Confronting covid has been a learning process that led me to go within and see that I’m not “above” an illness. People in the natural health field, because of the amazing things they see, can develop a sort of arrogance with regard to combatting any kind of illness– not that the herbs/ supplements are medicine in themselves, but generally, they give the body what it needs to heal on it’s own. However, not everything works for everyone, not everyone has access to everything, and sometimes, we aren’t in control of everything.
That doesn’t mean that the will to heal and grow from a circumstance is any less powerful and world- changing. For me, it just means that life circumstances can effect anyone, and while people need to take responsibility for their own health– and deciding if one truly wants to heal is probably the most influential factor to whether they will– we don’t always know and can’t necessarily solve the extraneous factors that can very much make or break survival.
But I am all about optimism– hope, and the power of it. That can influence what’s inside a person and potentially the world around them, which is why I’m writing to you today.
The most healing components of my protocol for getting through Covid were not necessarily the supplements I’ve talked about most before on this site. Rather, the most important influences on my survival and my healing have been eating enough, resting, and all of the psychological requirements that allow those two things to go on for an extended amount of time, sufficient to supply indefinite requirements for sustained healing. The first time I believe I got covid (Winter of 2019), I did not do this, and after I got through the thick of it, every time I would go on a walk or garden to an extent that I was really pushing myself, I would feel horrible for a number of days. But I never took the hint. And I wasn’t eating enough. The second time I got covid when my family member tested positive, I’d learned about raising my metabolism, resting and eating enough in order to heal, rather than obsessively focusing on and subconsciously restricting what I eat while maximizing activity merely for looks and superficial health.
I’m sure that had I not learned this the second time around, I would’ve died. I believe it was a worse strain the second time– the cough was much worse, as was the fever; it came with nervous system as well as digestive problems I hadn’t experienced before. My loved one also got sicker this time (we had it together both times, and it was exceptionally bad before, but not nearly this bad). I got noticeably sick right after I’d been overly active and not eating enough— I definitely felt depleted. I noticed clearly that any time I got more consistent in eating enough, I felt better and… like I had enough energy to… move. Otherwise, I became drained of energy so much so that I didn’t even want or feel like I had the energy to get up. My dad passed away from covid, which obviously made the situation much harder. And it was very hard to take care of myself. I learned how important it was to be mindful of any activity I was doing to expend energy, as in the beginning, truly, even putting away a few too many dishes could set me back severely. I had to be okay with the house not being clean so I could heal at whatever rate it took.
To prep for confronting a more challenging survival situation than I ever considered, without knowing I was prepping for it, I made an effort to increase my metabolism— body temperature— and eat more. I made a point to restore my hunger cues (I unknowingly underfed myself as a result of being way too much of a “perfectionist” with dieting in the name of “health”, which I didn’t even call dieting. Undereating led me to grow out of touch with my body to the point that I never even felt physically hungry anymore). I finally learned to allow myself to sit down and watch TV rather than push myself to a point of causing a re- emergence of my respiratory issues originating from almost a year before. All of this is what I credit my survival to, along with some other things I’m glad I found out about due to my interest, and near obsession with learning about covid, even before the news stations were deeming it a realistic concern. I saw it wreaking havoc in China and was mind-blown that anyone would be so unflinching with access to the same information.
Additionally, pieces of my protocol that I believe played a part in saving my life also included hydrogen peroxide therapy. For me, this was an at- home form of oxygen therapy that did exactly that– raised my oxygen any time it started to get lower than normal (note that I monitored it carefully, calling an advice nurse any time I got concerned about the level and followed their advice. What I did to feel better whenever my breathing was bothered (not intensely, otherwise I would’ve went right to the hospital– a couple of times I did (they sent me home)– I was very careful), or oxygen levels went lower than I was happy with (I always aimed for above 95, despite what nurses said, as this is what I read in Chinese studies in the midst of their covid outbreak was predictive of best survival outcomes) I nebulized a very diluted, food- grade form of hydrogen peroxide. This was implemented per the success of Doctors David Brownstein, Thomas Levy, Joe Mercola, and Robert Rowen’s patients’ experiences. Directions for such use have been varied. The best set of directions I’ve seen would be this one. The fact that it’s prediluted is ideal so if you’re not feeling well it’s right on hand and, put in the fridge, it can last a long time. Coming out of the fridge, this becomes even more therapeutic, as one of the recommendations I personally got from an advice nurse was inhaling cold steam.
As with many injuries, both warm and cold can be utilized. I was desperate to clear very thick congestion, which led me to sit in the shower many times throughout the day, and that brought some of the best relief. Another recommendation for those very sick, relying on steam in the shower like I was, is to buy a chair for the shower. I was too weak to sit in the bath tub and rely on myself to get up without a group of muscles or joints failing, or fainting. This is all the more important if you’re living alone. I would recommend getting one with a back to be safe, in case of fainting. Here’s one similar to what I used.
Cough drops became very important for me, particularly a kind formulated for maximum potency. Like the other things listed, I really don’t think I would’ve made it without them. The concentrated mint center opened my airways whenever I really needed it and it made such a difference. The brand I used was Ricola; they always use supportive herbs to formulate their products specifically for the lungs and mucus membranes. You can get them here via Amazon. They’re the three kinds that I used, for a good price. My top favorites in order though, were the peppermint followed by cherry.
On the recovery side, a major turning point for me can be attributed to my brother. While in the ICU he was given breathing devices for respiratory therapy, got some extras and sent me a couple– one for inhalation and one for exhalation. This strengthened my airways after being hindered for so long, making coughs more productive more easily. Undoubtedly having unproductive coughs while feeling so congested in my chest– like everything was stuck and I couldn’t get it up– was the most frustrating thing and one of the most concerning things to experience.
Hydration played a huge part in being able to relieve my lungs of congestion by coughing up phlegm– not just hydrating with water, though. It was very important that I was able to access a balance of electrolytes suitable to my unique constitution early on. I needed predominantly potassium, along with other minerals in lesser amounts, and I was always sure to make the sodium about half the amount of potassium. The sports drink Body Armor played a huge part in me being able to maintain hydration as well as take in more calories. It contains B vitamins which are great for the fatigue and nervous system issues that tend to come with covid. I also used coconut water (I really like C2O, and Taste Nirvana if that’s not available) and Ultima electrolyte powder. I really felt like I needed all of them, my system was weirdly touchy and I craved certain things at different times and I could get weird symptoms if I didn’t listen to that. Needless to say, it came in handy to be able to hear what my body was saying. It’s worth noting that kidney problems can be a major complication with covid and a predominant way to support the kidneys is by providing your body with a suitable balance of electrolytes for your individual constitution. If you suspect anything though, it should go without saying, you should go to your doctor.
Another main intervention that majorly influenced my recovery, that I’m still using off and on when I need it, is an adrenal glandular. This is a natural source of the energy your body lives off of to keep you going. Steroids are given to people, especially with covid, that have breathing problems– as they open up the airways. They can also aid in the sinuses functioning properly— and if they aren’t, they will drain into the lungs, causing problems. Adrenal glandular provides a natural version in a sense because rather than potentially causing disarray by bringing in synthetic adrenal hormones as steroids do (which can cause the body to create less long- term), it feeds your body what it needs to create more naturally, making it stronger and more stable. It also works well with the body, because it’s a natural substance that the human organism has a history of processing, as ancient peoples such as Native Americans have long consumed adrenal glands from cows and other animals for their incredibly supportive properties. I felt that this supported my lungs and congestion all around, and majorly helped my fatigue.
Other vital supplements included NAC and a lung glandular to support lung health, thiamin to prevent intense nerve symptoms (numbness and at times it felt like my leg was burning), melatonin at high doses to prevent oxidation and blood cell damage, and a variety of herbs and antioxidants that focused on supporting proper blood flow and venous health. Some of these were Rutin, Gotu kola, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. White willow bark is a natural alternative to aspirin (this is what aspirin is derived from) which helps prevent excessive coagulation (blood clotting) and acts against inflammation. This would come in handy for aches and pains, of which there were a lot. Adaptogenic support was helpful to regulate my adrenals and in turn lung health and energy levels– in my case this was eleuthero. Quercetin in larger amounts as a type of antihistamine was helpful later down the road when I developed a histamine reaction to foods for a little while. I took it initially with zinc ever since I learned of covid and suspected I’d gotten it, along with many other supplements you can review here on my original post on how to deal with covid. This article is mainly to tell you what outside of those things I feel was most influential looking back, and still is.
Another thing I think worth mentioning is ibuprofen. I avoided this like the plague when I was really sick as I know it’s better to ride out a fever in order to eradicate the infection fully in the body, and I never take ibuprofen anyway because although it can block inflammatory pathways, it does this by hindering prostaglandins which also include pathways that are naturally anti- inflammatory. However, more recently, I’ve experienced lung pain that was very intense following a stressful event on my body that caused a reaction I don’t normally have. After I took an ibuprofen I was amazed that my lungs felt better– to an unbelievable degree. Before, they were inflamed to a point that it hurt to turn over in bed, I took the ibuprofen and all, I mean all of my lung pain was gone. It was truly amazing, given that the pain was so bad that it was kind of scary, to the point I wondered if I should potentially go to the hospital (this happened a number of times with covid, but each time I went, nothing clearly evident was found). I couldn’t believe the improvement and it just affirmed to me how much black and white thinking can get in the way of progress. I now realize that if I would’ve taken ibuprofen at some points earlier on, after my fever broke, I probably could’ve saved myself from a lot of pain and inflammation due to the cytokine cascade. This is what covid is known for, does so much damage and can be deadly. This is also what steroids interrupt and why they can be so handy– a reason the adrenal glandular helped so much. Adrenal hormones are very anti- inflammatory.
There are many supplements you can take that are anti- inflammatory, some I’ve taken this whole time and probably had an impact on how “well” I did– never requiring an inpatient stay at the hospital– and more I have yet to get my hands on. But just because something isn’t made naturally doesn’t mean it’s unnecessary and evil all of the time. You may be able to suffer through something, but it can be a lot more productive if you don’t. (This might seem very obvious to some, but some of us in the natural health field can become very OCD.) If covid has taught me anything it’s that people by and large have taken black and white stances that have driven society mad, split us up, and now killed millions.
An over the counter product worth denoting I did avoid, however, after trying it, was mucinex– I got much worse after taking it– with an irritated airway, just as I learned happened to other covid patients. Guafinesin is common in over the counter medicines, derived from a natural product, but for some it expects too much mucus for the inflamed airways to be able to excrete at once. For many, this can cause airway irritation and even plummet oxygen levels. I also avoided an inhaler which I reluctantly tried and did not benefit from. In fact after trying it my oxygen went lower than ever afterwards, and I didn’t recover back to baseline for a couple of weeks. It did cause me to cough up a lot more than normal, and that may have been the issue, just too much trying to emerge from my lungs at once. In contrast, an inhaler worked very well for my brother (to be fair, he did manage his symptoms almost completely with pharmaceuticals, as he used to be a paramedic). To each his own, and I don’t believe I’ll ever judge someone for being willing to try a wider variety of possible solutions when they’re suffering and in danger again.