxygen, like Oxygen Plus. A few breaths - for healthy individuals - can boost oxygen levels, helping to restore depleted oxygen levels to normal, healthy levels during intermittent times of higher stress or shortness of breath. A finger O2 saturation oximeter, like the iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter offered by Oxygen Plus, is an easy way to monitor someone in question. However, as stated throughout, if there is any doubt about sickness for anyone right now, a phone call to your doctor or a drive the hospital should be your next step.

    In case you’re wondering about the sanitation of Oxygen Plus, or other products that you order online, the CDC has stated that exposure from products or packaging that are shipped or mailed over a period of days or weeks are “very low risk.” Thus, and because the canisters are the only recreational oxygen canisters filled in a FDA-registered facility, the company encourages you to buy Oxygen Plus if it helps you and your loved ones breathe easy.

    Stay strong and oxygenated,

    Dr. Charles Meakin, MD

    PRECAUTION: Oxygen Plus (O+) products, which contain pure recreational oxygen, are intended for recreational, intermittent use only, not to be used as medical nor life-saving products. Prolonged use is defined as uninterrupted intake for more than 8 hours. Any person with any type of health or medical condition should consult their physician prior to use of O+ products. Since O+ is not a medical product or intended for medical use, it is neither regulated nor approved by the FDA.

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