Many of you have been coming into the pharmacy concerned about how to handle this coronavirus pandemic.  Here is a holistic way to approach the current situation.

    • WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER FREQUENTLY.  Do not panic if you can’t find hand sanitizer, it has  been shown that washing with soap and water is more effective anyways.  Hand sanitizer is to be used only if water is not available.  If we run out of water, that is when we need to panic.
    • DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE.  You cannot get infected if you pick up the virus from a surface onto your hands.  The only way the virus gets into your body is if you pick it up and then touch the thin mucous membranes of your MOUTH, NOSE and EYES.  Even if you were carrying the virus on your hands for hours it would remain there and not infect you until you touch your face and place that virus near your mouth, nose or eyes.  This means that you need to remain MINDFUL at all times as to where your hands are.  Great time to practice mindfulness.
    • SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM.  Most of the people who get the virus recover without any complications.  The 5 initial positive cases we had in Canada have all now tested negative for the virus.  What cured them was their own immune system.  Do not underestimate the power of your immune system.  There are many things you can do to support your immune system, here are my go to options for immune support:


Good quality probiotics      Vitamin C       Vitamin D       Oil of Oregano, NAC   


    • EAT WHOLE FOODS. Add nutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils and whole grains into your diet.  They provide the nutrients needed to support your immune system.  Green leafy vegetables and soluble fiber rich foods have been shown to improve the activity of immune cells.  Cut down
      on sugar and junk food.  Stock up on beans and spinach instead of toilet paper to get you through this pandemic.
    • GET ENOUGH SLEEP.  Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night.  When you sleep is when your body repairs itself.  Sleep is absolutely essential for our immune system. If you have trouble falling asleep, turn off all computers, TVs and phones a few hours before bedtime .  The blue light from these devices is known to disrupt sleep.  If the news is disturbing you then do not listen to it in the evening.
    • LET GO OF FEAR.  Many people are currently feeling a lot of fear over this pandemic.  Fear puts our body in the “flight or fight” mode, which is detrimental for the immune system.   Here is how to address FEAR about the current situation.
  1. Acknowledge your feelings without judging.  It is okay to feel this way when faced with uncertainty.  Recognize that it is natural to feel this way and that we are capable of moving beyond fear.
  2. Journal your feelings.  It is amazing how writing something down makes it a lot easier to deal with.  Emotions are energies in motion and writing down your emotions allow those feelings to leave the body.
  3. Practice present moment meditation daily.  Meditation is a powerful tool for the mind.  First of all it puts our body in the “rest and repair” mode needed for our immune system to function well.  There is a lot of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of meditation on calming fear and anxiety.  Our minds tend to always live in the past or the future.  Meditation allows our mind to see the “gift” in the present moment.  If you are new to meditation, try some apps on your smart phone to help you.  My favourite app is Calm, which can be downloaded on your phone for free.

Yours in health and wellness,

Aziza Amarshi, RPh, RHN

Pharmacist & holistic nutritionist