Resource Parter Blog: Sun Horse Energy
Mater herbalist Dan Moriarty is the founder of Sun Horse Energy Adaptogenic Elixirs. He is a third generation herbalist specializing in a class of botanical known as adaptogens.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought it would be best if you heard it straight from the horse’s mouth (pardon the pun) about how adaptogens support the immune system, even against a highly-contagious virus.
How does the novel coronavirus attack the immune system?
DM: Viruses attack the cell. They spike protein into the ACE-2 receptor (the host cell receptor responsible for mediating infection by SARS-CoV-2.
Viruses commandeer the mechanism of the cell and make a multitude of viral copies. So you have to work with your cells first of all to have healthy cells, which also includes healthy immune cells, which in turn means having a sufficient amount of Natural Killer (NK) cells.
If you don’t have enough NK cells, the number of which diminish as you get older, you don’t have the weapons necessary that can actually kill the infected cells. So here’s what happens. When you get infected with this virus, your cells become infected with this virus. Your cells become little virus-producing factories. Eventually, lung cells transform into virus-producing factory cells…
The only thing that can deal with this assault is NK cells. NK cells recognize the cellular malfunctioning and attack the malfunctioning cells. The NK cells absorb and dismantle the viral factory.
But if you don’t have enough NK cells, what happens is you get more and more virus-factory producing cells in your lungs until your lungs are completely infected. At this point, NK cell production attempts to ramp up. But at this point, the NK cells don’t just attack infected cells, they attack the healthy cells as well. Your own immune system is what kills you.
If you have enough NK cells to take out the viruses at an early stage, then there’s not that many infected cells your immune system has to deal with. We can do this by having a balanced immune system.
What is a balanced immune system reaction?
DM: That means your immune system doesn’t overreact and underreact. Once you’re exposed to this virus, your body will react to it in a specific way. The virus produces inflammasomes, which tend to create all the problems. You need inflammation to fight a virus, which is why your body produces an inflammasome reaction. That’s good that this response kicks in. But you don’t want the response turned on and not have the switch go off. So you want a strong inflammatory reaction, but you want it to end in a reasonable time; if the trigger is stuck in the on position so to speak, that’s when you can die from a cytokine storm in the lungs.
How does stress affect the immune system?
DM: Your immune system is more important than ever right now. When stress levels rise, it disrupts healthy immune function. What is important to know is that our genetic tendencies are turned on by stress. Once we help your body recover from stress, your immune system can go back to doing what it does best, protecting you and helping your body heal.
We need to give our bodies what they need to recover from stress, including rest, nutritious food, water, nurturing, exercise, and nutrients. By doing this, by helping our bodies to recover from stress, we can reset our immune system to where it functions best. This is one reason I specialize in the field of adaptogens. They are a unique class of herbs that help the body adapt to stress.
Why are kids not affected as much?
DM: Kids’ immune systems react to everything because everything’s brand new; it might as well be all coronaviruses to a child’s immune system because you’re having to become immune to your environment. But as you get older and older, your body is pretty much used to everything. So your immune system is no longer in the learning stage.
How do adaptogens support the immune system even when confronted with a viral attack?
DM: Adaptogens work at the cellular level. This is the level at which viruses work. Adaptogens increase production of NK cells that are there at the initial viral attack. Adaptogenic herbs mobilize all aspects of cellular function to handle stress, regardless of where the stress is coming from.
With adaptogenic herbs, your body may have an immune response of a younger person and elicit a balanced immune system response. This is an important thing to keep in mind: you want your immune response to be balanced. Many people automatically assume the correct immune response is a hyper one. However, as we’re seeing in the fatalities with the novel coronavirus, the immune response becomes out of control. It’s essentially the immune system that kills, not the virus itself.
Another important thing to remember about how adaptogens work is that they help regulate the body’s response to stress without causing any physiological damage. Stress reduces the immune response. Stress is a killer. Two out of every three diseases of every kind are precipitated by unrelenting stress.
How do you recommend taking Sun Horse adaptogens?
DM: It’s best take the suggested use on a daily basis. You can find the product that works best for you like the Ultimate Energy, Mojo 8.5 or Thrivagen or cycle through base formula with either the men’s or women’s formula. Other great choices to take on a daily basis or cycle through with other adaptogenic formulas are the Cannadapt with contains full spectrum hemp extract, Fog Cutter with neuroprotective botanicals.
Nowadays, you may want to use antivirals to tamp down the inflammation because you don’t want an out of control inflammation response. You’ll want to use antiviral specific herbs like those in Lung Support, which is a bronchodilator with 320 antiviral compounds. The herbs in Lung Support have been shown to be suppressive of SARS, which is also a type of coronavirus.
What else should people be doing in addition to taking adaptogens these days?
DM: Make sure you’re eating a super healthy diet … food is your medicine; make sure you’re eating enzyme-loaded natural foods. Get plenty of sleep, sunshine, fresh air and moderate exercise. And, of course, stay away from others and keep practicing social distancing…
Also, make sure you have sufficient vitamin D, zinc, selenium, vitamin C and vitamin A. These nutrients are the ones proven to have potent viral-fighting capacity. But especially make sure you’re supplementing with vitamin D3 during winter and spring to enhance your immune system.
And yes, take the adaptogens to keep your health up so you have a balanced immune system reaction.
How Can Customers Order Sun Horse Adaptogenic Elixirs?
All of our adaptogenic formulas are available at CBDGarage.com. We have a full line of adaptogenic elixirs for daily use. Each of our formulas have a base of 12-13 adaptogenic herbs with specific herbs added to each of the specialty formulas.