Covid Care Part 2
You have been hearing lots about limiting your exposure to Covid 19, but what about treatment if you do get symptoms? Maybe you are experiencing cough, chills, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, tightening/pain in the chest or discolored toes and you suspect the virus. Getting tested is important but may not be possible, and if your symptoms are mild to moderate, you are likely told by your doctor that it may be COVID 19 and sent home to quarantine. Whether or not you are a confirmed case – you are the one dealing with recovery – what to do? Fortunately there are plants and body therapies to help manage symptoms and keep your body working as well as possible by supporting the immune system, respiratory system, heart and kidneys.
Tea – herbal teas are a great way to put medicine in the fluids you need to stay hydrated (which thins and moves mucus). Best to keep teas or dried herbs (not more than one year old) on hand so you have them when you need them. Begin right away to make a long infusion using what you have, from there you can get help gathering/buying some of the herbs suggested. The power of simple teas is under-estimated in today’s commercial supplement world and yet teas have guided folks through illness for thousands of years!
Long infusion – cover herbs with boiling water, put on lid and sit for at least 1 hour or several (easiest to just sit them overnight). You can use fresh herbs, dried ones or a combination of fresh and dried. Here is an example and ‘parts’ refer to whatever you use to measure volume (a TB or ½ cup, just choose a base measure):
Lift the Lungs tea
2 parts each: Thyme, Lemon balm, Mullein (leaf or root)
1 parts each: wild Plantain leaf (a common ‘weed’, in Herbs section of this website), Sage
½ part: Ginger and/or Peppermint and/or yarrow (need one of these to move things)
If you have a fever – add either Yellow Chrysanthemum, or Feverfew herb at 1 part
If you live where Yerba Santa or Horehound is growing – you can add that in for plantain
If you don’t have all these herbs, use what you do have! You can also substitute rosemary, oregano or parsley for one of the herbs. Notice how many of these are culinary herbs and many are easy to grow even in pots. You can also simply choose three herbs that you have, say:
Oregano, Sage and peppermint, make a strong tea and add a little raw honey which also has health benefits and if you have some Manuka honey, even better.
(*Red clover flowers are a great addition for Covid care, but do not to use if you are on blood thinners)
The roots, bark and seeds of plants can make some might-strong medicine and must be simmered for at least 20 minutes, 30 is better. Here is an example:
Immune Support Decoction (simmer 20+) minutes
2 parts each: Black or Blue Elderberry (berry or leaf), Burdock root, Dandelion root
1 part each: cherry or peach twig, Oak bark, Yellow dock, Oregon grape root, Cinnamon stick
½ part each: Anise seed or Fennel seed or Licorice if tolerated, plus Orange or Tangerine peel.
Raw honey to taste if needed.
Other examples of plants around you that you might use: Red Root (Ceanothus), Hawthorn berry, huckleberry or blackberry fruits, turmeric, celery root or parsley root that you may have in the garden.
(*Note: Red Sage root/Salvia miltiorrhiza, is a great addition for Covid care, but do not use if you are on blood thinners)
Eliminate (or reduce) refined flour, sugar, alcohol, dairy (a little fermented yogurt or kefir ok), limit caffeine. Drink plenty of warm water (at least 2 quarts/day) – add electrolytes (vitamin C, lemon/lime, sea salt, magnesium, aloe, chia or flaxseed soaked water). Stick to easily digestible foods: bone broth, soups/stews, miso, cooked roots and squashes, vegetable juices, parsley, nettle, seaweeds, nasturtium leaves and flower, ginger, garlic, onion. Fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, chives, sage, mustard, peppers, turmeric/curry, peppers, easy to digest proteins like lentils or soft-boiled egg.
Physical Breaking up of mucus: (practice these techniques with family before you need them)
–Pounding back of chest firmly with slightly cupped hand (lungs go to the tenth rib)
–Rolling onto your side if you are in bed on your back – change positions regularly.
–Rolling onto your stomach and even hanging over the bed from base of rib cage if you are feeling like you are ‘drowning’ in mucus. Inversions (slanting body so head is lower) as done in yoga, are very helpful, gravity is your friend.
–Poultices (use your spent tea herbs or use eucalyptus, ginger, mustard seed) as a warm compress on the chest. You can also rub essential oil blends that have menthol/camphor smell (commercial preparations such as Olbas Oil, Tiger Balm, Vick’s vapor rub etc.)
–Rolling your upper back over a rolled towel or blanket to open up the chest and stretch loose connective tissue that binds lungs. Breathe deeply (belly) as often as possible.
–Steaming open your nasal passages and lungs by using fresh leaves like rosemary, eucalyptus, mint, yarrow, sage, thyme, chamomile, oregano, lavender (the strong smellers). Chose one or more and put in pot with water, bring to boil, cover and sit until it cools enough to steam but not burn skin. Then lift lid and sit with your face over the bowl and towel over your head to create a tent, breathe deeply. This is one of the most effective ways to get healing plant oils to the lungs and open up passages. You can also choose to use essential oils by dropping them in boiled water that has cooled enough and steam that way.