Natural Supplements Before and During Acute Viral Infections

Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle)


How to Decrease the Risk of Getting Sick and Minimize Complications of Acute Viral Conditions:

Acute viral infections can be dangerous in themselves and by creating over zealous immune responses. Respiratory infections of course can affect our breathing and cause pneumonia. But they can also cause damage to many other organs. This information is for educational purposes and is not meant as treatment or diagnosis. If you have serious symptoms consult with a physician.

There are four major ways supplements and herbs can help with acute viral infections.  Following are some the supplements that may have the biggest protective effects. The supplements are listed into four categories.

These four categories are listed as separate protocols in my “Full Script” store. Listed in each category are some excellent products containing the ingredients or herbs in the lists below. At the end of the lists below are some additional notes on some of these supplements and herbs. These lists and the notes will be updated as I find out more information, as research progresses and as I have time to make additional notes.

Dr. Michels Full Script Dispensary:

A. Immune system optimization (before infection).

Firstly, are the supplements that can help generally improve the effectiveness of the immune system. This can help prior to infection for several reasons. One example is by improving the “innate” immune system. This can destroy infected cells before a virus can get established which can prevent infection or decrease severity (many viral infections are dose dependent).

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Melatonin
  • Elderberry
  • Medicinal mushrooms

B. Antiviral Supplements.

Secondly, there are many supplements and herbs that have direct effects on stopping the virus from being able to infect cells or by preventing their ability to replicate within the cells. They can do this by binding to viral structures or by block enzymes needed for entering cells or replicating. The ones listed in bold are also good due to other mechanisms or have other general benefits for health. The ones listed in bold are also useful for more than one category or have general health benefits. They can be used before a possible infection. All of them can be used after infection.

  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Glutathione
  • Quercetin
  • Andrographis
  • Licorice
  • Lonicera
  • Scutellaria

C. Calming the Immune System

Thirdly, there are many supplements that may decrease the risk of an immune overreaction such as the cytokine storm that can wreak more damage than the infection itself. The ones listed in bold are also useful for more than one category or have general health benefits. They can be used before a possible infection. All of them can be used after infection.

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Melatonin
  • Astaxanthin
  • Elderberry
  • Turmeric
  • Glutathione
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
  • Ashwagandha
  • Artemisia annua

D. Protecting the Body

Lastly, there are many supplements that may help protect tissues and organs from the oxidative and other damaging effects of infection and inflammation. The ones listed in bold are also useful for more than one category or have general health benefits. They can be used before a possible infection. All of them can be used after infection.Vitamin C

  • Melatonin
  • Astaxanthin
  • Nicotinamide Riboside
  • Boswellia


Notes and Supplements:

Most of these supplements can be found in the products listed on my Full Script Webstore. They are organized in the same functional categories as they are above. Sometimes several products containing the same supplements are listed to allow for preference (such as powder or capsule). All supplements should be checked for safety if pregnant and for any interactions with medications. Dosages suggested below are for adults and may need to be adjusted for children.

To go to the store:

This will allow you to set up an account, see pricing and order.

Once in the store navigate to the Catalog, then to Categories.
Then you should see the four categories right below where it says Dr. Michels Fullscript Store Categories (A, B, C, and D).
Click on the desired category and you will see all the suggested products Dr. Michels has recommended for that group.
Links for the products below will work if your account is set-up and logged in.


  • Vitamin C (A,B,C,D): Is the only nutrient that is all four categories above. For category A the suggested dose is 1-4 grams daily. For Category B-D I would recommend 5-10 grams as mineral ascorbates such as C+ BioFiz Powder (with bioflavonoids)or Bufffered Vitamin C Capsules. Too much can cause diarrhea (it helps to split the dose into 2-4 times to increase absorption and decrease digestive issues). To increase vitamin C absorption more add a liposomal vitamin C product one teaspoon 2-4 times a day. For acute illness use both ascorbates and liposomal to maximize.
  • Vitamin D3 (A,C): Acts as a hormone in the body. Vitamin D status as determined by blood test has a strong correlation to outcome of many viral diseases. 5,000-10,000 i.u. per day is a reasonable dose to take in the absence of a blood test. It can be adjusted accordingly when a blood test is available. Get some sunshine when weather and season allow to build up stores. Consider a boost of 50,000 i.u. at onset of symptoms. Avilable in 5,000 i.u. D3 capsules or 10,000 i.u. D3 capsules.
  • Zinc (A,B): is especially active in categories A and B. Dose best not exceed 30 mg (Zinc Supreme). Zinc lozenges may be particularly useful as the zinc will directly contact the tissues of the throat. However, make sure you add up the mg. of zinc taken in lozenges so as not to exceed 30 mg. daily total.
  • Copper(A,B): Zinc supplementation can cause a copper deficiency. Also, copper has anti-viral properties of its own. Suggested dose is 2 mg. per day (Copper Citrate).
  • Selenium (A): Is a common deficiency. Recommended dose is 200 mcg. per day.
  • Elderberry (A,C):: is a traditional supplement for strengthening and balancing the immune system. Several studies have shown benefits for decreasing length and severity of respiratory viral illnesses. There was a concern that it might aggravate the “cytokine storm”. Current thinking is that is not a problem. Elderberry is an ingredient in the general immune strengthening supplements Immunotone Plus and ImmunoBerry Liquid (great for kids). It is also available as Elderberry Liquid.
  • Medicinal Mushrooms: M/R/S Mushrooms is a blend of Maitake, Reishi and Shitake mushrooms. Take as directed. Mushrooms are also in Immunotone Plus.
  • Melatonin (A,C,D):: is usually thought of a sleep aid. But it is an important antioxidant and plays a role in immune function. As a general supplement 0.5-3 mg is generally good (if it leaves you drowsy in the morning decrease dose). When sick dosage can be 10-40 mg. per day divided into 2 doses. Melatonin Liposomal Spray offers good absorption and adjustable dosing.
  • Quercetin (B):: It makes sense to take this preventatively as well as if you develop symptoms, as it is safe and many benefits. It is an anti-viral. It is one of naturally occurring bioflavonoids. There is a small amount is the C+ BioFizz (along with some other bioflavonoids). And it is available separately in the Quercetin Plus, which has been formulated for improved absorption (quercetin is generally poorly absorbed).
  • Glutathione (B,C): The most potent antioxidant the body produces. It is also important in the function of the innate immune system. It is easily destroyed by the digestive process. Liposomal Glutathione bypasses digestion and is directly absorbed through the mucosa.
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)  (B, C) is an amino acid that is a precursor to glutathione.
  • Anti-Viral Herbs (B):: Andrographis, Licorice, Lonicera, and Scutellaria all have anti-viral properties. If one has viral symptoms or been diagnosed consider using them in combination. Essential Defense is a herbal combination with Lonicera and Licorice as well as many other herbs. Andrographis is available as Andrographis (capsules). Licorice is available as Licorice Plus (with Ashwagandha). Scutellaria is available as Scullcap Herb (capsules).  These can all be taken as directed on the label.
  • Turmeric (C): Contains the active ingredient curcumin. It is widely used for its safe and effective anti-inflammatory properties. It is available in Turmeric capsules. Dosage is 1-2 caps. 2-3 x per day, or in a emulsified liquid form (better absorption) Turmero Active (micronized). Dosage is 1 tea. 1-2 x per day.
  • Ashwagandha (C): It is available as Ashwandha (capsules)
  • Artimesia annua (C):Also know as sweet wormwood seems to help calm the excess inflammation and excess cytokines. It is available as Artimesia. Use as directed on bottle.
  • Boswellia (D): Also known as Frankincense is available as an extract Boswellia AKBA. Take as directed.
  • Nicotinamide Riboside (D): is a precursor to NAD+ an intracellular energy currency and may help prevent cell death in stressed cells. It is available as Nicotinamide Riboside. Take 100 mg once or twice daily.