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.
Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year, is on December 21st. On this dark day, observed by people all over the world, we celebrate light. We remind ourselves that, in times of darkness, we can be the light in our lives.
How can you invite light into your life?
For thousands of years, Midwinter has been a time for jovial celebration; people have been getting together, sharing feasts, singing songs, exchanging gifts, and, yes, probably drinking too much alcohol. Now-a-days, people pretty much celebrate in the same way. We light candles, sing carols, and decorate trees, all while setting goals for the new year.
The only difference between now and then is intention. As a whole, our society is not very intentional or ceremonial. Because of the daily hustle and bustle, we don’t often make time to check in with ourselves.
Setting intentions doesn’t have to be a big to-do; you can start by changing your internal dialogue. For example, before attending holiday engagements, you might try using a mantra (AKA a phrase said over and over- silently is fine) to help set the tone. “I invite laughter and joy into my life.”
Instead of attending an office Christmas party that feels more like an obligation than your idea of fun, you can attend that same party, but change your feelings about it. Make it a goal to connect with your coworkers, do some networking, and invite new energy into your career. Try this mantra: “This event is opening doors to great opportunities.“ When you chose a mantra, be sure to use positive words and the present tense.
The point here is that YOU can change your own mind. Otherwise, if possible, forego the event altogether. It’s important to honor your own boundaries and, let’s be honest, no one wants to host a Grinch. (See our previous blog post about setting healthy boundaries during the holidays).
Have you had troubles with sticking to New Year resolutions? Here’s what you can do this year…
There are a TON of tips out there about how you can stick to your New Year resolutions and there are a lot of ways to set your intentions. We find that checking in with your goals every month makes you more likely to stay focused, on track, and realistic (remember, we’re all human). When you do your monthly check-ins, ask yourself what’s working and what’s not. You can even get creative with your resolutions and create a dream board that you walk by every day. Being able to see your goals on a daily basis helps you stay on track as well!
Set your intentions with a New Moon Ceremony
Have you ever heard of New Moon rituals? If you’re picturing a group of scantily clad women dancing around a fire under the light of a full moon, that does sound like our idea of a party, but, that’s not what we’re talking about here. The New Moon, also called the Dark Moon, is traditionally seen as a time to set intentions and plan for the month to come. You can even spark energy into your intentions with fire! This can be done in a couple of different ways, but when it comes to working with the moon, it’s always best to use your intuition and do what feels right.
How to set Intentions...
- On the night of the New Moon (happening January 5th), make a fire outside. Take a seat by the fire and start writing your goals on a piece of paper. You can speak your intentions aloud, then toss your list into the fire, sending your prayers up to the heavens.
- You can use candles similarly. Prayer candles come in a variety of colors, each symbolizing a different idea. For example, use a pink candle to invite more love into you life. Use a green candle for physical healing or emotional growth. Some people like to anoint the candles with herbs and oils for an extra kick. Ultimately, the key here is intention. The more time and effort you spend, the more powerful your prayers will be. Rather than burning your goal list like you would with a fire ceremony, you can fold the paper and place it under the candle.
Being Grateful: a Full Moon Ceremony Tip
A big part of realizing your goals is being thankful for your gifts and achievements. After all, you wouldn’t accept a gift from a loved one without showing your appreciation, would you? The Full Moon is not a time to ask for what you want, but to show gratitude for what you have. Mark your gratitude calendar: the next Full Moon comes to us on December 22nd! How do you show your gratitude? You might consider giving back to the earth, to the critters who live outside, or to any person in need. If your New Moon prayers were about paying all of your bills on time, during the Full Moon cycle, you might say a prayer of gratitude for the money and comforts that you do have, and give back by paying it forward, even if it’s just a couple of dollars or some cans of food/blankets.
The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction tells us that our words are very important. Not only the ones we say aloud- even our thoughts set the tone for how our life plays out. When you express your gratitude and share your intentions, always use positive and present-tense words. For example, if you don’t want to catch the cold that’s going around, rather than saying “Please don’t let me get sick” you might say “I’m thankful for my health and my strong immune system.” Trust us… your body is listening!
We’d love to hear from you! What are some intentions you’d like to set for the New Year? Leave a comment below!