Updated: Mar 21, 2020
News reporters are fairly a-twitter with the first presumptive COVID-19 case in Ramsey County. So it's likely here. And likely well beyond Ramsey County considering that Ramsey County includes the city of St. Paul with our state capitol - a hub for persons throughout the state and beyond.
I've put in many hours of research the past few weeks, reading different reports of how the virus seems to be manifesting itself and herbalists' best guess on how to deal with it. I set up a few google docs on several that I've found benefit from - if you are interested, just click away.
(I will likely keep adding to these documents as I research)
If you took time to look at those links, you may be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information and suggestions. I still hold to the view that what I need is likely growing around me. Of course, being an enthusiastic grower of medicinal herbs, I admittedly have a plentiful supply of herbs growing around me... as do you if you visit the you pick garden! Just sayin'!
Y'all know the basic, common sense precautions that everyone should take in respect to any influenza virus, including COVID-19 (hand washing etc) so I'm not going to rehash that. You're welcome.
But several people have asked me what I am planning on doing with what I know and what I have in my herbal arsenal. This is not to say I have this all figured out - not at all. But this is what I'm taking to my family today - getting together for a 7-year-old grandson's birthday. At a rollerskating rink. Lots of kids (and adults). All falling down. Together. Touching all sorts of surfaces - walls, floors, seats, counters, skates. And each other. And loving every moment with my grandkids.
Elderberry and Elderflower blend
I've often mentioned elderberry as being a fantastic and safe antiviral. I am now going to add elderflower to the mix. If you made a tincture of elderberry leaf, that would be good to add, too. (I will be adding that to my list of tinctures to make this summer).
I am giving my kids a tincture of equal parts elderberry and elderflower to take 5 drops, 3x/day.
Echinacea and Spilanthes blend
If you know me, you know my resistance to using echinacea in regard to active illness. If you are actively ill, ignore this section. If not, it might be useful to use echinacea for a week or so to increase the number of your white blood cells in the event you are exposed to COVID-19 (or another virus). (I just realized I haven't even written about it in my forum/herb by herb section. I'll try to get at that). In short, echinacea is not a cold/flu/respiratory system remedy. It is a lymphatic remedy, good for swollen glands and eruptive fevers like mumps and chicken pox. Taking it early on may increase white blood cells, so it's OK to take at the beginning, or threat, of a virus. But once one is actively sick, it mimics the cell wall of the invading virus, keeping the immune system on high alert, possibly preventing it from moving on to the next phases of healing.
And, if you know me, you know Spilanthes is one of my favorites! And I just realized I have never written about it in the forum area, either - I will do that even sooner than echinacea! Suffice it to say, at this point, it is a fabulous antiviral, antibacterial all-around herbal remedy. It is also very diffusive, which means it will help to keep everything moving, hopefully reducing the likelihood of viruses' effects to settle deep into one's lungs.
In addition, Echinacea and Spilanthes are synergistic, meaning they play well together, helping the other to help us better.
I am giving my kids a tincture of 2 parts spilanthes with 1 part echinacea to take 5 drops, 2x/day for a week or two, depending on how they are doing.
Note - Because COVID-19 does not seem to be impacting children much, I do not encourage giving the echinacea blend to children. Spilanthes on it's own would be OK, though, if they have been exposed or getting sick. Otherwise, just the elderberry/elderflower blend for the kiddos.
Other herbs I am making sure my kids have on hand - just in case anyone gets sick - I'll share more about each remedy later.
Boneset, Dandelion root, Elecampane, Hyssop, Horehound, Licorice, Lobelia inflata, Mullein leaf, Pleurisy Root, Red Root, Sage/Dan Shen/Salvia miltiorrhiza, Yarrow, Yellow Dock.
Include Star Anise in teas and other beverages, even baked items, pancakes, whatever...
Use your fire cider regularly (I have no more fire cider available for purchase).
Mountain Rose does have a recipe for a "Speedy" version of fire cider.
Make some garlic onion honey syrup - delicious preventative even if you don't get sick!
Do an online search for a plethora of other tips, supplement ideas, whatever!
Please please comment below and share any tips you may have. Or with any questions, of course.
Please keep in mind that none of the ideas I share are guaranteed to prevent anyone from catching COVID-19 or any other illness. My hope is that, if you or if anyone in my family gets sick, that it might be less severe and easily dealt with. I have no medical training, but am fascinated by what plants have to offer us.
And a bit of happy news - the weather! Get outside and enjoy our warmer temps and sun this weekend! Always a good thing!