Whilst there is still much that is unknown regarding Long Covid, it is a condition that may become more prevalent, and it is suspected that as many as 10-30% of the population that had symptoms of the virus Covid-19 last year, may end up presenting with it.
It is defined as, people that had the virus who initially recovered but are reporting lasting effects of the infection, or who have had the symptoms, but for longer than expected.
Some of these symptoms include fatigue, breathlessness, headaches, muscle fatigue, hair loss, skin rashes or loss of taste and smell.
In extreme cases, this can lead on to a development of autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease, lupus, IBS, Fibromyalgia, mental illness, or histamine overproduction.
There is much research being done at this time to try and understand why this may be occurring, but many people remain untreated while this research is being concluded.
As a complementary therapist for over twenty years, I have frequently treated Post Viral syndrome in my patients, which is a condition similar to Long Covid, and arises when the virus affecting a person simply does not fully leave the body.
Over the months and years, the virus continues to wreak havoc in the body leaving a person with chronic fatigue, poor digestion, lowered immunity and often mental health issues such as low mood and anxiety.
Over the years, I have concluded that there are main areas to treat to help facilitate a full recovery.
These involve treatment in the following areas;
Step 1 – Anti-Viral
Treating with anti-viral herbs to kill off any remaining virus. In the case of Covid 19, which is similar to the SARS2 virus research has shown that the following herbs are of great benefit. OREGANO, HOLY BASIL, FENNEL, LEMONBALM, and LIQUORICE ROOT.
OREGANO – Origanum vulgate. Contains the active ingredient: CARVACROL which in studies has shown to reduce the activity of Murine Norovirus (MNR) within fifteen minutes of exposure to it.
HOLY BASIL – Ocimum tenuiforum (tulsi). Increases immunity which helps fight off viral infections. Studiesshow it increases the production of T-cells and Natural Killer cells which are our immune cells to fight off viruses.
FENNEL EXTRACT – Foeniculim vulgare. Exhibits strong anti-viral effects against Para influenza-type 3 (P1-3) which causes respiratory infections.
MELISSA OFFICINALIS -lemon balm. A potent source of essential oils and plant compounds that have antiviral properties. Research shows that it’s constituents have an antiviral affect against Arian influenza (bird flu) HIV-1 and Enterovirus.
GLYCRHHIZA GLABRA liquorice root. It has been specifically shown to target strains of viruses including Coronavirus (SARS COV) which cause pneumonia type symptoms:
It is also worth mentioning, aside from the chosen herbs I have outlined above, there are other highly beneficial herbs and substances that can be taken that will help to increase immunity. These include: Peppermint leaf, Cats claw, Echinacea, Ginseng’s, Ginger, Garlic, Black elder, Astragalus and Sage. Oregano oil is specifically indicated for pneumonia type viruses while vitamin C in strong doses is also beneficial i.e.: 1000mg (timed release) vitamin C, at least three times per day.
Step 2 – Reduction Of Inflammation
Reduction of inflammation which occurs due to the overactive immune response to the virus.
This inflammation will cause joint and muscle inflammation, headaches, gut problems (due to the inflammation of the Vagus nerve), and can progress to the autoimmune condition Fibromyalgia, ‘a rheumatic condition characterised by musculoskeletal pain with stiffness and localised tenderness at specific pounds of the body’ as described by the NHS.
Tips To Help
- Follow a low acid forming diet by introducing as many alkalising foods to the diet, such as fruit and vegetables, avoiding meat, wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol as much as possible.
- Go easy on grains and nuts as these leave an acid ‘ash’ in the body.
- Use products that include ‘super greens’, such as spiral ins, wheat grass, barley greens rich in chlorophyll in daily smoothies to alkalise the blood further.
- Use a good quality probiotic supplement such as OPTIBAC super strength to maximise gut biome to restore gut flora to regulate acid levels.
- Hydrate as much as possible with spring water to allow the kidneys to flush out the excess acidity via the urinary system.
Step 3 – Reduce Stress
Try to reduce stress wherever it is showing up!
Very often people are left feeling exhausted and with sleep disorders after viruses as NaD, (Nicotinimide adenine dinucleotide) is lessened in our body after an infection, which depletes vital nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and selenium in our systems.
Replace these vital vitamins and minerals with good quality supplements such as Solgar or Lamberts.
Liquorice root is a herb widely available in teas that can begin to replenish tired adrenal glands and help with inflammation. (Be careful with too much of this if you have high blood pressure).
There are plenty of herbal teas on the market that can help with sleep problems such as ones made by Pukka, Twinnings, Clipper and Dr Stuart’s.
Step 4 – Liver Care
Restore proper liver function as very often the virus affects the liver which in turn will affect the conversion of glucose from carbohydrates in our diet into our vital energy source Glycogen.
Energy, detoxification and hormones can all be affected by a sluggish liver. A good Milk thistle capsule daily for at least three months can help to restore liver function.
Step 5 – Check on your Mental health
Mental health can show up as brain fog, increased anxiety or depression, speech changes, and a good supplement to aid these symptoms is Co Enzyme Q10, which crosses the cell lining to the mitochondria of a cell where ATP is made. A quality supplement of at least 30mg daily is advisable.
Step 6 – Rest and Gently does it!
Overall lifestyle considerations such as rest is vital.
Only reintroduce daily exercise once the body is fully recovered, and then do it slowly and gently to prevent adrenal collapse.
Pace yourself very carefully keeping work and social stress to a minimum.
Get as much fresh air and sunshine as you possibly can.
Step 7 – Watch your Diet
By following a low acid diet, filed with alkalising foods, lean protein, and as little processed foods as you can is essential, and will help bring the body back to full recovery.
The way some of us have lived our lives have meant our body chemistry hasn’t been able to fully recover from the viruses such as long Covid. Naturopathy works with the understanding that the body has a unique capacity to heal itself given the right conditions. The steps I have outlined above will help anyone still reeling from the illness start to heal. My aim is to give the body the right environment to be able to do this. In my 7Weeks2Wellness course that is currently available now, I cover all the above steps and aim to restore my patients back to good health naturally.