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We’ve been hearing a lot of the same info getting spread around about COVID-19 in regards to washing hands, sneezing in elbows, avoiding large gatherings and staying home when sick. This is all important information, but what else can we do to support our bodies in this turbulent time?

While we don’t yet know how to cure this respiratory virus, we can look at herbal treatments for similar ailments such as influenza. This helps us to form a game plan for COVID-19. We can also look at the effects this virus has on the body and strengthen those specific systems, specifically the immune and respiratory systems. We also want to support the nervous system which is indirectly affected because of stress and anxiety.

COVID-19 Herbal Allies

First we’ll look at the different categories of herbs to target our vulnerable areas.

Antivirals

These are the main herbs we use to fight off a virus.

  • Garlic
  • Barberry
  • Yarrow
  • Osha
  • Pine
  • Oregon Graperoot

Immune Tonics

Keep your immune system strong by taking teas or tinctures of these herbs regularly. *Those that have autoimmune disorders may have negative reactions to some of the herbs listed. Just be sure to monitor yourself closely if you have such a condition.*

Respiratory Support for COVID-19

The herbs listed here will help to control coughing and bring up phlegm. These plants are only necessary if you do get sick.

  • Coltsfoot (controls cough)
  • Elecampane (lung support)
  • Garlic (respiratory antibacterial and antiviral)
  • Horehound (expels phlegm)
  • Mullein (respiratory anti-inflammatory and expels phlegm)
  • Thyme (respiratory antiviral and controls cough)

Stress and Anxiety

Not only will these herbs help with frazzled nerves in these stressful times of COVID-19, but they also help us to fall asleep if we do get sick.

Supportive Remedies

These herbs can be used in many ways to prepare our bodies against any attack and to treat it in the event we do get sick.

  • Fire Cider
  • Immunity Tea (equal parts reishi, turkey tail, and marshmallow root): use 1.25 oz herb in one quart of water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drink 5 oz of tea every few hours.
  • Forest Forager’s Antiviral Tea (2 parts pine, 2 parts Fomes fomentarius aka the iceman conk, 1 part wintergreen): use 1.25 oz herb in one quart of water. Simmer Fomes fomentarius alone for 30 minutes. Add pine and wintergreen and simmer for another 7 minutes.
  • DIY Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Garlic Honey: Add minced raw garlic to taste to a pint of honey then cover and let infuse for two weeks. Once it is finished infusing, add to your teas for an extra health boost.

Once your medicine cabinets are full and you’ve prepared to the best of your abilities, know that this will pass. The hysteria is real, but that doesn’t mean we need to let it consume us. We can bare witness to it, but always remember we have the earth to fall back on. The geese will return from their winter flight. The leaves will unfurl and bring abundance and medicine. And the soil will always be there to dig our toes into so that we may draw its strength.

 

Strengthen Immunity Collection

Val Elkhorn

Val Elkhorn is an herbalist and forest farmer living in northern Michigan. She runs a small herb business that specializes in digestive bitters called Woodspell Apothecary. Exploring how the magic of creativity can assist us in becoming better stewards of the land and our bodies is what she is most passionate about (besides her two calico cats and Stevie Nicks of course). You can learn more about her and her business at www.woodspells.com.

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