Contributed by Herbalist Mary Schmidt
The Corona Virus, also called COVID-19, is an influenza novel coronavirus which means it is newly mutated, so we don’t have any immunities built up for it. It apparently came from bats, which have strong immune systems. Therefore, it may produce strong symptom response from some of us.
These are suggestions to consider, not a recipe or directions. Each person has a unique energetic imprint and will respond individually to the virus and to the herbs. Hopefully the following information will give you some ideas to take care of yourself and your family should the need arise.
It is spread from person to person in close proximity, within 6’ or so, and possible from touching a surface that an infected person has touched or sneezed on. It appears to be fairly easy to spread, so good preventative measures are needed. Apparently, people over 55 are prone to a more serious case than the young, especially those with any pre-existing lung issues. The virus has a 2-14 day incubation period.The CDC advises staying away from known areas where there have been others with the infection.
The number one thing for preventing its spread is good hand-washing practices and frequent sanitation of surfaces where others touch at work, school, stores and anywhere public. Also, if out and about, keep your hands away from your face especially eyes, nose and mouth. Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with warm soapy water, frequently. Consider diffusing eucalyptus essential oil in your house. If you are sick, stay home, cover your cough, rest and follow the suggestions below.
Herbal care for prevention:
*Fire cider to boost immune system.
*Elderberry syrup, tincture or tea when you get home or have been exposed. One idea is to take immediately before bed so the elderberry coats the throat while you sleep.
*Astragalus for immune building.
*Medicinal Mushroom tea to boost immune system.
Early symptoms have been fever, fatigue and dry cough. Runny stuffy nose, chills, labored breathing and body aches followed with some headache and dizziness. Moisture can collect in the lung if the mucus isn’t working to remove the virus and viral process. Keep the cough productive. 10% of patients had nausea and diarrhea 1-2 days before the flu symptoms began.
Herbs for the Flu
*Early on keep the core warm with Chai spices like ginger, cardamom and cinnamon beverages.
Make a cayenne, lemon and honey tea to sip on.
Take a tablespoon of fire cider frequently throughout the day.
Use elderberry tea/syrup/tincture frequently to coat the throat. Every two hours in the first couple days.
*Anti-virals: Use warming spicy ones like: Lomatium, angelica or osha. St. John’s wart, thyme and wild bergamot or rosemary might be helpful. Olive leaf and Andrographis are strong anti-virals and quite bitter. They are cooling so add a warming herb, like angelica, cinnamon or ginger, if you choose these.
Elderberry breaks the feeding prong off the virus so makes it unable to replicate, one of my go to anti-virals and it tastes great with ginger or cinnamon.
Other herbs to consider depending on your energetics: Yerba mansa, pleurisy root, Isatis, elecampane, oregano and marjoram.
*Lymphatics: Keep the channels of elimination open, important to move the moisture out of the lungs and keep the lymph moving. Red root, cleavers, echinacea, calendula and golden rod are a few suggestions.
*Diaphoretics are important to support the fever and keep the pores open to move fluids out.
Yarrow, elder flower and peppermint tea is a good fever tea blend. Equal parts of each. Then a warm bath and warm bed.
Boneset tea is for the ‘bone breaking fever’ with body aches. This herb is bitter so brew a quart to drink during the day and dilute if needed to get it down.
*For the cough, it’s good to support the movement of mucus up and out of the lung and not suppress the cough. Some considerations are: mullein, elecampane, ginger, or thyme. Elecampane was very successfully used in the 1918 influenza.
Use antispasmodics to lessen the pulmonary spasms, try: mullein, valerian or passion flower, also low doses of lobelia.
Many of these herbs can be taken as a tea or tincture. In either case take plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. It takes a lot of energy to fight a flu, so be gentle and patient with yourself. If you are taking care of someone with the flu, have a separate room for them and take care to prevent your own exposure. A face mask may help you feel safer, but the virus is very small and it is impractical for long term use. Make sure they cover their cough, and have everyone wash, wash, wash their hands. If you use an antiseptic gel make sure it is 60% or more alcohol as that is what is required to kill this virus, also rub hands well until the fluid has dried. Remember soap and water works better but in a pinch, antiseptic gel can work.
Nutrition to boost Immune System
Sulfa based anti-virus foods: Garlic, Onion, Horseradish, Shallots, Chives
Aromatic Anti-virals: Ginger, Cinnamon, Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, Sage
Adult dosing guide lines for vitamins to support the immune system:
Vitamin C 500 – 1000mg daily (some research on mega dosing is worth looking at for illness)
Vitamin D3 2000-5000IU daily
Zinc 30mg daily
Beta carotene 25,000IU daily – Vitamin A precursor
Simply remember ACES for immune support: Vitamin A, C, E and Selenium
Rosalee de la Foret article on Herbs to Consider for Coronavirus. With her permision, we share this article that contains many clickable links to learn more about the specific herbs she recommends, and a link to a free recipe book on using herbs in addressing upper respiratory infections.
Here are a few options for purchasing herbs or seeds to grow your own!
1102 S. Perry Street, Spokane, WA
99202 Phone: (509) 456-0702
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm
Email: [email protected]enherbs.com
Huckleberry’s (especially at this location)
926 S. Monroe Street
Spokane, WA 99204
4603 N Division St
Spokane, WA 99207
The information presented here is not meant as medical advice but for informational purposes only. We do not intend to diagnose, treat or cure. Go to a medical professional for those things.
The CDC has information on its site and we suggest you access it if you have more questions.