Managing a viral infection

What to do?

At first signs of infection like fatigue, sore throat, sneeze, cough etc (you will all have personal knowledge of how it happens with you): you need to increase the dosage of supplements and herbs you already take (as preventatives) and divide this up throughout the day. The increased amount will depend on the individual – this is where practitioner guidance is helpful. Too much of a good thing may not be helpful for you!

The most well-known threat of COVID-19 is the progression from fever to cough then life threatening pneumonia.

However there may also be impacts on the digestive system (liver and small intestines), kidneys, heart and nervous system. It’s important to understand this as well, especially if you already have existing conditions that impact these systems. People with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and some respiratory conditions seem to be most vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Thus the need to improve your total health in preparation.

Medications and treatments

To control fever, try to stay with natural remedies (tested over centuries).

  • Fever is the body’s attempt to kill off the invaders; managing rather than stopping a fever is preferable
  •  Wipe body with cool compresses and put them around the ankles.
  • Yarrow, elder and peppermint tea is a time-tested fever remedy.  Short term it increases sweating, which will cool the core temperature caused by the fever.
  • Lemon, honey, ginger and chilli are another combination that heats the body up to reduce fever.  This combinations also has lots of anti-microbials (especially Manuka type honeys).
  • There are a range of homeopathic remedies that are useful – have an online consult with a Practitioner
  • Calm quiet space, so that the impact of general stress on the immune system is reduced
  • Reassurance and comfort also reduce stress and anxiety
  • Lots of fluids, especially warm drinks
  • Don’t eat if you’re not hungry (starve a fever) but do keep hydrated
  • numerous acupressure/shiatsu points on your body can help reduce fever

For aches and pains (often one of the first symptoms):

  • Herbal medicines like Corydalis, Devil’s Claw, high dose Tumeric (concentrated Curcurmins)
  • PEA (Palmitoylethanolamide)  is a very safe, well-recognised and effective painkiller (avoid NSAIDs like Ibuprofen. Why? They appear to enhance viral activity).

For bronchial/breathing symptoms:

  • Licorice (the herb, not the lollie :-), horehound, pleurisy root, verbascum etc are some of the effective herbal medicines available – BUT talk to your naturopath about effective and safe dosages. (Many are now consulting online.) Some of these are available as a tea. In more extreme circumstances like this it is wise to use the more potent forms as a tincture (liquid extract or tablet)
  • N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is renowned to treat cystic fibrosis – it helps mucus build up in bronchials to be released more easily.
  • Essential oils like cypress, peppermint, lemon myrtle and eucalyptus are both anti-microbial and enhance mucus expectoration.
  • Stop smoking – now more than ever before it’s important to respect your lungs.

If pneumonia is looking particularly severe, talk to your medical professional about intravenous Vitamin C.  If you can’t find supporting studies online – (there are many – find the more valid with Google Scholar) then get in contact with me. This is in use in hospitals in China as I write as well as in New York and UK.

Breathing Exercises seem to be particularly useful according to a UK Hospital recommendation: 

For liver and gastrointestinal function:

  • Consider high dose Vitamin C and herbal medicines like St Mary’s Thistle, Curcuma.
  • WARNING!! These are powerful and could react with other medications. Discuss with your Naturopath or your Pharmacist.  (Most good Naturopaths are consulting online.)
  • 70% of your Immune system resides in your gut. Use gut friendly foods:  nourishing and tasty foods like both broths, gentle miso soups and veggie smoothies help restore gut linings and improve good bug diversity to protect against adverse viruses and bacteria. Slippery Elm, L-Glutamine, specific Probiotic strains and prebiotics can all play a role in helping your gut health.


What to avoid?

First and most importantly, DON’T SOLDIER ON! Get help quickly.

Medications and treatments

  • If you need to use something mainstream for pain and fever, the least worst option is probably paracetamol. Advice is changing all the time. This is a new virus so we are still attempting to understand its action.
  • Avoid NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflamatories) like Ibuprofen and Voltaren as they appear to enhance virus activity.

Other suspect medications that could interact badly with COVID-19:

  • Stomach acid inhibitors such as Somac (also called protein pump inhibitors) are of concern.  Stomach acids do more than digest food – they also protect us from a range of nasty bugs.   So if you’re taking these for a condition like a hiatus hernia, be extra careful.  If you were thinking about “getting off them” then now might be the time to talk to your local Naturopath in an online consult.


Tailored Solutions for Treating the Immune System

Factors that affect the health of the immune system contribute to inflammatory conditions, allergies and acute, recurrent and chronic infection. Addressing acute symptoms can help you feel better, while correcting drivers such as nutritional deficiency, sleep issues, mitochondrial dysfunction, stress, infection, chronic inflammation and poor gut health will improve quality of life and mitigate against ongoing damage.

Restoration After the Virus

This is pivotal to enhancing your vitality and progression to wellness. Our body/mind exerts a lot of energy in maintaining survival and managing the infection plus the body’s impulse to control it. Collateral damage may ensue. So restoration of systems and functions may be enhanced through application of Natural Healing modalities as mentioned above. Convalescing to improve well being is an art worthy of time and attention.

Make use of a trustworthy informed Practitioner to help support your INDIVIDUAL needs


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