Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Healing from Autoimmune Illnesses

Apr 30, 2020 01:02PM ● By Marilee Burrell

Photo: paultarasenko/

If you have fibromyalgia, lupus, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, you’ve probably been told you have an autoimmune disease and that your body is attacking itself. This is not true, according to New York Times bestselling author Anthony William. In a March 2018 blog post, William—also known as the Medical Medium—rejects the idea that the body would attack itself. He believes that these illnesses are caused by pathogens, often viruses, and that healing is possible for the many who suffer from them.

Identifying the Root Cause

If it’s inconceivable to think that pathogens known to scientists for over half a century would be the elusive cause of chronic illnesses that affect so many, realize that often these viruses and bacteria are burrowed so deeply in our bodies that detection is not possible with today’s testing methods.

In addition, viruses like Epstein-Barr evolve over time. “Medical communities believe there is only one Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)—the virus that causes mono,” William writes. “But in truth there are 61 strains of EBV that cause all kinds of different symptoms and illnesses.” 
The cause of fibromyalgia is still classified as unknown, but William asserts that fibromyalgia is caused by EBV:  “The aches, pains, tenderness, fatigue and stiffness of fibromyalgia are a result of EBV’s neurotoxins creating chronic inflammation of both the central nervous system and nerves throughout the body. Knowing the true cause means that you can begin to implement the steps needed to allow for healing.”
William sees the same viral dynamic at work with lupus and multiple sclerosis (MS). “Medical science and research are unaware that lupus is a viral condition, specifically it is the body reacting to Epstein-Barr’s byproducts and neurotoxins,” he writes.
In fact, current research is only now starting to implicate EBV as a player in autoimmune diseases—and when it does, it usually mentions the virus as a trigger, not the cause, William notes:
“The reason we need to make a distinction between trigger and cause is because when we just manage our illness by avoiding triggers, we are not actively fighting the pathogen and addressing the root cause.”
For instance, some experts now say that EBV may be a trigger for thyroid disease. But according to William, EBV is the true cause of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. “The thyroid becomes inflamed because the virus has infected it,” he says. “Your immune system is not going haywire or out to get you. It’s this virus that’s causing the damage and making you feel miserable.” (He writes in detail about EBV, how it creates illnesses, and how to recover from it in his book Thyroid Healing.)
But not all inflammation is viral, William says. While celiac disease is medically recognized as an autoimmune condition linked to gluten sensitivity, he believes that celiac is caused by streptococcus bacteria in the intestinal lining, and that gluten simply triggers more inflammation. So yes, if you have celiac, avoid gluten, but address the strep—which William suggests is often antibiotic resistant.

Foods Help or Hinder

Armed with the understanding that the body does not attack itself, William guides readers of his books through the steps to healing. Specific food, herbs and supplements play crucial roles. Some foods fuel pathogens and should be avoided, he says, while others support the body or inhibit pathogen growth and should be eaten in abundance.

The “No” List

Eggs, dairy, corn, canola, wheat, pork and MSG are some of the foods William suggests avoiding.
“Eggs may be considered the perfect food in some circles, but in reality, they are the perfect food for viruses,” he says. “Stay away from eggs if you have a disease that is labeled as autoimmune, especially lupus. Even if you are eating cage-free, natural eggs, these still act as food for pathogens.”
Similarly, he believes that all dairy products, even organic ones, feed viruses. “It’s critical to stop eating foods like dairy if you have any symptoms or a chronic illness so that they do not continue to feed the pathogens that are causing your symptoms.” He also cautions against the use of corn products and canola, noting, “These are in almost every packaged food out there, even organic ones, so be mindful of what is in the ingredients list.”
He also recommends reducing fat intake: “When healing from chronic illnesses and symptoms, it’s helpful to minimize added fats in the diet to allow the liver to cleanse and toxins and viruses to be most effectively purged from the body.”

Foods that Fight Pathogens

Fruit: Adding fruit to your diet is one of the best ways to support healing, according to William, so eat plenty of apples, bananas, oranges, berries, papayas, pineapples, passion fruits and melons to flush out the poisons that a virus creates. “Fruit is an amazing antiviral food that is essential to include when you are fighting a pathogen such as Epstein-Barr virus,” he writes. “Bananas in particular are great for killing off pathogens in the intestinal tract.” For those who have been told that eating too much fruit may be detrimental to their health, William addresses that argument in the chapter Fruit Fear in his first book, Medical Medium.

Cruciferous Vegetables: Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the like—both cooked and raw—have important healing benefits.

Celery Juice: William is the father of the celery juice movement. “Straight celery juice is also important to include because its mineral salts clean up the liver, build up hydrochloric acid, and strengthen bile so you can break down bacteria and viruses in the intestinal tract that cause conditions like colitis, celiac, and Crohn’s disease,” he writes.

Cucumber Juice: Undiluted cucumber juice daily helps flush out viral toxins.

Squash: All varieties of squash, such as butternut, kabocha, spaghetti and acorn, have health benefits.

Greens: William recommends eating greens every day. And that’s easy to do with so many varieties, which include red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, arugula, parsley, radishes and radish greens, spinach, kale, collard greens and dandelion greens.

Herbs that fight pathogens

Healing herbs that William recommends include cilantro, rosemary, thyme, cat’s claw, lemon balm and Nettle leaf. “Many people know that nettle leaf tea is anti-inflammatory, but they do not know why,” he writes. “The reason is because it’s killing the pathogens that are creating the inflammation in the first place.” Turmeric works the same way, he notes. “Turmeric has phytochemicals that are poisonous to the bugs that are inflaming people’s joints and backs. This herb is attacking viruses and bacteria.”


Supplements that William considers vital for fighting the viruses that cause autoimmune diseases include zinc sulfate, B12, vitamin C, licorice and L-lysine.

Zinc: “Zinc deficiencies are rampant and can trigger an autoimmune condition,” he writes. “Simply taking zinc can be a huge step toward healing and can be critical for anyone suffering from the symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases. When you take zinc sulfate, it goes directly to where the virus is and starts working on stopping it in its tracks. Additionally, zinc increases your immune system’s ability to fight.”

B12: It’s important to get the right form of B12, William notes. Look for one that contains both adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin.

Vitamin C: When taking vitamin C to fight a viral condition, William says it’s essential to use supplements that do not contain any corn, which feeds viruses.

Licorice: Licorice also has significant antiviral properties. “This supplement can aid your body in knocking down the virus, particularly EBV, that is causing your illness,” William says.

L-lysine: L-lysine is a foundational amino acid that hinders and stops herpetic viruses, according to William.

To see William’s full list of preferred supplements, visit

Recovery Is Possible

“As you stop believing that your body is attacking itself and start believing in the truth that your body is attacking a pathogen, you will begin to turn the tide,” William writes. “And as you progressively remove the foods that feed viruses and bring in the foods that fight viruses, you will begin building a strong foundation for healing. As you begin to include more antiviral, immune-supporting supplements, you are giving your body that much more power to fight the pathogen that has caused your autoimmune labeled disease.”

Healing from these chronic illnesses is possible, he says. “When we recognize the true cause of our illness, we can start to move toward true and total recovery, which is something I’ve witnessed tens of thousands of people doing over the years with the information I’ve shared, and now many more.”

For more information, visit