A Seasonal Newsletter from
Naturopathic Health Care
Amy Rothenberg ND & Paul Herscu ND, MPH

February 2021
Information and Support for this Time
369 Pleasant Street Northampton, MA 01060
115 Elm Street, Suite 210, Enfield, CT 06082
For new patient appointments in person or via Telemedicine click here.
Dear Patients, Family, and Friends,

We hope that you are keeping warm and cozy, especially if you’re experiencing some wild winter weather, like we are in Massachusetts! We have been hearing from many of you asking our opinion about how to best prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine.

As we have written before, there are many parts of the public health response to this pandemic, including vaccination.

What follows are our basic principles and thoughts. These ideas have not been tested in clinical trials with COVID-19 specifically, and believe us, we are advocating for that to happen through various channels we have.

The article below will be a repeat of much of Paul's recent Epidemic Update #21, but perhaps this format will be more shareable with friends, family, and patients. If you'd like to receive Epidemic Updates (which Paul has been publishing for over 20 years), please fill out this form.

We pray that the vaccine part of our public health efforts, along with all other measures promoted since early last year, and the ongoing natural medicine preventive care, will work to put an end to our most challenging times.

With love and light,

Amy & Paul

Things to Consider Related to Taking the COVID-19 Vaccine
 Say thanks 🙌 Give a shoutout to Anshu A on social or copy the text below to attribute.   Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

1. Please get tested for the virus before being vaccinated to ensure you are not actively ill with COVID-19. To be sick and also to take the vaccine may be too much unnecessary stress on your body and may overburden your immune system.

2. Here are reasonable steps to take based on basic naturopathic concepts, and mirror what we do on the other side of the equation, to support an optimally functioning immune system, should a person be exposed to the virus. We want an immune response to the vaccine, while limiting harm. Here’s what we suggest:

a.    Take probiotics and if your diet allows, eat cultured/fermented foods (think here, yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, etc.) in the weeks before and after your vaccine. Research shows that people who have a robust and diverse microbiome seem to fare better with vaccines, and vaccines seem to work better and their impact last longer. This makes sense when you consider the ecosystem within which the immune system works.

b.    Include prebiotic foods in your diet. In order for probiotics and probiotic food and drink to work best, they need prebiotics on board. You don’t need another supplement here, just be mindful of including insoluble fiber foods in your diet. Prebiotics are indigestible by human enzymes. They function as essential food for probiotics, which in turn help support optimal digestion as well as enhanced immunity; studies have shown this helps with response to vaccination.

c.   Include nutritional supplementation with Vitamins D (5,000 IU), E (400 IU), C (1-2,000 mg), the mineral zinc (15 mg with 1-2 mg copper), and essential fatty acids, like fish oil, for an optimal immune resiliency. We would say for the two weeks before and then afterward, this plan would be recommended for most people. Beyond that, please work with your own health care provider for more long-range plans.

RECIPE Book this Time!
Winter Weather Foods for Immune Support
We usually share our own home-cooked recipes in this section. But in this edition, we’d like to share a free e-book, chock full of further information for your winter health, published by the Institute for Natural Medicine with partner, Better Nutrition. Bon Appetit!

Did you know that viruses love winter? It's true. In colder weather, viruses adapt and put on a hard outer shell to protect them. Trouble is, this added outer layer allows viruses to spread more easily. SO what can you do? Eat immune support foods of course.

Download your free copy here
RECOMMENDED: Where we bring to light an organization or product we believe in.
This pandemic has further revealed how determinants of health and access to health care are not shared equally across our great nation. The health inequities and how brown and black people suffer more than others, is also relevant in the naturopathic and integrative medicine communities. We can all do better bringing the information and clinical expertise more broadly to people in need.

We'd like to help further the work of the organization, Integrated Medicine For the Underserved or IM4US. We want natural and integrative medicine to be available to all, not just those with means and access. Check out their wonderful and ongoing work.
Naturopathic Health Care:
Northampton, MA & Enfield, CT!

We are continuing to see all our patients via telemedicine at this time. For help with your underlying chronic aliments, for support in helping create a resilient immune system and for general health care needs, call the office to schedule. Give the gift of health to yourself or a loved one this holiday season!
About Naturopathic Health Care
Our 2021 Calendar:

What about this amazing photo by our dear friend, Lynn Bowmaster!? When I saw this picture, I immediately knew I'd love to feature it for our 2021 annual calendar. When not snapping the occasional photo, Lynn runs the wonderful Woven Word Young Writers Workshop.

We enjoy making & sharing these, so if you'd like a hard copy of the calendar printed at your local copy store, feel free to print up a few & share with friends. And hopefully, when we have the chance to meet in person again, in our clinic or in a NESH class, we'll have some to share.