You may have noticed (unless you’ve been living under a very remote rock) that the entire world is abuzz over the recent outbreak of COVID-19 – a new strain of coronavirus. Maybe even reading the title of this blog post has your heart fluttering. While viruses are a concern worth taking seriously, we want to put your mind at ease. There currently aren’t any medications on the market for this virus, but herbal and home remedies can bring relief.
Being sick is the worst. Whether it’s a little cold or food poisoning, it all feels terrible. Don’t worry, we have herbs for that!
While this particular coronavirus hasn’t been around long enough for drug or herb studies, we can still treat the ailment because we know how to use herbs to balance the body. So far, we know that the coronavirus is presenting as a dry cough with a fever. Most accounts say the symptoms aren’t very severe, but they can be life-threatening for some people. If you find yourself with these symptoms, please quarantine yourself to protect other people.
Below is our general tea formula for treating a virus presenting with a dry cough and fever. You can make your own or purchase the prepared dry tea in our Emporium. The goal of this formula is to 1) support the fever since it’s playing an important part in your body’s healing 2) relax the lungs to reduce unproductive coughing and 3) relax the body so you can get some sleep.
Herbal Tea for Dry Cough & Fever:
Mullein– this is our chief herb for lung soothing, relaxing, moistening, and cooling. Mullein is also effective for soothing pain and modulating inflammation.
Spearmint- Like peppermint, spearmint is great for opening up and relaxing the lungs. Paired with mullein, it makes a nice pain reliever. If you don’t like the taste of spearmint, we can substitute peppermint.
Boneset- this powerful influenza remedy will support the fever and gently stimulate the immune system. Boneset is a bitter and cooling herb. It doesn’t taste great, but don’t worry, we only use a little. There is some worry that COVID-19 can damage the lungs (with dryness and coughing) enough to lead to pneumonia. Boneset and mullein together will help keep the lungs clear without over-drying.
Licorice- This root is a powerhouse for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It’s also moistening to the mucous membranes- perfect for soothing a dry cough. The moistening properties also make it an expectorant, which will help you cough up any phlegm that may settle deep in the lungs.
Method: Use 1 tablespoon of dried herbs per cup of water. Boil for 5 minutes, then simmer for at least 10 minutes. You can make a big ol’ pot and keep it simmering all day. Drink a cup every few hours, or a couple of large gulps every hour.
Add Elecampane if you’re experiencing phlegm that’s difficult to cough up. This will help keep the lungs clear. It does have a strong medicinal flavor, but we’re not here for the flavor.
Add marshmallow root to moisten the tea up even more. Marshmallow is also a nice, gentle expectorant.
So that’s our general formula! There are so many other herbs we could include or switch out. Some that come to mind are lobelia, yarrow, marshmallow root, elecampane, and plantain. Lemon balm, passionflower, or tulsi could help relax your mind and body and induce sleep. Culinary herbs have a place here too. Thyme, basil, rosemary, garlic, ginger, and honey could all be helpful.
This formula can be tweaked for those experiencing a virus with a heavy, wet cough. For that, we might use mullein, peppermint, boneset, yarrow, and a wee bit of lobelia or elecampane. For the sniffles and bronchial spasms, we’ve had great success with mullein, peppermint, and wood betony. Holistic herbalism is about treating each person as an individual and addressing any ailments as they present.
Helpful tips for staying healthy:
Get lots of sleep! Even more than usual. You body does its best healing while you’re asleep, so catch up.
Eat healthy food. Now is not the time for junk food, friends. However, drastically changing your diet can put a lot of stress on your body. A stressed immune is an open invitation for viruses. Listen to your body and eat what feels good.
Get some sunshine. Going for a short walk in the sun can boost your vitamin D levels, which may improve your immune function. Plus, it’ll lift your mood.
Try an herbal steam. Pour boiling water into a large bowl. Add a handful of thyme and/or rosemary, basil, oregano. Lean your head over the steam and place a towel over your head so that it tents over your head and the bowl, keeping the steam in your tent. Breathe deeply through your mouth and nose so that you fill your respiratory system with the medicinal oils of the herbs. This is a good practice for when you return home from a day of interacting with the public.
Use a net pot. Daily use can clear out the sinuses wash away anything nefarious that may be lingering. Be sure to use a high quality salt, and if you’re using tap water, you’ll need to boil it for 5 minutes and let it cool before using.
Lend a helping hand. If you know someone who is sick or has a compromised immune system, reach out and ask if they need anything. Making a grocery run for a friend doesn’t take much time, but could really help them out if they can’t leave their house.
Above all- keep your chin up, buttercup. Live your life as usual, just make sure to wash your hands and use proper precautions. Panicking won’t help- not only does stress have potential to lower your immune system, panic is contagious. Watch funny movies, spend time with your friends and family via webchat and telephone, read good books. Spring is right around the corner and there are brighter days ahead.
Come see us!
If you would like to pick up some tea from our shop but are experiencing viral symptoms, please email Charley.LMT@gmail.com to coordinate online payment and pickup. Charley will ask about your specific symptoms and make a tea just for you.
If you have an ailment that is not contagious, you can schedule an herbal consultation with Charley.
Thanks for reading, friends. Stay well!
Disclaimer: We are not medical doctors and the content of this post is meant for education purposes only. Always do your own research and consult a physician before taking any herbal supplements.