Home Remedies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
Some of the most effective home remedies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome include the use of selenium, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, echinacea, astragalus, Chinese skullcap, elderberry, licorice, red sage, and kudzu.
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What is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome?
While some people in the western world may not be familiar with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (commonly shortened to MERS), this strange virus has already appeared on US soil multiple times in the past year. Commonly known as camel flu, this betacoronavirus is deadly, but has only affected roughly 1,000 people since its discovery. Believed to be carried by bats, and passed to camels, this virus causes a range of symptoms, from cough and fever to diarrhea and respiratory distress. Fortunately, it appears that close contact with an infected person is required, and the virus is not as contagious as other coronaviruses, like SARS, although they do have similar pathologies.
The wisest recommendation for avoiding MERS is by avoiding contact with sick camels, which is relatively easy in most parts of the world, but MERS is no laughing matter. Roughly 40% of infected individuals die, and if the coronavirus continues to evolve and adapt to humans, it could be a new global pandemic. Many of the cases in humans have spread within a healthcare setting, like a hospital, but the “outbreak” sizes have been relatively small, averaging roughly 3 people, so the risk of an explosive outbreak is low. The prescribed treatment for MERS is rather intensive, and not proven to work in all cases, which is why many people have turned to natural remedies to prevent or combat this infection. While the seriousness of this virus cannot be overstated, and medical attention is highly recommended, some natural remedies may be beneficial to complement prescribed medications. Now, let’s take a closer look at the home remedies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
Home Remedies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
One of the most important things for fighting any infection is boosting the immune system, and zinc is a key component of the human immune system, primarily in its production of white blood cells. Foods high in zinc can be consumed to protect against viral infections, such as wheat germ, spinach, cashews, red meat, and mushrooms.
The most famous immune system booster is obviously vitamin C, which can be found in high concentrations in a wide range of readily accessible fruits and vegetables. Much like zinc, vitamin C is known to boost the production of white blood cells to fight off MERS, and also has antioxidant potential to reduce oxidative stress, which is increased by the infection.
This might not be the most commonly used herb, but it is a powerful one, with direct connections to boosting immune system strength. Astragalus is also easily accessible in the Middle East, which is where the majority of MERS cases, including the major Saudi Arabia outbreak in 2012, have occurred.
This herb has been used for hundreds of years due to its diverse effects against bacterial and viral infections throughout the body. It is known to inhibit the replication of pathogens, which can stop the spread of the infection, while also helping the immune system stay strong, rather than turning on itself in a “cytokine storm”, which is often observed in MERS cases.
One of the main areas of the body that is attacked by MERS is the respiratory tracts, and kudzu has proven time and time again to be an ideal anti-inflammatory agent for this part of the body. Kudzu is available in most parts of the world, and can be prepared in a number of ways, most popularly steeped in water and then consumed.
Another key element of the human immune system, this mineral can be found in high quantities in tuna, sunflower seeds, oysters and Brazil nuts. Selenium is an integral part of protecting the immune system from turning on itself, and also in the production of white blood cells.
When looking for an antioxidant-packed herb, echinacea is as far as you need to go. For thousands of years (and hundreds of illnesses), echinacea has been trusted to reduce oxidative stress, soothe inflammation, ease pain, and boost the immune system, making it perfect for the treatment of MERS.
What makes MERS so dangerous is its high mortality for people who are suffering from any other chronic disease. By compromising the immune system and attacking other organ systems, MERS is very dangerous, but red sage can stop the infection in its track, and also reduce oxidative stress caused by pre-existing conditions.
Another important antioxidant and immune-boosting compounds is vitamin A, which is derived from beta-carotene, and occurs naturally in many of the foods we eat. Vitamin A can reduce oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals, which are the compounds that do the most damage in an infection like MERS.
Licorice is more than just delicious; it also has natural antiviral and antibacterial compounds that has made it a popular home remedy for generations. Excessive use of licorice can become toxic, but using it for a month or so to boost the immune system when suffering from a condition like MERS is a very effective way to protect yourself.
A Final Word of Warning: As mentioned, there is a very high mortality rate for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, so if you believe you’ve been exposed or are infected, immediately speak to a trained physician to lower your chances of infecting anyone else, and to get the infection under control. These remedies should be seen as complementary to the more formal treatments prescribed by doctors and medical professionals.