Thoughts on CoViD-19 – It’s Complicated 

CoronaVirus Disease-2019 (CoViD-19) is a new virus, so humans have no built-up immunity (adapted from previous exposure) and very little experience with treating it successfully at any stage.  There are no documented successful herbal remedies in the U.S. to date, our Intention here is to share the ongoing conversation within the larger herbal community regarding the characteristics of the disease, biochemistry involved, and thoughts on reducing infection and complications in order to continue to be supportive of our community during these trying times.  This is a condensed list of highlights only, there is much more information available from the CDC on recommended practices for prevention and containment.  No information provided here is stated in any way to advise, substitute for or constitute medical advice.

CoViD-19 is significantly more contagious than influenza and has a long incubation period (10-14 days) so someone can be a carrier without even knowing it. 80% of people infected with COVID-19 experience very mild to no symptoms at all (some people didn’t even have fever), so it is possible that the infection rate is much higher than reported. Complications are primarily in the lower respiratory tract, it can result in pneumonia, so the elderly and those with pre-existing health problems that affect their lungs are at highest risk. 

Prevention
It appears to be mainly spread through body fluids (coughing, sneezing, as well as other bodily excretions), so “social distancing” (staying 6 feet away from other people), as well as proper hygiene: frequent prolonged hand washing, sanitizing surfaces, and avoiding touching your face are all good practices. Self-quarantine at home, if possible. Unless under the direction of your doctor, avoid taking aspirin or NSAIDS (ibuprofen), as these may increase the risk of infection. Stop smoking or vaping. 
Hydration is critically important, drink half your body weight in ounces daily of water and drinking nourishing herbal teas, e.g. “Daily Nourish”, “Every Woman’s Tea”, “Oh, Momma” pregnancy and breastfeeding tea, "Hibiscus Green Tea," high in antioxidants, or teas and tinctures to help you be at your best, e.g. "Liver Cleanse", "Love Your Liver", "Gut Health", "Kidney Tonic" and more....check out our products page.

FOOD AS MEDICINE:  Correct any nutritional deficiencies that exist. The best foods to eat to build health are those which are warm, light (not too heavy), and spicy (“Healthy Spice Blends”). Eat lots of garlic, onion, leafy greens, yellow-orange-red veggies, bone broth, oatmeal, and soups, and Quercitin-rich foods (apples, berries, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, capers, grapes, onions, shallots, tea, and tomatoes). Eliminate sugar (<50 gr/day), alcohol and caffeine, and dairy; decrease carbs (except if malnourished). Eat probiotic foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt) and prebiotics/resistant starches (e.g. cooked and cooled rice).

Natural organic skin care helps keep our outer protective layer healthy, to prevent invasion of pathogens (see our Earth & Herb "ReNu Skin" and "Nourish Me" moisturizers). 

Nasya (herbal infused oils*) applied to the inside of nasal passages can help to support mucous in preventing infection. Herbal steams* can achieve deeper penetration of anti-viral herbs into the lungs.
Stress shuts down our immune system MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, so our herbal tea "Relaxation in a Cup" can help you "stay-cation" or tinctures that increase your resilience to stress (e.g."Stress & Anxiety", "Adrenal Support", and "Holy Basil") can be used to help manage stress, as can meditation, exercise, and time in nature.  Take a walk, wave at your neighbors.
"Sleep debt"
(prolonged deficient sleep cycles) is very detrimental to immune function, as well as our general health, as our body repairs itself during deep sleep, so herbs (tincture "Sleepy Time" or tea "Relaxation in a Cup") can be helpful to make sure you are getting good quality rest.  

SUPPLEMENTS: Vitamin D status may be important for enhanced immunity at first infection, to reduce inflammation in critical care, and reduce complications and death.  D3 is the preferred form and it is best taken daily. Recommended daily supplements: vitamin A (25,000 IU daily but not with liver disease), vitamin B complex (50 mg daily), vitamin C (500 mg daily), vitamin D3 (25,000 IU daily for one month if deficient, then 4,000-7,000 IU daily), vitamin E (100-400 IU daily), zinc (50 mg daily), Selenium (25 mcg daily), Omega 3 (2,000-3,000 mg daily combined EPA/DHA).  
HERBAL SUPPORT:  Immune Tonics: Medicinal mushrooms have extensive research on support of healthy immune function, as do a few medicinal herbs.  Our “Immune Balance Tea” is a combination of these.  It must be simmered at least 4 hours (longer is better) and can be drank as a broth, it blends well with other herbal teas, or it can be frozen in ice cube trays and used as a soup stock.  “Reishi Immune Tonic” and “Fire Cider” also support healthy immune function. Smudging (white sage) cleanses the air; "Smudge showers" (smudging yourself after taking a hot steamy shower or sauna) may destroy the respiratory virus as well. 
Elderberry Syrup” and antiviral formulas “Anti-Viral", "Sniffles” and “Extra Echinacea Immune Tonic” are immune stimulants and may limit viral incursion into cells, theoretically impacting likelihood of first infection, so best as preventative and should be replaced by more targeted formulas in the event that infection has set in. 

Infection?

Monitor "normal" body temperature ranges: first, there is no "normal" body temperature, it ranges from 91.8-100.8 F.  It should be taken daily at first rising from bed in the morning (it will be it's lowest) and then again, between 4-6pm (it will be it's "normal" highest).  Digital thermometers are very inaccurate, usually takes more than one try to register the correct temperature, so repeat every time you take it until you get two consistent readings. "Low-grade fever" (a rise in temp by 0.5 F) is the most common presentation with CoViD-19, and the fever is typically intermittent, meaning it can appear one day and not the next, and so on. Exercise raises body temp, as does a hot bath, both of which increase our immune response (and move lymph to clear toxins), so stay active as long as your base readings are normal. A temperature above 98 may indicate fever in the elderly. Do not do anything to suppress fever, it is part of our body's defense against the virus. 

Once infection is suspected, herbal formulas should be modified and adapted to fit each stage of infection progression.
Early symptoms: headache, fatigue, low grade fever, dry cough,and any difficulty breathing: seek medical evaluation ASAP.  

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SELF-CARE AT HOME once symptoms are present.  CALL-IN to doctor or ER (do not go into office without an appointment).   
FOR THOSE INSTRUCTED TO QUARANTINE AT HOME:
Continued hydration is important (half your body weight in ounces daily in water and herbal teas, but tea formulas should be focused on current stage of infection and symptoms).  Continue to support good sleep and manage stress. 

Avoiding heavy and congesting foods, but actively eating foods and beverages to warm and stimulate the body, such as fresh ginger root tea. 
For most people, infection is limited to upper respiratory, causing symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, and sore throat, often accompanied by some degree of bodily fever, body ache, and sometimes a dry cough.  About one-third experience diarrhea and/or loss of smell.  Begin supplementing zinc (50-100mg/day; if over 50mg, also supplement 2 mg of copper).

Early onset supportive herbs (blends for immune boost* and to assistfever* can help support our body’s own natural healing abilities.  It's important that you DO NOT suppress the fever with NSAIDs or Acetaminophen, but there are herbs that can help open the pores of your skin to provide some relief. 

"Throat Spray" and "Cold & Flu Tea" can help with other symptoms.
If you develop hot, dry lung conditions, as it descends into your chest, causing a cough, then we need to alter our strategy, adding in herbal expectorants* and cough remedies*.  Employ antibacterial herbs* to assist your body in dealing with secondary infections and even stronger formulas for lung support*.
In immunocompromised people, elderly, and those where the infection progresses to pneumonia, the disease can even be fatal. Most cases of pneumonia are a form of auto-infection, meaning infection caused by inhaling (aspirating) our own infected nasal secretions.  Good oral hygiene practices and a combination of nasal and inhalant therapies should be employed.  Nasya (herbal infused oils*) applied to the inside of nasal passages can help to inhibit this progression of the disease.

Herbal steams*, essential oil aromatherapy with the use of steam diffusers and humidifiers are also helpful. Herbal formulas for lung support* and to assist fever* should be continued.  

If signs of pneumonia present, call your doctor or ER for instruction on seeking medical help. 
If you have been told to go to the hospital, do not carry any herbal therapies with you.
Returning from the hospital? General support with nutritive, restorative herbs (nourishing herbal teas listed above and “Immune Balance Tea”), sore throat support (“Throat Spray”), and respiratory restorative herbs*.  It has been reported that reinfection is possible, so refer to Prevention recommendations.

*these formulas are currently in production and by special order only.  Please send an inquiry through "Contact Us" on this website for information on availability. Other products (in bold print) are currently available (while supplies last) through the website.  We reserve the right to limit quantities.


All information provided for educational purposes only.  Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness or disease.

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Miki Cook,

Functional Herbalist

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MARKET STATUS UPDATE:  We feel like the last two weeks of March, 2020 mark a critical time for spread of the coronavirus.  Current tracking indicates the number of people infected doubles every six days and, at regular exposure rates, this pandemic will overwhelm our medical facilities capabilities to care and treat those infected, as has already been seen in other countries affected. 


WAITING OUT THE STORM: The ONLY way to abate this is for all of us to limit our exposure, so we are encouraging everyone to stay home as much as possible. Note that it can take up to two weeks before symptoms occur after the initial infection, and yet you can still be contagious and transmit the disease to others.  Wise advice is for as many people as possible to self-quarantine for that incubation period, which will allow those already infected to be identified and protect others from their spreading the virus.


We highly encourage our customers and clients to support our local farmers and continue to eat locally grown, organic, fresh  and in-season produce and grass-fed meats. We are adjusting to how we can continue to support our local Austin, Bee Cave and Dripping Springs communities during this period. For local orders feel free to email us at MedicineWomanHerbs@gmail.com and we can arrange pick up or delivery.  ​We will continue to fill and ship orders from this website for our extended area customers as long as we have the ability to do so.  For all customers, we reserve the right to limit order quantities.


PLEASE READ ARTICLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE, SHARING THOUGHTS FROM THE HERBAL COMMUNITY ON THE CORONAVIRUS CoViD-19 

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