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My Week With Covid: Herbal Recipes for Viral Support

As some of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook know, I tested positive for Covid early last week, so I’ve pretty much spent the entire past week in bed resting.

Yes, my house is a mess, and no, my kiddos didn’t eat as healthily. Thankfully, Dean did his best to keep everyone alive, fed, and from tearing the house completely apart while I stayed holed up in my cave. What a man! I’m a very blessed woman indeed. 

Anyway, I’m feeling much better now. Most of my symptoms are gone, and my energy levels are returning. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I feel very grateful that my experience with this virus has been quite classic and on the milder side. I know many aren’t that lucky. 

With that said, I thought this would be the perfect place to share some of the herbal recipes for viral support I’ve used this past week while dealing with this virus, such as my daily herbal infusion to keep my nutrition and mineral levels up, a cough syrup recipe that has been lifesavers (maybe even more than I know), and how I took my homemade broths to the next level to support my immune system. 

Sound good?

Classic Covid

Now before I get to the recipes, let me walk you through the progression of the symptoms I experienced so you can see how the recipes fit in and provided viral support. 

For the first two days of my sickness, I experienced joint pain, pain in the muscles around my eyes (yes!), a mild headache, skin pain/sensitivity, fatigue, and chills off and on all day and night. At first, I thought I’d picked up a cold from someone I had been around over the weekend (and yes, he actually only had a cold), but on day two, I noticed the feeling that my chest felt heavy as if I couldn’t take a nice deep breath.  

This, and the fact that I normally don’t feel this badly with a typical cold, triggered me to take a Covid test (the first one I’ve ever taken, and I wasn’t a fan — ha!). Not only was I curious to see if I was positive (explaining the reason for my symptoms), but I also needed to know if Dean and the boys needed to quarantine too. For a common cold, I would have continued to lay low and rest while I felt unwell, but there would have been no real reason for the boys to stay away from others in that situation unless they came down with cold symptoms themselves. 

Of course, the result was positive, so we notified those that needed to know, canceled our plans throughout the isolation/quarantine period, and made ready to stay home for a while.  

Towards the end of day three, most of my symptoms had disappeared, but a cough had developed. It felt dry but only because the mucous was stuck in my upper respiratory passages. That resulted in very little sleep that night and made for a rough day four.

On day four, the mucous finally started to loosen up which lead to a runny nose and sinus pressure, zapping my energy once again, and keeping me in bed most of the day. I also had quite a bit of brain fog and couldn’t, for the life of me, type clearly! It was crazy! Thankfully, most of that subsided before bed, and I was able to be up and about for a bit that evening. 

On day five, I felt better than I had all week. I finally changed clothes, took a shower, and even felt good enough to put some makeup on. Oh, my goodness… I felt like a new woman! LOL! This was also the last day of my isolation (according to CDC guidelines), but unfortunately, I still had a cough and also lost my taste and smell. Bummer, right?  

Anyway, that’s pretty much how my symptoms progressed during the week. Like I said, quite classic. I expect to have this residual cough and loss of taste and smell for about a week. I’m still having issues getting my thoughts out of my head and typed correctly, so if there are misspellings or typos here, bear with me. I also plan to continue to lay low for a bit longer (per CDC recommendations) just to be on the safe side, but at least I can go out and do things, just not so close to other people.  

So far, everyone else here seems fine. Dean has already had Covid, so hopefully, that means he’s less likely to get it again. I know it’s possible, but his antibodies should help to decrease his chances. Even though the quarantine period is over for Dean and the boys, everyone will do a test this weekend just to make sure they are negative, and they’re good to go around others again. If any of the boys don’t want to do a test, that’s fine too. They’ll just stick with me for a bit longer until we’re sure we’re all clear. 

Okay, so now that you know all of that, let’s look at the recipes I used this week.

Herbal Recipes for Viral Support

Beyond getting lots of rest and moving when I felt like moving, I tried to keep my fluid levels up by drinking herbal infusions and lots of Bubbly and Le Croix.  

My go-to herbal infusion was packed with nutrient-rich and respiratory supportive herbs to help with energy, build vitamin and mineral levels in my body, support the tissues of my lungs, help clear cellular debris as my immune system did its thing, and provide some cooling to my inflamed tissues.  

Below is the tea blend recipe I used, and you can get directions on making infusions here. I tried to drink around 1-2 quarts a day. 

LUNG LOVE TEA 

Next up, while I did have an appetite, it was much less than normal, and I definitely ate fewer calories than normal resulting in a tiny bit of weight loss. No big deal, but I did try to get in some homemade broth to not only help give me some extra nutrients but to help provide some extra immune and viral support as well. I’ve been making homemade broth for years. I have several different types of broth recipes over on my blog, but this week, I mostly used the chicken broth recipe below in my Instant Pot.  

IMMUNE-SUPPORTIVE BONE BROTH 

  • 1 chicken (bones + organs)
  • 4 cups of veggie scraps
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, sliced in half
  • 3-inch piece of ginger root, sliced in half
  • 4-5 slices of astragalus root (in muslin bag)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 12-16 cups water 

The next thing I used regularly was elderberry syrup. Now, I love my Ultimate Elderberry Syrup recipe with its vitamin C boost, but for this batch, I wanted some added lymphatic and immune support so I added in some calendula this time around. This recipe makes around an 8-ounce bottle of elderberry syrup. 

IMMUNE-SUPPORTIVE ELDERBERRY SYRUP

Combine elderberry, cinnamon bark, calendula, ginger root, cloves, and echinacea in a saucepan. Cover the herbs with water, and heat over low heat for 30 minutes or so. Strain the herbs and measure the liquid. Add equal amounts of both herbal tincture and honey to the water. Both of these will provide wellness benefits, flavor, and help make your final syrup shelf-stable.  

The last thing I used was an herbal cough syrup to help loosen the mucous that felt stuck in my chest. I used this mainly on days two and three when I felt all the congestion in my chest. The goal was to help thin the mucous and support the lungs so it could easily be coughed up. Ultimately, with any chest congestion, the goal is to get stuck mucous out of the lungs so there’s less of a chance for pneumonia to develop. 

You can learn how I make shelf-stable herbal syrups here. A typical adult dose for this syrup is 2 tsp 3 times a day. 

LOOSEN UP HERBAL COUGH SYRUP

The last thing I used this week was these ginger spice silver lozenges from AmeoLife. While I keep these in my home apothecary year round, they definitely get more use in the cooler months of the year. Not only are they wonderful for sore throats, but they’re infused with purified silver, a natural antimicrobial substance, so they help support the immune system too.  

These silver lozenges felt SO good on my throat when it was sore from coughing, and they definitely helped to easy my cough when it felt dry and spastic-like. I’m so glad I had these on hand. If you’re interested in stocking up on them, or anything else from AmeoLife, you can get 25% off your first order when you purchase through this link!

Alright, two more things I want to mention before wrapping this blog post up. 

First, if you’re wondering what my thoughts on vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, and other immune-supportive supplements are, it’s this. I think they’re great and very useful, but they are best used BEFORE you come down with something. While I’m sure they’re helpful in the midst of an illness, most nutrition, herbal, and medical experts agree that work best for prevention. 

Secondly, navigating this entire pandemic, knowing who to trust and listen to, and deciding what your personal responsibilities are has been quite tricky, and I’m not sure it’s going to get any easier anytime soon. While we are learning more about this virus, it still seems to be quite unpredictable in how it affects some people, and there is still much disagreement among the “experts” about what to do and how to do it.  

With that said, I’m not sure it’s going anywhere any time soon, so I think it’s important for all of us to be prepared and have a plan on how to best approach it from home as well as knowing when to seek further medical help if it’s needed. While preparation and treatment will look different for each of us, I genuinely hope my experience and the information I’ve shared with you here today is helpful in some way. 

Lastly, thank you to those of you who reached out on social via comments and DMs with your tips and well wishes and for checking in with me over the past week. It doesn’t go unnoticed, and your thoughts and prayers were much appreciated!

Love and light,
Meagan

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