2355 Canyon Blvd.   |   Suite 102   |   Boulder, CO 80302

Author: Amy Reidhead

Coronavirus (COVID-19) — Essential facts about this new virus

Vital Support for You and Your Family
If you are tuned in to the media at all, it’s hard to ignore the anxiety-provoking news concerning the latest viral outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Over the past week many people are contacting our office, understandably concerned. Dr. Fox and I wanted to reach out to you, our community, and hash out fact from fiction while giving you the best evidence-based advice on how to safeguard your health from this spreading disease. This post is long, but it contains the most current information available from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization.

Boulder Holistic Immune System Booster Kits

Basic Stay Healthy Kit — Vitamins D, A, Zinc, Probiotic 100 billion
Premium Immune Booster Kit — Vitamins D, A, Zinc, Allimed, 350 Probiotic plus a single or combination of antiviral herbs
Dr. Stephen Buhner Protocol — World-renowned master herbalist Dr. Stephen Buhner recently released his recommendations to integrative providers to address coronavirus. Dr. Buhner has extensive knowledge in treating many microbial diseases, including Lyme and other related diseases, using his well crafted and researched herbal blends. He has studied this virus and has suggested a new three-tincture protocol to provide antiviral activity against coronavirus. These herbal blends are considered both preventative as well as specific for treating an acute infection with only a change in dose and frequency.
Contact the office to order any of these personalized kits.

COVID-19 — What is it?
The latest coronavirus, abbreviated COVID-19, is considered a novel or new virus, meaning it has not been previously seen by humans.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that typically cause mild upper respiratory illness in people. Respiratory viruses are common this time of year, so what makes this latest viral outbreak so different? Though COVID-19 is new, you may remember hearing about its close cousins, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). While currently less deadly, COVID-19 is alarming due to its rapid global spread.
Because this particular virus is new to us, information is emerging every day as scientists and doctors are scrambling to understand how COVID-19 is diagnosed, treated and exactly how to prevent and manage the disease in our communities.
How is it transmitted?
Like the flu, human-to-human transmission of coronavirus occurs mainly through droplets, released in the air by coughing, sneezing and close contact with sick individuals. Many viruses can also survive on surfaces for a period of minutes to even hours. These possible infection sources are called fomites and can include just about anything: think keyboards, cash, credit cards, countertops, swipe machines, gas pump handles, hand railings, door handles, cell phones, toys, utensils, toothbrushes, clothes etc.
The incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be 2-14 days on average, with a median period of 4 days from the time of exposure until symptoms begin to appear. People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic.
What about pets?
The WHO says it’s very unlikely that humans can get the coronavirus from household pets.
What are the symptoms?
It’s important to remember that like most upper respiratory viruses, coronavirus causes mild to moderate cold- or flu-like symptoms in the average person. There is some evidence that the coronavirus may be more contagious than the flu, and may cause more severe symptoms in at-risk individuals, including the elderly as well as those with preexisting lung or heart disease, or those who suffer from any number of chronic illnesses such as diabetes. With that in mind, people in these groups should be especially diligent in following the prevention measures listed below.
Commonly reported symptoms:
  • Mild symptoms include fever, headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough and muscle aches and pains.
  • Moderate symptoms include all the above symptoms plus a feeling of shortness of breath and mild pneumonia.
  • Severe presentations of the illness include severe pneumonia symptoms including labored breathing and signs of respiratory distress and should be managed in a hospital setting.
How do we test for coronavirus?
Although subject to change, currently office-based testing is not available for the COVID-19 virus. While the CDC has reported shortages of tests, the private sector labs, including LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, have announced the private development of tests which should be available soon.
What if I have symptoms?
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus and are experiencing symptoms, you should call your local public health department right away, using the guidelines below:
The CDC is rapidly updating their guidelines for testing. Click here for the latest information.
Contact the public health department if: 
  1. You have FEVER + lower respiratory symptoms (cough, or shortness of breath) plus a personal history of recent travel to China, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Iran or other known countries heavily impacted by the epidemic
  2. You have FEVER + lower respiratory symptoms above + known contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
  3. You have FEVER + severe lower respiratory symptoms (severe shortness of breath, or signs of respiratory distress) that require hospitalization, even without know contact or exposure to the virus
Help contain the virus. Do not go to your local doctors’ office or the hospital unless you have severe life-threatening symptoms. This is cautionary advice issued by the public health department in an effort to try to contain the virus.
If you suspect you have become infected with COVID-19, contact the public health department and they will assess the situation and coordinate with local hospitals to get you the care you need.
For general questions about COVID-19 in Colorado:
  • Call CO-HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911.
  • You can also email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.
For local public health agencies and healthcare providers only:
  • From Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., please call 303-692-2700.
  • For after-hours, holidays, and weekends, please call 303-370-9395.
What if I do not qualify for the coronavirus criteria, but I am still experiencing symptoms?
Because we are still in the normal cold and flu season, it is much more likely that people with acute upper respiratory symptoms have a typical virus, such as a common cold, influenza or streptococcal infection (strep throat). If you feel acutely ill, but you do not meet the above CDC coronavirus criteria, we recommend that you let the medical facility know that you are exhibiting viral illness symptoms and wish to be seen. Make sure and call the facility well before your visit. That way you and the staff can plan for the appointment by providing the appropriate isolation practices for safe strep and flu testing.
Should I wear a mask?
If you are symptomatic, you should wear a mask or handkerchief covering your nose and mouth when you go to and from public settings such as urgent care, medical offices and the hospital. This is vital in protecting others from the illness. Right now, masks like the N95 are in high demand, causing dangerous shortages in the medical field, price gouging and counterfeits. For these reasons we discourage the stockpiling of masks.
Prevention: How do I protect myself and my loved ones?
The absolute best thing you can do to protect yourself is to avoid contact with known sick people or those exhibiting symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
Here is the CDC’s website to better educate yourself on virus prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
Our recommendations for protecting you and others from all viral illnesses:
  • Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!
  • Wash your hands (correctly and often!) Click here for a tutorial
  • Train yourself to avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth. It may prove harder than you think, so practice often.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow or a tissue.
  • Say hello from a distance instead of shaking hands.
  • Load up on healthy foods, especially those with ginger, garlic, turmeric, and oregano.
  • Eat colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid sugar.
  • Get fresh air and moderate exercise daily while avoiding large crowds.
  • Get good sleep.
  • Decrease stress with relaxation and family games.
Using supplements to bolster your immune system, in addition to frequent hand washing, may also help to safeguard your health.
Our favorite immune boosting and immune modulating tools include:
  • Upping your Vitamin C intake.
  • Scheduling intravenous Vitamin C as a potent antiviral strategy.
  • Adding Zinc to your daily intake.
  • Optimizing your Vitamin D 3 levels.
  • Taking a high potency probiotic daily.
  • Adding Vitamin A to your intake.
  • Practicing daily nasal rinsing.
Virus prevention:
Known viral medications, like Tamiflu and other antivirals, have not been effective against coronavirus. There are also no known supplements, herbs or vitamins that will kill the COVID-19 virus. The CDC anticipates that a vaccine won’t be available for at least a year. Our best bet at this time is prevention.
Some research points to the effectiveness of a number of herbs in providing notable immune system boosts. We carry and recommend a number of known antiviral herbs in our office:
  • Allimed. Allimed contains high potency allicin, the active ingredient in garlic and has potent antimicrobial effects.
  • Curcumax Pro or Meriva: contain turmeric/curcumin, and boswellia which provide both immune modulating and inflammation support
  • Quercitin
  • Oregano oil
  • Olivirex
  • Monolaurin
  • Quick silver Cat’s Claw
  • Nutramedix Samento
  • Artemisia
Mental wellness
This outbreak is causing a lot of added stress to our daily lives. It’s important to remember to take good care of your mental health. This includes exercise, preferably in the sun, eating well, sleeping well, and supporting each other. Remember, it’s okay to moderate your coronavirus news consumption. It may even prove healthy.

If you are not in Boulder, feel free to order your supplements through email or on Fullscript, and then ask Melissa, Sara or Ame for an email pdf of our doctors’ directions on recommendations and dosages.

Keep up-to-date with the latest information:

CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15885816 natural compounds agains coronavirus

What the Heck is EMF?

What Exactly is EMF?

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are a form of non-ionizing radiation (their frequency is somewhere between microwaves and radio waves). This radiation is invisible, but can be measured by hand held EMF detection meters. Common sources of EMF in the home include televisions, mobile phones, computers, remote controls, radios, WiFi routers, baby monitors, microwave ovens, smart lighting and smart meters, power lines and electrical wiring.

What Exactly Do EMFs Do to the Body?

Exposure to this low frequency radiation disrupts the homeostasis of the cell by negatively impacting calcium voltage channels located in the cell membrane. EMF exposure causes calcium to flood the intracellular space leading to an overproduction of pro-oxidative molecules called super oxide (SO) and nitrous oxide (NO).  While NO and SO are helpful at normal physiologic doses, excessive amounts of these pro-oxidant molecules interact with each other… producing two even more devastating molecules called peroxynitrite and the hydroxyl radical.

How Does EMF Hurt Us?

These intracellular “bad guys” cause many downstream problems including inducing direct and indirect DNA damage, devastating our mitochondria’s ability to produce energy and accelerating the overall aging process. Put simply, EMF exposure increases our production of molecules of oxidation, and drains our body’s antioxidant stores and disrupts our DNA repair systems.

Our bodies and our health work in a delicate balance called homeostasis. We rely on a balance between pro-oxidative activity to kill and neutralize infective and toxic agents, while also producing antioxidants to help to aid in the elimination of these products of toxic and biotoxin exposure. EMF exposure creates additional oxidative stress, depleting antioxidant activity, leading to anxiety, depression, stress and fatigue as well as increasing the risk for developing many other chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer.

How Do I Protect Myself and My Family from EMF Exposure?

While EMFs affect everyone, there is growing evidence that our kids may even be more at risk to prolonged EMF exposure. California’s environmental health investigations says that EMFs penetrate deeper in to children’s brains and may mean that their developing nervous systems are even more susceptible to EMF exposure!

Reducing your total EMF exposure is tool number one to safeguarding your health. How do you go about doing that? Here are a few suggestions to help you start to detox your family from EMF exposure.

  • Try turning your phone to airplane mode when it is not in use. It is recommended that cell phones not be kept at the bedside, unless it is in airplane mode.
  • Use a barrier when using laptop devices. When we use our laptop on our lap, EMF frequencies are emitted very close to our reproductive organs. Consider using a shielding pad like the ones sold here. 
  • WiFi routers are responsible for large amounts of EMF radiation exposure. Make sure your homes WiFi router is not located in anyone’s bedroom.
  • Create a sleep sanctuary. Another great solution is to turn off your home’s WiFi routers at night or putting your router on a timer so that it automatically turns off between 11pm-7 am
  • Encourage your kids to limit their exposure by teaching them to put their phones in airplane mode while they are at school or when they are not using their phone.
  • Pregnant and nursing women are encouraged to limit cell phone and laptop use as EMF exposure is especially dangerous the developing nervous system of the fetus and newborn.
  • Reduce your exposure and use of Bluetooth devices. Choose “wired” appliances as much as possible: wired mouse for your computer, wired headphones and baby monitors over wireless versions of these devices
  • Several products have been shown to harmonize (not block) EMF activity. BIODOT and can be placed on your handheld devices (laptops, cell phones, iPads etc) 
  • Defender shield cases for cell phones help to reduce EMF exposure

EMF Protection and Repair supplements:

  • Liposomal Melatonin at bedtime. The brain’s clean-up crew called the glymphatic system works at night while we sleep. Melatonin has been show to be neuroprotective by preserving this clean up process.
  • Increasing Magnesium supplementation. Magnesium acts as a calcium channel blocker, protecting cells from the influx of calcium caused by EMF
  • Molecular Hydrogen Quicksilver H2 Elite. Having available hydrogen quenches the nasty peroxynitirite molecule, helping to protect from the damage from EMF
  • NAD+ support: NAD+ Gold by Quick Silver Scientific. Supplementing NAD+ (using products that contain NR, NMN) may have benefits in protecting us from EMF damage. NAD products are considered anti-aging, improve mitochondrial function, energy metabolism, repair calcium homeostasis, aid in antioxidant production, and improve gene expression.

Other natural EMF detoxification strategies:

  • Take a walk in nature. Grounding or Earthing is deeply healing and helps to detox from EMF
  • Eat detoxifying foods. Rosemary and cilantro have known EMF protection abilities.
  • Keep EMF detoxifying plants in your home. Cactus, Spider plants, Snake plants, and Aloe Vera plants are considered EMF protective.
  • Visit the Environmental Working Group at ewg.org to check pollution in your neighborhood.

When approaching any patient suffering from a chronic illness, we talk about reducing the total body burden of toxicity or finding ways to empty “bucket” of toxicity as a means of finding higher ground. This becomes especially true in those patients who have become sensitive to many things. In light of recent scientific findings regarding cell phone and Wi-Fi risks, limiting EMF exposure just makes sense.

Visit these sites for more information on the effects of EMF exposure:






Immune Solutions for Cold and Flu Season

The holiday season is upon us and it comes with warm gatherings with family and friends, tons of travel, and don’t forget about fortifying your immune system!

Here are some tips to prevent and treat colds and the flu:

First and foremost, wash your hands, and your kids’ hands frequently. Catching a cold or the flu happens when the virus comes in contact with the mucus membranes of our nose, eyes and mouth, so keeping your hands clean and away from our face is crucial!

Optimize your immune system with these easy steps:

  • Get adequate exercise
  • Spend time outside in sunshine and fresh air
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat your veggies
  • Sleep deeply
  • Love someone, even more 🙂

If you start to feel run down, or can feel something coming on, here are the steps I like to recommend to my patients to reduce the chances of getting sick:

1. Increase your Vitamin D intake — I like to see Vitamin D levels over 60 on lab results during the winter season. If you start to feel sick, take 30,000 – 50,000 IU for the first three days, then it’s ok to go back to a maintenance dose of ~5,000 daily. Here is the link to the Vit D3 drops we use at Boulder Holistic.

If you are over 40, it is best to balance Vitamin D intake with Vitamin K2. Here is a link to Genestra D3 K2 or Orthomolecular D3 K2.

2. Take Vitamin A — 20,000 IU (even up to 50,000 – 100,000 IU for 2 doses) if you are around someone sick or feel like you are coming down with something. High doses of Vitamin A (as Vitamin A palmotate, not beta carotene forms) are safe for a short time, like when you are trying to fight off a virus. Here is a link to a great Vitamin A supplement. You can read about the safety of short-term high doses of Vitamin A at
Vitamin A High Dose Safety.

3. Zinc 50 — 150mg with food – It can make some people nauseous, so take as much as you can tolerate. It is one of the only things that has been shown in the literature to decrease the frequency and severity of a cold. We also carry a Thorne zinc product in our office that is great for immune support.

4. Vitamin C — As much as you can tolerate: up to 2,000 – 6,000mg. It can give some people a tummy ache or diarrhea if you take too much, so you have to experiment with your dosage. Here is a link to two products I recommend. Or, for those with allergies/sensitivities to corn, here is a guaranteed non-corn version.

5. Probiotics — The gut contains 70% of our immune system, so adding in probiotics helps to boost our whole immune system. When recommending high dose probiotics, I like getting over 200 billion CFU’s, ideally with a wide variety of strains. Probiotics are one of the few things I recommend buying physician grade, third-party tested. Most of the probiotics out there don’t have much of anything in them. Because the supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA, they can write whatever they want on the bottle. And it’s pretty hard to make high quality benefcial bacteria and have them live through the stomach acid designed to kill them and make it to the colon and actually do anything.

Some of my favorites are Xymogen Probiomax 350, Orthomolecular 225, and megasporebiotic. The se are all available in our offce, or you can find some on our Fullscripts account. (Remember Thorne and Xymogen products are not available on Fullscripts, but we are happy to ship to you from the office)
Here are links to our Fullscripts account for: Orthobiotic 225 Orthobiotic 100 Megaspore Probiotic

6. Allimed — One of my favorites is taking Allimed if you feel like you are coming down with something or someone in your home is sick. Allimed is a high dose, high potency allicin – the active ingredient in garlic. This brand is particularly strong and effective. The dosage is 1 cap, 3 times per day. It’s expensive, but it works!

7. Finally, one of the most powerful and effective things you can do is get an IV Meyer’s Cocktail. I find it works best at the beginning of a cold or flu and can help you kick it right away. It’s also amazing at getting rid of the annoying, lingering cold symptoms. It’s an energy and immunity boost. Be proactive and get one pre-emptively.

What’s in a Meyer’s Cocktail?

It contains high dose Vitamin C 17,000 – 25,000mg, depending on what you’re treating. By putting large doses into the venous system, you bypass gut absorption. In large doses, Vitamin C is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, and incredibly immune boosting!

The “Meyer’s Cocktail” also contains:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Trace minerals
  • Selenium
  • B Complex
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12

Gut Health: How Your Diet Can Contribute to Poor GI Health

In functional medicine, we commonly refer to the Standard American Diet as the SAD diet. The SAD acronym correctly sums up the profoundly negative effect many of the foods we consume in the United States has on our overall health and the health of our digestive system.

Over the past 50 years, the western diet has changed dramatically to consist primarily of highly processed, calorically dense, and nutritionally poor foods. Our “fast food” lifestyle has also woven itself into the way we grow, harvest and store food in this country. As a society, we have evolved to become ever more dependent on the luxury of foods with a longer shelf life and the convenience of quick, cheap, grab and go meals. The Standard American diet also relies on highly processed, sprayed and genetically modified foods including corn, wheat, dairy, soy, sugar and eggs.

And, because we eat so much of these six foods as part of the SAD diet, these foods often become the most common food sensitivities and allergies we see in our office.

In the previous blog I introduced the 5-R Gut protocol. The first R in the 5 R program is remove. Remove can mean the removal of a number of things including the removal of microbes, pathogens, and removing too much stress.

Remove can also point to removing certain foods that may be contributing to the development of GI issues including many of the foods commonly found in excess in the standard American diet.

In our office we will often suggest a Food Antibody Test at the first visit for our patients who are suffering with GI symptoms. This is a blood test that can guide us in finding out which foods are a problem for you and help us to customize your personal treatment program.

If you want to forgo testing, the gold standard of functional medicine includes a trial of the elimination diet. With the elimination diet, we suggest that you commit to a 6-week trial of eliminating all (or some) of the common food allergens including wheat, diary, corn, soy and eggs.

If you think about it, food is information. Most of us consume an average of three meals a day, plus snacks. If the foods we are eating regularly are sending information to our gut that is contributing to an increase in inflammation, sprayed so heavily it is full of toxicants that damage our gut barrier and is processed so heavily that it is not providing good nutrition, your diet is bound to have a profound affect on our overall health.

In the literature, the consumption of the western diet is strongly associated with development of many chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease and hypertension. Regular consumption of the SAD diet also contributes to chronic inflammation and poor health outcomes.

Fortunately, a great deal of evidence also supports the fact that many chronic diseases are considered largely preventable through modifiable lifestyle measures, including improving our diet and nutrition.

At Boulder Holistic, we recommend that our patients eat a wide variety of vegetables and healthy proteins. Avoiding the most inflammatory foods, like gluten, sugar, corn, soy and grains in general will help heal your gut and leave you feeling more vibrant!


  • Willett, W. K. Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes. (2006) [2018-09-01]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11795/.
  • Grotto, D. E. The Standard American Diet and Its Relationship to the Health Status of Americans. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, (2010); 25 (6). [PubMed] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21139124.
  • CDC. Disparities in State-Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption — United States, 2015. (2017) [2018-10-12]. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6645a1.htm?s_cid=mm6645a1_w
  • Zinocker, M. L. The Western Diet–Microbiome-Host Interaction and Its Role in Metabolic Disease. Nutrient. (2018); 2018 (10): 365. [PubMed] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=The+Western+Diet%E2%80%93Microbiome-Host+Interaction+and+Its+Role+in+Metabolic+Disease.
  • Steyn, K. D. Lifestyle and Related Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases. (2006). [2018-09-04], from Pub Med: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2290/.

Gut Health: The Link Between our Gut and Chronic Health Issues

My husband recently forwarded me an article published in a medical journalthat linked the use of proton pump inhibitors to the development of seasonal allergies in adults. I had to choke back a chuckle. The concept was mind-blowing to him.   He was so proud to be the first to alert me of the potential issue so that I could use this knowledge to protect my patients.

In the functional medicine model, the foundational role the gut plays in our overall health is kind of a no brainer. 

The interaction between my husband and I reminded me not everyone fully understands the full importance of our gut health. In fact, those of us practicing functional medicine place dysfunction in the gut at the root of practically all disease related conditions.

It’s not a mystery that heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain are clear signs of a digestive issue.  But did you know digestive issues often masquerade as common skin disorders such as acne, rosacea, and eczema? If you are having issues with digestion it is like pouring gasoline on a fire when it comes to fueling symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, and depression.

Gut dysfunction can even play a pivotal role in the development of some autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Name just about any disease, and a functional medicine provider can link some part of the disease process to a breakdown in gut health.

We all know that digestion helps us to extract nutrition from our food, but did you know that the gut (and the bacteria that live there) is responsible for providing 70% of our immunity and nearly 90% of our serotonin production? The gut is also a major workhorse when it comes to detoxification. More and more of us treating chronic disease are looking to healing the internal terrain of the body, including the gut, to get our patients to higher ground in restoring their overall health.

That is why holistic medical providers often start all treatment protocols with addressing the gut.  At Boulder Holistic, we use the 5 R’s program to address GI issues in our patients: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair, and Rebalance.

Follow our blogto take a deeper dive into each of these steps and learn how you can begin to address the gut and regain your health. I will also explore the testing available to address digestive issues and explain how these tools can help to lead you back to wellness.

For future blogs I will break down the 5 R’s and the testing used for each step.

The 5 R’s Program Includes:
  • Removing — microbes, food sensitivities, pathogens, GMO products,  non-organic foods, mold and xenobiotic exposure in addition to addressing stress
  • Replacing — digestive enzymes, pancreatin, hydrochloric acid and bile acid
  • Reinoculate — with good quality probiotics, prebiotic fiber and saccharomyces boulardii
  • Repair — using mucosal healing agents including l-glutamine, aloe, DGL, vitamins A,E,C,D and minerals like zinc and magnesium. Improving  immune support using colostrum and immunoglobulins and inflammation with cucumin and fish oil
  • Rebalance — addressing lifestyle, sleep, practicing mindful eating, as well as balancing brain nervous system with mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, meditation, heart rate variability trackers
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2355 Canyon Blvd.   |   Suite 102   |   Boulder, CO 80302

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