The below article was written on 2/5/20. Our current situation with COVID-19 has changed significantly. The recommendations for natural prevention and treatment remain the same.
There is increasing fear right now around the coronavirus and the flu. Every year there is significant media focus on the flu and this year, the coronavirus is the latest concern in the media. While the coronavirus can be quite serious, it usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold or flu.
From a prevention perspective, the fear that rises up from these alerts could possibly be more damaging to the body, and to the community, than the disease itself. As we make efforts to stay well this season, remember that fear suppresses the immune system and does not create empowerment for wellness and overall well-being.
Much of the fear and concern that I observe in my practice and community comes from a feeling of helplessness. It's very scary to imagine that either one of these viruses may enter into our lives and even scarier to think that we are powerless to do anything about it.
I'm here to tell you that there is so much that you CAN do. Our bodies are amazing and resilient. With some commitment to wellness and prevention, we can do quite a bit to protect ourselves this season.
First and foremost, the baseline and foundation for preventing illness is a well nourished and rested body. If you are concerned about infection right now, use the energy that may be going towards fear and spend time pouring nourishment into your system. The same goes for getting rest. This is not a time to be deeply exhausted. In this season, our bodies crave and require rest for our overall well-being and especially for our immune system. If we are always run down, living in an overactive sympathetic nervous system, our adrenals may be affected. If our cortisol levels are too high or too low, this can lead to chronic infections, increased inflammation, autoimmune issues, and allergies. Each of these increase our susceptibility to viral infections as well as the likelihood of secondary infections.
Second, please know that there are so many incredible natural resources out there to help you prevent or treat infection. In my home herbal medicine cabinet, I have on hand everything that I need to treat acute, infectious illnesses.
It's also important to know that sometimes infection does occur in rested and well nourished bodies. This is where herbs, homeopathy, essential oils, and other medicines come in to support us. When illness does happen in well nourished and rested bodies, the ability to heal quickly and respond to natural treatment improves significantly compared to deficient, stressed, or toxic systems. We see shorter infection times, fewer secondary infections, and a fuller recovery.
Prevention comes first!
How to prevent infection:
The below recommendations are beyond the basics. At this point, I consider the basics to include hand washing, not touching your face, and taking responsible precautions for social distancing.
These are the basic first steps of prevention and can reduce your chances of contracting viruses. Commitment to your body and yourself for your overall well-being will take you further than you could ever imagine. These are simple and affordable measures that will have a major influence on your physical and mental health.
If you do get sick, below are my recommendations. Remember, every body is different. Tune in and listen to your body when choosing treatment options.
Treating infection naturally:
With this protocol, the illness will likely pass much more quickly. This will also assure that the body is receiving nourishment, preventing the depletion often experienced after illness. This is incredibly important to prevent a secondary infection. Illness requires significant energy from the body and if we are not well nourished, with gentle medicinal foods, we can be vulnerable to more serious secondary infections.
This protocol also creates an opportunity for empowerment and ownership of our own health and well being. The effects of fear on our immune system, along with a feeling of helplessness, do not serve our overall well being. Committing to deeply nourish ourselves with herbs, foods, and rest creates a foundation of wellness and well being. Preventing illness and staying well also helps you avoid hospitals and doctors offices during epidemics.
If you haven’t already, consider building your own Natural Home Medicine Cabinet. If you are not eating a clean, nourishing diet, consider clearing out processed and inflammatory foods.
Sending you wellness and empowerment this season!
Resources to support you:
Stephen Buhner’s coronavirus herbal kit
Natural Home Medicine Cabinet
Echinacea and Goldenseal Elixir
Soaking up the Vitamin D in Colorado in February!
Only a physician can diagnose, treat, and prescribe for illness or disease. As an herbalist, I neither diagnose nor treat disease. Nor do I prescribe remedies. The human body has the innate power to heal itself. Without this power to self-heal, even the most advanced medications and procedures would ultimately fail. The role of the herbalist in this healing process is to consider the client as a whole person and to consult with the client concerning changes in lifestyle, diet, and supplementation of herbs and/or vitamins to foster an increased state of balance and health. Thus maximizing the body's self-healing capabilities. Journey to Wellness, LLC encourages and advises clients to seek professional medical advice regarding any illness or disease they are suffering from. Background health information can aid in the process of a holistic, herbal program and therefore can be shared at the time of the herbal consultation. Any concerns about your health and supplementation with herbs or diet should be done in consultation with your physician. Although speculative interactions between herbs and drugs are sometimes publicized, confirmed cases are rare. It is the responsibility of the client to discuss with their physician possible interactions of herbal supplements and medications. I am not liable for any possible adverse reactions and side effects of the herbal supplements you decide to take. The client or reader must accept ownership and responsibility for their own health; including negative consequences and positive outcomes.