Here are some Wild herbal thoughts on covid19 – Coronavirus
Prevention & protection
Limit refined and processed foods, sugar and stress, as always but especially because it depletes the immune system!
Eat loads of berries and wild foods, get outside and exercise, and sleep as much as possible.
All mushrooms are immunomodulating – eat as many as possible!
Especially of the kinds like reishi (usually as a powder added to foods because it’s BITTER) and cordyceps, shiitake, maitake, but all have the supportive beta-glucans because it’s a component of their cell walls. And all mushrooms have to fight viruses and other microbes themselves so they are rather adept at the multiple layers of defence thing.
Wild garlic – amazing antimicrobial, general vitality booster. Covid gets into the body via the same route as HIV, through a receptor in the lungs, and the volatile compounds in garlic that does the infection control are excreted through the lungs – hence garlic breath – so it’s a good way to ensure the right tissues are getting exposed.
Nettle – nourishes the blood, builds up the defences and is delicious.
The stages of the Coronavirus infection – Early
Viruses are amazing. Most plants have some degree of antiviral activity because they need to fight their DNA being manipulated. Plants have really crafty ways just as much as we do, and they have more (humans actually have none) secondary metabolism pathways to work with.
SARS covid-2 has its own unique strategy, and the following herbs help block its attachment with that receptor in the lungs
- Horse chestnut
- Cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum)
- Japanese knotweed (A herbalist called stephen harrod buhner is a real advocate for invasive plants and has done lots of work with Japanese Knotweed, it’s also used to help with symptoms for the virus that causes lyme disease, this is more for interest sake because it is potent and difficult to get extracts in this country commercially made.)
- Baical skullcap (scutellaria baicalensis)
- Elder – buhner says that the leaves are the most antiviral, although they can make some people vomit. the flowers are really fine. a classic mixture for flu and fevers is elderflower, yarrow and peppermint, and this would be a great thing to encourage people to forage and take
- Hawthorn flowers, when they come out, have been shown to increase the number of receptors in the lungs that covid targets, so this is a nice protective herb to add to a tea.
Once infected by Covid19
One of the problems with this virus is that it can cause a “cytokine storm” which can really debilitate and take people down. So immunostimulating herbs is not necessarily what you want, but rather to work on combating infection and modulating immune responses.
Berberine containing plants – Oregon grape and barberry – are great options here. When the berries of Oregon grape come out they can be made into jellies and have loads of protective, antioxidant properties, and the bright yellow bark of these plants contains the antimicrobial berberines.
Prunella Vulgaris, or self-heal, is going to start peaking out soon and this is a great one.
baical skullcap again
Licorice – highly antiviral, soothing, familiar, adaptogenic.
Supporting the lymphatic systemin infections of any sort, you want to protect the lymph vessels, nodes and cells. few herbs do that better than cleavers, which are out in all of their springtime glory. Cold teas – just leaves steeped in water for a few hours – are lovely and refreshing, or hot tea works well too. drink as much as you like.
Basically any other wild food is going to have protective properties. get as many culinary herbs into food as possible – the aromatics (your standard thyme, rosemary, oregano) are super antimicrobial.
keep vitamin C high.
if near the coast, eat seaweeds! the red ones particularly are antiviral so think types of Dulse Seaweed. Only eat these if you have no thyroid issues.
These are our thoughts on dealing with Coronavirus through wild and foraged ingredients however we advise you do your own research also 🙂