Understanding COVID-19’s progression
More and more information is coming out about how COVID-19 infects and how it acts in the body. Depending on exposure, the virus seems to reside in the throat before it spreads more deeply into the lungs, where it can cause serious symptoms of bronchial blockage.
Preventive measures like sheltering in place and social distancing along with proper hand washing are steps being taken to slow the spread of the virus in our communities. But, what else can we do to further help protect ourselves, and the community?
Efforts at keeping the symptoms manageable
COVID – 19 becomes very serious when it penetrates the lungs causing pneumonia. Passageways in the lungs become blocked by hardened phlegm where it becomes difficult to clear the lungs in an emergency setting.
Chinese medicine partly views phlegm as a problem with digestion. Think about all the times you’ve cleared your throat after a large meal, or after eating sweet, cold foods. That’s mucus, and it really shouldn’t be happening.
During these times, it’s highly encouraged to eat less cloying foods, and ingest more fruits and vegetables. It’s really how we should eat all the time, but especially important during times like these. By changing your diet, you are helping your immunity.
Simple preventive measures you can implement throughout the day and after eating
Now, even if you don’t change your diet all that much, here are some simple things you can do to purify your body and protect your lungs:
- drink more warm beverages throughout the day. Hot tea with lemon and honey can clear the throat of the early phases of the virus before it goes deeper into the lungs
- stay hydrated; like any flu, fluids help loosen phlegm and makes coughs more productive
- gargle with salt water or warm water with a drop of oregano essential oil before bed to clear the throat and weaken the virus before sleeping. Both salt and oregano essential oil have natural, antiviral properties
- avoid sugary foods, cold foods and too much dairy
Foods that help “benefit the lungs” in Chinese Medicine
Maybe next time you go to the grocery store you can pick up some of these items as they benefit digestion and support lung function in Chinese medicine.
- Radish and radish seeds
- Pear (roast with honey if you have a dry cough)
- Apricots (eat as a dried fruit snack, add to oatmeal, or stuff in a chicken along with orange wedges, onion and roast!)
- orange peel (any citrus peel is great, zest away and add peels to teas or any stir-fry)
- the whole onion family (a broth with chives or chicken soup loaded with onions)
- Peppermint tea
- All sea vegetables (i.e. seaweed – the natural saltiness helps to transform phlegm; eat as a snack or in broth)
- Some grains are better than others (millet, amaranth, corn and oats)
Eating more of just one of these foods and drinking warm teas, along with implementing an evening gargle ritual could keep potential symptoms in check!