Sawtooth Botanical Garden, 11 Gimlet Road, Ketchum, Idaho 83340
On the trail with Darcy Williamson we’ll gather and learn about medicinal plants for making tea. Then we’ll go back to the Sawtooth Botanical Garden to process the plant material and package it for tea. Take home a bounty of medicinal teas in drying bags.
Here we share Darcy’s Coronavirus suggestions:
(Suggestions from Herbalists Jules Pecson at Fiona’s Forest and Darcy Williamson at From the Forest)
How can we be pro-active to protect ourselves from the possibility of contracting COVID-19?
We know to keep a safe distance from others, stay in place when possible, and frequently wash our hands.
When hand washing, regular soap works better than hand sanitizers and here’s why: When you lather up properly, you’re rubbing your hands together and creating enough friction with thick, foamy soap to break apart those minuscule COVID-19 microorganisms. The reason soap is so effective against viruses is that it tears them apart. Coronavirus is held together by a fatty shell –a lipid membrane. Soap, by its molecular nature, strips that protective fat layer away from the virus. Be certain to use “soap”, not detergent, cleansing bar or “soft-soap”. It is the chemical reaction between sodium hydroxide and fat that makes soap…and it is the result of this chemical reaction which breaks down the lipid membrane of COVID-19.
When doing almost any kind of activity such as handling food, working in the office, grocery shopping, playing sports, tending the garden, or going fishing, hand sanitizer isn’t able to cut through the bacteria, viruses, or just plain dirt on the skin. Hand sanitizer gives the false sense of security that hands are germ-free, when they’re not. Of course, soap and water are not always available, in which case use Antiviral Throat Spray.
Antiviral Throat Spray contains Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Lomatium and Gumweed which have strong antiviral and immune system actions. Arrowleaf Balsamroot is used in this formula for its immune enhancing benefits, as well as its binding effects on mucus and its adaptogen properties. Lomatium dissectum has been the “backbone” of many herbal antiviral formulas. It was successfully used by Northwest native tribes during the 1918 flu epidemic. Gumweed has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, in this formula, it is prized for its antimicrobial and binding properties. Its resinous makeup not only acts as an expectorant, binding to mucus in the lungs, but also binds to and destroys unwanted airborne microbes.
Before entering any public place stray your throat with Antiviral Throat Spray. Mist around your nostrils. You can also mist surfaces which may be contaminated before touching them. After leaving a public place, spray your throat again and the palms of your hands, as well. When you get home, wash your hands with plenty of soap and water.
Developing and maintaining a strong immune system is essential in this era of radical viral and bacterial infections!
Below is a list of wild harvested plants that will keep your immune system strong as well as balance essential minerals and daily vitamins.
Immune Enhancing Formula Tincture: Elderberry, Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Lomatium root, Gumweed flowers.
Chemical constituents in Elderberry inhibit the early stages of infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for attaching and penetrating our cells. The US National Library of Medicine did a study of Elderberry & chickens who had been infected with this strain of the coronavirus showing Elderberry was able to inhibit the coronavirus in chickens. How does this translate to humans? The US National Library of Medicine felt that Sambucus nigra (Elderberry) has proven to inhibit the virus. This warranted future studies.
Arrowleaf Balsamroot is used in this formula for its immune enhancing benefits, as well as its binding effects on mucus and its adaptogen properties. Lomatium root has strong antiviral properties. Gumweed’s resinous flowers bind with sticky mucous in the system and carries it out of the body. Dosage: ½ tsp. twice daily.
Polypore Hydrosol: Reishi, Chaga, Turkey Tail and Red Belted Polypores.
Polypore mushrooms work with the immune system to help it identify free radicals and basically any cell that isn’t you. Polypores also regulate the immune system, prevents and treats colds and flus. Dosage: 2 tsp. first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Antioxidant Formula Tincture: Yerba Santa leaf and Japanese Knotweed root.
These herbs are used for their strong antioxidant properties. Dosage: 1 tsp. twice daily.
Calicum/Magnesium & Vitamin Tincture and Horsetail/Nettle Capsules: Helps to keep your essential minerals and vitamins balanced.
Tincture dosage: ½ tsp twice daily. Capsule Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily.
Decrease stress - Stress uses extra energy and depletes our immune system!
Wash your hands often or wear a face mask if the immune system is compromised.
Keep your hands away from the face (eyes, nose, mouth)
Stay well hydrated and rested.
If you do start to experience some flu-like symptoms here are a few recommendations!
As you know, this virus attacks the lungs. In response the immune system releases proinflammatory cytokines. In other parts of the body this inflammatory response is not a dangerous as it can be in the lungs. When the inflammation becomes too great, referred to as a cytokine storm, acute respiratory distress syndrome can ensue. Immune enhancing herbs such as Elderberry, Arrowleaf Balsamroot and mushrooms should be removed from your daily regimen.
Beneficial herbs at this point will be:
Usnea: As a tincture or tea Usnea’s antimicrobial properties target the lungs. Usnea appears to kill virus cells by disrupting their metabolic function. Specifically, it uncouples oxidative phosphorylation by acting on the inner mitochondrial membrane and also has ATP-ase activity. Both of these mechanisms ultimately kill virus cells by cutting off their energy supply. Unlike virus cells, human cells are less permeable to usnic acid and are not adversely affected. Small doses often are best when taking Usnea as a tincture. Dosage: ½ tsp. every 3 hours.
Lung Support Tincture: A blend of 2 parts Mullein leaf, 1 part Lomatium root, 1 part Yerba Santa Leaf and 1 part Gumweed flower tinctures.
Mullein leaf is an ideal remedy for toning the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, reducing inflammation while stimulating fluid production and thus facilitating expectoration.
Lomatium root seems to specialize in viruses of the respiratory tract. Many of the plant’s antiviral compounds are excreted out through the mucous membranes of the lungs. It appears to clear congestion and work as a mild expectorant for deep lung infections.
Yerba Santa leaves act as an astringent for your lungs squeezing the mucous from the cell walls and Gumweed’s resinous flowers bind with sticky mucous in the system and carries it out of the body. Dosage: 1 tsp. 3 times daily.
Lung Support Tea: A blend of 2 parts Mullein leaf, 1 part Yerba Santa Leaf and 1 part Usnea. Use 2 tsp. of mixture per cup of boiling-hot water taken several times daily.
Yarrow tincture or Tea: To reduce fever. Tincture dosage 1 tsp. as needed to reduce fever. As tea, 1 tsp. dried per cup of boiling-hot water.
Calicum/Magnesium & Vitamin Tincture and Horsetail/Nettle Capsules:
Helps to keep your essential minerals and vitamins balanced. Tincture dosage: ½ tsp twice daily. Capsule Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily.
Eat plenty of foods to help fight the infection and inflammation — bone broths, soups, simple grains, veggies, and light meals! Anti-inflammatory foods include blueberries, kamut (an ancient, non-modified wheat species), oats, raw ginger, wild Salmon, red peppers, turmeric, beets, broccoli, black beans, extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, chia seeds, pineapple, spinach, eggs, garlic, low sugar yogurt, apples, nuts, rosemary, coconut oil, raw honey and miso.
Avoid foods which will “feed” the virus such as sugar, fried foods, refined flours, oranges and dairy products.
Get plenty of rest! Stay well hydrated!