Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Natural Health Strategies for the Coronavirus

Natasha Evans, Naturopath
Natasha Evans, Naturopath, Bacchus Marsh

14th March 2020

Apart from isolation and maintaining good hygiene standards, medical science cannot prevent you getting the virus. Natural medicines and foods are a fantastic way to improve your immunity and your vitality; in turn, you may be able to ward off infection or, if you do get sick, reduce its severity.

Did you know that herbs, minerals and foods have anti-viral properties? I regularly use herbal medicine to assist people with building their immunity and getting through illness.

I would like to share with you some strategies that you can do at home to assist you and your family’s health during this flu season. These things are available to everyone either at the supermarket or in the health food store or pharmacy.

Echinacea, a powerful antiviral herb.

Foods, herbs and supplements

The following table summarises a number of foods, herbs and supplements that can be of assistance in the prevention and treatment of viruses. 

Food, herb, supplementBenefitHow to take/prepare
Echinacea angustifoliaAntiviral, at first sign of infection. Only kills if in direct contact on the mucous membrane with the virus. Therefore a good preventative, but won't kill it after infection.Herbal liquid or throat spray from a health food store or chemist. Take as directed.
It must get into contact with the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.
FRESH Ginger juiceAntiviral, anti-inflammatory, thins mucous, immune stimulant, reduces coughing, antibacterial, reduces pain in sore throats.Juice enough fresh (not dried) ginger to get 160mls of juice. Use about 80mls of juice and add 200mls boiling water, raw honey and squeezed lemon or lime. Drink this 2 x day or as needed.
Zinc tabletsAntiviral, immune stimulant.30mg a day for prevention and 30mg taken twice per day if active there is active infection
(Sambuccus nigra)
Antiviral against enveloped viruses (e.g Coronavirus)Sambucol at the chemist. Take as directed.
Licorice root
(Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Antiviral via many mechanisms of action.
See cautions below
Fusion Astra 8 Immune tonic. Found in health food stores/pharmacies. Take as directed for prevention and acute treatment during infection.
Garlic oil InfusionAntiviral, antibacterial, fungicidal.Crush cloves of garlic and add them to a jar of olive oil. Screw on a lid. Leave this to infuse overnight. Then strain out the garlic pieces and use the oil as a medicine by taking a teaspoon a day.
Vitamin CReduces histamine. Immune stimulant. Can reduce the duration of illness particularly in children.Blackmores Bio C 1000mg tablets. Take 1 tablet 2 x day for prevention. Take 1 tablet 4 x day for infection.
Olive leaf extractAntiviral.From Pharmacy. Take as directed.
Probiotic Strain:
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
Immune enhancement. Decreased risk of infection in children. General decreased duration of illness.Ethical Nutrients Inner health for kids, or Herbs of Gold Probiotic 55 billion. Take as directed.


The following recipes include an antiviral tonic, and a natural antiviral cleaning spray.

Garlic Oxymel: Antibacterial/antiviral/immune stimulating tonic

10 cloves of garlic- crush and peel

1 heaped tsp fennel seed

1 heaped tsp caraway seed

200ml Apple cider vinegar

4 Tablespoons of honey


Simmer seeds in vinegar for 10 mins. Strain and add honey and mix to combine. Then add the crushed garlic to a glass jar and cover with the liquid. Replace the lid and steep overnight.

You may then strain out the garlic or leave it in for a very strong effect.

Dose: This is a very strong tonic and may upset some people’s digestion. 1 teaspoon diluted in 1/3 glass of warm water daily. If you have a rock solid constitution you may even like to eat the garlic cloves- 1 per day! This mixture will keep indefinitely on the bench.

Natural Antibacterial/ antiviral General purpose spray

White vinegar

Essential oils- lemongrass, tea tree, manuka, cinnamon, eucalyptus (you don’t need all these- just at least one of them)

Spray bottle


Fill the bottle with white vinegar and add 10 drops of essential oil- or if a combo then 5 drops of each. Shake and it’s ready to use.

You can use this to wipe down surfaces like kitchen benches, bathrooms, door handles, as a hand sanitizer etc

Many herbal medicines can be used to support your immune system.

Do I have Coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, sore throat, dry cough and fatigue. Other symptoms can also include headaches, nasal congestion or a runny nose.

Diarrhea and nausea have also been reported as symptoms, but they are less common.

How is Coronavirus tested for?

The COVID-19 test can be ordered by a specialist coronavirus clinic, your local GP or a hospital emergency department.

The Federal Government has announced plans to create up to 100 coronavirus pop-up clinics across the country.

However, these testing facilities vary state by state, so it’s best to first be in touch with the coronavirus health information hotline on 1800 020 080 for advice.

Testing methods may include a blood test, a swab test inside your nose or in the back of your throat, or a sputum test, which examines a mix of saliva and mucus.

For further information there is list of downloadable resources on this Australian Government website:

Coronavirus Health Information Hotline

Ph. 1800 020 080


This information is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are uncertain about your illness symptoms or the suitability of these treatments for you please see your medical practitioner.


Adams Jenny, and Tan Eleanor. Herbal Manufacturing. 1999

Braun Lesley, and Cohen Mark. 2015 Herbs and Natural Supplements an evidence-based guide, Volume 2, 4th Edition. Elselvier

Buhner Stephen Harrod,2013 “Herbal Antivirals. Natural Remedies for Emerging and Resistant Viral infections. Storey Publishing (reference only: practitioner-only website)