Health Tips for Virus Season  include popular slogans such as Stay Calm and Wash Your Hands. I like the one that added “use soap thanks!” Jesus has one too, “Be Not Afraid”. Yes, pray, hope and don’t worry, but wash your hands, get extra rest, only eat healthy foods and educate yourself on ways to stay well.

Viruses are swirling all around. Oh no! What to do? Get armed with some info and health tips. How can we share God’s love with others if we are feeling crummy? We won’t do a good job of building up God’s Kingdom if we are always sick. God needs us to be well so we can be His hands and feet on the ground. Below are a few of the things I use and have recourse to.

But first, the legalise…

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My personal disclaimer

I am not a doctor and did not play one on TV. I am merely sharing what has worked safely for me. You must see your medical professional if you are ill or think you have contracted a serious illness. This blog post is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are in any danger call 911 and ask for medical help. Always keep a list of your medications in your wallet so you can share with medical personnel. Also, please look up EACH and EVERY supplement you want to try and find out if there is a drug interaction with your prescription medication. Please do that for your own safety. I also will not engage in any discussions as I am not a medical professional, nor do I wish to spend my very limited time quibbling. As they say in 12 Step, “Take what you want and leave the rest.”

Ok, are you ready for this list? Get ready because, as a singer with an auto-immune issue, I have to have a rather large arsenal of health remedies. I will list them out so you can see what they are in an easy to read format. I will share the brand I use but, you are welcome to find a different brand.

Sleep. The most elusive health remedy of all time and hardest to get. I pray you can learn good sleep hygiene. Look it up on the internet. There are millions of great articles on improving sleep and getting more of it. It is a free remedy. That may be why we devalue it so severely. Sleep helps all other remedies to be more effective. This healing rest is a blessing from God. Maybe giving up screen time after 7pm would be a good Lenten challenge for you to consider if sleep eludes you.

Medicinal mushrooms. Host Defense produces the safest mushrooms on the market. You must know this before I share further. If you buy medicinal mushrooms and do not find out where they are grown you risk eating poisonous heavy metals. Many mushrooms come from China and are dangerous. Always check your sources before buying. I cannot stress this strongly enough. Mushrooms are just food but these are concentrated into gel caps in order to bring them up to medicinal strength to help the immune system. Many studies have been done on mushrooms and are ongoing. They are one of God’s most brilliant organisms. If you enjoy learning, read up on mushrooms. The NIH sponsored a study of turkey tail mushrooms for cancer and it was found that they boosted the immune system so high that when chemo was introduced, the body went after the cancer and beat it. One cannot say enough good about medicinal mushrooms. I use HOST DEFENSE’s MyCommunity Comprehensive Immune Support.

Propolis throat spray. Propolis is what honey bees use to sterilize the hive. It kills everything but healthy cells. Propolis is very sticky as it is like a resin. I like Honey Gardens or Y.S. ECO BEE FARMS brands. It sticks to the mouth and throat and does not wash off right away thus providing pain relief and healing. It is great at bedtime and beats those artificially colored and flavored, chemical ridden throat sprays at the drug store. They wear off in seconds to minutes. Propolis sticks and works. It allows one to fall asleep and it helps support the body at the same time. Another blessing from God’s creation.

On Guard oil. I am in love with this oil. I began using it about 10 years ago. Whenever I would feel something coming on, I would put this on my swollen lymph nodes on my neck and on the soles of my feet at bedtime. I also put it in the space behind the ear lobe. When I’d wake up the next morning I was over the bug that had been coming on. This oil smells amazing because it is a blend of wild orange peel, clove, cinnamon leaf and bark, eucalyptus and rosemary oils. It is so beautiful and warm and comforting. I also tried and loved the On Guard beadlets that melt under the tongue for additional support to the body. I now take the On Guard + softgels each day in viral season. They also make an On Guard sanitizing hand spray that I am trying out. Since I fare so well using the oil at night, I now carry a roll-on vial in my purse too. I found all of these at dōTerra’s website.

Sovereign Silver Hydrosol Nasal Spray. Colloidal silver nasal spray really helps. Colloidal silver is a form of silver suspended in water. It kills germs but does not harm healthy cells or tissues. It’s also great in wound healing. The particles are so small the body is able to use them and then flush them out. I buy mine from Whole Foods but you can buy it online or at many health food stores.

Hydrogen peroxide is like magic. It really does work. You can put a few drops in your ear while you lie down on your side. Wait a couple of minutes to let it sink in. Then, put a tissue under that ear and lie on the other side so that the excess drops will drain while you administer a few drops to the other ear. All of this can be found on the web. It helps a lot of folks ward off flu and colds. You will feel the cold of the fluid in your ear, then hear some bubbling. This is all normal. Hydrogen peroxide is also a great way to kill germs. You can use it to wipe down surfaces and large corporations are putting it in sanitizing wipes. I even saw hydrogen peroxide wipes in the Emergency Department. That impressed me greatly. The key is, you must wear gloves to protect your hands.

Garlic clove in the ear. Since I mentioned putting peroxide in the ear why not garlic? Some folks swear by this. They stick a piece of dental floss through the clove and tie it off so when they are done they can easily pull the clove out. I know a lady who cures her ear aches this way.

Garlic clove under the tongue. Some people put a fresh clove under their tongue and leave it in overnight. Never give this to children as they can choke. I leave this up to the discretion of the reader for themselves. Garlic is a great germ killer.

Vitamin D3. A naturopathic doctor said if a person is coming down with something to take 30,000 international units (IU) of VitD3 daily for 3 days only. That gives a massive boost to the immune system. I did this when the big viruses were going around last Advent and really felt a big upswing in my energy and germ fighting capacity. I like Douglas Laboratories Liquid D-3 at 10,000 IU per dropper full. You can find this online or at any high quality health food store. Harvard Study on Vit D3

Oregano and Clove oils. I make gel caps of oregano oil and clove oil. I use about 5 drops each in the same capsule. During the big pre-Christmas cold season I took four capsules a day. One should take these with some food as the oils are hot and can cause stomach irritation. These really helped me. You can use any brand you like, but, it is best to do a bit of research first. I like dōTerra’s because the oils are the most concentrated you will find on the market. Then, the company is also ensuring that all the bottles contain the same amount. That means when I take my oils I know that I am getting the same strength each time. They also use multiple levels of testing to ensure not just potency but purity and safety. I recently learned that thyme oil is great for supporting the body against viruses as are melissa oil and palmarosa. God is good.

Zicam nasal swabs. Zicam is a brilliant product. God bless those that came up with it. You only put the gel about ¼ inch into the nose. Make sure you do not go further than that. It really can cut a cold off at the first signs or shorten it by half if used consistently and correctly. I get mine at Walgreen’s but my guess is they are available everywhere and online.

Wellness Formula. I use this every day and if I go a few days because I forget due to travel etc, I really regret it. This is also from Whole Foods, online or any health food store. Source Naturals makes this product.

Fasting helps. I know, you’d rather have a magic bullet and not hear about making a sacrifice of a comfort. But it is Lent. I feel I should mention this as it is one of the three pillars of Lent. Believe it or not, fasting actually really helps a great deal. Many traditional cultures advise fasting when one is ill. Many living things cease eating temporarily while their bodies are working out something. Fasting does not mean giving up all food so do not attempt this until you have done some reading on it to learn how to fast in a safe and healthy way. Dr. Jason Fung is a western medical doctor who teaches all about fasting in free youtube videos, his blog and in his books. Look him up. He is very generous in sharing what he has learned. Fasting is also great for the soul. Keep that in mind. I enjoyed “The Spirituality of Fasting” by Charles Murphy, “Eat. Fast. Feast.” By Jay Richards, Ph.D., and Dr. Jason Fung’s book “The Complete Guide to Fasting”.

Hot toddy. Boil lemon peel, lemon juice, fresh ground or dried ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks in some water. Boil or simmer at least 15 to 20 minutes. I sweeten it with Stevia. Normal humans probably prefer sugar or honey but sugar can defeat the immune system. Brandy is optional. I stopped using brandy in mine or at least put in only a tiny amount for medicinal purposes. I found it was just as healthful and helpful without it. Sometimes brandy is good, however, if you need to sweat something out. If you are an alcoholic who does not like remedies with alcohol, just skip the brandy. It is just as good.

Fire syrup. Apple cider vinegar + lemon juice + turmeric + cayenne pepper + sweetener = fire syrup. At least, that is what I call it. This stuff really works. But, this is hot stuff so if you are sensitive in the tummy area, i.e., have gastritis or GERD, please use your brains and consider skipping this remedy. If I am really ill I might forego Stevia and instead use a big big gob of raw, organic honey. Always use raw honey. Skip cooked honey as it is not good for you. Manuka honey from New Zealand is the only one to buy as they do not allow any pesticides into their soil. They are good stewards of God’s gift of fertile earth.

Manuka Honey. Buy only the highest number rating on the jar. Best to seek out the highest rating. (Ratings explained here) The honey keeps indefinitely and is yet another blessed gift of God’s beautiful creation. It is great for a sore throat, scratches, difficult to heal wounds, etc. It is a joy to read about.

Diffuser with essential oils. I love dōTerra’s Breathe oil. It opens me right up. I also add in other oils and mix in eucalyptus, tea tree, laurel, menthol, etc. Sometimes I just want it extra strong. The body knows just what to do with essential oils and they perfuse through the body very quickly. Use extreme caution with oils around babies, young children and pets. Do your research first. I am an adult and am sharing what I do for me, not for little ones. Oils are remarkable but they are still concentrated, plant-based medicine. I think people forget this. Oils can be tremendously strong and concentrated. While they are very safe do not pretend to yourself that they are harmless. Do your research first.

Vicks VapoRub on soles of feet and chests. This helps to stop coughing. Doctors tell me they have no idea why, but that it just works. WARNING: Elderly skin and baby skin might not tolerate this on their delicate chest skin. My elderly mom can no longer tolerate it on her chest so we only use it on her feet. Use extreme caution with babies and research everything and ask a doctor first for the wee ones.

Saline nasal wash. Keeping mucosal membranes moist is key to their defense. They were meant to be moist, not dry. However, this is meant to be a short term treatment. Chronic usage rinses away the helpful mucous with the body’s protective immune elements and the sinuses cannot restart the cilia to sweep away debris.

Eucalyptus handkerchief. Our family read about a researcher that visited Australian hospitals. Some nurses wore a cloth pinned to their shirt saturated with eucalyptus oil. They were able to stay healthy while others fell ill. Apparently the eucalyptus oil is a great pathogen killer. Sometimes we soak a hanky and put it on our pillow at night. It helps open up the breathing and makes sleep so much easier and more healing.

Air Detox. This is a lovely smelling room spray to kill airborne germs. Others may use an aerosol based chemical product such as Lysol, but this is a non-toxic alternative that we love in our house. It has eucalyptus and grapefruit oils. I’ve also used it on airplanes when someone is inconsiderate enough to cough without covering.  I buy this online from Dr. Schulze. He has a plethora of herbal remedies and is a licensed herbalist. You can find him by doing a web search.

Dr. Schulze’s Cold and Flu Shots are pricey but, also a great nuclear bomb for those huge germs. They boost the immune system way way up to help you fightback and win. During the whooping cough epidemic in San Francisco, I caught it when parishioners brought their children to Mass and let them cough like seals when they should have been home. I was about to take my mom to her first ever trip to Hawaii 3 days later. I was so ill I could not get out of bed. I had Dr. Schulze’s staff FedEx me two boxes. I took the first dose of 6 small jars in one day. He calls them “shots”, as the little bottles look to be a bit bigger than a shot of a drink. The next day I was up and about and feeling nearly 90% better. I had never had such a dramatic recovery in my life. I was able to fly with my mom to Hawaii. When she came down with it on the trip, she refused to take the Cold and Flu Shots and could not shake the cough for ten months. That was a real eye opener for me as to the power of the plants that God has given us for our benefit.

Sinus Buster. Habenero pepper/capsaicin-based nasal spray such as Sinus Buster (or any other brand) for those too stuffed up for ANY remedy to work. Since I mentioned the really big guns, i.e., Dr. Schulze’s Cold and Flu shots, I thought I’d mention the other big health weapon. This nasal blaster is mighty painful but works faster than steroids. It is best to sit on edge of bed and then blast in case of swooning. Yes, it is that painful but it works. One will breathe in seconds when nothing else works. If it hurts, you can always fall back on your bed and lay there and atone for your many sins by offering up the vast suffering while you enjoy clear nasal passages.

Oscillococcinum is available at Walgreens and takes away body aches for flu. This is not a drug but homeopathy so you do not have to worry about drug interactions. But oh how it helps with the body aches. It is such a blessing.

A professional singer always has to have 95% or more of this in stock daily. When you are contracted to sing the pressure on you is ENORMOUS. Seeing how people cough without even covering, drink from the chalice while sick, and have no manners or concern for others’ health is the ultimate nightmare. I have to skip receiving Communion a lot not only because of the Church still being so ignorant and backwards about gluten intolerance issues, but, the complete lack of sanitation and hygiene around the chalice. From Oct to May I do nothing but spend huge amounts of money on wellness supplements etc. just to try and stay ahead of all the viruses and I am not even a stereotypical germaphobes. Most singers I know share my concern and see how filthy other humans are. I try never to take public transit. I joke that I’m basically spending my retirement now just to make it to these low paying singing jobs. The pressure is indescribable. So, yes, I am constantly restocking remedies.

Stay Home if You Are Sick. The Church dispenses those who are ill from Mass attendance. Especially now in this viral heyday it is wise to stay home and not spread your illness to all the other people at Mass. You can resume Mass when you are well. While you are ill, watch the Mass on EWTN television, or see it for free as they stream it online at, or listen to it free on your radio on Relevant Radio. There is really no need to go to Church sick. No one appreciates the inconsideration and no one thinks you are a hero for spreading your filthy germs. No one.

Danger Is All Around. Viruses are being spread rapidly but don’t forget that sin is swirling all around too. Are you armed against sin too? Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are great remedies, especially during Lent. It is time to practice some of those and stock up on graces. We should pray daily to be ready to die at any moment. It may not be the latest fancy virus that takes us. It could be as simple as a car accident or a fall. Are you ready to meet the Lord? You should be. If not, take heart. There are plenty of inoculations on this holy website and the other bloggers have brilliantly laid out plans for Lenten growth in holiness. Take a look and get some great antidotes to sin. The blogs are free and so is God’s grace.

Stay Calm and Wash Your Soul. Don’t panic about the latest virus. Instead, stay calm and wash your hands. Don’t panic about your own death. Instead, remember what Jesus said, “Be not afraid.” You can go to Him. He has already forgiven you. He can’t lie. He’s God. Lying is outside his nature. Trust Him. Help yourself to a nice session in the confessional and enjoy the cleansing of the sacrament of Reconciliation. Then you will truly have nothing to fear and will be ready to meet Jesus at any given time. If you are at peace then the latest virus has no power over you.

© 2020 Frances Peterson



Keep Calm and Wash Hands poster: Used with full public access permissions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from CDC-Info On Demand.