It is a challenging and confusing time for everyone.

Yet, as healthcare practitioners, we are needed more than ever, by our clients and our community, to do what we do best *educating *advocating * providing access to medicines * supporting

Our friends and esteemed peers down at Gould’s Apothecary’s (TAS) have shared some great tips on Facebook and honestly, they couldn’t have done a better job! Let’s look after ourselves and each other and collectively calm and curtail this. 

The Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA) also suggests as follows: “For those of you who want or need to move consultations to an online or phone format, this is a valid option to protect yourself, your staff and your patients during the current pandemic.” Check with other associations if you are a member of these to see how they recommend you approach consultations while minimising risk.

Below is the Gould’s post and well, we couldn’t have said it better and thought this may also be something you want to share with your patients to let them know you’re well informed and you’re there for them.

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We’ve put together a list of simple steps you can take at this time to take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Our list of suggestions below has been compiled with the intention of providing you with simple steps for actions you can take at home, or recommendations for things that you can access fairly easily. These treatments have the potential to support your general health and immune resilience, but to be clear, none of them have any proven action in preventing or treating coronavirus infection.

Gargle and drink GREEN TEA. Consuming green tea, in particular gargling it, has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting influenza and the common cold. The tannins in green tea have been shown to have broad antiviral effects topically. In one study, residents in an aged care facility gargling the equivalent of ½ cup of green tea three times daily were more than 15 times less likely (OR 15.7) to catch the flu https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=16970537
Take a Vitamin D supplement. Living in Tasmania is known to increase our risk of having low vitamin D. A number of studies have shown that taking vitamin D, particularly in people who are vitamin D deficient, reduces the chances of developing acute respiratory infections including influenza. Most studies reviewed used adult doses ranging from 2000IU to 4000IU a day, which is known to be safe to take long term even in the absence of deficiency https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30675873

Eat probiotic foods daily. Consuming probiotic foods regularly or taking a probiotic supplement has been shown to reduce the risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25927096 You can consume probiotics through foods such as probiotic yogurt (Vaalia has 3 well researched viable strains in therapeutic amounts), sauerkraut or kimchi, in addition to many others. All of these can be consumed on a daily basis. If you would prefer to take a supplement, talk to us at Gould’s about the most ideal one for your situation.

Eat plenty of raw crushed GARLIC. We don’t care if you stink, we can all stink together! Garlic is one of nature’s best antimicrobials, and it is quite amazing in that it appears to be selective in its action – it doesn’t wipe out your good bacteria. Local organic garlic is best if you can access it, but don’t worry if you can’t – eat what you can find. Ensure you are eating raw garlic according to your own tolerance as not everyone can stomach it. We find that adding crushed garlic to a meal just before consuming it, or having it with avocado on wholesome bread, improves tolerability.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PMC4103721
Keep any medicines you regularly use in stock and within date. This includes pharmaceuticals (check your scripts are also in date), herbal remedies and nutritional supplements. At Gould’s, we have taken measures to ensure we have enough immune and respiratory herbs in stock to get through the winter season, and while we encourage you to be prepared, we emphatically ask that you don’t stockpile herbs, so that we can continue to serve the community through the winter period. Tinctures are also not something we can accept returns for, so please think about how much you realistically need. We are setting a limit of 500ml per person for respiratory and immune mixes, and while we won’t be policing repeat visits, we ask that everyone be mindful of others within the community also having access to herbal medicines.
Keep your home above 16°C. Having a cold home reduces respiratory resilience and increases susceptibility to and mortality from respiratory tract infections. This is especially important for people who are elderly, asthmatic or have other chronic/recurrent respiratory conditions. http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/…/the-health-impacts…
Eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Eat an abundance of plant foods, high antioxidant foods (especially berries, kiwifruit and purple grapes), fresh local fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and plenty of legumes. These help to feed your beneficial gut bacteria, which will assist you with immune resilience. They also ensure you have a healthy intake of vitamin C along with other nutrients important for immune health.
Don’t overindulge with alcohol. Binge drinking is bad for your gut flora, and also impairs immune function and increases the severity of respiratory tract infections https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/
If you smoke, action a quit plan. Contact QuitTas for support https://www.quittas.org.au/…

Get enough sleep, maintain a healthy exercise regime, and try to keep stress levels in check. We understand that these things can be easier said than done, but all three of these are integral to your immune system working well. So take the opportunities that present to take care of yourself.

If you do get sick, don’t panic, but please minimise your contact with other people, and follow the guidelines about self-isolation.

SELF ISOLATION IS RECOMMENDED IF:

● You have returned from or transited through any high-risk countries within the last 14 days. (It appears prudent to extend this to moderate risk countries also.) At the time of writing this post (12th March 2020) the following countries are considered high and moderate risk: Mainland China; Iran; Italy; South Korea; Cambodia; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Singapore and Thailand. It appears that USA may soon be classed as moderate risk also.

● You have been in close contact with anyone who has recently transited through these countries.
● You have been in contact with anyone who has confirmed coronavirus or is suspected to be at risk of being exposed to the virus.

● You have recently returned from anywhere overseas and have even mild cold or flu symptoms.

***In all of these cases you should call the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 671 738 in Hobart or 1800 020 080 nationally (in Australia) to clarify your next step. https://www.health.gov.au/…/coronavirus-covid-19-informatio…

As a thank you to our current subscribers of Update in Under 30s, Rachel will be running a FREE 1 hour live Q &A to answer questions about the first 3 episodes that have been released in 2020 (see the list below).  Here is your opportunity to debrief and ask any questions you may have after you’ve listened to Rachel’s pearls of wisdom on these episodes. This is a special bonus for our CURRENT PREMIUM SUBSCRIBERS only. SAVE THE DATE. The live Zoom session will start at 6pm (Syd time) on the 2nd April. You will be invited to pre-submit questions and Rachel will do her very best to answer the ones that are the most common and/or offer the best-extended learning for everyone and, as many as possible. Here are the three episodes you can submit questions on. Please note the March episode – Outrunning ‘Athlete’s’ Anaemia – will be released early on 24 March so you can listen before the live session. If you are not a premium subscriber yet, you can subscribe here https://rachelarthur.com.au/product/12-month-subscription-to-rachels-premium-audio/

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