A New Look At Naturopathic Approaches To Chronic Viral Conditions

By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.

In the early 1990’s, I wrote a series of articles that outlined a Naturopathic approach to viral conditions based on the work of Scott Gregory MD. Dr. Gregory authored a book called the “Holistic Protocol for the Immune system”. At the time the book brought Eastern and Western methodologies of healing together in a unique way. In the book Dr. Gregory outlines several very important rules in handling the chronic infections. These rules have become a mainstay in many protocols.

  1. Anti-viral herbals are best utilized in a rotation sequence. Taking each product for 4-7 days and then moving to another. When the 4 or 5 in the set have been taken for the 4-7 day period the sequence is started again. This prevents resistance from occurring to the anti-viral herbs.
  2. After viral remission has occurred, detoxification of pathogenic and metabolic wastes, and normalization of intestinal flora are the next priority. This allows for optimal utilization of nutrients by our cells.
  3. Increasing cellular energy by correcting hormones and vitamin/mineral levels is best accomplished after viral remission and detoxification has occurred. The rebalanced flora will add in nutrient absorption.
  4. Substances that stimulate interferon. B or T cell activity should not be used until the virus is in a remission. If used prematurely they can spread the virus by increasing its replication.

In the following Viral Support Phases 0-4, we will revisit some of the rational in Dr. Gregory’s original work and expand upon with some of my recent research.

The Viral Support Phases
Viral Phase 0 
The controversial Hulda Clark PHD ND has preached for almost 17 years that viruses are hosted by intestinal flukes and perhaps other hemilinths (worms).

Therefore to correctly treat any viruses we must first insure that we remove any additional hosts that may serve the virus.

I have seen no scientific studies that validate this theory, however in the last 17 years, I have heard and observed many people who suffer from HIV, CMV, Herpes etc and observe changes and improvements by doing a parasite cleanse.

So strong is this empirical data that I would say the first step of a nutritional support program for viral conditions must begin with a 30 day parasite cleanse. If parasites are not the host of viruses as Hulda Clark claims, the immune system, both intestinally and within the body, will have a significant burden taken off it by doing a 30 day parasite cleanse first.

However, it is my opinion based on observation and experience that there is some credence in Hulda Clarks theory that viruses within the human body have as their hosts a parasite. Enough credence for me to recommend a parasite cleanse as the first step of any viral support program. For more information of the theories of Dr. Clark please read any of her books on Cancer or HIV.

Viral Phase 1
The use of non-toxic germicides to eliminate or reduce the virus would come next.

Many times the approach first used is to stimulate T-cells, white blood cells and interferon. This is unwise as these cells are diseased and are carriers of the infection. Stimulating these cells can cause a rampant spread of the infection. In the case of the opportunistic infection we must bypass the body’s own immune system because it has already failed. Stimulating can cause a spreading of the infection as mentioned.

So we must reduce or eliminate the infection using the modern protocol. They would need to be non-toxic so they can be taken for long enough periods of time to eliminate large amounts of the infection without altering the natural flora or causing damage (side effects) to glands or organs. In “Phase I”, we also want the ph of the body alkaline, as this aids in reducing viral replication.

The remedies from the protocol that we choose based on the person’s history, health complaints, and lab results. As stated earlier they must be rotated to be effective. Drug or herbal resistance is possible after 21 days of taking any remedy. It will lose effectiveness as the environment within the body adjusts to it. The infection also adjusts. Therefore, we take each remedy 4-7 days then move to the next one. When we have used them all, we repeat them again.

Each remedy must have the ability to attack and reduce the viral activity. Blood root/ celandine is an herb commonly used for its ability to reduce the ability of the virus to replicate. It has been thought to have a natural protease inhibitor action. This has the effect of holding the virus still while you begin to “punch and beat it up”.

A warning to the reader! There are natural herbal anti-virals that also have an interferon stimulating property. These are to be avoided in favor of Naturopathic substances which are anti-viral that do not have a B cell, T cell, or interferon stimulating property. As stated earlier it is the opinion of the author that premature stimulation of the immune system could cause viruses to spread.

During this time the envelope of the virus, which is fact an outside coating needs to be broken down. This allows the remedies to have a greater effect on the virus. This is accomplished with the enzymes “trypsin”, “chymotrypsin”, “bromelain”, “papain” and a flavonoid from Ginkgo.

Proteolytic enzyme (PE) treatments were first popularized in Germany in the 1960s for inflammation, osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases, and viral infections. The effective products usually contain a mixture of pancreatin, papain, bromelain, trypsin and chymotrypsin. Studies done in vitro and in mice have shown that PEs have immunomodulatory and tumoricidal properties according to Sloan Kettering.

Viral Phase 2
Here the main emphasis is to rebalance the bacterial flora of the intestinal tract and eliminate secondary fungal/yeast growth that may have occurred as a result of the chronic viral infections. The intestinal tract is one of the first lines of defense in the immune system of most all mammals. Specific immune substances are produced in the intestinal tract attack invading organisms of all kinds and prevent their entry into the body. Specific for EBV on this phase, we must support the liver as the virus can attack it. Detoxification of pathogenic wastes (toxins produces by infections) and metabolic wastes (toxins produces by the body’s own metabolism) are important in this step. The elimination of these wastes allows the glands, organs and cellular structures to more easily assimilate nutrients and regulate themselves.

Viral Phase 3
On Phase III, we test the person for vitamin, mineral, fatty acid, amino acid and hormonal deficiencies. With digestion improved, he can now get full benefit from taking supplements rather than having them in a toxic state where they will not be absorbed or utilized. Here is normally when the energy systems of the body can be rebalanced. Adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and reproductive functions can be addressed. In the classic Chronic Fatigue case or EBV, a return of energy is very much noticed in this phase. Since the nervous system also stimulates the immune system, Phase III gives the EBV sufferer the balance needed for immune stimulation to work well.

Viral Phase 4
Now Phase IV, the last phase, is begun. At this point it is now safe to stimulate the immune system since the virus has been eliminated or greatly reduced. Substances ranging from sunlight, which stimulates interferon response, to T and B cell support formulas are now used. As many as 25 substances can be used to enhance immune function on this phase. At this point the bodies own defenses are able to handle the virus on its own from this time forward. If a virus is found with other infections, the four phases may take longer to run through.

It is important that when the person reaches Phase IV that he continue to take his supplements and diet so the body can heal. The purpose of the program is to get to Phase IV so that energy and nutrients that can repair, rebuild, and heal the body can be utilized.

Now in the style of Dr. Gregory, I will list actual examples of the items that may be used in phase 4 for the reader’s interest and research. Please keep in mind that if these substances are used too early in the program or taken before steps 0, 1, 2 and 3 are complete the case may worsen!

Phase 4 Protocol items:

  6. Cordyceps Extract™
  7. Astra 8™
  8. PCM-4

The first, second, and third phase are set-ups for the last. The fatigue and other symptoms caused by viruses are amongst the most horrible I’ve ever heard. Mainstream medicine offers no hope. With this protocol, as high as 80% of EBV cases can be handled in an average of 24-30 weeks. The key is the proper sequence of treatment. Avoidance of viral actors or inducers is also important. Nickel, Hydrocortisone, Hydrogen peroxide and some Chinese herbs have been to activate EBV but it is not yet known if they activate other viruses. Factors that increase calcium which include Vitamin D, copper, estrogen, insulin and Para-thyroid hormone are now thought to be potential viral activating agents. Avoidance of these would be important during the program.