It would be true to say that vaccinations do not hold the answer to the prevention of viral or bacterial infections. Quite simply, if you do not have a robust immune system to begin with then any immune response will fail. If you do have a strong immune system, then you simply do not need   any form of external help.

Further, an immune response needs to occur in the tissue that it will affect. If an injection is intended to stay in the muscle tissue and we are attempting to induce an IgA response which occurs in mucous membranes, then it is unclear how such an injection will produce the desired immune response,

Below the protocol for viral and bacterial respiratory infection is given but can be used for other infections to good effect. The reasons for the protocol are given alongside the therapeutic doses and names of each supplement.

·       Vitamin D3

·       Quercetin

·       Vitamin C

·       Zinc

·       Allicin

·       Cholesterol



1)    Vitamin D3 20,000 IU’s daily until the infection begins to dissipate. Up to 50,000 can be given for one week in severe cases.  After the infection begins to subside, the dose can be reduced to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of 4,000 IU’s daily. 

Between the hours of April and to the end of September, it may not be necessary to take vitamin D if you have been in the sun for more than 20 minutes a day.

   Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and cannot be absorbed without being taken with a little fat.  Some full fat milk or half a slice of well-buttered toast is adequate.  

Vitamin D activates the innate immune system which is the general defence immunity we have from birth.  Some of the general defences we have are mucous membranes which prevent penetration of infective agents into our body, acidity on the skin which kills infective agents but which soap washing and hand cleansers destroy, general all-purpose immune system cells, among many others

Activation of the general immune system- which tends to keep most infective agents at bay – is necessary to activate the acquired immune system which has more specialist artillery at its disposal to deal with infective agents. However, please note that if you do not have adequate amounts of vitamin D in the first place, neither arms of the immune system can be activated.

Vitamin D produces its own Antimicrobial peptide (AMP) which is known as Cathelicidin.  This is a broad spectrum antimicrobial which is effective against many other infective agents such as fungal infections in addition to bacterial and viral infection.  


2)    Zinc 25mg to 75mg for one week.  If using the higher amount, then use 75mg for only 3 days and then reduce to 25mg.

 Zinc is essential for the synthesis of approximately 800 macromolecules many of which are involved in defence against infection. Zinc prevents viral spike protein from attaching and entering cells.  It tends to be more effective with small amounts of quercetin.   If too much zinc is taken then nausea will ensue and you must cut back.

3)    Quercetin.  100mg daily.   Quercetin is a B type flavone that is anti-inflammatory in nature and works alongside zinc in preventing infection.   Onion or leek soup has plenty of quercetin in it and could be an consideration for light meals during convalescence instead of a quercetin supplement which is quite bulky.

4)    Vitamin C 2000mg rising to 6000-8000mg should bacterial infections such as pneumonia be present.   Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties at lower doses and is rapidly used up at times of infection and stress. At higher doses it acts therapeutically in the same way that antibiotics do.   There is no reason why even higher doses cannot be administered until bowel tolerance is reached (faecal contents will be watery and explosive at this point) where this will evidence that all tissues are saturated with vitamin C.

Vitamin C is generally fine on the stomach but if you have a tender stomach there are forms which are less acid.  These tend to be more expensive and are generally not required.


Other useful natural substances to address infection


Allicin 450mg daily.   The active ingredient in garlic, it has efficacy against gram positive and gram negative bacteria and enhances antimicrobial activity in the lungs.

It passes through cell membranes and reacts with circulatory glutathione.  Research is not clear whether it develops sufficient concentration in tissue to exert the desired clinical effect but it is effective in the vapour phase so is useful in a nebuliser.

Cholesterol – adequate cholesterol is vital for the health of the respiratory system.  People on cholesterol lowering drugs are at a distinct disadvantage when overcoming respiratory infection.  Cholesterol is required for the synthesis of the cell membrane of every cell including immune system cells.  Research has shown that those on cholesterol lowering drugs are more likely to die from respiratory and gastrointestinal infection. Cholesterol is needed to neutralise bacterial toxins which destroy tissue in order to spread through it. Specifically, the neutralisation of the gram negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is importance since LPS is a pro typical trigger for sepsis

Riboflavin - 100mg - helps eliminate bacterial toxins. A riboflavin deficiency inhibits the liver detoxification pathway that eliminates bacterial toxins

Pantothenic Acid - should be at least 10mg - pantothenic acid deficiency and frequent respiratory infections go together. Pantothenic acid is needed for the formation of antibodies and detoxifying any drugs taken. It is, like thiamine, a very vulnerable vitamin, and is easily destroyed. It can be taken in doses of up to 150mg for one year only. No symptoms of excess have been noted.

Magnesium -

approximately 200mg which acts as an activator for vitamin D. People with good amounts of magnesisum in their diet may not need to supplement.


Medium Chain Fatty Acids

Medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) are chains of fatty acids which are 6-12 chains long. Due to their length they have special properties.  They can be used directly by the liver as a source of energy or they can be changed into ketones. Ketones are substances which the liver produces when it breaks down large amounts of fat for energy.

  Ketones can cross the blood brain barrier and be used as fuel instead of glucose which the brain normally uses.

MCFA’s are less likely to be turned into fat as they can so easily be turned into energy for immediate use.

Just from this perspective they can be an immediate source of energy when you are ill.

The main sources of MCFA’s can be seen in the table below.

Table showing types of Medium Chain Fatty Acids and their main sources.


Type of MCFA                             Source of MCFA’s

C6 – caproic acid(hexanoic acid)


C8 – caprylic acid (octanoic acid)

Coconut oil, palm kernel oil, goat cheese, butter

C10 – capric acid – (decanoic acid)

Coconut oil, palm kernel oil

 C12 – Lauric acid – (dodecanoic acid)

Coconut oil


Coconut is a good source of medium chain fatty acids

Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiprotozoal actions in the body. Its unique fatty acids, found in breast milk contains MCFA’s. It helps protect the baby when its own immune system is hardly developed.

Studies have shown that MCFA’s are effective against viruses causing measles, influenza, pneumonia, throat infections, herpes and AIDS.  MCFA’S also are effective against bacteria causing pneumonia, throat infections, stomach infections, sinusitis, rheumatic fever, urinary tract infections, meningitis and dental cavities.

MCFA’s are also effective against many fungal infections including those which cause thrush.

While coconut oil is effective against the flu virus, it is not effective against rhinovirus which is the virus which generally causes the common cold. The MCFA’s act on the lipid coating - or envelope of the flu virus - but the virus causing the common cold is not enveloped in a lipid coating.  It has a hard outer shell – known as a capsid -  which is often impervious to alcohol hand gels and disinfectants.

Nevertheless, for the purposes of addressing Coronavirus, MCFA’s have efficacy against this virus.






A number of catechin derivatives can be found in green tea and represent about 35% of the dry weight of the tea leaves. One of these – epigallocatechin-3-0-gallate ((EGCG) is found in greater amounts than the other companion catechins in green tea.  This is good news because EGCG has been found to have antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

An antimicrobial has a broader meaning and function than an antiviral.  It encompasses antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, among others.  It is, in general terms, a good ‘all-rounder.’

How do catechins respond to viral infections?  They do this by inhibiting the early stages of infection such as attachment, entry and membrane fusion.  They also appear to address the later stages of viral infection, too.  

Green tea is not everybody’s cup of tea if you will pardon the pun.  I am not a great lover of it myself.  However, I am happy to add it to my usual cup of black tea which does not exhibit the same broad spectrum of antimicrobial benefits as green tea but, nevertheless, does have some.

When I am making fruit loaves, I often soak the dried fruit in tea.  In this respect, it does not matter if it is green or black tea, the idea is to moisten the cake. However, if you want something sweet packed with antiviral benefits then keep some catechin soaked fruit loaf in the freezer ready to address any virus that may strike.







Hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein

Hydroxytyrosol is a phenolic compound – that is it is obtained from aromatic plants. It also has potent antiviral, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. The main sources of hydroxytyrosol are olive leaf extract, olives and olive oil.

Hydroxytyrosol is also a scavenger of free radicals that are able to damage tissues.

Hydroxytyrosol’s antiviral mechanism appears to be related to its ability to cause a morphological change in the virus. That is, it changes the shape of the virus.



A number of other enveloped viruses such as the influenza viruses:

·        H1N1

·        H3N2

·        H5N1

·        H9N2

are susceptible to the damaging effects of hydroxytyrosol. However, non-enveloped viruses do not appear to be.

The Mediterranean diet which is revered for its cardio-protective effects has clearly more to offer than has been mooted.

The Mediterranean diet is packed with an array of colourful fruit and vegetables which are liberally tossed in olive oil. Bread is dipped in olive oil as a matter of course.  It is a hugely popular diet nowadays and one which should continue to be taken seriously if we are to prime our immune systems against novel Coronaviruses, that appear to be on the increase.

Oleuropein is a phenolic compound that is found naturally in olive oil.  A number of studies have found that oleuropein exerted effects against viruses as well as bacteria.

A solution of olive leaf extract used as a gargle has been found, in studies, to reduce infectivity by viruses. In addition, it decreases inflammation that so often causes the persistent cough found in respiratory conditions, often long after the original infection has gone. 


Elderberries and apple pectin.

This chapter has been taken from Treat Infection Naturally by Lynne D M Noble

We are very fortunate to have seven apple trees in our garden, all of which are of different varieties. We also have a pear tree, two plum trees, a damson and an elderberry tree, among many of the plants we grow for their medicinal properties.


Our elderberry tree is a delight producing sprays of creamy sprays of flowers in summer and, in the autumn it is hung with tiny black gleaming powerhouses of antiviral goodness.

Studies[1] have shown that sambucol –its scientific name – was shown to be effective against 10 strains of influenza virus.  Further sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days, in a placebo controlled randomised study.

It was found that the elder polyphenol bound to viral envelopes of influenza.  In addition, it has been found to inhibit entry of enveloped viruses, to host cells, in general.




Michael peeling apples in our garden 2018

In the convalescent phase, serum withdrawn from parents, with diagnosed influenza, showed a higher antibody level to influenza virus in the sambucol group than the control group.

A further study aimed to assess the effect of sambucol products on the healthy immune system – namely on cytokine production.

Cytokines are substances which are secreted by certain cells of the immune system and have an effect on other cells.

In this study, the production of inflammatory cytokines was tested using blood-derived monocytes from 12 healthy human donors.

Monocytes are a type of white blood cell which can change into macrophages. These immune system cells   engulf pathogens. They are part of the adaptive immune system.

The results were that inflammatory cytokines were increased significantly demonstrating that not only did sambucol have antiviral properties but that it also had immune activating properties. Sambucol could also be beneficial for cancer or AIDS patients


Elderberries should never be eaten raw.  They are a purgative.  However, they are perfectly safe when cooked.  I use them in pies with apples or make jam with them. Mostly I make elderberry syrup for the winter which comes in useful as soon as one of the winter infections makes its round.  Elderberry syrup is also called elderberry rob.  Here is one of my recipes which you can use to pour over pancakes as well as take as a medicine.



1 cup of black elderberries

4 cups of water

2 slices of fresh ginger

1 tsp of cinnamon powder

2-3 cloves

200ml of honey





Pour water and all ingredients, apart from the honey, into a saucepan.


Simmer until the mixture has reduced by half.


Let cool and then strain. (this is the messy part).

Mix the honey into the strained mixture and pour into a sterilised bottle or container.


This will store in the fridge but if I have made a large batch and don’t intend to use it all within a month then I will freeze some of it until I need it.



Apples indirectly contribute to the health of the immune system through the pectin that they contain. Pectin is the substance in some fruits that helps jam set. Pectin is a type of fibre that acts as a prebiotic.  This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.


A University of Illinois study found that soluble fibre, like pectin, reduces the inflammation associated with obesity related diseases and strengthens the immune system.


It appears that soluble fibre changes immune cells so that they go from being pro-inflammatory - and angry - to anti-inflammatory healing cells which help us recover faster from infection.  This occurred because soluble fibre caused increased production of an anti-inflammatory protein called interleukin-4.


I combine the power of apples and elderberries in jams and pies for the winter but, if I have a surplus of apples, as I have this year, then I add apples to soups and gravies.


Apple gives soup a delicious base. It somehow brings out and enhances all the other flavours that you have added to make your soup. It also helps thicken it.  This is one of the beauties of adding it to gravy.  It thickens the meat stock in a most delightful way. I don’t just reserve it for pork. I find apple goes well with any meat and helps balance all the flavours.  Even potato and apple mashed together make a delightful combination to go with a main meal.


Whenever I make a fruit pudding, the main ingredient is apple.  It binds the other ingredients together in the way that egg does.  It brings with it, its own sweetness so that less sugar is needed and of course it brings valuable soluble fibre to feed the gut bacteria.


Does insoluble fibre have the same impact on the immune system that soluble fibre does? In another study the impact of insoluble and soluble fibre was tested on mice.  One group of mice was fed soluble fibre for six weeks and the other group was fed insoluble fibre. After this time, the mice were fed lipopolysaccharide.  This is a substance that is found in bacterial cell walls.


It was found that the mice fed the soluble fibre did not get sick but the mice fed the insoluble fibre did.


It really does appear as though an apple a day keeps the doctor away.


Of course, besides apples there are a number of other fruits which contain pectin such as pears

Copper – deadly antiviral


Copper as an anti-infective agent has been recognised as such for over 2,000 years. Hippocrates recommended it to people to prevent infections of any sort.


Copper oxide and copper ions need only 6 hours to inactivate influenza A, virus particles.  Copper destroys their genetic material by interacting with oxygen and preventing mutation.  In addition, it inhibits attachment of the virus to the host cell so that infection cannot take hold.


 It is capable of killing every known strain of virus including the Coronavirus. Indeed, Coronavirus was found to be permanently and rapidly deactivated when in contact with copper.


Using this concept, a device known as the Copper Zap was invented in the US.  At the first sign of a cold, the Copper Zap can be inserted into the nostrils for a short time where it will rapidly kill viruses. 


Other individuals make a gargle using copper supplements at the first sign of a sore throat.


However, it is judicious to maintain a diet which contains adequate amounts of copper, bearing in mind that high levels of zinc and vitamin C can also deplete copper over time.

Foods which contain good amounts of copper include:

·        Liver

·        Oysters

·        Nuts and seeds

·        Lobster

·        Dark leafy greens

·        Dark chocolate

The recommended dietary allowance is 900mcg daily.  However, a word of caution is required here – a deficiency or excess of copper can have negative side effects so supplementation is not recommended unless under medical supervision.  Further, if copper is not bound to a

Dark green leafy vegetables contain good amounts of copper.

protein – which occurs in food as a matter of course – then it has toxic properties.  For example, the copper found in supplements is generally a salt of copper – that is an unbound form. I cannot recommend supplements of copper unless you know for certain that they are in a non-labile form.   Copper from copper pipes used to convey drinking to households is also toxic and should be avoided.  The best sources of copper are from food in a well-balanced diet.


Signs of a copper deficiency – other than frequent viral infections - include:

·        abnormal skin and hair pigmentation

·        iron deficient anaemia

·        poorly functioning immune system resulting in bacterial infections

·        poor memory and lack of creative thinking.

·        Poor connective tissue formation.  Copper is required for the cross links in collagen.




[1] Barak V1, Halperin TKalickman I.