8 ways to heal from the Epstein-Barr virus
A few weeks ago I shared my story about my journey with the Epstein-Barr virus. For more information about my symptoms and diagnosis you can go here. Thank you for all your kind comments and words of support. A few of you even reached out to share that you had an a-ha moment about your own mystery symptoms after reading my post. Your stories make sharing my personal journey with the Epstein-Barr virus worth it 100 times over, so thank you again for reaching out.
Today I want to talk about the top herbs, foods, and holistic health practices that have helped me heal from the Epstein-Barr virus. When I first started reading about EBV, I felt really overwhelmed. There isn’t a lot of information out there apart from the treatment of an acute Epstein-Barr or mononucleosis infection (according to the CDC, there is no specific treatment for EBV but the website encourages sick individuals to rest and drink fluids).
The condition of chronic Epstein-Barr is somewhat unknown and it’s sometimes controversial territory. Ironically many of us are dealing with this chronic condition and don’t even know it.
What is the Epstein-Barr virus?
The Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common human viruses today. Part of the herpes family, most of us are exposed to this virus at some point in our lives. The virus is passed through bodily fluids, primarily saliva. Even though the Epstein-Barr virus is so common, we know little about its far-reaching effects on our health. While most in the conventional medical community agree that the Epstein-Barr virus plays a role in the development of diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, the majority also believe we all have the Epstein-Barr virus in our systems and it isn’t a problem for most of us.
After finding the work of Anthony William (I talk about his work in this post and also used this book and this book in my healing), my mind opened to the possibility that we are severely under-diagnosing (and most of the time completely missing) chronic health conditions that are caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Conditions like chronic fatigue, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, vertigo, and tinnitus might have ties to Epstein-Barr. While I don’t agree with everything Anthony William says on health and healing, his work with EBV in particular was helpful for me.
It’s a subject I encourage you to investigate for yourself and come to your own conclusions. For me, the information presented by Anthony William about EBV resonated very deeply as true. And once I adopted some of his healing suggestions, my health turned around.
Herbs, foods, and supplements to heal from the Epstein-Barr virus.
I spent about 2 years trying different herbs, supplements, and foods to heal. Some of them worked, and some of them didn’t. Today I want to share what has worked for me, so that if you are dealing with symptoms caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, these suggestions might help you, too. For a full list of symptoms and conditions associated with Epstein-Barr virus, read this book or go to this post.
8 ways I’m healing from the Epstein-Barr virus.
#1: Targeted herbal medicine
Herbs have quite literally brought me back to health. I feel more passionate than ever about natural medicine and the healing power of herbs. To fight the Epstein-Barr virus I used lots of Cat’s Claw, Lemon Balm and Licorice Root. I buy them in tincture form (make sure to get tinctures without alcohol as alcohol will interfere with the herb’s effectiveness). I also buy lemon balm and licorice root in dried form and make healing teas. Herbal medicine is one of my passions and I will talk more about this subject in the coming months.
One major thing I learned from reading Anthony Williams’ book is that the Epstein-Barr virus feeds on toxins like heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and radiation. We all have these toxins in our bodies thanks to our modern world, so daily detoxification is key for all of us no matter if we are sick or not. However, when healing from the Epstein-Barr virus, detoxification is mandatory.
For my EBV healing, I used a few specific methods of detoxification. First and foremost, I start each day with a huge glass of lemon water (juice of 1 lemon squeezed in 10 oz of water) to cleanse my liver and promote detoxification.
I also use a specific smoothie to detoxify from heavy metals (I adapted this recipe to fit my needs).
For my detox smoothie I use:
1 cup wild blueberries (important that the blueberries are wild, you can find them at Trader Joe’s in the Freezer section)
fresh pressed apple juice (enough to allow you to blend the smoothie)
2 teaspoons Hawaiian Spirulina
2 teaspoons Barley Grass Juice Powder
Directions: Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. To aid in full heavy metal detoxification, I also consume cilantro and Atlantic dulse daily.
And finally, infrared sauna use (or a regular sauna works too) has been a great tool for detoxification. There were times in my healing when I was just too tired to exercise enough to sweat. The sauna solved that problem for me. Not only are the infrared rays very healing to the body, but also the sauna allows you to work up a deep and cleansing sweat fairly quickly. At first, I traveled to a sauna studio in my local town, but eventually, I invested in my own infrared sauna. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my health and a year later I’m still using it several times a week.
#3 Key supplements
I am not a person who likes taking supplements, but in order to heal from the Epstein-Barr virus I had to be very diligent about my supplementation because it made such a difference in how I felt. My main EBV-fighting supplements included: zinc, vitamin b12, ester-c, turmeric, l-lysine, and selenium. In the beginning of my healing journey, I did vitamin-c IVs weekly for a few months. These IVs were hugely helpful in getting me out of bed and functioning again. But after that, I moved to using ester-c as my main form of vitamin C. I still rotate through most of these supplements on an ongoing basis.
#4 Plant-based diet
This might be controversial for some people, and I understand, because my opinions on diet completely transformed during my healing from EBV. Before I got sick, and during my first year of symptoms, I ate a primarily Paleo diet that included lots of grass-fed meats and eggs. If I’m really honest with myself, I never felt good on a Paleo diet, even though I was convinced it was the healthiest way to eat. If you asked me back then about eating a plant-based, vegan diet I would have told you eating a vegan/vegetarian diet in my 20s ruined my health. However, now I know that eating a “vegan” diet full of processed soy and processed food ruined my health in my 20s, not the vegan diet alone.
Anthony William talks a lot about the healing power of foods and his dietary suggestions were challenging for me to stay open to at first. In fact, for several months I grappled with my dietary belief system. I’m a holistic nutritionist, I went to graduate school for nutrition and holistic health so I thought I had it all figured out. While Anthony agrees with a lot of what I was taught and believe to be true (like staying away from gluten, dairy, and GMOs), Anthony also shares several nutrition theories that go against most of what I learned in my training. Like eggs feed viruses including EBV and cancer, eating lots and lots of fruit is a pillar of health, and eating a primarily raw food vegan diet is the way to heal from chronic illness.
Um, hold the phone. This needs to percolate a bit.
I was resistant at first, but because I was so sick I decided to give these suggestions a try. I mean, what did I have to lose? To be honest, figuring out what kind of diet was best for ME (outside of all the differing opinions from experts on healing diets) was the hardest part of my healing. So I started experimenting.
Once I added raw fruit back into my diet I felt like my battery recharged in a major way, so I knew fruit was a missing component for me. And I never liked eating meat in the first place so I gave myself permission to take most meat out of my diet (I still eat a little turkey and fish here and there). I moved to a more raw, plant-based diet for a few months as an experiment and found that I felt 100 times better eating this way. In fact, adding lots of raw fruits and vegetables to my diet kicked my healing into high gear.
I still eat cooked food too, but I try to get as many raw fruits and vegetables into my diet as possible on a daily basis. I’ve thrown out all the dietary labels of Paleo and Vegan and instead focus more on eating foods that feel good to ME. Some days I’m craving soups. Some days I really need some meat. And some days I just want raw fruits and vegetables all day long. I have a lot less ‘diet dogma” in my life and am learning to really trust my intuition about what nourishes my healing on a deep level.
Making time for rest was a huge part of my healing from the Epstein-Barr virus. It was also incredibly difficult to make time for rest as a working mom of two little ones. So I found that I needed to say no to all those things I thought I “should” do like volunteering at my kids’ school, taking on extra projects for the website, setting aggressive deadlines for my business, or going out to dinner with friends when all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed.
Easier said than done for me.
Instead of feeling guilty, I tried to be as upfront as possible with my friends and family. If I needed to rest, I said no to invitations and was honest about needing to rest. I dialed back my work goals a bit. I focused on the little moments with my kids instead of trying to do “all the things” outside of the house. We played more board games, watched movies when I was really tired, said no to some birthday parties….and created more space for rest and connection. It made a huge difference for me.
#6: Find joy
It dawned on me somewhere in my healing that I wasn’t experiencing much joy in my life. For so many years I primarily focused on raising my kids, working, my relationship, keeping the house together, and my ever-changing symptoms associated with EBV. I wasn’t laughing anymore. I wasn’t taking part in joyful activities anymore.
In fact, I wasn’t sure I even KNEW what brought me joy anymore.
So once I got out of the thick of healing EBV, I started holding space for re-discovering joy in my life. As I said, I wasn’t sure I even knew what I liked to do, so for a while, I just actively created space for THINKING about what brought me joy. I’m still in the midst of this practice and it’s continually surprising and refreshing. Last week I rediscovered that I like riding a bike. I went for a bike ride with my son and it was a blast. And last month I decided I wanted to laugh again because I love laughing so I watched outtakes of Saturday Night Live, (something I wouldn’t normally do because with an online business there’s always more work to do). Laughing is one of my favorite things to do so why don’t I laugh more? Well, now I actively make space for finding and participating in activities that bring me JOY and it’s a huge part of my healing.
#7: Develop intuition
I’ve learned that my own intuition is the driving force of my healing. It’s taken me a while to really learn this lesson. For so long I’ve looked outside of myself to lab results, doctors, and authors to guide my healing. While all these data points are important in my healing, they are only just that…data points. Once I started getting really still and tuning into what was best for me, my healing path became a lot more clear.
Today I’m actively developing my intuition using books like Pam Grout’s E squared and the works of Abraham Hicks. Both of these books include exercises to help you get more deeply in touch with your intuition. I’m meditating more regularly so I give myself the peace and quiet to listen to what my body needs. Developing my intuition has made a huge impact on reducing my stress levels, too. I know the answers reside within and I’m working on regularly quieting my mind so I can hear those intuitive answers. I hope to share more of this journey with you in the future.
#8: Prioritize self-care
As I’ve healed and gotten stronger, it’s been harder for me to prioritize taking care of myself. When I was feeling sick it was easy to focus on myself. How I felt was all I thought about! But as I’ve gotten stronger I’ve started focusing on my kids and home life and often sacrifice my own self-care in favor of family ,obligations. But if I’m really honest with myself, I imagine putting myself second was part of what led to me getting sick in the first place. I try to remind myself of this when I start making excuses about why I can’t exercise or meditate. Self-care is a priority if I want to stay well.
The healing journey continues
These are the biggest tools I’ve used during my healing from the Epstein-Barr virus. Health is not a destination, it’s a journey, so my healing practices will always continue on some level but the intensity of each changes as my health changes. At this point in my healing, I take fewer supplements than I used to, but I still take some regularly to keep my EBV at bay. I feel better and have more energy so there’s more time to explore joy and intuition. I know I’ll forever need to detox, but maybe I drink my detox smoothie twice a week instead of 5. Everything changes and transforms as it needs to.
I hope these suggestions have helped you or someone you love.
Thanks for reading.