Hello dear readers,
First and foremost, I am neither a doctor, nor a certified herbalist. So before making any changes to your lifestyle or health or supplements, please discuss with an appropriate practitioner.
So why am I writing this?
Because I wanted to put together a newsletter for my clients about alternative options for boosting the immune system, possibly resisting infection and even options for what to do if one contracts Covid 19. Therefore, the research is already done.
Again however, I make no claims about diagnosing, treating, preventing or curing any disease. That is in the purview of a licensed healthcare practitioner – go talk to them first before implementing any of this advice.
What are we dealing with here? (How does Covid 19 make us so sick?)
First of all, I am not a doctor, nor a scientist, or an epidemiologist. So this is based on reading other experts studies, research and experience.
This post is trying to cover a lot in a minimal amount of words, so see below for more extensive resources if you want to do your reading. Obviously, I highly recommend doing your research – take your health in your own hands!
Covid 19, a coronavirus, was originally thought to be a respiratory virus. It turns out in fact to be able to effect many systems in the body – not just the lungs. This particular coronavirus is able to infect and impact the lungs, kidneys, heart, brain, the GI tract, skin, blood cells, eyes, the liver and circulatory system. It is a serious disease with serious consequences for most of those who contract it.
This virus can enter cells through a number of receptors, primarily the ACE2 receptor, which happens to be prevalent on cells in nearly every system of the body. This is a part of why the virus can have such a wide spread array of symptoms and manifestations.
Covid 19 also has immune modulating effects. Meaning it can take down the immune response temporarily while it infects the body, setting us back days in our fight against infection. So how can we combat this insidious pathogen?
What are some herbs which have positive effects on the systems affected by Covid 19?
Again, not a doctor, nor am I a certified herbalist. Do your own research or speak with a licensed practitioner before changing your lifestyle or health routines.
One herb which should be included in every Covid 19 protocol is Salvia miltiorrhiza – red sage. This herb has heart protective functions, it slows clotting and even benefits the lymph system – in particular the spleen and appendix. On top of all this, it has a modulating effect on the enzyme the virus uses to access the ACE2 receptors. Meaning it might have preventative functions!
Salvia Miltiorrhiza is best used when paired with Pueraria Lobata (kudzu root). Pueraria has lung protective functions, along with benefiting the lymph system.
One note: Salvia miltiorrhiza should be used with caution if you are on anti-coagulant medication – blood thinners. Again, talk to your doctor first!
Some of what Covid 19 does to our immune system causes an inflammatory cascade, making the damage much worse – to our circulation, our lungs, liver, lymph system and more. So how can we prevent our body from working against itself as it were?
There are many herbs which help to reduce various steps in this inflammatory cascade, I will just name a few here, including Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed), Andrographis paniculata, Glycyrrhiza spp, and Aster tartaricus. Aster also benefits the lung tissue, so consider adding it to any protocol as well. In fact, I would recommend adding all of the above herbs. Japanese Knotweed has many benefits, especially for older people, as it contains very high levels of resveratrol. Andrographis is extremely beneficial for the immune system, along with fighting off certain types of tick-born pathogens (Lyme disease in particular). And Glycyrrhiza has many benefits – including benefiting the brain, the heart and reducing inflammation.
Please note: Andrographis can cause a mild allergic reaction in about 3% of the population. Always start out using a small dose for the first 2 weeks to see if you are allergic. And if you are on hypertension drugs (high blood pressure) or have potassium issues in your body, please speak to your doctor before using any Glycyrrhiza herbal products.
Another herb to consider having on hand is Scutellaria baicalensis. It benefits the lymph system, the immune system as well as reducing harmful inflammation as a result of Covid 19 infection. Remember, by clearing the lymph system faster, the body can move cellular waste out of the body that much faster, allowing better access for the immune system and lymphocytes (immune cells).
All the herbs I have mentioned above are herbs I have purchased in tincture form. Plus the herb Houttuynia which protects the immune response. Last but not least, I also purchased a Rhodiola tincture as this is so protective of the respiratory system. I have a set of tinctures on hand just in case. My partner’s daughter is starting school this coming week, so I figure it is better to be safe than sorry.
Other herbs to consider:
Bidens pilosa – protecting the upper respiratory cells (which are usually infected first, leading to a loss of a sense of smell and taste)
Galium spp – lymph system supplementing
Eleutherococcus senticosus – Siberian Ginseng – I also have this in capsule form, as it is so tonifying for many systems of the body. Personally, I would only take this if I got sick as it can be so boosting to the chi and vitality (meaning I don’t want to become excessive in my subtle energy body)
Pleurisy root – for lymph system drainage and benefiting the lungs
Asclepias asperula – inmortal – also benefiting the lymph system
Sambucus spp – protecting the ACE2 receptors
Crataegus spp – Hawthorn – one of the best heart protectors out there, along with protecting the lungs
Cordyceps spp – protecting against inflammatory damage (among many other benefits)
Isatis spp – used often in Chinese medicine, this herb has many respiratory system benefits (primarily upper) along with benefiting the glands around the face (saliva glands); it is strongly recommended to add this to any Covid 19 infection protocol
See below for links to additional research and reading. Again, please take your health in your own hands, make informed decisions. This is an unprecedented disease with many manifestations. New research is coming out every week.
Other non-herbal recommendations for Covid 19:
Please keep in mind, I am not licensed to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. This information is just out there fore educational or entertainment purposes. Please speak to your appropriate licensed health care practitioner before making changes to your lifestyle or health routines.
lumbrokinase – a powerful anticlotting agent with other benefits
nattokinase – a moderately powerful anticlotting agent
(obviously, with lumbrokinase and nattokinase please note: do not take if you are on blood thinners or other anti-coagulant medication.)
serrapeptase – a moderate anticlotting agent with other benefits including reducing inflammation (more research is required before making claims about these agents)
Quercetin is a beneficial supplement for Covid 19 infections.
L-Malic acid is a required amino acid. It turns out, that people with chronic inflammation have very low levels of Malic acid. Also, people who have had Covid 19 have low levels during infection. This is due to Malic acid being required to repair damage done by inflammation (among other things). It is recommended to supplement this amino acid if you have chronic inflammation or come down with Covid 19.
Note: high doses of Malic acid can cause diarrhea. One way to get around this would be to take 300 mg in the morning and 300 mg in the evening.
Waiver: Speak with your doctor before taking any of the advice above. Making changes to your supplements and diet can have serious side effects and consequences. Please know that herbal / drug interactions are real and should be researched / discussed with an appropriate practitioner before adding new supplements / herbs.
We are in unprecedented waters. We need support, but touch is possibly dangerous (unless with people we live with). We want our kids to go back to school, but as safely as possible. We want restaurants and businesses to re-open, but how can we do so safely? I personally can’t wait to feel safe to hold a friend’s baby! And to mix it up with parties and social gatherings again.
Thankfully many studies have been done on the effects of Covid 19, and many more are on-going.
Good sites / places to get quality herbal tinctures:
Earth Ashram (Etsy)
Desert Tortoise Botanicals
Also to get Mangifera indica tinctures (many benefits – look it up), you might want to consider Green Dragon Botanicals.
Links for additional information:
May we all stay safe. May we all get the support we need. May we all stay as healthy as possible, in spite of everything!
Thank you for reading,