Covid19 the Global Situation & Herbalism
We are all currently transiting a situation that is unprecedented and constantly changing, many of us are experiencing anxiety in the face of it. We have tried to write down some useful proactive responses here in this article – we wish you all much PEACE.
Kindness & Compassion are key in times of Chaos.
As herbalists, whether we are focused on support the body to come into balance from a common cold, a gastro-intestinal bug, a headache or a more chronic long-term condition we treat the whole body, considering the entire system, including what is going on spiritually & emotionally as well as the physical. Of course, we look at individual pathogens as well as they are included in the picture but it is the terrain of an individual that we seek to nourish. The ‘Terrain’ is their personal internal landscape, their garden soil if you like – and we work to create good quality soil that allows the useful supportive life to flourish and weeds out the bullies (pathogens). Strengthening Life Force energy.
Covid19 as we are all aware by now is a virus – a tiny microorganism. Highly infectious and in certain individuals sets up colonies that make the hosts body react severely and can ultimately lead to death from organ failure.
Nervous System Health
THE IMPORATNCE OF STAYING CALM
The thymus gland, integral to the strength and efficiency of our immunity, is housed in our chests near our hearts and between our Lungs, is involved in immune cell maturation and can shrink rapidly in stressful situations. Staying calm in these turbulent times is the ultimate recommendation and is certainly more achievable if you feel pro-active in supporting yourself, your family and communities. There are simple things we can all be doing to feel like we have some measure of control over the outcomes of the current situation.
What we do know about any viral infection is that if we are healthy, with responsive immune systems and relatively stress free, we may only experience mild symptoms of viral infection, this has been seen in cases of Covid19.
Symptoms can be from mild to severe – as the virus has the potential to destroy cilia (the fine hair-like protrusions in the lungs), thus causing a buildup of mucous in the lungs, and then fluid and debris (potentially leading to pneumonia). There may also be an inflammatory reaction as the damaged tissue tries to be restored and waste products are produced to be excreted through the kidneys and liver.
To support all of this process we need stable, nourished lung tissue, good clear lymph, kidney and liver support and a sturdy immune system. Herbs and other tools can help in all of these areas. Here is a short breakdown of things we see as important or relatively simple to follow as protocols at home.
3 main areas of support to keep healthy
- Nervous system (learning and practicing ways to manage anxiety and fear)
- Strengthen immunity – Good Nutrition, Adequate sleep, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Garlic Pills, Quercetin, Herbs, hand-washing & sanitising.
- Support Respiratory System – Herbs, steam inhalations, diffusing essential oils
Let’s break this down a little more:
Pre-emptively we can support ourselves in getting to optimum health this is what we are doing with our friends and families
– Social distancing is imperative at this time so we are staying home and not receiving visitors – we are staying a meter apart from other and have stopped hugging and shaking hands. We are however communicating a lot with friends and loved ones – talking is extremely important in this time of crisis.
- Keep the nervous system relaxed and nourished – eating porridge oats (high in Vitamin B), Maximum Chill Drops, Heart and Soul Tea, breathing exercises, meditative techniques, good sleep hygiene. We are Laughing as much as possible – it is excellent medicine!
Here is a link to our stress, anxiety and relaxation blog article.
- Nourish the immune system with food, vitamins and minerals – mushrooms, vitamin C & D, zinc, B vitamins, garlic, medicinal soups Add lots of warming & drying herbs and spices to your food- for example garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, clove, thyme, rosemary, oregano, cumin, coriander, black pepper, aniseed, fennel, parsley, bay leaf. Take lots of fermented foods- live vinegar, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, these all support the building of good immunity
- Nourish and protect lungs and mucous membranes – Earth Clarity (plantain and elderflower), Lung Tonic & Breathe Easy tea, Breathing exercises.
- Support the organs of elimination – kidneys and liver. Take milk thistle capsule once a day
- Use antiviral essential oils – in an essential oil diffuser – and in hand sanitiser (see our forthcoming homemade sanitiser recipe blog post tomorrow)
- Spending lots of time outdoors and in nature – breathe deeply and observe nature, plant seeds and grow food and medicine
- Keeping hydrated with 2 litres of water a day
How to support if infected with COVID19
If you do start displaying symptoms of the virus
Covid 19 is an enveloped virus but because it is ‘novel’ and no one has had the time to do the research on it yet (it is happening right now though) we do not know which herbs are specific against it.
Some of the possible ones are-
This is the way we treat during a viral infection – that has no extreme complications:
Covid-19 is considered to be a cold condition
- Take warming herbs such as ginger, cinnamon, garlic, yarrow, elder
- Drink Breathe Easy decoction to support lungs – Inula, thyme, Liquorice *, marshmallow root
- Support the fever – virus do not replicate well in very hot conditions that is why our body’s respond with high temperatures. Monitor the fever and allow it to take its course. Use cold flannels on the head, diaphoretic herbs like yarrow & elder to bring out sweats. Seek advice and support if you feel worried about this in any way.
- Try to get deliveries to the home of food and essentials – avoid contact with others
- Keep essential oils diffusing in the home
- Steam inhalations
- Drink lots of water
- Rest up
*Liquorice has the potential to raise blood pressure – thus ongoing regular use of this herb needs to be monitored by a health professional in individuals that already suffer from high blood pressure.
Herbal Anti Virals by Stephen Harrod Buhner
The Sensory Herbal Handbook:
The Domestic Alchemist: