COVID-19: Suggestions for staying healthy

The COVID-19 health crisis is evolving daily, and providers of important products and services are scrabbling to keep up. Until supplies catch up with demand, what else can we do?

As much as possible, you should stay home and avoid other people unless required to go out for work or important services or supplies. If you don’t live alone, everyone in the household should follow the rules or the whole household is in grave danger.

As we know, in order to slow the progress of the virus and to keep ourselves and our families safe, if one must go out the prevailing wisdom is to stay at least six feet apart from each other, or practice “social distancing.” (We believe “physical distancing” is a better term because even though we need to remain physically apart, maintaining a sense of community, of camaraderie, is more important now than ever. We recommend adjusting your health regimen to make the most of social media and tools like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime as a way to stay connected and maintain positive mental health.)

We are also urged to wash our hands frequently, and to avoid touching our faces unless we’re sure our hands are clean. The best sanitizers are 70% alcohol (hard to find now), heat, and the ultraviolet part of sunshine; but while these strategies can help, they only complement and do not substitute for physical distance and frequent hand-washing.

Sometimes there are things that get in the way of these precautions. Group living increases the likelihood of problems because if one person gets the virus, the rest of the group is likely to get it. Sharing a car also increases the likelihood of transmission. Some simple common sense goes a long way too! For example, changing and laundering your clothes the moment you get home can help too. (If you don’t have a washing machine at home, put your clothes outside in the sun after you wear them and until you can get them properly laundered.)

We also know that it can take a couple weeks for symptoms to manifest, and many of the people who become carriers don’t ever have symptoms. Although coughing and sneezing and contact with contaminated surfaces are the primary ways to spread the disease, talking is also a risk if you stand too close. While we want to achieve higher levels of cleanliness, it needs to be through washing. Vacuuming will make particles airborne. Gloves keep our hands clean but they can also give a false sense of security because touching still occurs.

Be sparing in your use of electricity. If the grid goes down, everyone’s food supplies are in grave danger. It is spring, lots of rain, and solar radiation is contributing much less than usual to the grid. It does not take much deviation from normal to put the grid at risk. New power plants are not being built because of citizens’ objections to nuclear and investors fear of the future response to climate change.

The following suggestions are not blessed by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, or scientific literature. They are the result of information from friends who are wise, sparse anecdotal evidence from friends, and extrapolations from other diseases. They can’t hurt as long as they complement and don’t replace physical distancing and frequent hand-washing.

If you have homeopathic remedies for flu, use them before symptoms appear. Use sparingly so you don’t run out. Oscillococcinum was recommended to me. I understand that Walmart is selling it if your local health food store has run out. There are other homeopathic remedies. See for more information about homeopathy. The death rate in homeopathic hospitals for the pandemic of the last century was 1% to 2% and for allopathic hospitals, 30 to 40%. Homeopathy has been under attack despite its low cost and demonstrated value. Do your part to keep it alive – visit

I have little data and it’s only anecdotal but universal relief was experienced by a few of my friends who had some COVID-19 symptoms – so raw garlic may be helpful. We know it reaches the lungs because of what it does to people’s breath. Sniffing it, especially in hot moist air, for example, held over a cup of soup, will make it more effective because all pathogen-killing substances work better with heat. Concentrating the heat and garlic by putting a cloth over your head and the soup will help even more. After the soup has cooled enough, eat the garlic and enjoy the soup.

Gum spirits turpentine (not synthetic turpentine, the stuff made from pine trees) also has sanitizing properties. Some Native Americans used pine needles to make herbal teas. Turpentine made from pine, gum spirits was used by slaves to cure a variety of ills. If you don’t have the turpentine, go harvest some pine needles and make a tea from those. When my eyes itch, I put a dab on the lids and under my eyes.  It burns a bit and the skin gets more wrinkled and sagging but the itching stops.

Stay positive!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents of this post are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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Comments (2)

Oscillococcinum doesn’t fit the coronavirus picture well, and other remedies used for flu may not, either. If you use a homeopathic remedy, it must cover the actual symptoms that you have. (Oscillo may if you mainly are experiencing body aches.) You can’t just throw remedies at this on the assumption that they work for some similar illness.

Eventually there will probably be a COVID-19 nosode (remedy made from the pathogen) available, which could be used for prevention in the way we use homeopathic preparations of flu viruses, but that’s a long way off. Otherwise, professional homeopaths would be unlikely to recommend taking homeopathic remedies for prevention, in the absence of symptoms– that simply is not how homeopathy works.

You may want to check the National Center for Homeopathy at for guidance. Homeopaths often practice by phone so may be available to work with you individually.

Chinese herbal medicine has a long track record for both preventing and treating respiratory infections. The trouble is that like so many items we need for the pandemic, applicable herbs are in short supply. One source that has lots of information and sells to the public is ActiveHerbs.

My practice and those of most of my acupuncturist/herbalist colleagues are closed at this point, but most of us will give phone or video advice and can still prescribe herbs.

Stay well!

Hi Judy–Thanks for your information and insights. Regarding homeopathic remedies, there is some debate regarding their prophylactic use before someone actually has symptoms a remedy would be chosen to match. Taking a dose will not be harmful, but I’m not sure how helpful it will be. During the 1918 epidemic, gelsemium and bryonia were most widely used, although in each case, one searches for the closest match. I have been attempting to reach out to people who tested positive, and experienced different symptoms, to understand this virus better, and perhaps find a remedy, or a group of remedies, that might be most similar, to the way many people experience it. That usually requires more, or different, details than one usually reads about from the media, which have not been easy to find. Such as—What happened, when, what time, when is it better or worse, how quickly or slowly did it manifest, how did you feel or what did it feel like, did anything make it better or worse, what else, anything about your emotional state, anything else that comes to mind, how about your mental state, what else, any weather or temperature sensitivity for better or worse, etc? Lots of details, although, if there are somewhat unique characteristics of this disease that will match those known of remedies, it should accelerate the process of identifying issues and healing agents much more quickly. There are 3000 known remedies. We would hope to find a group of 2-5-10 that might prove most beneficial to the most people. Best wishes to everyone. Robert

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