the (long) short list
The following is a list of food, flora, supplements and treatments that have either eliminated symptoms altogether or greatly improved my physical and mental endurance. This is just what worked for me. I am not giving medical advice. Any books referenced are listed in the Reading List.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The items listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
Supplements: Flora, Vitamins, and other Compounds
I love Elderberry Extract. This stuff really delivers. I first learned about it in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome|A Treatment Guide (Verrillo and Gellman) in the first year of my diagnosis and tried it for my recurring sore throats. Elderberry Extract put an end to them. It also returned my red, swollen tonsils to a normal size and color. I got in the habit of just letting it sit in the back of my throat for a little bit and even gargling with it before swallowing; just to get every ounce of medicinal love out of it. I would bathe in this stuff if I could. I still keep it on hand for whenever I start to feel a little run down, and obviously for a sore throat – which is a very rare occasion now. It always does the trick. Elderberry Extract is also featured in Herbal Antivirals|Natural Remedies for Emerging and Resistant Viral Infections, (Buhner)
MethylCobalamin or Methyl B12 (subcutaneous injection)
This vitamin literally gave me my life back when I was 23. I experienced radical improvement in virtually everything. My energy returned, my cognitive function improved and so much more. I went from being housebound to working a part time job in just 6 months. It’s almost mythical to me, like a holy energy entered my body and rebooted me! It sounds overly dramatic, but it really was THAT amazing! See My Miracle Methyl B12 for the full story. Methyl, not any other type of Cobalamin was the way to go for me. This has to be done by a compounding pharmacy, and College Pharmacy seems to be the only compounding pharmacy that can get this script right. It was also important for me to get the preservative-free kind too. The “regular” kind uses aluminum as a preservative! Injecting aluminum into my body was not smart. I broke out in horrendous acne all over my face and chest and had diarrhea for a week. When I went back to preservative-free there were no issues. Interestingly enough, my bloodwork did not show that I was deficient in B12, only that I was on the low end of normal. I didn’t show any signs of Anemia. Methyl B12 essentially allowed my recovery. It was absolutely critical. Absolutely critical. I can’t say it enough.
MethylCobalamin + Adenosylcobalamin (sublingual formula)
I no longer do injections, (5-7 years later it stopped working its magic) but I do take Methylcobalamin with Adenosylcobalamin in sublingual form. It does give me a lift when I’m feeling drained and run down. And whilst I am not able to point to anything more specific (or dramatic) per se, I believe it may be still be assisting processes in the “background”. The need my body demonstrated for MethylCobalamin at its weakest, leads me to believe it’s a good idea to keep it in the picture.
True to the dysfunctional nature of CFS, I would wake up in the morning feeling like I had been in a light sleep all night. I awoke in a funk, feeling tired and agitated. Melatonin was a real Godsend. I took 1 or 3 mg about a half hour before I wanted to sleep. At first, I think I had to take it a few nights before I could feel it working. That’s not true anymore – It still works the first time now even if I haven’t taken any in months. Some nights, it gave me very vivid dreams, which were sometimes disturbing, but 98% of the time I woke up feeling rested and peaceful. I started to feel more able-bodied, and the dreams were good. I just felt so much better. Getting a good night’s sleep felt great in and of itself, but it also allowed for my body to repair and heal on other levels as well.
Olive Leaf Extract
I took this every day, along with Vitamin C while I was at Pratt on the recommendation of my Dad. Antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal, it hit a lot of bases. While I wasn’t at my peak then, (it was before Methyl B12) the fact that I was back in school and finishing out the day – even if I crashed at the end of it – tells you something. I think these two things plus a multi-vitamin were the only thing I was taking at the time. And I managed to graduate! I use it now to help with any seasonal sinus issues that may arise.
For me, Magnesium has a nice overall tonic effect– especially for my muscles. I wouldn’t feel stressed per se, but when I laid down at night, my muscles always felt tense and tight, like they couldn’t relax. The magnesium helped relax my muscles and give my body a break. Maybe I should have taken a better form of it, but at the time I took 400mg of Magnesium Oxide and it did the trick. It also helped my breathing and chest pain during separate bouts of Pericarditis and Pleurisy. It seems to be one of those elements that gets used up pretty quickly in chronic illness and your body’s demand for it increases.
YES. YES. YES. This will forever be in my arsenal. I love my L-Lysine. An amino acid that inhibits EBV and according to Anthony William acts as an anti-inflammatory to the central nervous system. I gave it a try early on upon the recommendation of my Mom, when we learned it was antiviral, specifically to the Herpes family of viruses, (also from Verrillo and Gellman’s book). When I started my first full time job at 24, I was terrified of overdoing it, getting really sick again and not being able to keep working, so I had a little triad at night that I took religiously. I took 500 mg of Lysine with 500 mg of Magnesium, and 1 mg of Melatonin. Sometimes Vitamin C. Fight the virus, relax my muscles, get a good nights’ sleep. In the end, I was able to keep the job for as long as I wanted. It also cleared up my skin and lightened my mood. Although I do draw a definite correlation to feeling better on it, I no longer think about whether or not I need to (or should) take it anymore. The fact that it inhibits EBV is enough for me. I take it.
This was something my chiropractor recommended to me. He told me that Ester-C had a lot of advantages over the standard issue Vitamin C, and was just better. Ester-C makes an appearance in Anthony Williams’s book as well. In fact, most of these compounds do. While Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant my body really really loves (past and present), I’ve switched to Ester-C. When I was at Pratt and only taking about 3 supplements I could actually tell when I had forgotten my Vitamin C. I just didn’t have the same level of robustness. And I needed every precious bit. If you want to really delve into the magic and power of Vitamin C, I recommend Linus Pauling’s book, How to Live Longer and Feel Better, 1986
I tried this when I wanted to get a safe anti-inflammatory back into my life again. It definitely improved my energy and physical stamina. Also eased my knee pain.
I’m not a big fan of pharmaceuticals – my devotions lay elsewhere – but the fact remains I took this for 6 weeks at one point, and it did get me out of a very bad flare. I didn’t notice any difference in the first two weeks and I felt really tired on it. My doctor told me to keep taking it and by around the third or fourth week I started to get better. It was at a point in time when the Methyl B12 had already lost its punch and I had yet to find out about my food allergies. Go Valtrex!
This is basically Cascara Sagrada. This eliminated some serious gunk! And some serious, serious mucous which I’m sure was gumming up the works. Was this pathogenic biofilm? I don’t know, but I definitely felt lighter and brighter afterwards! I use it very sporadically, and only if I’m feeling gunky. The last time I used it was 3 years ago.
Cordyceps, Reishi Mushroom, American Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng, Astragulus, Ashwagandha Berry, Schizandra Berry
I’ve taken these in various formulations and combinations and feel that they have benefited my energy and stamina. They definitely gave me a little more get up and go. One formulation which contained them all except the two Ginsengs was called Herb Fuel that I got to help me with my worn out Adrenals. I was also depressed at the time. It definitely gave me some relief. I also took two other tinctures which had at least two or three of these in their makeup. One was called CFS, by GAIA, and the other called Adrenal Support, by Quantum. I haven’t seen these on the shelves in quite awhile and have no idea if they still make them. If they do, they have renamed it. Many of these plants and fungi are also featured and discussed in length in Herbal Antivirals |Natural Remedies for Emerging and Resistant Viral Infections. (Buhner)
I love Cat’s Claw. I take it when my interstitial cystitis flares up and to lower my bacterial/viral load in general. I am no longer getting up like 3 times before I fall to sleep at night to go pee. I can even drink a glass of water before bed and it doesn’t bother me. I’ve actually taken it before, for immune strength in general and for pleurisy and pericarditis specifically – worked like a charm for those two. Fantastic for pulmonary issues. I’ve had it in my stockpile, and used it during acute infections, but it’s an almost-daily-must for me now. Keeps my energy up and I just feel stronger. If I go off my diet and binge on some bread, I make sure I take some right after. I don’t feel nearly as shitty (achey, brain-foggy, tired) afterwards as I normally would. If I feed the virus, I make sure to take things that kill the virus, so at very least I will zero out, or come close to it.
I always feel more clear-headed when I take this. Much more SHARP! A definite keeper.
I first came across Monolaurin when I was having a classic EBV flare – (sometime in 2014) and finally researched what specifically killed EBV. I was doing Lysine, but needed bigger guns. Well, Monolaurin is some serious firepower. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride of Lauric acid which is found in coconut oil. It contains medium chain fatty acids which will kill lipid envelope virus like Epstein-Barr. It just tears ’em up! There’s actually a lot of lipid envelope viruses. Bacteria also – it also kills the bacteria which causes acne. Yay! It’s also anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. This research study (link downloads study) describes its use in conjunction with the anti-parasitic drug Metrozinadole to help heal the gut after parasitic infection, (better healing results were obtained with the addition of the Monolaurin). I had very good results with this. Wide-ranging in its application, but also specific to EBV. It doesn’t get better than that!
Yes. Very Good. Love it. A prime weapon!
I drink this a lot. It tastes good and it makes me feel good. It gives me a certain calm and focus, and also helps me sustain my stamina throughout the day. If I feel like I’m starting to get sick (cold or flu kind of sick) I make a point to take this tea a few times a day – the more the better – and the angel of death skips over my door. It’s just fresh squeezed lemon juice and raw ginger grated or thinly sliced into a mug with boiling water poured over it. Then add some raw honey which will dissolve easily with a stir in the hot water. This has become a real mainstay for me. I consider it to be a Holy Trifecta.
I’ve actually taken this before – on the recommendation of my doctor who told me it would help fight CFS. I took it in a general/daily sense and I also took it more aggressively during a flare I had trouble getting out of – the one I needed Valtrex for. I had completely forgotten about it in recent years until a year ago when I had an intense bout of Trigeminal Neuralgia. In fact, it was the success I had from following the Medical Medium’s advice for this intense pain that made me a true believer in just how powerful Zinc is. You can read about that here, Trigeminal Neuralgia
Nettle Tea & Raspberry Tea
Taken together, they’ve been great for balancing hormones and easing cycle/uterine issues. Nettle Tea also helped me vanquish Trigeminal Neuralgia
Thyme is amazing stuff. My body responds really, really well to Thyme and I just love it. Its been incredible at turning things around for me during acute flares, and also just for a quick boost if I feel a little run-down. More so than any other compound, it seems to reach places that others can’t and works on a few different levels for me. I feel lighter and brighter – and stronger. More robust and able-bodied. More energy. AND, a greater clarity of thought! Which is huge and feels amazing after years of brain fog. It’s really become a silver bullet for me. I love, love, love Thyme! Fresh is supposed to be best, but I’ve steeped just the dry spice too and its worked just as well, if not better. Honey and lemon helps the strong, somewhat distasteful brew.
Great anti-inflammatory for me! And it helps with so many different issues! I first used Turmeric seriously when I “just had to have” my husband’s delicious salmon and it set off an allergic asthmatic reaction. I added roughly a ½ tsp of powdered turmeric to about a 4 oz. glass of water and took a few glasses of that over the course of an hour. My breathing returned to normal and I didn’t need to use my rescue inhaler. I also take it now for headaches (I’m allergic to NSAIDS), and it gets rid of them quickly. It’s also extremely helpful for oncoming frozen shoulder. I take it during the early stage – the painful tightness in the neck/shoulder muscle – and it loosens up the muscle, stops the pain, and the frozen shoulder never develops. Ahhh…so grateful for Turmeric. I also notice it eases up my knee pain when I take it.
Red Clover, Lemon Balm, Licorice Root
I feel all these plants have definitely improved my energy level and robustness factor. I took a break from them when I ran out, but added them back in because I didn’t feel as good without them. When I do have these now, it’s always in tea form. It’s just more pleasurable for me to enjoy a cup of tea than to chuck back pills.
Licorice Root Tea: (in the morning) – Anti-viral, great for the adrenals, and it gives me a little jump.
Lemon Balm Tea: (at night) – Great for almost everything! Viruses, bacteria, nerves, and it does a nice job of relaxing me before bed and encouraging a nice sound sleep. I actually prefer it to Melatonin now. I also feel much better the next morning if I have this the night before. Much easier to get out of bed and get moving.
Red Clover: I tend to take this at night too. Supports the liver. Good cleanser. Nice mint taste.
Barley Grass Juice Extract Powder, Atlantic Dulse, Wild Blueberries
Some ingredients in the heavy metal detox smoothie that I periodically take to remove metals and other toxins from my body. When I have this smoothie I’m a happier person. It gives me an energetic boost. I do have to make sure I drink a lot of lemon water if I have it a few times a week though. If I don’t, I detox too fast and feel kind of bogged down for a few days.
Epsom Salt Bath
Sometimes with Apple Cider Vinegar added. This is a great trick when I’m run down or feel a cold coming on. Relaxing…Detoxing…Instant body boost. I use about 2 pounds to a generous bath. Most people don’t use that much but it works for me!
Diet Changes (deletions and additions)
When I was 23, for multiple reasons, I gave up dairy. The first three days I was really pissed off and easily irritated. I really craved it and I realized what a dairy junkie I was. Then I felt my sinuses start to drain. The pressure released and I stopped getting headaches! At one point, ages 21-22, I had been taking Maxalt for migraines and now even my pesky little sinus headaches were dissipating. I was much less congested and my ability to focus improved. Another unexpected, delightful surprise -no more menstrual cramps! I never experience a cramp during my period now. When I gave up dairy, my health decidedly went up a few notches.
My health went up a few more notches again when I gave up wheat and gluten 7 years ago. I gave up gluten after a Neurologist suspected MS and sent me for an MRI of my brain. When I eliminated gluten, my neurological symptoms disappeared. I talk about it more here: Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms /Neurological Issues
I eliminated corn when I discovered my daughter had a severe intolerance to it. We unwittingly ate a lot of processed corn because it was in most all of the gluten-free products I consumed. I also just love fresh corn. It’s almost a spiritual food for me, but its been GMO’d to death. When I avoided it, I felt even better and my little paunch went away! And no more bloating. I still have some fresh corn here and there, but its not a regular thing.
Soy and Eggs and Fish
Skin testing revealed allergies to these foods. And because I do have asthmatic allergic reactions when I have these foods, eliminating them was pretty easy. Asthma attacks suck. I tend to be able to sneak a little soy here and there – like Tamari with something, but I can’t have a big piece of fish or a fried egg. Sad, but true.
I only cook with olive oil and coconut oil but Canola oil sneaks into your life by being in a ton of processed foods and even in Rice Milk. I eliminated this simply because it’s highly suspect for many reasons. I’m not really able to avoid it completely.
Note about Food Sensitivities and Allergies:
The Medical Medium also points out that certain foods feed the Epstein-Barr Virus. I had never considered this before, but the fact is, except for dairy, I didn’t have all these food allergies and intolerances until after I got sick. I have many now. And when I eliminated these from regular consumption, my health skyrocketed.
I’ve noticed that my reaction to gluten depends on how healthy I’m feeling at the time. If I’m feeling good, and energetic and my symptoms are next to nothing, I can get away with eating a fair amount of it – meaning a sandwich or even some wheat pasta, but if I’m not well, or stressed, it will destroy me. I believe this is because when I’m feeling good, my viral load is of course low, and I’m not setting off an EBV population explosion by ingesting gluten. The allergies on the other hand are a different story. Dairy, fish, eggs, etc., it doesn’t matter how good I feel when I have them, they continue to set off a reaction.
- WILD BLUEBERRIES from Maine: I like them in shakes or juiced. A transformative gift from God/Source…NOTHING BETTER for repair and reboot.
- A bowl of my own “Vegan Crunch” for breakfast: Banana, Kiwi, shredded/flaked Coconut, and Cacao chips)
- Mango, Pineapple and Ginger Shake
- Medical Medium Detox Smoothie
- Lemon-Ginger-Honey Tea – A Holy Trifecta! A Guardian Angel!
- Bare Bones Guacamole: Avocado, infinitesimally diced red onion, crushed garlic, heaps of cilantro, pink himalayan sea salt.
Fresh juiced anything, but combinations I crave and consume:
- Celery, Cucumber and Apple, Ginger, Lemon
- Celery, with Parsley and/or Cilantro, Lemon
- Apple, Pineapple, Lemon, Mint
- Beet, Carrot, Ginger,
- Straight Cucumber Juice
- Straight Celery Juice
- Pomegranate Juice with Pineapple – Love in liquid form
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