Category Archives: COVID-19

image of pathogen

Self-Care During the Age of COVID-19

During this time of quarantine and social distancing, it is easy to get caught up in the horrifying statistics on the news or the daily stories of friends or loved ones who are vulnerable. That’s why, more than ever before, we all need to practice a little self-care… every single day. This can help our mental and emotional state as well as refresh us enough to continue what we are doing at home to prevent the spread of this virus. 

We often hear the words “self-care,” but not a lot of us practice this or even know exactly what to do to care for ourselves in a way that can rejuvenate or replenish. Today’s blog will explore a few simple things you can do to take care of yourself so you can continue on with work, caring for your children, and doing what each of us needs to do. 

What Is Self-Care? 

According to PsychCentral, self-care is, “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”

Self-care should not be something we force ourselves to do, but rather to refuel ourselves to handle what life can throw at us. 

Where To Start With Self-Care

For some people who are “going” constantly, it may be hard to recognize things that can help us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our suggestion is to start small. If during this pandemic you find yourself juggling working remotely, caring for children or elders, and still trying to maintain your sanity, it is a good idea to carve out a small amount of time when you can plan your self-care. 

Ask yourself some simple questions: 

  • What brings you joy? 
  • What calms you? 
  • What feeds your body and spirit? 

Start with spending some time alone to determine how you can care for yourself. Create a list of things that will help you stay refreshed, mentally focused, and strong in spirit. 

Self-Care Opportunities 

Everyone is different, so self-care options should look a little different for each person. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • If you feel the panic rising, take a breath, and then another one and then another one. Do this until you can feel your heart rate lowering and your mind settling. 
  • Take 5 minute meditation breaks several times through the day – close your eyes and listen to the sound of your breathing in and then out slowly. There are some great meditation apps that can help you do this. 
  • Take a 10 minute walk around the block, in your yard or in nature. Avoid contact with others and take the time to listen, smell, and see nature all around you.
  • Remember to hydrate with electrolytes. Drink water to keep your body functioning well and purify your organis. 
  • Limit news input. Turn the news on for 10 minutes three times a day. Do not leave it on for the entire day – this will cause stress and panic.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and try to stay away from the comfort foods high in sugar that weaken your immune system. 
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep so turn off the news and remember good sleep hygiene.

Here at Angel Healing Group, we recommend self-care to maintain a healthy attitude and mental state, as well as keep your body functioning well. If you have questions or comments on your own self-care routine, contact us or check out our website for more helpful ideas or testimonials

coronavirus and a woman with mask on

The Potential Role of Herbs in the Age of COVID-19

As we enter the first critical weeks of dealing with the novel Coronavirus in the United States, it seems like a good time to examine what our holistic health community can do and how the herbs we study can help in this pandemic. 

What is Covid-19? 

COVID-19, as it is referred to by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) is a respiratory virus that can spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets passed when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It’s also possible to transmit the virus by touching the surface of an object that has the virus on it and then touching your face, mouth, nose or eyes. The virus is believed to spread between people who are in close contact, meaning 6 feet or closer. 

Symptoms and Impact on Lungs 

Initial research on this new virus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019 showed that symptoms include: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. The vast majority of people who contract the Coronavirus will only experience mild symptoms and will recover completely without needing medical intervention or specialist care. Unfortunately, for about one-in-six people, once the virus has entered the system, it can begin to ravage the lungs. 

For those experiencing severe respiratory syndrome, the symptoms can be critical and somewhat alarming.  Almost all the more severe cases include pneumonia-like symptoms including: inability to breathe on own, need for intubation, and artificial breathing mechanisms. 

Both the lower and upper respiratory tract are extremely susceptible to becoming injured and/or compromised due to this virus. These tracts can then become inflamed and irritated. If they become infected they respond by pouring out inflammatory material into the air sacs that are at the bottom of our lungs. This can lead to pneumonia and potentially not enough oxygen in the bloodstream. 

Treatment and Holistic Care Options 

Respiratory specialists and epidemiologists have been supporting patients with supportive treatments such as ventilators and intensive care measures. These steps are in the hope of maintaining high oxygen levels until their lungs are able to function in a normal way again as they recover.

In our holistic industry, we want to recognize that there are herbs that can also aid in the protecting and healing the tissue of the lungs. 

Research supports the use of dietary supplements that can maintain immune system health. While there are no current clinical studies that show that these supplements can prevent the novel Coronavirus, there are a number of herbs that show in vitro viral activity against some forms of coronaviruses. Three that we would like to examine briefly include: Elderberry, Oregano Oil, and Salvia Miltorhiza. 

Elderberry

Elderberry, the dark purple berry from the European Elder tree, is a good pre-treatment tonic. The naturally occurring mucopolysaccharides coat cells and discourage viral adhesion. However, if viruses do stick, enter cells, and replicate then the ensuing types of inflammation must be modulated. 

Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil is known for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. According to a Holistic Primary Care article, Oregano OIl has shown to inhibit the H1N1 and HSV viruses in the past. Oregano Oil can inhibit proliferation of Coronavirus and reduce viral titers. The research completed in 2003 as a preliminary in vitro experiment was in early stage basic research started long before this pandemic. It would need to be trialed on actual humans before drawing any firm conclusions about its efficacy. (Holistic Primary Care Vol. 21 No. 1) 

Salvia Miltiorrhiza

Salvia Miltiorrhiza is also referred to as Asia Red Sage. It is the root of the Asian herb Salvia miltiorrhizae (sometimes called “Red Salvia”) is a “blood vitalizing” herb now used widely in Asia to improve and support blood circulation. Red Sage outperforms many herbs in that it helps to manage lung fibrosing that occurs with this type and other respiratory viruses. Although more commonly used in heart and cardiovascular supportive formulas, this herb can be added along with lung herbs to support blood flow to the lungs and reduce possible fibrosing.

There are formulas used in Oriental Herbalism and Western Herbalism that support the lungs and bronchioles such as Yin Chiao, Gan Mao Ling, Eupatorium, Pleurisy root and English Ivy Extract. Always contact your local clinical herbalist for more specific applications of herbs and herbals formulas for your personalized needs. Not all herbs are applicable to every person even with the same presenting symptoms.

For further reading on the use of herbs in the face of viruses, we encourage you to read the 2013 book, Herbal Antivirals by herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner. He goes into great depth about the mechanisms by which viruses attach to and infect human cells. 




COVID-19

An Update on the Coronavirus or COVID-19.

Unless you are living off the grid and are happily blissful about the happenings in the world, you have heard the news and startling statistics of the spread and consequences of the novel Coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19. 

In writing about epidemics, pandemics, and this uniquely deadly current virus, it is important to always put forth the latest and most accurate information for readers, most especially our clients who are looking for direction. 

As a graduate and current faculty member at East West School of Planetary Herbology

As well as a proud alumni of New England School of Homeopathy, I put my trust in learning from the researchers and experts in our field. Here is a quick update to keep you knowledgeable and aware of the current state of the virus and the spread of this unprecedented pandemic. 

What is the Coronavirus or COVID-19? 

The novel or new Coronavirus was first identified in the Wuhan province of China late in 2019. While genetic analysis is still underway as to the origin of this particular virus, it is believed to have been initially transmitted from animal to human. 

According to the New England School of Homeopathy, “Historically, SARS, another coronavirus, originated with civet cats. MERS, which also impacted humans, arose from camels. There has also been noted person to person spread of these various Coronaviruses.” 

hand washing

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19? 

The spring is a time of changing temperatures, emerging allergens, and the flu season. Unfortunately, some of the same symptoms that are associated with these  viruses are also symptoms of the COVID-19. That means, try not to panic and listen to your body when it comes to what specific symptoms you may have.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, symptoms of this severe respiratory illness can include: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after initial exposure to the virus. 

Emergency warning signs of respiratory distress can also include: persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face. 

What Can I Do To Prevent the Spread? 

Some of the simple steps you can do in your own home include: washing your hands, sneezing into your elbow (rather than hands), staying home from school or work as necessary (particularly if experiencing lowered immunity), wear a mask, and follow other cold/flu prevention methods. 

The state and federal government are currently instituting quarantine protocols to slow the spread of the virus. We must do our part to help keep our bodies healthy and the healthcare system functioning. 

The influenza division of Herscu Laboratoryunder the leadership of Paul Herscu, ND, MPH, also suggests: 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when handwashing is not possible.
  • Limit handling doorknobs and other public surfaces without gloves. If in the midst of a severe epidemic, consider using gloves whenever outside to limit contact. Wash gloves daily. 
  • Avoid people who are sick.
woman with a mask on

What If I Get the Virus? 

Currently, there are natural medicines and other approaches that can foster enhanced immunity while helping to create and maintain healthy mucous membrane tissue, essential for fending off germs:

  • Research has shown there are botanical medicines known to help prevent flu including licorice root, North American ginseng, elderberry, echinacea, and garlic.  
  • Likewise, nutritional supplements can be taken to help insure optimal immune system function. These include: zinc, selenium, vitamin C, probiotics, and seaweed extract. 
  • Use a humidifier as higher air humidity reduces virus survival for other viruses and may well decrease transmission here. 

Continue to hydrate properly, utilizing sugar free electrolyte powders (my favorite is Bioplasma Sport) in 16 oz of water and talk to our practitioners about specific methods that may help alleviate the symptoms and strengthen your immune response.