We hope you & your loved ones are all staying safe & well during this time. In today’s blog post we are running through some simple ideas you can incorporate into your daily life in order to support your physical, emotional & mental wellbeing. As we all know our community is currently being impacted by the unprecedented global pandemic that is COVID-19 but it’s equally important not to forget that flu season is also just around the corner & it’s crucial we begin putting measures into place that support our immune health & resilience against infection for the season ahead.

Eat a wide variety of wholesome nutritious foods.

We are going to start with the MOST important aspect of staying healthy & well. The food you eat! Eating an abundance of wholesome, colourful nutrient-dense real foods has really never been more pertinent. This is the time to be savvy about how you eat to ensure you are nourishing your body in the best way that you can.

One of the silver linings, if you will, of this pandemic is that both families & individuals have now found themselves with more time on their hands, more time to spend with their loved ones (if you live together of course) & more time to spend cooking & preparing meals. Cooking, connecting & appreciating the meals you are able to prepare for yourself & the people you love is one of the most profound acts of self-love & self-care. Time to get back in the kitchen & get creative :)
Follow the link here to some examples of simple but nutritious base recipes we love to cook. These recipes are all easy to batch cook & freeze if needed & are super flexible with ingredients, meaning you can generally use whatever vegetables you have on hand. At times like these, it’s really important to embrace flexibility with your meals, as you may not be able to find what you need at the time or are unable to leave your home during to illness.

Keep your body moving & get out into the fresh air (whilst also practicing social distancing of course)

It’s no secret the daily physical movement is healthy for both your body & your mind. Exercise has been shown to improve a number of aspects of our health including stress management, improving sleep quality, reducing systemic inflammation, improving mood, stimulating our circulatory system & improving blood flow. All of which are important factors in supporting our immune health.
Due to the fact that so many of us are housebound at present getting some fresh air & going for a walk or run can do your wonders, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. It’s really important to continue to check in with yourself & incorporate a form of movement that you feel is beneficial, both physically & mentally for your body, at the time.
Here are a few online platforms offering home workout classes that we recommend also:

  • Yoga with Adriene (YouTube) – free
  • Alo Yoga (YouTube) – free
  • Alo Moves (YouTube) – free
  • Centr (free 6 week trial)
  • Barre3 (pilates/barre)


Sleep for many of us in times of heightened stress can easily become negatively affected & it’s safe to say right now a lot of us are definitely stressed. Now, more so than ever, it’s important to incorporate (or remove) daily habits that support (or disrupt) our body’s natural circadian rhythm in order to give us the best chance of restful, quality sleep. We know that sleep is vital for human health but interestingly, melatonin has been shown to specifically display immune-supportive & specifically antiviral properties.
The best way to ensure you have a robust production of melatonin is ensuring you are practicing healthy sleep hygiene which would include:

  • Avoiding bright artificial lights (i.e. phones, television, laptops) at least an hour before bed, these lights disrupt your pineal glands function & greatly inhibit melatonin production. Try having a warm bath or shower just before bed, maybe read a book or practice meditation to ensure your body is fully relaxed & able to rest.
  • Aim to get into a sleep-wake routine (i.e. be in bed by 10:30pm & wake at 6:30am) & aim to continue this routine even on the weekends. Our bodies LOVE routine.
  • Avoid caffeine after lunchtime (this mean coffee, green/black tea & even dark chocolate if you are especially sensitive to caffeine)
  • Aim to have dinner at least 2 hours away from bedtime
  • Limit intake of alcohol during the week (or at least 2-3 hours before bed) – alcohol may be a sedative but has been shown to inhibit deep restorative sleep

We also recommend if you have been struggling with restless sleep & insomnia to connect with one of our practitioners either in-store or via phone to discuss an appropriate treatment strategy.

Immune support to have on hand

Here are a number of anti-viral herbs & nutrients that we recommend to support your immune health. Whilst they all may not be specific to COVID-19, as this virus is still very new & numerous studies are underway, it’s still important to support your immune health & prevent other common seasonal infections. We also strongly recommend speaking to one of our qualified Naturopaths or Nutritionists on staff before starting any supplement regime to ensure it is appropriate & safe for you.

Andrographis (anti-viral, immune-stimulating & anti-inflammatory)

Andrographis is one of our most prominently dispensed immune-stimulating herbal medicines for a number of acute immune concerns and especially during any influenza season. Compounds in Andrographis known as andrographolides have been confirmed to be active against many common viral infections including common cold (rhinovirus), Influenza A, HSV-1, Dengue fever. Preliminary research, published in Feb 2020, showed promising potential for Andrographis in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by inhibiting viral RNA replication.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important immune-modulating & antioxidant nutrients in human health. Even though true Vitamin C deficiency is very rare in modern times due to its abundance in fresh produce, it’s important to consider Vitamin C’s therapeutic activity in modulating immune function. Vitamin C is essential for the activity of our white blood cells, T cell function & antibody activity in order to protect us from infection of both viral & bacterial origins. Vitamin C has been shown to be especially active when utilized during the early stages of infection.


Ensuring you have adequate zinc intake is essential throughout any flu season but especially now. Zinc deficiency can have a significant negative impact on the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to any infective pathogen. Zinc has been shown in numerous studies to display antiviral activity in both acute & chronic cases by inhibiting viral replication & reducing the duration of infection. We typically recommend a supplement that contains both zinc & vitamin C to ensure both your bases are covered.

Vitamin D

Much like zinc, it’s important to ensure you are optimising your Vitamin D levels & avoiding deficiency where possible. Vitamin D is essential for the appropriate function of our immune system & especially crucial for the activation of our innate immunity, which is our first line non-specific defense against invading pathogens. When we experience Vitamin D deficiency we greatly compromise our immune systems ability to protect us from any infection.
Medicinal Mushrooms- specifically Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)  
The immune-modulating capacity of shiitake mushrooms has been the focus of many peer-reviewed research papers over the past decade. With numerous research papers published citing the clinical applicability of this fungus for many health conditions. The polysaccharide content of Shiitake mushroom is responsible for its immune-modulating activity & has been shown to influence a number of immune cells including lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages & T cells, all of which are fundamental to both our first line (innate) + adaptive immune function.
Other herbs worth mentioning which display potent anti-viral  & immune-modulating activity include:

  • Echinacea (ideally a combination of both Echinacea purpurea & Echinacea angustifolia)
  • Elderberry
  • Astragalus
  • Licorice
  • Pelargonium

If you would like to commence an immune-supportive regime please come in (or phone) & speak with one of our qualified Naturopaths or Nutritionists about the most appropriate & effective options for you & your family.


Antiviral and Immunostimulant Activities of Andrographis paniculata

Analysis of therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and discovery of potential drugs by computational methods

Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology of Andrographis paniculata and Its Major Bioactive Phytoconstituent Andrographolide

Vitamin D Signalling, Infectious Disease, and Regulation of Innate Immunity
Vitamin C & Infections

The Role of Melatonin in the Cells of the Innate Immunity: A Review

Antiinflammatory and Immunomodulating Properties of Fungal Metabolites