Here are my recommended herbs/herbal formulas that can help keep you from contracting the Corona Virus during this pandemic. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that these herbs are not pharmaceuticals and therefore do not act like manufactured medications. These formulas work on the principle that the body is able to heal itself if "allowed" to and therefore offers support to the body to help increase the body's immunity and natural defenses. This being said, it is essential that you continue to do the things that will keep your body's immunity high. The most important things that you can do is to eat well - whole cooked foods with plenty of vegetables (especially greens) and minimal inflammatory foods (in general - sugar, dairy, fatty/greasy foods, and alcohol), sleep well and get some exercise. Exercise can be varied - a 30 min walk can be sufficient.
These formulas have been reported to have been used heavily in China to prevent the onset of COVID 19. They also work to keep you well against the common cold and flu. As it is said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Yu Ping Feng San- Jade Wind Screen
A classic Chinese formula that contains three herbs that were formulated together in order to help the body resist the invasion of "wind". Wind, in Chinese medicine, is one of the 6 pathogenic factors. It is said that when the wind invades, your body's exterior becomes penetrated by a pathogenic factor and you, therefore, start to become sick. This typically presents as a rapid onset of symptoms that can include chills, mild fever, stiff neck/back, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and generally feel like you are getting sick. This cold invasion, if not treated in the onset phase, will often penetrate the body deeper and manifest into more serious conditions such as flu, or in current times, COVID 19. The three herbs in Yu Ping Feng San are Huang Qi (Astragali Radix), Bai Zhu (Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma), and Fand Feng ( Saposhnikoviae Radix). The three herbs are incorporated to help the body strengthen the "exterior", or the natural body defenses, boost up the body's qi (Internal Energy), and help the body to repel the wind. Of course, aside from the obvious side effects if you have an allergy to the herbs, this formula has one major caution that it is important to adhere to. Only take this herb for PREVENTION from illness and STOP TAKING IMMEDIATELY if you are starting to get sick. This formula can make cold symptoms worse. There is a different formula to take care of a cold when it starts to invade.
I have two versions of this formula - The classic formulation from Mayway herbs called Jade Wind Screen, and an enhanced version from Evergreen Herbs called Immune +
This formula has the three herbs contained in Yu Ping Feng San plus three extra herbs - Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps), Ling Zhi ( Ganoderma), and Wu Wei Zi ( Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis). These extra herbs are included in this formula to give the body an extra boost, which can be important if you are in a higher risk category (for COVID 19) or are in general physically weaker. The same cautions apply to this formula in which it is intended to be used as a cold prevention and should be stopped or accompanied by other formulas with the onset of cold symptoms.
Prevention - Onset of cold symptoms.
The formulas that are included in this stage of prevention were designed to expel a cold out of the body before a cold has a chance to infiltrate the body deeper and turn into something more severe. The classic signs for the onset of a cold are the same as the wind-cold attack discussed earlier: chills, fever, stiff neck, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and generally feel like you are getting sick. If these symptoms start, it is important that you act to expel the pathogen out before it gets too deep into the body. I recommend taking these steps to try and avoid getting really sick.
- Immediately start taking a formula that will help get rid of this type of presentation.
- Get warm! Especially keep the nape of your neck warm. Consider taking a really hot shower if you start to present this way.
- Drink hot ginger tea or cinnamon tea.
Ge Gen Tang
This formula is a classic Chinese herbal formula that is designed to alleviate the cold attack (Treat and expel it from the body before it penetrates the body deeper. It is important to start taking this formula upon the initial onset of a cold. The herbs contained in this formulation are as follows:
- Ge Gen (Radix Puerariae Lobatae).
- Qiang Huo (Rz/Rx Notopterygii).
- Sheng Jiang (Rz Zingiberis Recens).
- Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi).
- Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Alba).
- Zhi Gan Cao (Rx/Rz Glycyrrhizae Prep).
- Da Zao (Hong) (Fructus Jujubae).
- Yi Yi Ren (Semen Coicis).
These herbs are primarily used to mitigate the initial cold invasion as well as balance the digestion.
Ban Lan Gen
I also recommend taking an additional herb if you feel like you are getting sick. This herb is a single herb, not a formula, called Ban Lan Gen that is used in Chinese medicine as an antiviral and antibacterial and I recommend you take in addition to the Ge Gen Tang.
These herbs are great to keep on hand and take before so you don't get sick. The key to staying well is prevention. Stay on top of your health and you will be able to stay on top of the COVID 19 pandemic. Look for the next blog post on recommended herbs to take if you come down with COVID 19. Until then, stay safe!
Peace and Love.