Natural Home Remedies for Covid-19

If we read anything, we are aware of the Coronavirus, or Covid-19, that is making its way around the globe in 2020. This is a flu-like virus that originated in China and which causes respiratory symptoms, among others.

As of November 2, 2020, there is one antiviral medication used to treat this contagious virus although others are being tested: Remdesivir.  Like the flu, Covid-19 can be particularly dangerous to those with weak or compromised immune systems.  The majority of those who get this virus do recover from it, but it is more contagious and more deadly than the seasonal flu.

Scientists are yet unsure of the lasting damage.  Some people are reporting recovery periods of many weeks.  It is possible that even those who suffered from mild cases may have long-term damage to heart, lungs, and mental capacity, while those with serious symptoms may require acute care permanently. Since research has been ongoing for only a few short months, it is just too early to predict the long-term effects.  There is evidence, though, that even those who contracted the disease but remained asymptomatic, may have long-lasting effects on lung tissue.

In order to diagnose Covid-19, a doctor would take a sample of mucus or blood for testing.

Primary transmission of this virus is by droplets of fluid as a result of coughing or sneezing.  Therefore, shaking hands with someone who has it, or touching a contaminated surface and then your mouth, or being near someone who is ill and coughing, all can transmit the virus to you or from you to others.  If droplets remain in the air, breathing them in will infect you.

The incubation period for the virus appears to be 2-14 days.  You are at your most contagious when you are symptomatic, especially feverish. You are contagious when you are asymptomatic as well. Some countries are implementing thermal scanning as part of their health security measures, particularly at public transportation terminals.  If you are found to have a fever, you may be subjected to further tests and quarantine.

Some people have become sick with the virus even though they have no known connection to outbreak areas. Young, healthy people are not immune. It is wise, however, to be particularly cautious when you have traveled to places where presence of the virus is known.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

People are reporting a variety of symptoms that could be indicative of almost any cold or flu, as well as odd symptoms like loss of taste or smell.  Since one is contagious before any symptoms, it is important to follow all the CDC guidelines for helping to flatten the curve of this pandemic. Not all possible symptoms are listed below, as new ones keep appearing.

  • Bluish lips or face
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea (rare but possible)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Pneumonia (in acute cases)
  • Pressure in the chest
  • Purple or red lesions on the toes and hands
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting

PREVALENCE

Because this is a new strain of coronavirus, the statistics will change daily as new reports come in.  In other strains of coronaviruses, antibodies do not last long so you can catch them, and this, more than once.  One small study found that 60 percent of otherwise healthy individuals with a Covid-19 infection, did not afterward test positive for antibodies. Another later study shows more promising indications that immunity can last for a long time, but some people have already been infected twice and the second infections were worse than the first for them.

The statistics change drastically week by week and can be found easily in every major news source. Without contact tracing and widespread testing, statistics can be misleading. There may be far more cases, and even deaths, than have been tested or reported.

In the US, there have been over 10 million Covid-19 cases and over 250,000 deaths through November 2020.  For comparison, in the 2019-2020 influenza season, there were 38 million associated illnesses and 22,000 deaths. This is a disease that knows no “season,” or it is a season that runs from January through December. and it appears to be more deadly.

The patients most likely to die are the elderly with underlying health conditions, followed by the elderly with no other health challenges, but it has been shown to affect all ages with all levels of health, good or ill.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid smoke and smoking
  • Flu vaccination
  • Humidifier
  • Over-the-counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen
  • Rest
  • Remdesivir, an anti-viral medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Covid-19. One study reported that patients who received this drug recovered 31 percent more quickly than patients who did not receive it, cutting down hospital stays by a few days.  It was claimed that Donald Trump was treated with Remdesivir during his hospital stay for Covid-19. It has been associated with fewer deaths among severely ill Covid patients, in a small study. Availability is limited to severely ill patients at this time (10/2020).
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Follow the guidelines for social distancing and stay home when asked for all but the most pressing needs: doctor visits, groceries, buying medications.
  • Frequent hand washing for 20 seconds at a time with soap and water.  Some say hot water and others say cold water is fine for washing the germs down the drain.
  • At first, we were advised that face masks didn’t help unless you were sick and wanted to protect others. There weren’t enough masks for everyone so rather than saying that, they just told us not to wear masks so there would be enough for health care workers.  Many patterns and ideas for homemade masks are online. After early shortages, it’s usually easy to find them in stores or online.
  • Studies do show that the greatest benefit from wearing masks is when the Covid carrier is the one wearing the mask.  One study suggests that if you are wearing a mask but the Covid carrier is not, the probability that you will be infected is 70%.  That’s huge.  If the Covid carrier is wearing a mask but you are not, your probability of infection drops to 5%. If you are both wearing a mask, the contagion probability goes down to 1.5%.  If these figures are even close to accurate, the importance of wearing a mask cannot be overstated.  Not one of us knows on any given day whether or not we have become infected.  If you stay at home and NEVER go out or interact with ANYONE, then you are probably ok and since you don’t see anyone, won’t need to wear a mask.  Under any other circumstances, remember that you primarily are wearing a mask to protect others. You wash your hands to protect yourself and others and you distance from others also for both your sakes.

SELF TREATMENT

There is currently no known cure in traditional medicine. Many of the following primarily are suggestions for strengthening your immune system but some of the Alternative Therapies may be helpful treatments. Herbs can be powerful and it is wise to consult a physician when you are ill and ask for advice if you want to treat yourself with natural substances.  If you can find one, it’s always nice to have a physician who is open to complementary medicine and has some resources for helping you decide the best course.

Some Chinese hospitals are using herbal remedies along with more traditional medicines to treat patients. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3051009/coronavirus-do-herbal-remedies-work-and-could-they-help-stricken

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation.  To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat.

FOODS THAT MAY IMPROVE IMMUNITY OR PROMOTE HEALING

  • A variety of herbs and spices
  • Bone broth
  • Soft, bland foods while ill
  • Whole, living foods in a variety of colors

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid empty calories and load up on foods that provide a plethora of vitamins and minerals.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Fruit juice (too much sugar at once)
  • Grains
  • Greasy foods
  • Sugar

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Electrolyte fluids
  • Pure water
  • Tea made from the herbs listed below

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Honeysuckle
  • You will find a list of herbs here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32065348 that Chinese doctors are using but getting the right mixture may be difficult and as suggested elsewhere, an art rather than a science.
  • Astragalus
  • Basil
  • Black seed
  • Dandelion
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberries
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ginseng
  • Lemon balm
  • Licorice
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sambucol
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil  (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.  The following are considered anti-viral.  Review the post on Essential Oils for contraindications.

  • Bergamot
  • Cinnamon bark
  • Clove bud
  • Clove Nutmeg
  • Eucalyptus
  • Green sandalwood
  • Lemon
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon myrtle
  • Manuka
  • Niaouli
  • Red thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Thymol (a chemical in Thyme)

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Inhale steam to help relieve nasal congestion
  • Lauric acid (as in coconut milk and coconut oil) is used to treat viral infections but there are no studies to determine its effectiveness against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
  • https://qigong.com/product/anti-viral-survival-food-healing-and-lifestyle-optimization/: This is a 30-page ebook about combatting viruses through eating and lifestyle. This is not a recommendation; it is information.

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body.  Without it, you cannot survive for many days.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough?  There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients.  If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day.  Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed.  If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body.  Do what you can without making yourself feel worse.  Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies.  If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm.  Anxiety undermines health.  Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, nose.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough, dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill to protect others.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds.  Use alcohol-based sanitizer when hot water and soap are unavailable.
  • Wear a facemask when you are around others.
  • Quarantine yourself as much as possible if you suffer from the virus.

CAUTIONS

There is a great deal of misinformation on social media so be careful what you use and check with reliable sources along with consulting a doctor.  Don’t trust politicians who have zero medical training to guide you.

According to the Alliance for Natural Health, PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor) medications, or antacids/heartburn medications/acid blockers, can increase the risk for pneumonia. https://anh-usa.org/label-this/

If you do become ill with Covid-19, stay home except when medical care is necessary (call your doctor), isolate yourself from others and if you are around others, wear a mask. Practice careful hygiene and try not to share a bathroom with others.

NOTES:

Here is an interesting article about combining steroids with convalescent plasma (the plasma supposedly mitigates damage from the steroids) in Covid cases: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/what-icu-doctors-have-learned-about-covid-19-how-they-n1225801

 

 

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