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We’re getting closer to the cold and flu season, and this year it’s a HOT topic for many of us with COVID-19 lurking. But fear not, there are things that you can do, right now, from the comfort of your home.
The following are different at-home Immune Optimizing recipes that you can make to help your body navigate this season of cold, flu and virus.
SINUS & NASAL IRRIGATION
Ingredients: 8 oz squeeze bottle, 1 tsp sea salt, water
Preparation: Warm the water and salt (ensure it’s not too warm or this may cause nasal irritation)
Setting: Bend over your sink and look straight down at the sink basin while turning your head to a 45 degree angle. Tip the squeeze bottle into your nostril until the liquid runs through your sinuses and leaves the other nostril. (Search Neti Pot Instructions online for clearer instructions).
CAYENNE, HONEY & LEMON TEA
Ingredients: 1 whole lemon, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp honey, 3 ½ cups water
Preparation: Boil the above ingredients together for upwards of 10 minutes and strain when finished
Setting/Frequency: Drink this tea three times per day.
Ingredients: 1 head of cabbage, 2 cucumbers, 2 oranges and 1 cup of dandelion greens.
Preparation: Juice the above ingredients and pour into a glass
Setting/Frequency: Drink 3 glasses daily
ANTIOXIDANT-RICH NUT MIX
Ingredients: Pine nuts, goji Berries, blueberries (dried) and Brazil nuts
Preparation: Mix together each ingredient to taste preference
Setting/Frequency: Eat once daily as a snack, keep recommended calorie count in mind with consumption of this mixture.
Keep in mind that there are various ways you can take care of your body in order to bolster your immune health the best chance at fighting illnesses and functioning properly. These include avoiding smoking and taking drugs (that aren’t prescribed by a doctor), which are known for depleting the body’s qi and weakens it. Additionally, keep your emotions in check, negative emotions, stress and anxiety can suppress immune function. Do your best to remain optimistic and keep a positive attitude with everything going on in the world around us. Start with the basics – exercise, eat right, sleep and stay hydrated to maintain your body’s balance.
As we learn to navigate this new world where an ever looming virus is present, it’s important to learn which ways we can help ourselves and loved ones,get through a time of illness. Below are herbal remedies and acupressure points for self-care to help aid with symptoms of COVID-19 such as coughing, shortness of breath and fevers.
HERBS (H) & RECIPES (R)
Below are a few herbs you can pick up online or at your local Co-Op store to help with coronavirus symptoms as well as cold and flu symptoms. It’s important to keep in mind that those who also have an irritated throat should avoid eating hot or spicy foods. Alternatively, those with long-term/chronic coughs should consider limiting the amount of frozen and greasy foods that are consumed.
- (H) Nan Sha Shen: Also known as American silvertop root, this root is known to reduce inflammation, vascular permeability and can help with dry cough and phlegm as found in a study conducted in 2010.
- (H) Gan Cao: Gan Cao (aka licorice root) acts as an expectorant that helps to accelerate mucous secretion as found by the World Health Organization. It’s also prescribed by Chinese Medicinal Practitioners to help reduce coughing and shortness of breath.
- (H) Sang Ju Wan: This formula is best used when a sore throat and cough are just starting to appear. It helps aid in symptoms such as dry cough, headaches, painful chest, fever, sore throat and watery eyes.
- (R) Peppermint Tea: This herbal concoction can be made by preparing fresh peppermint (1 TBSP) and fresh reed rhizome (⅓ cup). Clean and cut each ingredient into fine pieces and then steep in boiling water for 10 minutes or until preferred taste is established. Drink this frequently to aid with symptoms of Dry Coughs.
- (R) Apricot Tea: Gather 1 TBSP of crushed apricot kernel, 1 pear (cut in half with the core removed) and 2 TBSP of rock sugar. Boil these ingredients for 20 minutes in the same pot. Once done, drink the liquid solution and eat the pear. This recipe helps with Dry Cough.
- Heavenly Pillar: This acupressure point is used to relieve stress, overexertion, burnout, sore throats and coughs. It can be found about 1.5 inches below the base of the skull and about one inch on either side of the spine. For best results, apply pressure to both sides of the spine and massage in a circular motion and up to 8 minutes. This can be done 3 times a day until the cough or other symptoms have subsided.
- Triple Warmer (TW 15) balances temperature in the body, so its good for fever as well as chills. Hold this point for about three minutes on both sides. Curve your fingers, like the rounded shape of the top of a coat hanger, and place it on the back of your opposite shoulder. Rub the area until you feel the top tip of your shoulder blade. Apply firm pressure just above that, where it feels knotted or tight.
- LI-11: This point is used to aid in the relief of fever and other cold symptoms. To apply pressure, bend your arm (hand to shoulder) and place your finger on the end of the crease that is on the outside of the arm. Open your arm while applying pressure to stimulate this point.
You can’t always control those around you, but you can certainly control your own actions. That’s why it’s important to teach your children necessary steps to help prevent the spread and contraction of the novel coronavirus.
WHAT IS COVID-19
For those who may not know exactly what the coronavirus entails, it is a new strain of virus that came into the world in late 2019 that is linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and a few different types of common cold.
For a formal breakdown, the acronym stands for the following: (CO) Corona, (VI) Virus, (D) Disease, (19) referring to the year humans began contracting it. When compiled, COVID 19 aka CoronaVirus is what we get.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
Although not everyone finds this virus to be threatening, it’s still never enjoyable to catch a cold or become ill. Stay on the lookout for the following symptoms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.
✓ Shortness of Breath
✓ Dry Cough
✓ Loss of ability to taste
There are, of course, other potential symptoms because every person is different and thus the virus will affect everyone differently. This is why a test is needed before one is able to confirm whether or not they have the virus.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOLERS
As summer ends and schools attempt to open their doors for a normal start to the 2020 school year, it’s important to understand how this virus may affect you and how it is spread. COVID-19 is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets from a person that is infected and is usually spread through coughing or sneezing. Another common way that COVID-19 spreads is by touching a common surface that is contaminated with the virus and then touching your face (nose, mouth, eyes, etc.) This is why it’s important to disinfect your hands and various surfaces between each person/point-of-contact.
Remember- the CoronaVirus can last on surfaces for several hours, but disinfectants can kill it quickly!
SLOW THE SPREAD!
With hundreds and potentially thousands of school-aged kids congregating in enclosed spaces, it’s important to be aware of ways to reduce the spread of this potentially deadly disease. Public health measures are important to follow in order to reduce the spread of not only this virus, but other respiratory infections like the flu or the common cold.
PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS INCLUDE:
✓ Teach your children to cover their mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately!
✓ Washing hands often with soap and water is important!
✓ Purchase a small container or hand sanitizer for your child to carry on themselves (or in their backpack) and teach them to use it often (such as after touching a door handle or borrowing a pen from someone else)
✓ Normally we encourage the notion that sharing is caring but sharing food and drink should cease until we learn more about this virus.
✓ Remind your children to be aware of their spatial surroundings and how close they get to one another.
✓ Teach your kids to play with each other at a distance
✓ Staying home when sick or are beginning to feel any of the above symptoms listed earlier in this article
✓ Clean frequently-touched-surfaces and objects.
As we learn more about COVID-19, it’s effects and how it is spread, public health officials may recommend additional or alternative actions. We suggest consulting the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control websites and social pages to stay up-to-date on current mandates and information.
2020 has proven to be a year of trials and growth for all of us. With a new school year just around the corner, it’s important to have an open dialogue with our children about what to expect, how to stay safe and how they can express themselves even with certain restrictions.
GET THEM A MASK THEY CAN BE EXCITED ABOUT
Children don’t have the full scope-of-understanding about this virus like us adults do. They may be confused, find it frustrating that they have to cover half of their face (which is a means of self-expression) and not be able to function in a way that they’re used to.
Getting your child a mask that they enjoy may encourage their desire to wear it, thus keeping them and others around them more safe. Affordable and unique masks can be found on sites such as Etsy and can range anywhere from $5-15.
Private sellers make masks with anything from floral print, to superheroes and video game characters such as Spider Man or Fortnite.
RECESS GAMES AT A DISTANCE
Depending on your governing state and the rules that they apply when it comes to COVID-19, you may find your child becoming antsy not being able to play with their friends at recess like they used to. Here are some fun socially-distanced activities that you can incorporate so that kids can still enjoy their play time.
Fitness Relay: Set up into teams of 3 (ensuring everyone is at least 6 feet from one another). Set up cones in front of each team in a straight line to distinguish the start and finish areas. The leader will call out an exercise (jumping jacks, pushups, toe-touches, etc.) and when the leader yells “go!” The first players of each team will run to the cone and perform that exercise. Then, they run back to the starting cone and the next person goes. The first team to have all players finished, wins!
Mirror, Mirror: Players pick a partner and face each other keeping at least 6 feet of distance. One child is deemed the leader, and the others must mirror their movements. Talking and/or giving hints isn’t allowed! So pay close attention. The leader tries to come up with as many movements as possible while the others follow along. Switch leaders after 2 minutes.
MOBILE APPS AND GAMES
There are some mobile apps that can be downloaded on cell phones to help kids stay connected while social distancing. Of course, we encourage family discussions before a game is downloaded to ensure that it lines up with online safety as well as family values.
That being said, a few apps that we have found to be fun include Online Uno (a classic card game), Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and even Pokemon Go!
Even with the above suggestions, kids are likely to get stressed and hold tension in their bodies when trying to navigate this new world. If your child shows signs of headaches or stress, show them the below acupressure points so relieve some of their symptoms.
Pericardium 6 – This point is located bilaterally on the underside of the forearm, roughly three finger widths below the wrist crease, between the two tendons. PC6 is a great point to alleviate nausea from pregnancy-related issues, motion sickness, drug reactions, stomach issues, etc.. It’s also an excellent point to calm the mind and spirit.
All things considered, this new school year will be challenging and will break conventional norms. That also means it’s a great opportunity to have conversation with your children and teach them how to still have fun, socialize and spend time with their friends all while prioritizing their health and safety.
With the novel CoronaVirus making its rounds across the globe and no cure or vaccine at the moment, but there are things we can do to prevent ourselves from catching it. That being said, we have compiled a list of 5 effective Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) that are helpful in fighting COVID-19 should you contract it.
Hua Shi Bai Du Formula
This formula was developed by the National Traditional Chinese Medicine team at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.
Hua Shi bai Du is a formula created from 14 different herbal components and is mainly used to detoxify, remove dampness and heat from the body as well as relieve coughing. This formula prescription has been used in different stages of treating symptoms from the novel coronavirus pneumonia and has been able to significantly shorten the length of hospital stays for those taking it. It is recommended to take 1-2 doses of Hua Shi Bai Du boiled with 100-200 ml of water between two and four times per day and can be taken by either oral or nasal consumption.
Jinhua Qinggan Granule
This was developed in 2009 during the H1N1 influenza pandemic and consists of 12 herbal components. Some of the ingredients include mint, licorice and honeysuckle and is known to clear heat and detoxify the lungs.
Jinhua Qinggan Granule has a curative effect in treating patients with lesser symptoms, but is also known to improve the rate of recovery of white blood cells and lymphocytes from those affected.
We also recommend honeysuckle because it is known to help with infectious and inflammatory conditions.
Lung Cleansing and Detoxifying Decoction
This remedy has 21 herbal ingredients and the recipe was derived from other TCM recipes such as Shang Han Za Bing Lun which has been around since 220 AD. This recipe is effective in improving symptoms such as fatigue, fever, coughing and even improves lung function which has been shown in CT scans.
Studies using this decoction have shown that it regulates multiple cell signaling pathways to inhibit virus replication and mitigates cytokine storms. This remedy targets the lungs and also protects other organs and can be used as a general recipe to treat patients with mild to severe symptoms previously listed in this section.
Lianhua Qingwen Capsule/Granule
This extremely common Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to help treat flu and cold symptoms. It has shown curative effects on patients with mild symptoms and best aids in relieving fevers, fatigue and coughing. Made with 13 different herbal components, it can reduce the occurrence of bodily deterioration and help patients become free of thier symptoms.
This Traditional Chinese Medicine was developed as an injection that was marketed during the 2003 SARS epidemic. Consisting of 5 herbal extracts, it’s main function is to treat sepsis as well as remove and detoxify blood stasis. The Xuebijing Injection is also effective in suppressing Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome which is often induced by infection during the treatment of ill patients on a severe or even critical level.
Studies have shown that a combination of this injection coupled with Western Medicine allowed an increase in hospital discharge and slowed (or even reduced) the rate of deterioration. Other studies have also shown that this treatment had certain antiviral effects in vitro to inhibit inflammation factors caused by the novel coronavirus.
Herbs can be a powerful ally in helping to curb symptoms and fight the spread of many illnesses. But they have to be used properly and with professional supervision. Do your best to maintain your health and wellness by balancing adequate sleep, healthy eating, exercise and so on. If you wish to learn how herbs can help achieve and maintain health and well being, please reach out to us or follow us on social