Don’t panic. Be smart. Stay vigilant.
If you’re walking around with a pervasive feeling of concern or fear about COVID-19, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to review the tips I’m sharing today for protecting your health and the health of your loved ones. I haven’t seen many of these recommendations promoted by the media, government officials, and the dozens of blogs now streaming into my inbox.
Please understand, I am not hitting the panic button. Although there is legitimate cause for concern about the coronavirus, there are many ways to boost your immune system—including the way you manage your food and your use of effective botanical medicines.
Do follow all the CDC guidelines and stay current with their updates. Following these disciplines is the smart thing to do, and the simple act of doing so will help you stay centered. You can’t be too vigilant about washing hands thoroughly and often. Be intelligent about social distancing. Beyond this, we all need to eat, and since that’s my passion, let me add my two cents about how to stay safe when it comes to food.
Food Tips for the Pandemic …
1. When you do have to go grocery shopping, consider wearing exam gloves while in the store. The experts say to take them off immediately before entering your home and dispose of them.
2. Eat mung soup at least once—if not several times—a week! OK, this is not news to my readers! However, it’s still one of the smartest things you can do. It detoxifies the colon, liver, kidneys, and lymph system, which will help keep your body strong to fight off viruses. Having a collection of dried dals, lentils, and beans will come in handy over the coming weeks. You’ll never go hungry as long as you have these in your cupboard along with some rice, quinoa, and millet.
3. Eat lots of fresh, cooked organic vegetables, especially carrots, asparagus, zucchini, and cooked greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and collards. These foods strengthen your immune system and help detoxify the body. They’re also more readily available in grocery stores than packaged foods such as legumes and pasta.
4. Use fresh herbs and dried spices to boost your immunity. Basil, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro all have proven antiviral qualities. The same is true of turmeric, garlic, and ginger. Did you know that cardamom liquifies mucus and acts as a natural expectorant? Use these spices daily in your cooking to increase immunity and check symptoms. Enjoy this Healthline Blog about the studies associated with these antivirals found in nature. Need a few recipes? There are plenty here on the Sacred & Delicious Blog.
5. Early research has shown that COVID-19 may respond to heat, so some experts are suggesting that you avoid cold drinks and embrace hot drinks over the next several weeks. See the first home remedy recipe below.
6. During this pandemic, I suggest that you avoid raw vegetables. If someone coughed nearby or picked up that bunch of asparagus and put it back down, you could be exposed to a virus. Cooking is likely to kill the bugs.
7. My one exception to avoiding raw food is the used of bagged celery for juicing. (Costco has excellent quality organic celery in bags.) I was experiencing chronic swollen glands and sore throats for several years, even after we resolved a hidden mold problem in our home. Once I boosted my immune system by drinking celery juice four to five times a week, those chronic symptoms vanished.
8. Avoid salad bars and hot food bars. If at all possible, it’s best to cook your own food, since food sitting out on a bar for hours will be exposed to any airborne viruses. If you must get take-out, be sure to reheat it before serving.
9. Avoid dairy as well as gluten. Dairy increases the kapha dosha, so if you have kapha problems—sinus problems, excess mucus, cough, or other cold symptoms—dairy is best avoided. This is also true when you’re trying to keep respiratory viruses at arm’s length. Vaidya Smita Naram also recommends avoiding gluten during this crisis, as gluten increases kapha symptoms and contributes to ama (toxic build-up), which lowers immunity.
10. Avoid sugar, especially refined white sugar, which stresses the immune system. Modest amounts of unrefined sugars, such as coconut or maple syrup, are fine for most people. However, the sweet taste increases the kapha dosha, so once again,if you have kapha problems, sugar is best avoided altogether.
1. Get enough sleep, preferably eight hours a night. Nothing is more important to strong immunity than getting enough rest for the body to regenerate. Turn off your phone or tablet earlier than may be your habit!
2. Engage in a daily practice of meditation, chanting, and/or hatha yoga. All of these practices—or other practices in your spiritual tradition—are known to improve immunity and health of the body, mind, and spirit.
3. As important, spend some time in nature every day. While driving to the grocery store yesterday, my heart swelled at the site of our city garlanded in all of spring’s glory. Flowering trees are everywhere, and azaleas are in full bloom earlier than years past. I was struck by the poignant juxtaposition of this spectacular beauty compared to the strained faces I’m seeing everywhere. Awe and wonder are ever new when we take time to be with nature—if only for a walk in the neighborhood—especially now, in the spring, when we are reminded that life springs eternal.
Effective Antiviral Botanical Supplements
One way to stay smart is to have some antiviral supplements on hand. Both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine have offered effective antiviral medicines for many millennia. Although we don’t have proof that these medicines will combat COVID-19, they have a strong history of effectiveness treating the flu and other viruses. In our family, we’re taking Virofight daily just to keep our immune systems strong.
- Virofight (also labeled Dvyro for India), is the Ayushakti Ayurvedic remedy developed by Vaidya Smita Naram that we’ve found to be quite effective in fighting all kinds of viruses. You can purchase it at our online store. Take 1 tablet twice a day to boost your immune system. If you struggle with low immunity, double the dosage to 2 tablets twice daily. If you develop any cold or flu symptoms (sore throat, cough, malaise) start taking 2 tablets every two hours (up to 14 tablets) and call your doctor. If you’re not feeling better within 12 hours, call your doctor.
- Yin Chao Jin is a Chinese remedy that we carry in our office and is also available on the store. I recommend keeping this remedy at home for flu season as well as for the Coronavirus.
- Oscillo is a homeopathic remedy that is quite effective for treating fever, chills, and body aches. Homeopathic remedies are available online and health food stores.
- Aconitum napellus is a homeopathic remedy used at the onset of viral symptoms but before fever, aches, and chills. Available online and at health food stores
If you don’t have a relationship with an Ayurvedic practitioner and would like to do a telephone or video consultation with a skilled physician, you can schedule one with my husband, Tom Mitchell, by calling 919-785-2200. He is a chiropractic physician who has also practiced Ayurveda for more than 20 years as well as functional medicine. He is a registered herbalist with the American herbalist guild, and is also well versed in Chinese herbs as well as homeopathy.
A Final Note
In closing, I’d like to offer my support and blessings to each of you and your families. Do your best to stay calm and centered, which will sustain your well-being as we all walk through this challenging time together.
P.S. Enjoy this inspiring video by Vaidya Smita Naram about keeping Covid-19 at bay.