What about COVID-19 and essential oils?

General Health
Long-time readers know that my "go-to" sources for natural medicines (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) are ConsumerLab.com and Natural Medicines(TM). ConsumerLab has posted about coronavirus and essential oils. But before I get to the specifics, I've also blogged in the past about essential oils in the past: Are Essential Oils Really Essential?Topical or oral use of essential oils — Do they work?Aromatherapy and topical aromatherapy oils — Do they work for anything? But what about essential oils? Do they help prevent or treat COVID-19? ConsumerLab.com writes: Essential oils from plants such as eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree have been shown in laboratory studies to have antiviral and/or other antimicrobial effects, as discussed below, but none have been shown to prevent or treat COVID-19 or other diseases caused by coronaviruses. The FDA has recently sent warnings to several companies…
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Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Rx for international travel

General Health
Dear Dr. Walt, I am a 55-year old lady who will soon be traveling to a developing country, which I do often. The medications in my emergency medication kit have all expired. I have a history of recurrent kidney stones and bee sting allergy. I am otherwise well. My medication kit includes ciprofloxacin, loperamide, oxycodone, and an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI). What do you recommend? Should I just call my doctor for refills? Agnes in Ashtabula. Dear Agnes, I'd recommend a consultation with a travel health professional at a health department or private travel clinic such as Passport Health. Here's a guiding site from the CDC: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/find-clinic. It's not just an "emergency kit," you want advice on, but it's also checking up on all needed/required vaccines, health alerts, security alerts, etc. A travel…
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Fit over 50 Update — Walking 8,000/day lowers death risk 50%

General Health
In my and Phil Bishop’s book, Fit over 50: Make Simple Choices Today for a Healthier, Happier You, we write: A 2015 study found that people who replaced “some of their sitting time with a light-intensity activity like strolling gained a substantial benefit in terms of mortality risk.” In fact, if participants “replaced as little as two minutes of sitting each hour with gentle walking, they lowered their risk of premature death by about 33 percent, compared with people who sat almost nonstop.” A study in Circulation of adults age 45 to 64 suggested that individuals “can make up for years of sedentary behavior with two years of exercise.” In fact, participants who had worked out at least four days a week with a regimen of weight training, balance work, and yoga had healthier hearts…
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What about COVID-19 and CBD?

General Health
Long-time readers know that my "go-to" sources for natural medicines (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) are ConsumerLab.com and Natural Medicines(TM). ConsumerLab has posted about coronavirus and CBD: CBD (cannabidiol) has been heavily promoted to prevent coronavirus. For example, former NFL player Kyle Turley, who owns a line of CBD products, has tweeted that CBD can prevent and cure the coronavirus, and scammers have been sending text messages promoting CBD for the virus.  While CBD has been shown to inhibit certain viruses in laboratory studies, there is no evidence that it can prevent or treat COVID-19 in people. In a recently published review, researchers cited the lack of clinical evidence for CBD's antiviral effects and cautioned "CBD sellers should stop promoting claims that are not backed by scientific evidence." (Tagne, Cannabis Cannabinoid Res 2020).  In fact, animal studies generally indicate that CBD dampens the immune…
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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Protect Against COVID-19?

General Health
Some social media postings claim that gargling with vinegar can eliminate the coronavirus in the throat before it reaches the lungs. Is this true? Here is the advice from ConsumerLab.com's fabulous and frequently updated resource Natural Remedies and Supplements for Coronavirus (COVID-19): While all varieties of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, contain acetic acid, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties, there is no evidence that gargling with vinegar is useful for preventing or treating colds, sore throats, or COVID-19. Further, there is also SIGNIFICANT concern about the safety of using vinegar this way. Regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can cause tooth enamel loss and low blood levels of potassium.  Vinegar may be used to clean surfaces but are not as effective a disinfectant as bleach and may take as long as 30 minutes sitting on a surface,…
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What about COVID-19 and melatonin?

General Health
Long-time readers know that my "go-to" sources for natural medicines (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) are ConsumerLab.com and Natural Medicines(TM). ConsumerLab has posted about coronavirus and melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep and can trigger sleep in people with sleep disorders. Melatonin has also been suggested on some websites as a potential treatment in COVID-19, although there are no reports of such use or of a proven benefit.  Rationale for use of melatonin in COVID-19 appears to stem from the fact that it can affect immune responses. Experiments in mice, for example, have shown melatonin to increase levels of certain cytokines (immune-regulating molecules) in those infected with various viruses and to reduce virus-related mortality, but this benefit has yet to be demonstrated in human clinical trials. Another rationale given for use of melatonin…
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Monthly Family Update – April 2020

General Health
Here are the contents of this month’s newsletter: “Best Medicine” Catalog CopyWant to Read “Best Medicine” before everyone else?A Christian Healthcare Worker’s Response To COVID-19Blogs on COVID-19 and SupplementsUnexpected praise from North CarolinaAnswers to last month’s prayersPrayer requests for this monthPast Issues 1) “Best Medicine” Catalog Copy Baker Publishing has released its September-December catalog. My next book, “Best Medicine,” is prominently featured. We’re still on for an October 6 release? Would you like to read it before it’s released? If so, see the next item. 2) Want to Read “Best Medicine” before everyone else? On October 6, 2020, my first book about my practice days in Kissimmee (1985-2001), “The Best Medicine: Tales of Humor and Hope from a Small-Town Doctor,” will be released. I'm trying to recruit 100 folks to…
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