Okay, now on to the herbs!
This is part two of a three part series covering holistic health solutions for Covid-19. Part one is about how important it is to keep stress and worry at bay in order to not sabotage your immune system. We also covered the basic tenants of a healthy diet. Part three covers the most important nutrient supplements that you can bolster yourself (and your children) with. Here in part two we talk about the different classes of herbs as well as specific herbs that you can add into your diet either in supplement form or as teas, tinctures, capsules, infusions, or even in soups.
The first class of herbs that I think everyone should be aware of especially during these time are called nervines. Whenever your fight/flight system is turned on it enables us to get out of danger quickly, but always at a cost. It beats up the gut before going through the arduous and expensive process of being broken down by the liver and excreted. Nervine herbs help the body and mind to relax more easily through their direct action on the central nervous system, which allows those ever-ready stress hormones to not be so easily triggered and therefore taxing on the body's resources when decommissioning the complex stress hormones. Some good nervine herbs are: skullcap, passionflower, hops, chamomile, and motherwort.
This class of herbs helps us to balance and restore the body, helping to protect and normalize our physiological functions. These herbs also increase our stress tolerance. There are some similarities between many adaptogens and nervines and they make a great pair, but generally speaking adaptogens both inhibit the release of chronic stress hormones as well as nourishing the body to help it rebuild from the depletion of nutrients caused by stress. Some good adaptogens are: astragalus, reishi mushrooms (also immuno-modulating), eleuthero, ginseng, licorice and holy basil.
An anti-microbial herb is a general classification referring to herbal properties that kill off viruses, bacteria, and fungus, or have some inhibitory action on all classes of microbes. Ideally these will not be used alone, rather with other herbs that support you in a wholistic way. One of the best anti-viral herbs is elderberry, most commonly taken as elderberry syrup. Elderberry recognizes the viruses and tags them for the immune system and it inhibits the virus from entering into our cells. Additionally it is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants that work as super-nutrition for the immune system. The great thing about elderberry is that it is also a nutritive and a tonic so it is nourishing for the body at the same time.
Olive leaf, thyme, St. Johns Wort, and Andrographis are also good antiviral herbs to have on hand. Believe it or not licorice has some protective antiviral qualities as well! (though I don't think that licorice candy qualifies 🙂
Turkey Tail mushrooms are one of the best anti-virals for protecting the liver and the lungs. They are also immunomodulatory and help to either stimulate or modulate the immune system's response. Actually, medicinal mushrooms are functional foods and can be used everyday so support a full spectrum of bodily systems and needs. Many common mushrooms act as pre-biotics and increase the activity and effectiveness of natural killer cells and macrophages in the body.
Osha root is one of the best and strongest anti-viral herbs out there. It is anti-pathogenic, opens up the lungs, and can be very effective at reducing viral overload in the body.
We have these herbs in stock in the form of raw herbs, teas, and tinctures as well as some products (like the medicinal mushrooms) that come in capsules. Call us up or send an email if you would like to talk about what the best options for you may be. We can also mail them out if you aren't near our store.
We also have ReCover - a formula created by the Herbal Medic, Sam Coffman. This formula works really well at the preventative stage of any upper respiratory illness but was specifically formulated for use in the early stages of Covid19. We still have a few bottles in stock ($15/oz) - you can order by calling 512-523-5711
I want to be clear that we are not trying to use herbs to simply or magically erase symptoms but instead use them as our partners and allies in health. Herbs can provide a helping hand as our bodies "dance" with the healing process.
Also, I am not claiming that any single herb is effective at stopping the Coronavirus. Instead, it is by nourishing our own immune systems and practicing the other health strategies outlined in part one that we will have the best chance at seeing beneficial results from using herbs.
In part three you will find great nutrient supplements (such as zinc, quercetin, vitamin c, etc) to enable a strong and robust immune system.
We have many different herbs available in our Buda herb shop so feel free to contact us with questions or come by. Additionally, this link will take you to our nutritional supplement recommendations protocol and this link will take you to our herbal recommendations in the online dispensary. You will also be able to shop for thousands of other professional grade supplements while you are there.