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A complete guide to surviving viruses


The Health Survival Handbook

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When I wrote the first version of this book in 2015 (called ‘How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse Virus’), I could never have imagined how relevant it would be in 2020. Much of my imaginary scenario then is actually happening now with the Coronavirus and Covid-19 and its widespread impact on our social, business and health infrastructure.

I have re-arranged the order of chapters to place the immediately actionable chapters, ‘Lifestyle for the Optimum Health to Survive a Virus’ and ‘Important Survival Herbs’ at the start of the book. They were originally summaries at the end of the book. These are stand- alone chapters enabling you to take swift action; the theory can follow at your leisure!

So, if we take the steps outlined in the book, we can minimise the immediate negative health effects on us and our families and avoid the dreaded phrase ‘underlying health issues’. And once the dangers are over, we can be much better prepared for future virus epidemics.

Everything I suggest is possible and we are all learning how to adopt new and potentially healthier ways of living. Something good can come out of these immensely difficult times.

I wish you all the best.

Linda Bostock, March 2020

Table of Contents


Safety Advice

Chapter 1. Lifestyle for Optimum Health to Survive a Virus

Chapter 2 Important Survival Herbs

Chapter 3.The Digestive System

Chapter 4. Circulation

Chapter 5. Urinary System

Chapter 6. Respiratory System

Chapter 7. Immune and Lymphatic System

Chapter 8. Nervous System

Chapter 9. The Muscolo Skeletal System (Bones, Joints and Muscles)

Chapter 10. Skin

Chapter 11. Hormones and the Endocrine System

Chapter 12. Reproduction System and Sexual Health

About The Author

Other Books by Linda Bostock


Throughout our evolution it has always been the survival of the fittest and the fittest in the future will be those of us who know how to look after our bodies for optimum health.

In today’s world, for many of us, health can be a never ending battle at the best of times, never mind a virus pandemic.

What is it that a virus does to the human body?

A virus is a living organism that reproduces inside the cells of living hosts. Unlike most living things, viruses do not have cells that divide; instead, a virus uses the host cell to produce many thousands of identical copies of itself, at an extraordinary rate.

But because a virus contains genes, they are able to mutate and evolve. Over 5,000 species of viruses have been discovered so far!

A virus basically makes the host do what the virus wants it to do not what the host cell should be doing. This means that the host cell stops performing normal bodily functions and performs virus stuff instead. This is a disaster for the host because normal body functions stop which may result in the shutting down of body organs and then death. But don’t despair, in response to being invaded by a virus the body has several defence mechanisms which you will learn about in this book, in the chapter on the immune system.

There was never a truer saying than:

“If you have your health everything else is possible”

This book aims to teach you the basics about how your body works and how you can look after it even when surrounded by invading viruses.


A Little About Me:

My name is Linda Bostock. I am a qualified Medical Herbalist, having studied at the School of Phytotherapy in East Sussex, England, graduating in 1993.  I have spent the last 27 years in my Clinic using plant medicines to help people to both recover from chronic illnesses and also to then maintain their own health by teaching them how to look after themselves for optimum health. 

Apart from teaching people how to look after their health, my major passion in life has been walking in the countryside and identifying plants growing in the wild which have medicinal properties. Plant medicine is our most ancient form of healing, the knowledge being passed down from generation to generation. We have evolved alongside plants and share chemistry with the plants so that when our body chemistry goes wrong and we get ill, plants can help us to recover.

I will be your tutor and mentor for the duration of this book

As long as man has existed we have depended on plants for all our daily needs.

  • FOOD


  • FUEL



So lucky us, we are surrounded by everything we need for everyday life, we just need to learn how to identify and use them.

I am going to help you with staying healthy now so you have the best chance of fighting any virus, how to fight the virus and how to stay healthy after a virus induced illness.

To be able to know what to do if you or anyone around you gets sick you need to learn how the human body is put together and how it works.

It sounds difficult and obviously if we went into it in as great detail as the medical students have to then we would all be capable of being brain surgeons, but in this book I am going to introduce you to the basics and to be honest it is a lot less complicated to me than knowing how a car is made and works.

Obviously if you get a major illness, such as cancer, you cannot treat yourself but this book is about maintaining optimum health to give yourself a fighting chance to survive any ill health, including viruses.

This is exciting

YOU are going to be in control of everything that happens to you

YOU are going to know how to get the right food

YOU are going to know how to stay healthy

YOU are going to be able to protect your family

YOU will be fit enough to fight back against the virus menace.


Your own immune system is the MOST POWERFUL defence you have against any virus. Never forget that it is the body that always does the healing and repairing so I always say to people I am helping with their health that, the most important part of healing and maintaining wellbeing is what we do for ourselves to  look after this  amazing structure we call the body.

Our bodies are basically just walking chemistry. There is a constant balancing act going on in there to maintain the correct balance of our internal body organs.  To achieve this we have to provide ourselves with the right ingredients for all these chemical reactions to take place and that means eating and drinking a well balanced diet, exercising, and achieving mental wellbeing so that both body and mind are in a healthy condition to fight back.


When we are born, the human body has enormous recuperative and regenerative abilities due to undefined cells in our bodies called Stem cells, not only allowing us to grow, but also to repair ourselves when there is any damage in the body. We really are Bionic people! 

As we get older the regenerative abilities decrease but are still there, otherwise we would not be able to repair any damage to our bodies such as cutting fingers or colds or sore throats, and we would  end up becoming Zombies with bits of us falling off! Before you can learn how to look after your body it is essential to know about its construction and functions. This is called anatomy and physiology, apologies to those of you that already know that, but to go back to the car example, if I were trying to fix a faulty carburettor, I would need to know its structure and workings before I can take it apart to fix it.

So here is how you can help yourself to look after that body.

I have put this book together from years of experience of helping people to recover from chronic illnesses and then to maintain their health. Some of the content is “common sense” but we just need to be reminded of it! Some of the information is widely known knowledge collated into an easy to use format.

This book aims to help you to maintain wellbeing to the best of your ability when there are no medical professionals around to help you. There will always be external factors involved in maintaining wellbeing such as the quality of the food available to us, pollution, stress, and genetic factors.

But there are many ways in which you can help yourself to achieve wellbeing and this is what I intend to guide you through with this book.

To help you I have divided this book into easy to learn sections so that you do not have to take in everything all at once.

You will learn:-

Basic anatomy and physiology  of each bio system in your body (e.g. digestion, immune system)

How to achieve optimum health for each bio system of your body

How to avoid ill health

How to maintain your health.

How to identify plants in the wild you can use as medicines for each bio system of the body.


Chapter 1.        Lifestyle for Optimum Health and Survival

Chapter 2.        Important Survival Herbs

Chapter 3.        Digestive system

Chapter 4.        Circulation

Chapter 5.        Urinary system

Chapter 6.        Respiratory system

Chapter 7.        Lymphatic system

Chapter 8.        Nervous system

Chapter 9.        Joints and muscles

Chapter 10.     Skin

Chapter 11.     Endocrine system (hormones)

Chapter 12.     Reproductive system

Each chapter on the body will be divided into sections which you can work through in your own time.

Section 1:- an overview of the chapter and basic anatomy and physiology of the relevant area of  the body.

Section 2:- some basic things that can go wrong with the bio system

Section 3:- actions you can take to keep the system healthy.

Section 4:- essential medicinal plants for the particular bio system of the body.

There are:

  • Links to websites as appropriate

  • Links to YouTube to watch videos

The first chapter, lifestyle, collects all this information and gives you the basic life skills to maintain good health. They are things we may take for granted and have become lackadaisical in implementing.

Throughout this book I will resource pictures, diagrams and some extra information from the internet via links to those sites. There are good sites with brilliant anatomical drawings on them, which saves me the time and embarrassment! I will try to use basic diagrams and explanations without turning us all into brain surgeons.

This book is not a substitute for professional medical care  but it is intended for you to be able to look after your own health.

You are giving yourself the best shot at maintaining good health and enjoying your life.

If you are concerned about your own or your family’s health, now, or after reading any section of this book, please visit your family doctor.

You will find most of the herbs I talk about in any good health shop or herb supplier as tinctures or tablets but if you feel you would like to try Herbal Medicine,  please visit a qualified Medical Herbalist who will be able to take a case history of your condition and make up a mixture specifically for you.

If you do buy over the counter remedies, make sure they are licensed products and please follow the instructions on the packaging.

In the final chapter of the book I will talk about the medicinal plants you are most likely to find in the wild and teach you how to prepare and use them.

You will find that some of the ‘’know how’’ advice is repeated in the chapters. This is done deliberately so that you don’t have to keep flicking back and also if you wish to learn about a particular bio system in the body in a different order to one in which I have explained them. If you have already learnt it, well done, fast forward to the bits you haven’t learnt about yet.

Take this at your own pace there are no assignment deadlines!


A complete guide to surviving viruses