Do you know how to protect yourself from viruses?


The best way to protect yourself from any virus is to arm yourself with knowledge of how they operate inside you. Learn their survival mechanisms and vulnerabilities. There are more than 4000 known viruses. Scientists have argued whether viruses are even living beings.

From conception to death, proteins (amino acids) play a huge role in cellular health. Every living being is endowed with both external and innate protective mechanisms to ward off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and intruders. Indeed, pay attention to the protective protein coat that surrounds individual cells. And pay special attention to the enzymes that break down and repair amino acids. This is the key to all disease and a vibrant life.

Viruses invade a cell by changing the structure and permeability of the cell wall. Viruses can’t survive on their own—they must hijack a host cell, inject their own nucleic acid, and replicate themselves like an out of control copy machine. Viruses use a type of agglutinin (big word meaning a substance that glues things to itself) called hemagglutinin to bind themselves to sialic acid links on the surface of epithelial host cells. Once attached, the virus begins to alter the permeability of the host cell wall—it makes the cell wall soft, causes it to bend apart, and creates holes (pores) in the sialic acid links on the surface. Viruses enter the host through these pores to hide inside and evade the immune system. They do this by using an enzyme called neuraminidase. This particular enzyme can catalyze (break apart) sialic acid links on the host cell surface. These two important molecules classify viruses: Hemagglutinin (H) and Neuraminidase (N). Each virus has one type of H and one type of N. H1N1 for example, was responsible for the pandemic of 1918 while the swine flu pandemic was H2N2. As a virus mutates or jumps species, the H and N numbers change to reflect the shift. As newer, more virulent strains of viruses are formed, human antibodies against the older ones no longer recognize them and reinfection can occur.

Neuraminidase is a key player in the ability of the virus to enter and exit the host cell. This enzyme breaks apart chains of sugars and other glycoproteins. Mucin is a protective glycoprotein secreted in the mucus of the respiratory and digestive tract. The sugar molecules attached to mucins give them increased water holding capacity and make them resistant to digestive enzymes. The disruption or pore created in the chain allows the virus to escape the protective mucus fluid in the respiratory tract and travel via the spleen to the brain and other tissues. Viruses have evolved to use this enzyme to their advantage—neuraminidase prevents them from aggregating (sticking) to each other and being trapped in protective mucous.

A key player in virus prevention is the “Aquaporin.” Defined by the Farlex Medical Dictionary (link below): “A member of a family of trans-membrane channel proteins found in epithelial membranes that serve to regulate trans-epithelial water movement in tissues involved in body fluid homeostasis.” In other words, essential membrane proteins that tunnel into every cell, bring essential nutrients into every cell, and carry toxins out of every cell.

Ever heard of them? Doubtful. Are they important? Critical. Aquaporins are essential for cellular hydration and oxygenation. Hydrated cells protect against and remove toxins. Viruses in dehydrated cells have more time to multiply. And so it is with cancer. An external acidic pH, along with cellular dehydration, increased metabolism of sugar, and poor water perfusion—allow cancer cell invasion, replication, and metastasis. (Viral Infections are pH Sensitive; link below)

Neuraminidase inhibitors are effective treatments that work by reducing the fluidity of both the host and virus cell membrane; making it rigid and inhibiting the ability of the virus to enter the host cell. There are several herbal antivirals that are known to do this. Ginger, Rhodiola, Elder, Chinese Skullcap, and Licorice are neuraminidase inhibitors effective against both influenza A and B strains. (Buhner, link below)

A large part of your immune system is located in the gut—so proper digestion is critical. Digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, probiotics, and fermented foods are essential for gut health. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites are all made of protein. Protease enzymes digest protein membranes surrounding viruses, leaving them unprotected and vulnerable to destruction. The Herpes Zoster virus has been successfully treated since 1968 with enzymes and no side effects. The Medical Enzyme Research Institute found that enzymes significantly limit the progression of early stage HIV. In HIV positive patients— enzyme therapy can delay onset of the disease—sometimes permanently. (Enzymes for Life, link below)

Hydrochloric (stomach) acid not only breaks down food, but also kills pretty much every pathogen known to man. Proton pump inhibitors like “the purple pill” inhibit the production of stomach acid. This is counterproductive. Hydrochloric acid supplementation is necessary. Probiotics and fermented foods like kefir, Kombucha, and fermented vegetables contain live cultures that repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria that restore a healthy microbial balance. Healthy digestion means your immune system can spend less time breaking down food for energy, and more time identifying and destroying pathogens.

Finally—one absolute superstar—Colloidal Silver. Colloidal silver was considered an essential part of the human immune system until the late 1930’s. Ancient Greeks lined water and wine urns with silver. The Romans made poultices for burns. American settlers put silver coins in milk and water to keep it fresh and kill germs. The expression “born with a silver spoon in their mouth” came from the time when wealthy people put silver spoons and silver pacifiers in their children’s mouth to protect them from the germs of commoners. In the bubonic plague of the 1400’s—wealthy people remained mostly unaffected. In 1920, Alfred Searle wrote a book, “The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease,” designed to help doctors understand the healing properties of colloidal silver. Good old Louie Pasteur turned humans against the essential protective innate mechanisms, and critically essential microbes that will soon be our only hope against mutant resistant pathogens.

We’re poised to come full circle. Everything new is simply well forgotten old.



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Thomasina Copenhaver
Thomasina Copenhaver is a naturopathic doctor and registered nurse with over 30 years experience in the healthcare profession. Her passion is writing, researching, and empowering all humans with knowledge of healing at the cellular level; to enable them to make educated and informed choices regarding their health. For more information visit her website: or to buy her book, "Notes from a Naturopath" visit Amazon or Barnes and Noble.