Grapevine Stories

Some helpful information and advice about the Coronavirus

Sara Davenport has been at the centre of the wellbeing sector for 3 decades. She is the Founder of the Breast Cancer Haven charity and through her work with doctors, nutritionists and therapists she has an unrivalled overview of both traditional and complementary medicine.

This feels an odd article to write, because no-one anywhere in the world at the moment knows what to do to effectively to protect each of us against the new Coronavirus, unleashed from China a few weeks ago. The possible development of an effective vaccine is apparently at least 6 months away, yet today, at the time of writing, Coronavirus has infected more people than the Sars outbreak, and in China 78,000 cases have been officially confirmed and 2,750 people have died. 41 other countries also have confirmed cases.

The globe is now a very small place, and the likelihood is that sooner or later the Coronavirus may be impacting on all our lives. I have as little a clue how to deal with a potential pandemic as the next person, but as conventional medicine currently has no cure at all, it seems to me that certain natural, virus-destroying remedies may offer a better chance of fighting it off than nothing at all. 

So I offer up my personal list of what I have already stocked up with - just in case.


China announced the discovery of this never previously seen virus in December last year. It struck me at the time as strange. Unprecedented that one of the worlds largest economies would shut its borders and impose a quarantine shutdown on millions of its citizens, jeopardising its global trade and triggering a worldwide panic when ‘only’ 71 people had died. The annual flu virus causes hundreds of deaths each year yet barely raises more than a few lines in the press and no such restrictions on daily life. I jokingly remarked that the Chinese Government must know something we did not. Either far larger numbers than they were announcing must have already died, or the virus was some newly developed weapon of war that had escaped from one of their labs. Now I wonder if my casual words had a greater ring of truth than I thought. Clearly, we will never know, but the need for some sort of protection should be thought about. Just in case.



It spreads via droplets in the air. So you can pick it up from people nearby you in the crowd - anyone coughing, sneezing or spitting near you on the buses or the Tube. Or simply walking down a crowded street. It’s hard to recognise if you have it – symptoms are usually initially mild and just like having a normal cold. It has an incubation period of around 14 days, and severely affected patients go on to develop fever and cough and severe inflammation in the lungs. 



These winter months are always a time of coughs, colds and viruses. Just because you are sneezing and spluttering and feeling generally terrible, does not necessarily mean you may have come in contact with the Coronavirus. In fact, according to a doctor from Shenzhen in China, (admittedly a friend of a friend whom I have not talked to personally), that’s probably a fairly good indicator that you do not have the virus. Coronavirus pneumonia apparently gives you a dry cough without a runny nose.  

Coronavirus is an airborne virus. So it travels through the air, and you breathe it in. If it goes on multiplying at the rate it is currently, it’s probably best to avoid buses, trains and places filled with people. If you are feeling unwell and are concerned you may have it, don’t go to the hospital, or to a clinic, where you may well either pass the virus on to others, or pick it up from someone similarly worried. Instead, stay at home, and call 111. They will, apparently, send medical help to you directly.

The British medical community now seem to be talking about plans for dealing with wide spread contagion, with waves of infection peaking this summer. None of us have immunity against this newly mutated superbug. Those who are thought to be most susceptible are people suffering from lung and heart disease, and the frail elderly are also more likely to be affected. 



Start boosting your immune system now: The stronger your immunity, the more likely your body is to fend off any invasion successfully. Reports say that those who have died have been older, weaker and with pre-existing serious health conditions (though the whistleblower doctor who died last week looked fit and young to me and not in the least fitting that particular bill). So spray vitamin D3 under your tongue daily, and, particularly if you are vegetarian, up your levels of B12.  

Wash hands frequently and stop touching your face: We apparently touch our faces with our hands between 3 and 4 times an hour, transferring any bacteria or virus from the environment to our mouths, eyes, nose and ears. Touch a virus- laden kitchen surface, count a wad of notes or pick through the coins of your wallet or purse and you are unlikely to escape contamination. Credit card machines, mobile phones, door handles and simply shaking hands can transfer billions of unknown viruses from one person to another. And viruses can survive for several hours and replicate themselves during that period, multiplying exponentially. The best thing to do is keep washing your hands throughout the day, and keep a pack of anti-bacterial wipes close by.

Travel plans? Think carefully before getting on a plane or taking a cruise. Apart from being forced into close proximity with people who may have come from Coronavirus infected areas, the real danger here, it seems to me, is in the recycled air that must contain billions if not trillions of invisible viruses and bacteria. 

Have you noticed how often, either on the way to, or the way back from, your longed-for holiday, you get sick? The odds are that that is triggered by viruses in the multiple-use-air the airline companies so rarely change on their planes. The same holds true for below decks on the sealed recycled air cabins of the cruise liners. If you simply have to travel, invest in a small and inexpensive ionic air filtration system that you can hang around your neck and will allow you to breathe pure air into your lungs. I never travel without my AirTamer Personal air purifier which cleans the air directly around you by removing viruses, bacteria and pollen. 

Thinking about wearing a protective mask? The current advice is - don’t waste your money. The white ones are virtually useless because they simply don’t filter small enough particles. If that’s something you are considering, take a look at the R-pur- a French-made mask that removes 99.98% of even the finest of particulates. Logically, that should work.


Alkalise your body: Apparently, according to a doctor I heard on Radio 4, the virus thrives in an acid environment. So get alkalising your body and start by cutting out sugar, flour and processed foods. The more raw foods, vegetables and green juices you can add into your diet the better. And apple cider vinegar is the queen of alkalising tonics: add two tablespoons - of the cloudy version - to a mug of warm water and drink throughout the day. 

Olive leaf tea: I would consider swopping your normal cup of something hot - whether coffee or tea - for this scientifically proven anti-viral. I have it on good authority, from a medic studying the Wuhan virus, that the corona virus is not heat resistant and can currently be destroyed at a temperature of 26-27 degrees.  

Sauna: Book in for a sauna for the same reason. A normal sauna heats from the outside in; a far-infra red sauna from the inside out. Either way, set the heat control dial high and it sounds like there is a good possibility of destroying the virus before it can take a hold. 

Elderberry syrup: Viruses clad themselves in sharp spikes, using them, like hedgehogs, to protect themselves and then to attack and overrun your healthy cells. Watch under a microscope and you will see a virus attach itself to the smooth walls of your cell and stick its spikes through your cell membrane, allowing it first to gain a foothold, then to colonise and rapidly multiply. Research has shown that protective compounds in the berries wipe out those viral spikes in a couple of days, preventing any further spreading. An Israeli study, looking at viruses and the efficacy of elderberry juice syrup, showed that those who took a daily dose recovered far quicker than the control group who didn’t take anything at all. 20% were better within 24 hours, 70% in 48 hours, and 90% had recovered completely in 3 days 

Colloidal silver: You can buy this, in spray form, in most health stores. Spray it up each nostril and at the back of your throat for anti-viral protection. One research test pitted 650 different viruses against it, and not one lived to tell the tale. I don’t suppose anyone has trialled it against coronavirus yet, but based on those numbers, it’s worth adding to the medicine cupboard.  

Stock up on essential oils: Viruses are hard to destroy because they surround themselves with a strong protein shell which forms an impenetrable shield around them. Essential oils, however, seem to be able to break through it. Each one contains anything from 80-750 natural variants of chemical components, which used in combination, can obliterate almost any virus, efficiently and thoroughly. Put them in an infuser, add them to a glass of water or dilute and rub directly on your skin to strengthen your immunity and ward off the microbes. Fingers crossed then that they work their magic on Coronavirus.

On Guard oil: DoTerra makes my favourite range of essential oils, and the one I want to flag for protection against the coronavirus is On Guard, which is made up of a combination of clove bud, eucalyptus leaf, rosemary leaf and flower, cinnamon bark and leaf and wild orange peel. It smells, quite simply, and very deliciously, of Christmas. Not only does it boost immunity, but it also helps ward off and kill harmful bacteria and viruses.

I could only find one scientific test on this oil, and it was carried out on dogs not humans, but the researchers found that not only did On Guard weaken the flu virus that they were experimenting with but the oil prevented it from being able to replicate itself as strongly, making it easier for the immune system to overcome.

Thieves oil: Young Living’s virus and bacteria equivalent is their powerful Thieves Oil blend. Based on a 15th century recipe that combines clove, rosemary and other botanicals it is inspired by the tale of four French robbers who raided the houses and graves of plaque victims, stealing jewellery and valuables, yet never succumbing to the dread disease. Eventually captured, they swopped torture (though they ended up on the gallows) for their secret recipe and centuries on we may all be indebted to them for their skill. Tests have proven the oil to successfully boost immunity. 

Cinnamon and Oregano oil: Despite extensive testing, research scientist Dr. Jean Lapraz has stated that he couldn't find any microbe that could survive in the presence of the essential oils of cinnamon or oregano. Worth adding to your supplies then. 

Oregano oil capsules: This is one of the most immune system boosting natural remedies out there. Tests have shown that a capsule a day will wipe out both bacteria and viruses effectively.

And there you have it - that’s what’s in my anti-Coronavirus cupboard. Whether it would actually work or not in a time of Coronavirus crisis remains to be seen. But, according to the science, this medicine cabinet should have as good a chance as anything else that’s currently on offer. Hopefully none of us will ever have to use it, but better safe than sorry, and hope is a wonderful thing! 

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