Naturopathic Support For The 3 Phases Of COVID
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope your start to the year has been much more exciting than mine! Like much of Qld, our household got Covid as a late Chrissy surprise! Nice to have it over & done with now, but left no room for the holiday fun & festivities or the NY motivational kickstart! I woke up feeling unwell on the 31st Dec, after my ‘partying kids’ kindly brought the bug home with them after a Boxing Day / night out! We all had a pretty crappy couple of days - for the kids it was just fatigue with a mild fever, headache & sore eyes, with a very quick return to normal, but us older folks (42 & 47) had more discomfort & a longer wait until full recovery (2.5 days feeling really crappy with fatigue, body ache & fever, & then just some dragged-out fatigue / not much appetite for exercise until about day 12, then back to 100% over next few days. While everyone’s experience seems quite different, from zero sx to severe flu-like & worse, here’s the rundown for what was useful for us during the acute phase, & what I’m using now to support the recovery phase & ensure our bodies all get back to great health ASAP!
COVID - Naturopathic support for 3 phases:
Pre-Covid, Prevention / Preparation: No covid yet? This is what I would be taking / eating / doing!
- making sure my vitamin D levels were adequate (get plenty of sunshine & supplement if that’s not been happening).
- be exercising moderately (no huge sessions / don’t over-do it, just consistent, daily, moderate exercise)
- definitely no big nights out partying / drinking, you want to be well rested & with a happy healthy gut & liver
- taking CBD oil (make sure it’s low THC & high CBD - it’s not sold legally in Aus yet, but you can get it easily if you ‘know people’ or have a prescription. Nannas, ask your kids or grandkids to hook you up! And don’t worry, CBD is not going to make you high, it just has some very covid-relevant health benefits). A recent Canadian study, super interesting - CBD looks extremely promising: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987002/
- wholefood-based diet, as organic as you can afford, rich in pre & probiotics. Keep eating your high fermentable fibre foods, to support a diverse gut microbiome & healthy bowel. All of our goodMix products fit the bill here, easy options to keep your gut bugs well fed, maintaining that gut lining & pumping out anti-inflammatories!
- supplement with probiotics if you feel & function better on them normally, or if your gut has been feeling ‘out of whack’.
- eat your fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi etc). Aim for about 30 different plants in a day (herbs & spices are also counted!).
- supplementing with immune vitamins & minerals if your diet is lacking / absorption is poor (zinc, vit A, C, D, K).
- be meditating regularly & getting plenty of ‘rest & digest’ time (not being always in the stressy ‘fight or flight’ mode, scheduling time out for your nervous system, time for nurturing you). Your immune system needs this.
- getting great sleep, being disciplined & prioritising going to bed early / good sleep hygiene.
- preparing some healthy soups & easy to digest meals to defrost (some prepping while you feel good will be much appreciated if you fall sick!) Especially if you have young kids or other people to feed.
- have a list of movies you want to see / podcasts or audiobooks you’d like to listen too (nothing that requires concentration, go for light entertainment as you may feel a bit brain dead!)
Acute Phase Support - First Sign of Infection, if you feel any symptoms coming on or if you’re in close contact:
- lactobacillus & bifidobacterium probiotics to support gut fermentation & anti-inflammatory SCFA production (2 caps 2x daily)
- prebiotic rich, gut microbiome supporting diet
- CBD oil check dosage with supplier, it can vary but usually 1-2mL daily (note - must be low THC : high CBD variety))
- vitamin D (5000 iu am & pm, can go higher if known to be deficient)
- vitamin C (1000mg each hour til loose stool, then back dosage off but keep taking regularly, ie 4-6000mg daily)
- zinc (always with food in belly or can feel nauseous, 30mg am & pm) supports immune response, anti-viral, gut health / lining support
- quercetin (1000mg daily) blocks viral attachment to cells, helps zinc work, anti-inflammatory, inhibits clotting.
- homeopathic first aid remedies (arsenicum & Bryonia were 2 that came up in our house) 30c or 200c (if they fit your symptoms, may also look at others).
- NAC 600mg 2-3x doses daily (mix in with greens + aloe & some flavoured magnesium or vit C powder to make it taste palatable
- astaxanthin 12mg 2x daily
- resveretrol 250mg 2x daily
- curcumin 1000mg 2x daily (anti-inflammatory, antiviral)
- hand held massager (use regularly as required for sore spots / aches / discomfort / keeping circulation happening)
- hot showers / magnesium baths (as required for comfort & circulation / fever support)
- lie in the sun (only when you feel like it, do not get burnt)
- cool face washer if fever is high
- plenty of fluids, maybe have some alternatives to plain water to encourage more fluid (ie ice, ice blocks, kombucha / kefir / lemon or lime squeezed in sparkling water, fresh juices, herb teas etc)
- pre-prepared frozen dinners / soups etc (you will likely be hungry at times but definitely not in the mood to cook).
- only eat if your body really wants food, otherwise fasting is great when you are ill.
- gentle yoga (helps with body aches / circulation / long periods of lying in bed).
- guided meditations on You Tube, healing music / sound healing recordings.
- funny / feel good movies (romance, comedy - just to take your mind off your own misery - this time will pass, a movie is a great way to escape for a while & help it pass quicker!)
- self foot & hand massage - feels great & you can support the whole body via reflexology points, even better if someone else will do your feet!
Note on Long Covid: Many people have lingering Covid symptoms long after they have recovered from the initial acute infection. Fatigue, dry cough, fever, muscle pain, gut dysbiosis, depression, anxiety, chills & difficulty breathing are some of the main persistent symptoms, but it can vary greatly. MY STRONGEST SUGGESTION WOUD BE TO BOOK IN WITH A NATUROPATH / INTEGRATIVE GP TO WORK WITH YOU, IF THAT IS AT ALL POSSIBLE. YOU WANT TO TREAT THIS AS A WINDOW TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH - IT’S A GREAT TIME TO DO SOME WORK, AFTER THERE’S BEEN A BIT OF A ‘SHAKE UP’ TO YOUR SYSTEM! And if you really can’t do this - there are some very general tips below!
Recovery Phase / Long Covid prevention: Gut, inflammation, immune balance / mast cell / histamine response, nervous system support.
- keep following the gut health tips mentioned above. Eat the diet that you feel best on, stay away from anything you don’t tolerate well / anything you’re a bit reactive to. Listen to your body, we want to keep nourishing & supporting a diverse gut microbiome, a healthy gut lining & avoid inflammatory & immune triggers. Bone broth / collagen / pre & probiotics, polyphenols, intermittent fasting, good fats.
- omega 3 supplementation or focus in the diet.
- antioxidant & anti-inflammatory supplements
- when you feel like you can manage some exercise, definitely do some but DO NOT OVERDO IT. Start really slow & gentle ie a 10-15 minute walk, some gentle yoga postures, just ‘test the water’ with something that you feel like doing. Listen to your body here. Exercise is super beneficial for recovery, but start small & only do what feels right, when you are feeling like it. You likely won’t be back into your normal routine for a while, expect this, be patient with yourself. The recovery period might be very different for you - do not try to do the same as your partner / friend / kids / instagram personal trainers! Do what feels right for you, no hard pushing until fully recovered & feeling 100% back to normal.
- sleep, keep it right at the top of your priority list. If you are having trouble sleeping, meditate as this provides many of the same benefits (plus others). Take naps if you feel like it. Sleep in if you feel like it. Even just take opportunities to put your feet up & do some deep breathing / micro-meditation. Melatonin, magnesium or herbs like kava & passionflower may be useful to get to sleep.
- all the natural anti-oxidants, anti-ageing & anti-inflammatory supplements are relevant here (they’ll be good for you anyway).
Post Covid Supps…ask in your local healthfood store! It’s all about gut support, decreasing / normalising the inflammatory pathways, & nervous system support. So all the typical gut & antioxidant / anti-aging / anti-inflammatory supps are relevant here. Some of my faves below:
- CBD oil (decreasing inflammatory cytokines, regulating immune response, nervous system & sleep support)
- resveretrol (protecting heart & circulatory system, general antioxidant support)
- astaxanthin (protecting muscles / connective tissue, general antioxidant support)
- probiotics (gut microbiome & immune support, digestive support)
- ginger (anti-inflammatory, circulatory support)
- ashwaganda (nervous system, immune & adrenal support)
- NAC (antioxidant & anti-inflammatory support, infection & mucous resolution)
- Greens + Aloe powder (easy to digest nutrition, gut-immune-inflammatory regulation support)
- Blend11 (well tolerated diverse fermentable fibre for microbiome support, immune & inflammatory regulation).
Hope some of this comes in handy - love to hear about your experience with Covid, feel free to drop me an email anytime!