How to support yourself through COVID-19

As Osteopaths we follow the principals that The body is a unit, of body, mind and spirit, and that the body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing and health maintenance. In reflecting on these principals, we must consider the significant impact stress can make to weakening the immune system and our body’s capacity for self-healing. Stress, worry and anxiety can significantly affect the gut balance, further deteriorating our immunity and health. Practising regular activities to reduce the body’s stress response is crucial in these seemingly challenging times.
Please consider the following recommendations to support your body’s immune system for the current COVID-19 situation and the coming winter (and beyond).
Lifestyle recommendations to support the immune system:
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm/hot water. If water is not available, use an antibacterial hand sanitiser. See recipe below.
  • Blow your nose (into a single-use tissue, then wash your hands) regularly to remove any viral and bacterial load from your nose
  • Drink warm water regularly
  • Gargle with warm water and salt daily or after being out in public
  • Get plenty of sun, fresh air and SLEEP. Most restorative sleep is 10pm-6am so aim for this if possible
  • Exercise - preferably outside in the sun
  • Eat a diet rich in a variety of coloured fruit & vegetables, meat (if suitable), eggs (if suitable), nuts and seeds, bone broth, and fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut. Choose Organic where possible.
  • Drink bone broth daily, preferably home made using organic bones.
  • Reduce (eliminate) sugar and alcohol intake
  • Stress reduction - Stress, worry, rumination can impair our immune system. Meditate, exercise, breathe deeply. Keep informed through official channels, avoid sensationalised media.
Consider supplementing with the following:
  • Vitamin A, C, D, E, K2 (Vitamin A & D from food ONLY - eg. Cod Liver Oil, unless a measured deficiency)
  • NAC (N-acetylcysteine)
  • Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium
  • Andrographis
  • Medicinal Mushrooms (Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps etc)
  • Curcumin
  • Immune supporting probiotic strands
  • Protease Enzyme Formulas


If diagnosed with COVID-19, please discuss with your doctor the following nutraceuticals to support you. If you doctor is not familiar with these approaches then please consider to consulting with an integrative medicine doctor. I have followed natural approaches to COVID-19 as they emerge, some in the second list are theoretical, some have been found beneficial in treating other viral issues such as influenza and other types of Corona-Virus, SARS etc.

From Institute of Functional Medicine
"At this time, there are no specific...uniformly successful treatments for COVID-19. However, emerging research on several specific botanical and nutraceutical agents is promising, as such agents can improve the body's ability to fight off and recover the the illness."
  • Curcumin
  • Quercetin
  • Zinc
  • N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C (Especially Intravenous Vitamin C)
  • Melatonin
  • ECGC (with caution)
  • Resveratrol
  • Elderberry
  • PEA (Palmitoylethanolamide)"
Plus others discussed in functional/integrative medicine circles:
  • SPMs (specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators) or Omega 3
  • Andrographis
  • Allium family (onion, garlic)
  • Monolaurin
  • Beta 1,3 Glucan
  • Selenium
  • Reishi
  • Glutathione
  • Berberine
  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Perilla

References available on request.

Natural, Organic Homemade Sanitizer
3 tbsp aloe vera gel
2 tbsp witch hazel or rubbing alcohol (if using alcohol, reduce to 1 tbsp) 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil
20 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and transfer/store in a small jar or a squeeze bottle.
Please take care of you and your family...and check on your neighbour. Tread gently and support those around you. Let’s try to treat each other with kindness and compassion, were all in this together, after all.

Written by Dr. Jess Harvey B.Sc. (Anat, Phys), B.Ap.Sci (Comp. Med.), Ma Osteo., Registered Osteopath and Director of Head 2 Toe Health, with multidisciplinary clinics in Brisbane and Gold Coast. We provide Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Massage, Life Coaching and Counselling. We aim to get you as well as possible, as fast as possible, permanently. We believe in a thorough approach to restoring and maintaining health and address many aspects of our lifestyles that can contribute to pain, stiffness, dis-ease and disease. For any further information, please contact us on or 07) 3208 8308.

This information is intended as a general guide only and is not specific for any particular condition or situation.  Please consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting a nutritional program.