In the proud tradition of Jethro Kloss, (Back to Eden c. 1939), and Frances Moore Lappé, (Diet for a Small Planet c. 1971) enters Dr. Heather Herington. Her book, Surviving a Viral Pandemic, is both timely and timeless. Whether the reader is suspicious of the high-tech interventions of the dominant healthcare system or thinks vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are great if needed, but what else can I do to keep myself safe, this is a helpful guide.

She takes it upon herself to bring to a public that is crying out for ways in which to handle the current healthcare crises by looking back at the types of noninvasive treatments that have come to us over the millennia from traditional healers utilizing herbal medicines, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and modern natural remedies that are useful in treating COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses.

There is much non-credible “health” information in popular media that one should evaluate with a great deal of skepticism. It is refreshing to have guidance on scientifically validated ways to address the many underlying health issues that make people more vulnerable to diseases such as COVID-19, as well as other pathogens that take advantage of a dysfunctional immune system. Dr. Herington starts with the basics – diet, avoiding toxins in the environment, encouraging a healthy microbiome, and seeking guidance from medical providers that have embraced natural medicine as a crucial approach to healing. From that foundation, she goes into a deeper dive into specific remedies from the natural world that anyone can use to care for themselves and their loved ones.

For those who seek the wisdom of the ages and want to expand their knowledge base, she has included topics at the end of each chapter that allows the reader to advance their studies. It is more crucial than ever to develop one’s critical thinking skills. It is worth the time involved in gathering information to understand what the mechanism of action of natural remedies are – it makes the reader a better consumer of health information.

Much of the evidence Dr. Herington shares is anecdotal, my favorite kind. I am less interested in how things work in theory than in how they work in real life and that kind of knowledge can best be gained through years of experience. She presents complex information without excessive medical jargon that makes the average reader’s eyes glaze over. She manages to accomplish this task without ever talking down to the reader.

Long after COVID-19 has been eradicated (let’s hope), the down-to-earth guidance that Surviving a Viral Pandemic provides will give the serious student of natural medicine a framework to continue their studies.


This book is a must read for anybody who wants to avoid an acute case of COVID-19 or just wants to stay strong and healthy up into old age. The first few chapters are a fascinating whirlwind tour through the history of medicine in the United States - explaining how we got derailed by the shoving aside of natural treatments in favor of pharmaceutical drugs, in a campaign led by Rockefeller and the petrochemical oil industry.

The author, Dr. Heather Herington, sees COVID-19 as a disease that can be prevented by simple steps that strengthen your innate immune system, a point of view that I agree with wholeheartedly. She gives plenty of sound advice on healthy eating and healthy living, emphasizing the avoidance of pesticides through organic diet and food choices that are fresh and nutrient-dense.

Later chapters give very specific but priceless information in great detail on a long list of nutrients and herbicidal medicines that can help strengthen the immune system, including specific herbal medicines that are effective for specific health problems. The appendix gives lots of valuable tips, including recipes for delicious sounding soups and smoothies, and practical assembled-at-home naturopathic formulas for various ailments like a sore throat, cough, aching joints or fever.

This book could be considered to be the Bible of Naturopathic medicine, written in such a way that the average citizen can get a wealth of useful information out of it to guide them safely through this pandemic.

Review by Stephanie Seneff
Senior Research Scientist MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory