Viral link to mystery illness
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

November 13, 2015

The Viral Link to Mystery Illness

Can fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, lupus and chronic fatigue be healed with anti-viral foods and diet?

When my friend and medical intuitive, Anthony William, asked me to write an endorsement for his upcoming book, I didn’t hesitate for a moment.  Let me say from the get go, however, regardless of the fact that Anthony may be getting his advice from a higher power, we don’t always see eye to eye on everything.

He typically recommends a vegan diet for everyone; I do not. He is a big believer in fruit; I am concerned about the high fructose content of many fruits, especially apples these days. He identifies virus as the single cause of many mysterious maladies; I believe the cause is probably multifactorial. Still in all, many of his insights are quite profound and he was one of the first to bring my attention to the far reaching implications of virus—something that was never on my personal nor professional radar.

When I spoke with Anthony, based upon the recommendation of a very enthusiastic mutual friend, he identified the Epstein-Barr virus as the trigger to some strange, unresolved symptoms I was having. Always the health sleuth, I confirmed his diagnosis with an in-depth viral panel, which not only confirmed the presence of activated Epstein-Barr, but a number of other viruses as well that I never would have suspected. Since that time, I have utilized a number of strategies—some of which he suggests in this excerpt and some which I uncovered in my own research (like Osha and Teasel Root).  So I share this with you in light of all the above.

My hope is that the overall message in Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal will restore your faith in your  ability to heal yourself once you tune into your own remarkable body.


Epstein-Barr Virus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has created a secret epidemic. Out of the roughly 320 million people in the U.S., over 225 million Americans have some form of EBV.

Epstein-Barr is responsible for mystery illnesses of every category: For some people, it creates fatigue and pain that go unnamed. For others, EBV symptoms prompt doctors to prescribe ineffective treatments, such as hormone replacement. And for so many people walking around with EBV, it gets misdiagnosed.

Among the reasons EBV is thriving: so little is understood about it. Medical communities are aware of only one version of EBV, but there are actually over 60 varieties. Epstein-Barr is behind several of the debilitating illnesses that stump doctors. As I said in the Introduction, it’s the mystery illness of mystery illnesses.

Doctors have no idea how the virus operates long-term and how problematic it can be. The truth is, EBV is the source of numerous health problems that are currently considered mystery illnesses, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. EBV is also the cause of some major maladies that medical communities think they understand but really don’t—including thyroid disease, vertigo, and tinnitus.

This chapter explains when the Epstein-Barr virus arose, how it’s transmitted, how it operates to create untold havoc in strategic stages no one knows about, and the steps (never revealed before) that can destroy the virus and restore health.

Epstein-Barr Origin and Transmissions

Though Epstein-Barr was discovered by two brilliant physicians in 1964, it had actually begun taking hold in the early 1900s—over half a century before. EBV’s initial versions—which are still with us—are relatively slow to act, and might not even create notable symptoms until late in life. Even then, they’re only mildly harmful. Many people have these non-aggressive EBV strains.

Unfortunately, EBV has evolved over the decades, and each generation of the virus has grown more challenging than the one before.

Until the publication of this book, those with EBV would typically be stuck with it for the rest of their lives. Doctors seldom recognize EBV as the root cause of the myriad of problems it creates; plus doctors have no idea how to address the Epstein-Barr virus even when it is recognized.

There are many ways to catch EBV. For example, you can get it as a baby if your mother has the virus. You can also get it through infected blood. Hospitals don’t screen for the virus, so any blood transfusion puts you at risk. You can even get it from eating out! That’s because chefs are under tremendous pressure to get dishes prepared quickly. They often end up cutting a finger or hand, slapping on a Band-Aid, and continuing to work. Their blood can get into the food…and if they happen to have EBV during a contagious phase, that can be enough to infect you.

Transmission can also happen through other bodily fluids, such as those exchanged during sex. Under some circumstances, even a kiss can be enough to transmit EBV.

Someone with the virus isn’t contagious all the time, though. It’s most likely to spread during its Stage Two. Which brings up something else that until now hasn’t been revealed: EBV goes through four stages.

Epstein-Barr Stage One

If you catch EBV, it goes through an initial dormant period of floating around in your bloodstream doing little more than slowly replicating itself to build its numbers—and waiting for an opportunity to launch a more direct infection.

For example, if you physically exhaust yourself for weeks and give yourself no chance to fully recover, or allow your body to become deprived of essential nutrients such as zinc or vitamin B12, or undergo a traumatic emotional experience such as a breakup or the death of a loved one, the virus will detect your stress-related hormones and choose that time to take advantage.

EBV will also often act when you’re undergoing a major hormonal change—for example, during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. A common scenario is when a woman goes through childbirth. Afterward, she may feel various symptoms, including fatigue, aches and pains, and depression. In this case EBV isn’t exploiting your weakness, but the fact that hormones are a powerful food source for it—their abundance acts as a trigger. The hormones flooding through your body effectively does for the virus what spinach does for Popeye.

EBV is inhumanly patient. This Stage One period of fortifying itself and waiting for an ideal opportunity can take weeks, months, or even a decade or longer, depending on a variety of factors.

The virus is especially vulnerable during Stage One. However, it’s also undetectable through tests and causes no symptoms, so you normally wouldn’t know to fight it, because you wouldn’t be aware it was there.

Epstein-Barr Stage Two

At the end of Stage One, the Epstein-Barr virus is ready to do battle with your body. That’s when EBV first makes its presence known…by turning into mononucleosis. This is the infamous mono that we all grow up hearing about as the “kissing disease.” It’s what thousands of college students contract every year when they run themselves down with all-night partying and studying.

Medical communities are unaware that every case of mononucleosis is only Stage Two of EBV.

This is the period when the virus is most contagious. It’s therefore advisable to avoid getting exposed to blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids from someone who has mono…or to avoid exposing anyone to your fluids if you have mono.

During this Stage Two, your body’s immune system goes to war with the virus. It sends identifier cells to “tag” virus cells, i.e., place a hormone on them that marks them as invaders. It then sends soldier cells to seek out and kill the tagged virus cells. This is the power of your immune system coming to your defense.

How severely this battle rages will vary from person to person, because everyone is different, and it will also depend on what EBV strain or variety a person has. You can have mono for just a week or two with a mild scratchy throat and tiredness, in which case you aren’t likely to realize what’s really happening, so you most likely won’t visit a doctor for a blood test.

Then again, you can get hit hard with fatigue, sore throat, fever, headaches, rashes, and more that hang on for several months. If this happens, the chances are you’ll go see a doctor who’ll test your blood, and the Epstein-Barr virus will show up as a form of mono…most of the time.

It’s during this stage that EBV seeks a long-term home by making a run for one or more of your major organs—typically your liver and/or spleen. EBV loves being in these organs because mercury, dioxins, and other toxins are likely to accumulate there. The virus thrives on these poisons.

One other secret about EBV is that it has a best friend, a bacterium called Streptococcus. In such cases your body is dealing with not only a virus, but also bacteria that further confuse the immune system and produce their own array of symptoms. This is Epstein-Barr’s number one cofactor.

During EBV’s Stage Two, Streptococcus can travel up to create strep throat and/or infest the sinuses, nose, or mouth. It can also travel down to create infections in the urinary tract, vagina, kidneys, or bladder . . . eventually causing cystitis.

Epstein-Barr Stage Three

Once the virus settles into your liver, spleen, and/or other organs, it nests there.

From this point on, when a doctor tests for Epstein-Barr, she or he will find antibodies and take these to indicate a past infection, when EBV was in its mono phase. The doctor will not find the EBV presently active in the bloodstream. The confusion here is one of the biggest blunders in medical history—this is how this virus has slipped through the cracks. Unless you have already followed the measures outlined in this book to kill the EBV, the virus is, in fact, still alive and causing new symptoms…and it’s eluding the tests. That’s because it’s living in the liver, spleen, or other organs, and the test to detect this has not yet been invented.

With the virus hiding undetected in your organs, your body assumes it’s won the war and the invader has been destroyed. Your immune system returns to its normal state, your mononucleosis ends, and your doctor tells you that you’re healthy.

Unfortunately, the Epstein-Barr virus has barely begun its voyage through your body.

If you have a typical variety, EBV could lie dormant in your organs for years—possibly for decades—without your knowing it. If you have an especially aggressive variety, though, EBV may create serious problems even while it’s nesting.

For example, the virus may burrow deep into your liver and spleen, causing those organs to become inflamed and enlarged. And once again, keep in mind that your doctor does not know to connect the dots between past EBV and its present activity in the organs.

The virus also creates three types of poison:

  • EBV excretes toxic waste matter, or viral byproduct. This becomes increasingly significant as the virus grows more cells, and its expanding army keeps eating and excreting poisonous byproduct. This waste matter is often identified as spirochetes, which can trigger false positives on tests such as Lyme titers (screening tests for Lyme disease) and lead to a false diagnosis of Lyme.
  • When a cell of the virus dies—which happens often, as the cells have a six-week life cycle—the corpse that is left behind is itself toxic and so further poisons your body. As with viral byproduct, this problem becomes more severe as EBV’s army grows, creating fatigue.
  • The poisons EBV creates through these two processes have the ability to generate a neurotoxin—i.e., a poison that disrupts nerve function and confuses your immune system. It will secrete this special toxin at strategic periods during Stage Three, and continuously during Stage Four, to prevent your immune system from zeroing in on the virus and attacking it.

The issues that may result from an aggressive variety of EBV nesting in your organs include:

  • Your liver performing so sluggishly that it does a poor job of flushing toxins out of your system.
  • Hepatitis C. (EBV is actually the primary cause of hepatitis C.)
  • Your liver’s sluggish performance leading to the lowering of your stomach’s hydrochloric acid and your intestinal tract starting to become toxic. This in turn can result in some food not being fully digested and instead putrefying in your intestinal tract, resulting in bloating and/or constipation.
  • Your developing sensitivities to foods that never caused you problems before. This happens when the virus consumes a food it likes, such as cheese, and transforms it into something your body doesn’t recognize.
  • The virus bides its time until it senses stress-related hormones indicating you’re in an especially vulnerable state—say, as a result of burning the candle at both ends, enduring a severe emotional blow, or suffering a physical jolt such as being in a car accident—or when it senses you’re undergoing hormonal upheaval, such as during pregnancy or menopause.

When the virus is nearly ready to spring, it begins excreting its neurotoxin. This adds to the burden on your system already created by EBV’s byproduct and virus corpses. All this poison in your system finally triggers your immune system—and also thoroughly confuses it, because it has no idea where the toxins are coming from.


The immune system response I’ve just described triggers the mysterious symptoms that doctors can diagnose as lupus. Medical communities have no understanding that lupus is just the body reacting to Epstein-Barr’s byproducts and neurotoxins. It’s the body having an allergic reaction to these neurotoxins, which then elevates the inflammatory markers that doctors search for to identify and diagnose lupus. In truth, lupus is just a viral infection of Epstein-Barr.

Hypothyroidism and Other Thyroid Disorders

While your immune system is in disarray, EBV takes advantage of the chaos by leaving the organs it’s been nesting in and making a run for a different major organ or gland—which this time is your thyroid!

Medical communities aren’t yet aware that EBV is the actual cause of most thyroid disorders and diseases—especially Hashimoto’s, but also Graves’, thyroid cancer, and other thyroid ills. (Thyroid disease is also sometimes caused by radiation; but in over 95 percent of cases, the culprit is Epstein-Barr.) Medical research has not yet uncovered the true causes of thyroid disorders, and it’s still decades away from discovering that EBV is the virus that causes them. If a doctor gives you a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, it really means that she or he doesn’t know what’s wrong. The claim is that your body is attacking your thyroid—a view that arises from misinformation. In truth, it’s the EBV—not your body—attacking the thyroid.

Once in your thyroid, EBV begins drilling into its tissues. The virus cells literally twist and spin like drills to burrow deep into the thyroid, killing thyroid cells and scarring the organ as they go, creating hidden hypothyroidism in millions of women, from mild cases to the more extreme. Your immune system notices this and tries to intervene, causing inflammation; but between EBV’s neurotoxin, viral byproduct, and poisonous corpses confusing things, and with EBV hiding in your thyroid, your immune system can’t tag the virus for complete destruction.

While the above may sound unnerving, don’t let it rattle you; your thyroid has the ability to rejuvenate and heal itself when it’s given what it needs. And never underestimate the power of your immune system, which by the end of this chapter will become activated just by you learning the truth.

As a fallback option, your immune system tries to wall off the virus with calcium, creating nodules in your thyroid. However, this doesn’t hurt EBV. First, most of its cells evade this attack and remain free. Second, a virus cell that your immune system successfully walls off typically remains alive and turns its calcium prison into a comfortable home, where it feeds on your thyroid, draining it of energy. The virus cell might even eventually transform its prison into a living growth, called a cyst, that creates further strain on your thyroid.

Meanwhile, these attacks against EBV can hurt you if you aren’t eating enough calcium-rich foods. That’s because if your immune system can’t get the calcium to wall off the virus from your bloodstream, it’ll extract what it needs from your bones…which can lead to osteoporosis.

Simultaneously, the hundreds of virus cells that aren’t imprisoned in nodules can weaken your thyroid, making it less effective at producing the hormones your body needs to function. This lack of adequate thyroid hormones, coupled with EBV’s toxins, can in turn lead to weight gain, fatigue, mental fogginess, impaired memory, depression, hair loss, insomnia, brittle nails, muscle weakness, and/or dozens of other symptoms.

Some especially rare, aggressive varieties of EBV go even further. They create cancer in the thyroid. The rate of thyroid cancer in the U.S. has been rising rapidly. Medical communities don’t know that the cause is an increase in rare, aggressive forms of EBV.

The Epstein-Barr virus invades your thyroid for a strategic reason—it’s seeking to confuse and place stress on your endocrine system. The strain on your adrenal glands produces more adrenaline, which is a favored food of EBV that makes it stronger and better able to go after its ultimate target: your nervous system.

Epstein-Barr Stage Four

The ultimate goal of the Epstein-Barr virus is to leave your thyroid and inflame your central nervous system.

Your immune system normally wouldn’t allow this to happen. But if EBV has successfully worn you down in Stage Three by entering your thyroid, and if on top of that you abruptly get clobbered with some physical or severe emotional injury, the virus will take advantage of your vulnerability and start to cause a multitude of strange symptoms that range from heart palpitations to generalized aches and pains to nerve pain.

A common scenario is being in an accident, getting surgery, or suffering some other physical damage, and then feeling awful for much longer than would be expected from the injury alone. A typical reaction is to “feel like a truck hit me.”

Blood tests, X-rays, and MRIs will reveal nothing wrong, so doctors won’t be aware of the virus inflaming the nerves. Stage Four Epstein-Barr is therefore a major source of mystery illnesses—that is, problems that cause doctors massive confusion.

What’s actually happening is that your injured nerves trigger an “alarm” hormone to notify your body that the nerves are exposed and need repair. In Stage Four, EBV detects that hormone and rushes over to latch onto those damaged nerves.

A nerve is similar to a string of yarn with little root hairs hanging off it. When the nerve is injured, the root hairs pop off the sides of the nerve sheath. EBV looks for those openings and grabs onto them. If it succeeds, it can keep the area inflamed for years. As a result, you can have a relatively small injury that remains flared up and causes you continual pain.

The issues that result from this viral inflammation can include muscle pain, joint pain, painful tender points, back pain, tingling and/or numbness in the hands and feet, migraines, ongoing fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, unrestful sleep, and night sweats. Patients with these issues are sometimes diagnosed as having fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis, all of which are collections of symptoms that medical communities admit they don’t understand and for which they have no cure. In such cases the patients are given inappropriate treatments that don’t begin to address the real culprit—because these mystery illnesses are really Stage Four Epstein-Barr.

One of the greatest missteps of all time is mistaking women’s Epstein-Barr symptoms for perimenopause and menopause. Symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, dizziness, depression, hair loss, and anxiety were and are frequently misinterpreted as hormonal change—which is what launched the disastrous HRT movement. (To learn more, see Chapter 15, “Premenstrual Syndrome and Menopause.”)

Let’s take a closer look at the chronic illnesses that have puzzled doctors for decades and are the result of Stage Four Epstein-Barr.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There’s a long history of womankind facing denial that there’s a physical cause of their suffering. Like those with fibromyalgia (see below), people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)—also known by names such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), and systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID)—often hear that they are liars, lazy, delusional, and/or crazy. It’s an illness that affects women in disproportionately large numbers.

And chronic fatigue syndrome is on the rise.

It’s becoming common for young women in college to return home mid-semester with the condition, unable to do anything but lie in bed. Contracting CFS as a woman in your late teens or early 20s can be particularly devastating as you watch friends move on with relationships and jobs, meanwhile feeling stuck and unable to live up to your potential.

Women who get CFS in their 30s, 40s, or 50s have their own obstacles: while you’re old enough at this point to have an established life and support network, you also have established responsibilities. You’re likely trying to be everything to everybody, taking care of more than you can handle, and so you feel the pressure to act normal when CFS hits.

Compounding the isolation for both age groups are the feelings of guilt, fear, and shame that accompany their misdiagnoses. I’m sure that if you have CFS, you’ve been in the depths of physical suffering and had someone say, “But you look perfectly healthy.” It is so disheartening to feel unwell and hear from practitioners, friends, or family that there’s nothing wrong with you.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is real. It’s the Epstein-Barr virus.

As we’ve seen, those with CFS have an elevated viral load of EBV, which systematically afflicts the body by creating a neurotoxin that inflames the central nervous system. This can eventually weaken the adrenals and digestive system, and create the feeling that you have a low battery.


We’ve had over six decades of medical denial that fibromyalgia is a legitimate problem. Now, medical communities are finally accepting it as an actual condition.

The best explanation doctors are given by the establishment, though, is that fibromyalgia is overactive nerves. What this really translates to is…no one has a clue. It’s not the doctors’ fault. There’s no magic book they receive that tells them what will help their fibromyalgia patients or what is genuinely causing their pain.

The medical system is still years from discovering the illness’s true root—because it’s viral, and it takes place at a nerve level that medical tools currently can’t detect.

Those suffering from fibromyalgia are under a very real and debilitating attack. It’s the Epstein-Barr virus that is causing this disorder, inflaming both the central nervous system and nerves throughout the body, which creates ongoing pain, sensitivity to touch, severe fatigue, and a host of other issues.


Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, is usually caused by EBV getting into the inner ear’s nerve channel, called the labyrinth. The ringing is the result of the virus inflaming and vibrating the labyrinth and the vestibulocochlear nerve.

Vertigo and Meniere’s Disease

Vertigo and Meniere’s disease are often attributed by doctors to calcium crystals, or stones, becoming disrupted in the inner ear. However, most chronic cases are actually caused by EBV’s neurotoxin inflaming the vagus nerve.

Other Symptoms

Anxiety, dizziness, chest tightness, chest pain, esophageal spasms, and asthma can also be caused by EBV inflaming the vagus nerve.

Insomnia, and tingling and numbness in hands and feet, can be caused by phrenic nerves becoming perpetually inflamed by EBV.

And heart palpitations can result from buildup of EBV’s poisonous virus corpses and byproduct in the heart’s mitral valve.

If you have EBV, or suspect you do, you may find the virus in Stage Four beyond frustrating. Take comfort. If you take the right steps—which medical communities don’t know about yet, but which are covered at the end of this chapter—you can recover, rebuild your immune system, return to a normal state again, and regain control of your life.

Types of Epstein-Barr

As I’ve noted earlier, there are over 60 varieties of the Epstein-Barr virus. That number is so large because EBV has existed for well over 100 years. It’s had generations of people to move through, mutating and elevating its various hybrids and strains in that time. The strains can be organized into six groups of escalating severity, with roughly ten types per group.

EBV Group 1 is the oldest and mildest. These versions of the virus typically take years, even decades, to transition from one stage to another. Their effects might not be noticeable until you’re in your 70s or 80s, and then result in little more than back pain. They might even remain in your organs and never reach Stage Three or Stage Four.

EBV Group 2 moves from stage to stage a bit quicker than Group 1; you might notice symptoms in your 50s or 60s. These varieties may partially linger in the thyroid and send only some of their virus cells out to inflame nerves, resulting in relatively mild nerve inflammation. The only variety of EBV that medical communities are aware of is in this group.

EBV Group 3 will transition between stages faster than Group 2, so its symptoms might be noticeable around age 40. Also, these viruses fully complete Stage Four—that is, they entirely leave the thyroid to latch onto nerves. Viruses in this group can cause a variety of ills, including joint pain, fatigue, heart palpitations, tinnitus, and vertigo.

EBV Group 4 will create noticeable problems as early as age 30. Its aggressive actions on nerves can result in symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain fog, confusion, anxiety, moodiness, and everything caused by Groups 1 to 3. This group can also create symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, even if a person never underwent any trauma beyond getting inflamed by the virus.

EBV Group 5 will create noticeable issues as early as age 20. This is an especially nasty form of the virus because it strikes just when a young person is setting out to start an independent life. It can create all the problems of Group 4, and it feeds off negative emotions such as fear and worry. Doctors who can’t find anything wrong, and perceive these patients as young and healthy, often declare “it’s all in your head” and send them to psychologists to convince them what’s actually happening in their bodies isn’t real. Unless, that is, a patient happens upon a doctor who’s up on the Lyme disease trend, in which case the patient will probably walk away with a Lyme misdiagnosis.

The worst type, however, is EBV Group 6, which can strike hard even in young children. In addition to everything Group 5 does, Group 6 can create symptoms so severe that they’re misdiagnosed as leukemia, viral meningitis, lupus, and more. Plus it suppresses the immune system, which can lead to a wide variety of symptoms including rashes, weakness in the limbs, and severe nerve pain.

Healing from the Epstein-Barr Virus

Because it’s very easy to catch and hard to detect, and can cause a number of mysterious symptoms, you might understandably find the Epstein-Barr virus overwhelming and its effects disheartening.

The good news is that if you carefully and patiently follow the steps detailed in this section, and in Part IV of the book, you can heal. You can recover your immune system, free yourself of EBV, rejuvenate your body, gain full control over your health, and move on with your life.

How long the process takes varies for each individual and depends on myriad factors. Some people conquer the virus in as little as three months. However, a more typical period is a full year. And there are some people who need 18 months or more to destroy EBV.

Healing Foods

Certain fruits and vegetables can help your body rid itself of EBV and heal from its effects. The following are the best ones to incorporate into your diet (listed in rough order of importance). Try to eat at least three of these foods per day—the more the better—rotating your consumption so that in a given week or two, you get all of these foods into your system.

  • Wild blueberries: help restore the central nervous system and flush EBV neurotoxins out of the liver.
  • Celery: strengthens hydrochloric acid in the gut and provides mineral salts to the central nervous system.
  • Sprouts: high in zinc and selenium to strengthen the immune system against EBV.
  • Asparagus: cleanses the liver and spleen; strengthens the pancreas.
  • Spinach: creates an alkaline environment in the body and provides highly absorbable micronutrients to the nervous system.
  • Cilantro: removes heavy metals such as mercury and lead, which are favored foods of EBV.
  • Parsley: removes high levels of copper and aluminum, which feed EBV.
  • Coconut oil: antiviral and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Garlic: antiviral and antibacterial that defends against EBV.
  • Ginger: helps with nutrient assimilation and relieves spasms associated with EBV.
  • Raspberries: rich in antioxidants to remove free radicals from the organs and bloodstream.
  • Lettuce: stimulates peristaltic action in the intestinal tract and helps cleanse EBV from the liver.
  • Papayas: restore the central nervous system; strengthen and rebuild hydrochloric acid in the gut.
  • Apricots: immune system rebuilders that also strengthen the blood.
  • Pomegranates: help detox and cleanse the blood as well as the lymphatic system.
  • Grapefruit: rich source of bioflavonoids and calcium to support the immune system and flush toxins out of the body.
  • Kale: high in specific alkaloids that protect against viruses such as EBV.
  • Sweet potatoes: help cleanse and detox the liver from EBV byproducts and toxins.
  • Cucumbers: strengthen the adrenals and kidneys and flush neurotoxins out of the bloodstream.
  • Fennel: contains strong antiviral compounds to fight off EBV.

Healing Herbs and Supplements

The following herbs and supplements (listed in rough order of importance) can further strengthen your immune system and aid your body in healing from the virus’s effects:

  • Cat’s claw: herb that reduces EBV and cofactors such as strep A and strep B.
  • Silver hydrosol: lowers EBV viral load.
  • Zinc: strengthens the immune system and protects the thyroid from EBV inflammation.
  • Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin and/or adenosylcobalamin): strengthens the central nervous system.
  • Licorice root: lowers EBV production and strengthens the adrenals and kidneys.
  • Lemon balm: antiviral and antibacterial. Kills EBV cells and strengthens the immune system.
  • 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate): helps strengthen the endocrine system and central nervous system.
  • Selenium: strengthens and protects the central nervous system.
  • Red marine algae: powerful antiviral that removes heavy metals such as mercury and reduces viral load.
  • L-lysine: lowers EBV load and acts as a central nervous system anti-inflammatory.
  • Spirulina (preferably from Hawaii): rebuilds the central nervous system and eliminates heavy metals.
  • Ester-C: strengthens the immune system and flushes EBV toxins from the liver.
  • Nettle leaf: provides vital micronutrients to the brain, blood, and central nervous system.
  • Monolaurin: antiviral; breaks down EBV load and reduces cofactors.
  • Elderberry: antiviral; strengthens the immune system.
  • Red clover: cleanses the liver, lymphatic system, and spleen of neurotoxins from EBV.
  • Star anise: antiviral; helps destroy EBV in the liver and thyroid.
  • Curcumin: component of turmeric that helps strengthen the endocrine system and central nervous system.


Knowledge is Power

The first step of the healing process is to know the cause of your suffering is Epstein-Barr—and to realize it’s not your fault.

Your EBV-related health problems aren’t the result of anything you did wrong or any moral failing. You didn’t make this happen, and you’re in no way to blame. You did not manifest this; you did not attract this. You’re a vibrant, wonderful human being and you have every God-given right to heal. You deserve to heal.

Much of EBV’s effectiveness stems from hiding in the shadows so that neither you nor your body’s immune system can sense its presence. This not only allows it to commit its mayhem unchecked, it leads to negative emotions such as guilt, fear, and helplessness.

Now things are different for you. If you have EBV, you now have a mind-body understanding of what’s causing your health problems. From this alone, your immune system will strengthen and the virus will naturally weaken. So when it comes to fighting EBV, in a very real sense, knowledge is power.

Reprinted with permission from Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal by Anthony William (Hay House; November 10, 2015).

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

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  1. Jodie

    Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. More than 5yrs I’ve had fatigue so bad I can’t work or do anything that resembles a life, I’ve been diagnosed with hashimotos and now have reduced the antibodies thanks to a lot of work on my behalf but still have the persistent fatigue and constant sore throat (which I have suspected was strep for a long time). I know I have been tested and had the antibodies for a past infection of EBV and I have so many of the symptoms listed in the article. if this is the missing link I will forever be so unbelievably grateful. I am also so grateful you included a short bit about the psychological impact chronic fatigue can have on a a persons, especially young persons life. It was spot on!!!
    Thank you

  2. Leigh

    The problem with Anthony’s hypothesis is that over 99% of the world’s adult population carries EBV, but not everyone is made ill by it. It is practically impossible to avoid exposure to the virus. Also, it is well known amongst ME/CFS/fibromyalgia specialists, that high viral titers are a reliable factor in determining a diagnosis, so this is not at all a mystery. Additionally, to further complicate the picture, some people with very high titer loads do not fall ill; others with lower ones, do. So the real issue becomes, why do some people go on to develop these illnesses and not others?

    Also, to my knowledge, it is not actually possible to eradicate EBV. Perhaps bring down the viral load, but not possible to get rid of it entirely. So I feel that the information is a bit misleading.

  3. Ann Louise

    Dear Leigh:

    Thank you for your post. The “mystery” as I see it is how EBV may be one of the underlying causes of so many other unsuspected conditions – like tinnitus, hypothryoidism, MS, and Lupus. While everyone may be carrying the virus, the viral load can be significantly reduced so the immune system can handle the virus and bacteria and fungus and parasites, etc.

    While every single one of us is exposed to non-stop WiFi radiation, not everyone becomes electrohypersensitive – even at much reduced levels of exposure. The same is true of food allergies – some develop intolerances while others do not.

    I suspect it is because of better adrenals, a robust liver and “better bile” – a topic I will explore in my forthcoming Eat Fat, Lose Weight.

    Still in all, for those who have not connected the dots between the presence of virus and unresolved illnesses, Anthony’s perspective offers hope – which was my primary intent upon sharing this with the community.

  4. Tracy

    Ann Louise,

    WOW, I am really in tears reading this…. Thank you for sharing this book ‘Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal’ Anthony William. This has describe ME!! Like you are talking about ME!! I have been sick my WHOLE LIFE. Struggling off and on.
    I was sick a lot as a small child around age 10 or 11, I got very sick and I was home from school for months the Dr. didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t walk I was weak and I just remember I could only crawl and pull myself with my arms not even my legs. As an Adult I was trying to figure out what it was. I thought a possibility the Sugar Cube Polio Vaccine given to me. Reading this I could be EBV Group 5 maybe group 6. Because the next time I was really sick was in High School winter of my Junior year when I had an emotional upset my good friend was killed in an snowmobile accident.

    It was Christmas Basketball Tournament and I was so fatigued and went to the Dr and was diagnosed with Mono. I had to stop playing basketball for the rest of the season. I missed a lot of school then too. Then the next year I got hurt in basketball the second game of the season and had to have knee surgery was out the rest of the year. Then about 6 months later I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue syndrome. I was 19. I have struggled off and on my whole life with my health. I tried Herbal life got better for a while and off and on thru the years feeling pretty good then sick again. Then in 2004 a year after my son was born I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I have spent many thousands of dollars on natural remedies but never really knowing how to heal myself. I called myself in Remission when I was feeling good had energy and my brain and muscles worked. Then April 28, 2015 I was doing rather well had a great 2014 was in great shape feeling good and someone rear ended me on the way home from work. I have been out of work since. The damage was less than $1,200 to my car but I got Whiplash, Concussion & Tramatic brain injury and everything this article describes is so true. I want my brain back and the neurologist told me I am healing slowly because of the CFS and Fibro. I only wonder what normal people feel like. I have wondered that most of my life. Dr. William describes all these symptoms and I have most of them.

    My symptoms include sensitivity to touch, ringing in the ears, muscle pain, joint pain, painful tender points, back pain, tingling and/or numbness in the hands and feet, ongoing fatigue, dizziness, unrestful sleep, and night sweats. Mental fogginess, heart palpitations, hair loss, and anxiety, depression, headaches, lumps in my muscles, muscle cramps, kidney stones, stomach problems, unexplained pains and skin rashes. Trouble breathing, sinus infections, sore throat. Sensitivity to chemical smells, heightened sense of smell and hearing. I am sure there are others I can’t remember. This is a cycle off and on and right now because of the accident I have most of the symptoms.

    I am not on any medications and try to stay off all of them because I get all the major side effects when taking over the counter drugs. I am grateful for you posting this maybe now this will give me the strength to start fighting again for my life. I worked at the same job for over 14 years and most likely won’t be able to return after this accident and health issues. I am very depressed because of it. I am working with a therapist and doing Neurofeedback for my brain.

    I am have tried almost all of the healing foods and herbs on that list over the years maybe I didn’t do it long enough. I also run out of money to purchase all the stuff to make myself well it is a nasty cycle. I am going to purchase his book.

    God Bless you for posting this and him for writing this book. I hope it can help many people to get well.

    • Ann Louise Gittleman

      Dear Tracy:

      Thank you so much for your post. I am very sorry to hear of our ill health. I also think it is fair to let you know as I tried to reflect in my opening comments, while I very much admire and respect Anthony’s ability to accurately pinpoint underlying issues, sometimes the remedies are not quite strong enough to do the job or the issue is multifactorial with virus as a leading factor. For EBV, in particular, I have found Osha (in capsule form) and sometimes lemon balm to be most effective.

      • Tracy

        Thank you Ann Louise. Is lemon balm in capsule form as well or can you use essential oil? What is the recommendation on the Osha Root and Teasel Root on how many capsules a day for how long? I see that you don’t have these available in your store what product/company do you recommend for the highest quality?

        Thank you again. Blessings

  5. Liz

    Ann Louise, thank you so much for posting this. What a valuable key this is to so many of our ailments. I’m sure that I and my husband have this.

  6. Beth

    Hi Ann Louise,
    I am very interested in this topic; having chronic tonsillitis for 7 years now, and following a string of strep throat infections developed psoriasis about 17 years ago. I currently have had no luck identifying how to approach and rid the cause of the tonsillitis. I have seen ENTs and Functional Medicine Nurse Practitioner, with no direction or answers. I am concerned for my lymph health from the long-term congestion. I have been on for the last year an AIP diet and also take vitamin supplements with no relief from my autoimmune or tonsillitis symptoms lessening. I am opposed to surgical options and prefer to actually rid my body of it and to lessen autoimmune reactions would be wonderful. I am wondering if you could recommend a approach for someone trying to uncover underlying infections and/ or the intensive viral(bacterial) panels that are available to detect infection?

  7. Ann Louise

    Beth — Thanks for your post. Have you seen a biological dentist to uncover any possible hidden dental infections from root canals or cavitations? Let me know, and we can go from there.

  8. Beth

    Hi. Thank you for responding. I went to a biological dentist about a year ago. I did have part of my gum that would occasionally swell up behind my molar, on the same side as my chronically swollen tonsil. They did a cleaning and some x-rays, and were unable to see anything in the x-rays. They even took some extra x-rays to check the specific area I’d pointed out. I had my wisdom teeth removed years ago and attributed the gum problem to that. It seemed it would swell when certain food would poke and irritate the area. They did find that I was pre-periodontal disease from looking at the bacteria in my mouth though. I was told and shown there were amoebas in my mouth by the dental hygienist. When I asked her if that was common she said no, but she had mostly seen it in autoimmune patients. They also removed a mercury filling for me this last year.

    • Kenene. Organic RN

      Beth, consider revisiting this w/ a Huggins trained Biologic holistic DDS (Huggins Applied Healing in CO, ph 8669484638 for a list) I went to one in Tijuana who found, to my chagrin, 2 cavitations where wisdom had been extracted some 40 yrs ago! I have never felt good…have high EBV titers, and as this article stated, healing after (oral) surgery took much longer for me than others. I do many of these herbs and foods now, seems a long journey, but this gives me answers and HOPE!

      • Beth

        Thank you Kenene! I am just seeing this. I am surprised, and not surprised at your recommendation. I have suspected that, but my biological dentist didnt deal with cavitations much, especially where it wasn’t showing in my x-rays it wasn’t addressed. Very interesting! Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I am seeking answers and your helpful information is appreciated. Best regards!!

  9. Lynn

    I did have “mono” when I was a teenager and in my 20’s was told I had CFS. Now I have Hashimotos, which developed after a tetanus shot that I regret dearly. Looking back, I had a tetanus shot in my teens, which could have been right around the time I had the diagnosis of “mono”. I also wonder if heavy metals (from the shot) are causing my progress in lowering my antibodies to stall. For the Hashis, I diligently work on lowering my antibodies, and they’ve fallen from around 450 to 110 (selenium helps tremendously, as does LDN) and cleaning up my gut. Would LOVE to know which specific herb on that list works to get rid of tinnitus, as the ringing is getting louder than ever. My ear specialist at UCLA said to try Ginkgo twice a day but it has done nothing to silence it. I also have started doing coffee enemas within the last 2 months, and although I had the equipment to do them for over 2 years, the yuck factor kept me from doing it. I wish I had started earlier because they are amazing at getting my liver, gallbladder/bile to work SO much better. I’ve lost 10 pounds since starting them. Now if I could get my ears to STOP RINGING!! If anyone knows which herb for the tinnitus, please let me know.

  10. Judy

    Do you know any doctors who specialize in this? I have tested positive for the EPV IgG and did see a functional medicine doctor who only had me take a product called Virus Plus which did basically nothing. I have a number of other viruses too and can’t even find much on the internet about it. Surely there’s a doctor who specializes in this. I would travel to get this resolved! Thank you for any help you can offer!

    • Laurie

      How are you doing now?

      Fellow sufferer

  11. Denise

    Hi Ann Louise, I’ve been a fan for a long time. Recently, I started getting your newsletters. This one, about EBV, caught my attention more than usual. I bought the book and as a result, I had myself tested for EBV. Quite frankly, it never occurred to me that I would have this virus. As the test came back 2 days ago it shows chronic recurrent EPV with high titers. This explains a lot! I have never had a strong constitution and sort of blamed it on myself…if only I’d stop drinking coffee, tea or start exercising, or whatever, even though my diet and lifestyle is quite clean. I also always felt embarrassed over my lack of “will” or discipline or desire to participate energetically in things. At least now I have an idea what might be going on and there may be light around the corner. Thank you for sharing the info. Help comes in strange ways sometimes. Denise

  12. Denise

    What are your thoughts on detoxing heavy metals while also trying to lower viral count? Seems detox might be hard on immune function? Perhaps work on viral count and then detox? Thank you, (PS: I’ve been detoxing heavy metals off and on for awhile now)

  13. Colleen Foster

    Hi Ann Louise thank you so much for this info. I had mono when I was about 20 and was really hit very hard for about six months. Except for several periods when I seemingly felt fine I seemed to be on this endless merry-go-round of feeling better then worse and so on. I am 63 but had what I believe was a viral reactivation in 2011 a year after I had rectal bowel surgery. I read numerous posts of people with my exact symptoms saying they had had EBV 40 years or so earlier. I cannot get any sense out of allopathic doctors and when I see integrative people I am told I have Lyme or a host of other viruses. I also have staff and a terrible parasitic infection. I listened to you speaking on the “Microbiome Summit” and havhe started drinkinlg Cranberry juice and oh my goodness it gets rid of tgese critters. I wonder if you would remind me of the amount of cranberry juice please. I know it is 8 glasses a day. I have been ,down a dreadful path over the past 18 years and just long for relief. Thank you ,for my our contribution to my journey. Best wishes. Colleen

  14. Stacy Lundblad

    Have you ever helped those with burning mouth. I have tingling and numbness and burning Flora changes constantly and is awful feels like I am being poisoned to death for almost 4 years now! I suspect viruses as well. I know I have the cold sore one they were awful mosof my life! The viruspanal shows EBV that must have been mono butt I never knew that I had that! Iamb sing lysine. Cats law. Lemon balm. With some help but not much! Also trying the rife! And strict diet for years! All amalgams out! Anything else to heal the nerves that are causing so much pain?

    • Maryke

      Hi Stacy, a friend of mine had burning mouth due to B12 deficiency. It alowly disappeared after supplementation with a combination of methyl B12 and adenosyl B12.

  15. Glenda Hale

    Thank you for the information


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