• The RiverWinds

Anti-Coronavirus Protocol - Part 1: Herbal Medicine

Updated: Mar 24

As the pharmaceutical industry scrambles to find effective drugs to use in the fight against COVID-19, the coronavirus that is causing a global pandemic, herbalists worldwide are calmly checking their stocks of tinctures and dried herbs that have been proven to kill multiple types of coronaviruses. Below are my list of must-have's in my family's medicine cabinet for this world challenge. As supply dwindles, the prices for these items can increase, as the law of supply and demand is part of the world in which we live. For that reason, I am prioritizing these herbs, listing them in what I believe to be the order of their importance. I encourage you to not delay, even a day, in ordering these items. If you have questions about if you should actually have concern over this virus or if this is all be media hype, I encourage you to read my other blogs on COVID-19, including Coronavirus: Should I be Concerned?


Elderberry - The giant slayer of the virus, elderberry should always be your go-to to avoid or treat any virus from the common flu to pesky cold sores or chickenpox. There is not enough research available to the public yet about COVID-19 (the coronavirus you are familiar with) but in one study on another strain of coronavirus, elderberry has been proven effective in inhibiting the virus from replicating and also indicate it could actually render the virus inert ("dead"). There is also some indication that in COVID-19, the flowers have at least as much, if not more, effectiveness in fighting the virus.


A word of warning: Elderberry contains a substance that, when ingested in the fresh berry, can be poisonous. Elderberry must be dried or cooked in order to be safe for consumption. Even touching the wood for extended periods of time can cause problems. So respect the Elder!



Source 1: My most trusted source! For handcrafted Elderberry syrup that we use in our family, we recommend Teva Rose Herbs. The herbalist who makes this brand is a close friend of mine - none other than the renowned herbalist of the Smoky Mountains, Alicia Wornicov. Check out her shop periodically for her supply on several of these herbs mentioned in this article, as they will go in and out of stock.


Tincture Recommendations:

Source 2: ADULT: Herb Pharm Rapid Immune Boost Liquid Herbal Formula for Active Immune Support - 1 Ounce


Source 3: CHILDREN: Herb Pharm Kids Certified-Organic Alcohol-Free Captain Concentrate Liquid Herbal Formula, 1 Ounce

Forsythia - As I write this blog, I glance over at the forsythia flowers I have drying on the table - freshly picked from my yard nestled in the Cherokee National Forest. These bright yellow flowers herald the Forsythia's strong actions, well-documented through rigorous scientific studies. Not only is it powerfully antiviral(5) but it can take out some of the heavy bacterial hitters like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus as well as dangerous fungal species like Aspergillus.(6) One of the main active medicinal compounds in Forsythia is forsythiaside A, which acts as an immunomodulator.(7) The immunomodulator helps reduce unwanted side effects (such as cytokine storms) of some immuno-active plants. I'm looking forward to the fruit coming into season as it has the most powerful action against the coronavirus. Those babies are going into a big bottle of vodka for 6-8 weeks.





Recommendations:

ADULT OR CHILDREN: Forsythia Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract, Organic Forsythia (Forsythia Suspensa) Dried Fruit Glycerite Hawaii Pharm Natural Herbal Supplement 2 oz



Japanese Honeysuckle - It's slapped with the nasty designation "invasive" but honeysuckle could be your best friend when it comes to fighting coronavirus. Traditional Chinese Medicine swears by it. Lonicera japonica is a known powerful antiviral, heavily used in Chinese medicine since time immemorial.(4,5) But now there is proof in the way of medical research to back up the ancient folklore. Between 2000 and 2015, there have been dozens of scientific studies on L. japonica. Unfortunately, the studies most relevant to the antiviral usage are written in Chinese. The first cases of COVID-19 may have been found in China, but its cure may have been spreading here for far longer, just waiting for a time to be needed. Don't let those honeysuckle flowers go to waste this year. Tincture those fragrant little beauties in some organic vodka; shake that jar every day; and in two months, you have a great flu medicine. As with all tinctures, remember this is medicine, not a mint julep. Take by the dropper-full, not the glassful. Too much Japanese honeysuckle can also be dangerous.



Recommendations:

ADULT or CHILDREN: Lonicera Alcohol-FREE Liquid Extract, Lonicera (Lonicera Japonica) Dried Flower Glycerite 2 oz



Chameleon Plant - Houttuynia cordata. Don't feel bad if you've never noticed this amazing plant. It blends in to look like any other innocuous ground cover. It's mistaken for a weed, trampled upon and overlooked... except by Chinese scientists who have proven its efficacy in preventing contraction of coronavirus and Dengue Fever (8). I wish I'd had it around as a teenager living in the Marshall Islands. Take it from me, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is no fun. Have this herb on hand, preferably in tincture but it's fine in a tea (if you like the taste of fish tea). It grows wild on my Appalachian Mountain.


Recommendations:

ADULT: Source 1: Yu Xing Cao Tincture, Yu Xing Cao (Houttuynia Cordata) Herb Liquid Extract 2 oz

Source 2:

Source 3: Mary's Herb Garden

Source 4: The Herb Source



Oil of Oregano (internally) - This is like a nuclear bomb to the virus (as well as yeast, bacteria, and parasites). Because strength can vary by brand, take the dosage recommended on the bottle that you purchase. Important cautions: Excessive oil of oregano may be lethal and can cause miscarriage. Any diabetics or persons on blood-thinning medications should definitely consult their physicians before taking oil of oregano. People allergic to any of the following should avoid oil of oregano: lavender, thyme, mint, basil, hyssop, marjoram, or sage.


Recommendations:

ADULTS: Herb Pharm Oregano Spirits Extract and Essential Oil Blend for Immune Support - 1 Ounce




St. John's Wort - Hypericin, quercetin and other components in St. John's Wort have been found effective in interrupting viral pathways in the replication of coronavirus in one study. So not only can it be a good pick-me-up for some with depression, but it can be your partner in health during global pandemics.(3) My people, the Cherokee, used this plant for many things - fever, snakebite, diarrhea, nosebleeds, skin sores, and unfortunately to induce abortion (so, beware, those who are pregnant or could become so).


Recommendations:

Adults: Herb Pharm St. John's Wort Liquid Extract, Cane Alcohol, 1 Ounce


Echinacea - It's a great immune booster. Just make sure that you don't take it for more than two weeks at a time. Take at least a two-week break and only go back to it if you need it. You can take it multiple forms but tincture is typically the most potent form. While all of the plant is medicinal, it's typically the root that we're going for and that needs to be boiled or else tinctured. So, if you are drinking a tea made of the root, please know you need to boil the root for 10-20 minutes.

PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea Spp.)

Recommendations:

ADULTS: Herb Pharm Certified Organic Echinacea Root Liquid Extract for Immune System Support, Organic Cane Alcohol, 1 Ounce

CHILDREN: Herb Pharm Kids Certified-Organic Alcohol-Free Echinacea Glycerite Liquid Extract, 1 Ounce


Chameleon Plant - Houttuynia cordata. Don't feel bad if you've never noticed this amazing plant. It blends in to look like any other innocuous ground cover. It's mistaken for a weed, trampled upon and overlooked... except by Chinese scientists who have proven its efficacy in preventing contraction of coronavirus and Dengue Fever (8). I wish I'd had it around as a teenager living in the Marshall Islands. Take it from me, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is no fun. Have this herb on hand, preferably in tincture but it's fine in a tea (if you like the taste of fish tea). It grows wild on my Appalachian Mountain.

CHAMELEON PLANT (Houttuynia cordata)

Recommendations:

ADULT: Source 1: Yu Xing Cao Tincture, Yu Xing Cao (Houttuynia Cordata) Herb Liquid Extract 2 oz

Source 2:

Source 3: Mary's Herb Garden

Source 4: The Herb Source

Japanese Knotweed (Resveratrol) - This antioxidant is an anti-inflammatory must in your supplement routine - flu season or not. This is a powerful fighter against cellular inflammation - the major cause for many (if not most) degenerative diseases. I prefer it through Japanese knotweed rather than a grape source because there is less undesirable immune sensitivity to Japanese knotweed than there is to grapes.

JAPANESE KNOTWEED (Polygonum cuspidatum, Fallopia japonica, Reynoutria japonica)

Recommendations:

ADULT or CHILDREN: Hu Zhang Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract, Hu Zhang (Polygonum Cuspidatum) Dried Root Glycerite Hawaii Pharm Natural Herbal Supplement 2 oz


CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE FIRST VIDEO IN THE SERIES


Dr. Laralyn RiverWind is a Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Biologist and Ambassador of the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee (a State Recognized Tribe). Her doctorate in Naturopathy and Master Herbalist degrees are from Trinity School of Natural Health. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Valdosta State University with a B.S. in Biology. She also has considerable experience in the allopathic health industry; in emergency patient care in a level one trauma center; and extensive studies in Microbiology, Epidemiology, and Infectious Disease.


Other relevant blogs by Dr. RiverWind:


Anti-Coronavirus Protocol Part 2: Supplements

Anti-Coronavirus Protocol Part 3: Good Practice

And more to come...





Credit: I like to cite my sources (listed below) and I want to give a "thank you" to my colleague and fellow herbal friend, Alicia Wornicov (1), whom I like to bounce things off and hear from on all things herbal. It's always good to have a friend who spends far more time in the forest with plants and crawling things than with the rest of humanity. Two minds are greater than one.

SOURCES:

(1) National Institute of Health https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

(2) Chen, Christie et. al, Sambucus nigra extracts inhibit infectious bronchitis virus at an early point during replication https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899428/

(3) Chen, H. Antiviral Activity Against Infectious Bronchitis Virus and Bioactive Components of Hypericum perforatum L. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.01272/full

(4) Tzeng, T. The Ethanol Extract from Lonicera japonica Thunb. Regresses Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in a Methionine- and Choline-Deficient Diet-Fed Animal Model https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632443/

(5) Beijing: People's Medical Publishing House; 2005. Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China.http://europepmc.org/article/PMC/4003708#ref14

(6) Liu, Y. J., Z. Q. Yang, H. Xiao, and L. Wen. 2004. Inhibitory effect of four kinds of extract of Chinese herbs—Forsythia on herpes simplex virus type. J. Hubei College Trad. Chin. Med. 6:36–38

(7) Zheng, Xiao. Effect of Forsythiaside A on the RLRs Signaling Pathway in the Lungs of Mice Infected with the Influenza A Virus FM1 Strain. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/23/4219/htm

(8) Chiow KH. Evaluation of antiviral activities of Houttuynia cordata Thunb. extract, quercetin, quercetrin and cinanserin on murine coronavirus and dengue virus infection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26851778

(5) Raimundas Lelešius, et. al., In vitro antiviral activity of fifteen plant extracts against avian infectious bronchitis virus, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6540435/

(1) Alicia Wornicov, The Artist & The Herbalist



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