Many of the people that I am working with right now that are sick are being told to stay home. We also know that many that get sick will not receive hospital or medical care and home care will be very important for full recovery. This is what I recommend having in the home to prepare for, prevent, and treat COVID-19. Below are the home remedies that I have on hand and recommend. Some of these I also have available to the community. Right now, Amazon and most herbal companies are still shipping.
This is my personal list. It is so incredibly important that you all know that this is not medical advice. Herbalists do not diagnose or treat. Even more important, in this situation, we just don’t know enough about this virus. We are learning a lot from China right now about how COVID-19 shows up energetically in the body and how best to treat the virus. That being said, the herbal and homeopathic community are still just speculating. Again, home care will be very important with medical shortages and hospital overflow. Based on what we do know, below are my best recommendations for what I would want to have in the house.
All of the below recommendations are IN ADDITION to:
I keep this kit at home if anyone is interested in having access to several remedies.
-Arsenicum Album 30c is well known for prevention of viral infection.
-Pulsatilla 30c is great for lingering wet coughs with yellow phlegm. The Pulsatilla
illness lingers and is difficult to fully disperse. When my family or clients have a lingering cough or lingering post nasal drip, Pulsatilla often clears it up.
-Belladonna 30c has been my go to for viral or bacterial infections accompanied by a throbbing headache and nausea.
-Bryonia 30c for hacking dry cough and pain in the chest and head. The cough is dry and painful.
-Aconite 30c is particularly effective for illnesses with a sudden onset. COVID-19 has been shown to have a slower onset most of this time, however there have been many cases with a more sudden onset and I would keep this on hand for the sudden onset of a secondary infection.
-Gelsemium 30c is commonly used for flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and droopy eyelid.
-Sulphur 30c is indicated for burning, irritating coughs that get worse at night in bed, as well as for breathing problems during sleep. It can also be useful when a mild cough drags on for a week or more without getting worse, but without much improvement.
For at home use, the 30c potency is most common and can be used safely. General recommendations are 1 dose 2-3 times per day until symptoms improve. HERE is a great how to article for using homeopathy at home!
Be thoughtful and do your research for herbal dosing. Herbs are powerful medicine and should be used intentionally and safely.
I approach herbs in two ways. The first is nutritive and preventative. The second is energetic and treatment based. Bottom line is this: Increase your nutritive and culinary herbs now to build up the immune system and balance the nervous system and thermoregulatory system in the body.
We have heard from physicians in China that COVID-19 is a condition of dampness and cold. Therefore, drying and warming herbs and food are most likely to work energetically to re-balance the body and clear the virus.
Matthew Wood, one of my favorite herbalists, recommends culinary herbs that warm the stomach and spleen, so think of herbs like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, tumeric, black pepper etc. Chai tea! Other culinary herbs to use are horseradish, garlic, onion, hot peppers, oregano, thyme, rosemary etc. I am adding all of these to our foods everyday. If you have a chronic heat condition, don’t overdo this.
Other herbs on my list:
-Angelica: Angelica has aromatic and warming properties: I typically use Angelica as an infusion (long steeping tea). Angelica stands out as a unique remedy with its pungent, warming, oily, and diffusive energetic qualities. Also a mild, warming expectorant, herbalists have used Angelica to relieve deep lung infections and asthmatic symptoms.
-Mullein: Mullein has an affinity for the respiratory system. In particular, Mullein is called for in chronic, sub-acute infections like a persistent or recurrent bronchitis, but some sources even call for its use with pneumonia and tuberculosis. This herb is especially useful for instances of a dry, hot and hacking cough with pain about the ribs. Mullein can be used as a tea or tincture.
-Elderberry with warming herbs: Elderberry has cooling properties. I always prepare elderberry with warming carminative herbs to balance out the remedy. Elderberries are also known to have the ability to significantly enhance immune function. In addition, Elderberry is very beneficial for bronchial and respiratory problems and can help loosen and expel congestion in the lungs.
-Elencampane Root: Elecampane is used in modern herbalism as a general warming and stimulating remedy that gets things moving. Whether it's stuck mucus in the lungs, sluggish digestion, a low, slow burning fever, or fluid retention, elecampane is a well-suited plant. Best used as a tincture or decoction.
-Codonopsis (Dang Shen): Tonifies Lung Qi: Codonopsis is excellent for chronic Cough, shortness of Breath and is useful in chronic Lung disease, COPD etc
-Osha Root (Endangered): I use Osha as a tincture. Osha root increases blood flow to the lungs and throat. Osha has lung cleansing benefits. It is hard to find Osha right now and it is on the endangered herbs list.
-Thyme: Thyme helps fight respiratory infections and is a natural expectorant that serves as an antiseptic and helps expulse mucus. It's also good for soothing coughs and fighting nasal congestion. Prepare it as a tea.
-Usnea: Usnea has a great affinity for the respiratory system, as well as being a profound infection fighter for the whole body. Usnea (Usnea sp.) ..."cooling and drying" energetic properties and its ability to “clear heat, move damp, and resolve toxicity”. I will be using Usnea in a tincture form.
-Echinacea and Goldenseal: During a cold, flu or infection, especially of the mucous membranes, echinacea can go to work to activate immune fighters, such as macrophages. These important defenders work to engulf and rid the body of virus-infected cells, bacteria, toxic wastes—helping to clear the debris of an “immune battle” from the site. The purple cone-flower can also help strengthen a protective gel that surrounds many of the body’s cells, thus keeping invading organisms from gaining a foothold. Goldenseal, meanwhile, can help control the inflammatory process if it gets too carried away—if there is too much heat, redness, or swelling. These herbs are cooling. I would give them with warming herbs for COVID-19.
These are the herbs that I have on hand and will be using with my own family and my clients. Again, until we have more data to work with, herbalists are doing their best to match symptoms and energetics with herbs.
Please use essential oils safely. Be sure to always dilute hot oils to avoid burning or irritating the skin. I use essential oils 1-3 times per day based on the severity of the symptoms.
-Thyme: Warming and anti-microbial, excellent expectorate. Thyme EO can be applied diluted to the chest and bottom of feet.
-Thieves Blend: A warming and anti-microbial blend. I use thieves on the bottom of my children’s feet if they have been exposed to illness. I will be saving my thieves for use in case of infection.
-Oil of oregano: Taken internally (adults only): Standardized dose of 35-45 mg carvacrol taken twice per day. Applied externally diluted to the bottom of the feet.
Other oils known to be antimicrobial and to treat lung infection:
-Multi-vitamin and Mineral that includes zinc and D3: follow daily recommended doses
-Vitamin C: follow daily recommended doses
-Raw Honey: Raw honey is used in Ayurvedic Medicine to treat lung health and support lung imbalances. I have had great success giving raw honey mixed with fresh lemon juice for cold and cough.
-Apple Cider Vinegar: I am taking ACV infused with Rosemary, Thyme and Garlic every morning in warm water. I take 1 TB per 16 oz of warm water. My children like ACV and raw honey in warm water.
-Mineral or Sea Salt: Gargling with salt as a preventative or treatment shouldn’t be overlooked right now. There are several reports that COVID-19 hangs out in the nasal passages and throat before moving into the lung. I am using saline nasal irrigation on a daily basis. To make your own saline or gargle, add 1 cup (250 mL) distilled water to a sterilized container. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) salt to the water.
-Drinking warm liquids: Drink warm liquids all day. Add warming herbs, lemon, ACV etc!
-Lemon: Drinking warm water with lemon, like ACV helps to cleanse the blood, thin mucous, and support your overall health.
-Avoid: Dairy, Sugar, Wheat, Cold foods, hard to digest foods!