By Dr. David Martín, D.O.M, AP
and Deb Martín, Holistic Health Consultant
Yes, we can make some sense of all this.
Now that we have had this COVID-19 virus for so long, a broader perspective is evolving, and we observe that the narrative in our nation is missing key information regarding the powers of Chinese Medicine, and other natural medicines. We have identified and have suggestions for three phases of this disease: Recovery Phase, Early Phase Home Treatment, and Prevention.
Some people have had the virus and are no longer infected or battling the disease, but they still have not recovered from its after effects, even as long as 10 months later. And it’s not certain they ever will. This is termed “Long COVID,” and we have been researching how long-used and well-known natural medicine can offer help with what we call the Recovery Phase. There is vast knowledge–and science–about using key vitamins and natural herbs for viruses, including strong, pure Mediterranean oregano and the less-well-known powerful Chinese Medicine herbal blends. In this article we focus on the “Long” Recovery Phase of this disease, by sharing tips, herbs and foods to aid you to help yourself and your loved ones.
We also provide several insights and suggestions to help in caring for people during the early stages of this disease (e.g., fever, early respiratory symptoms, etc.). In the USA this Early Phase Home Treatment was kicked off in the spring of 2020 by a group of M.D.’s, all experts in their fields, working together with the FDA to create protocols to help. Their work actually did result in peer-reviewed research published on WebMD and the National Institutes of Health websites. It recommends early-phase care as a highly-effective strategy to treat this disease. (You’ll find that study in the References at the end of this article.) Most disappointingly, in the summer of 2020, as the huge focus on a pharmaceutical solution (shots in the arm) took over, these efforts to provide guidance for in-home, early treatment were halted.
The good news is that in the References you will also find definite agreement about key supplements which both natural and allopathic (Western) medicine recommend. Two of them are vitamins C and D, and their effectiveness is substantiated in massive research studies, some as recent as November 2020.
Note: We are careful with the terms we use in our articles, especially article titles, due to censorship issues we personally encountered in 2020 referencing these same, well-known vitamins!
Lastly, we’ll address Prevention. The world is not done with this disease and its relatives yet, or any other known-to-us diseases. And who knows what new diseases may arise in the coming years. Unfortunately, as our world’s foods and habits have become more and more unhealthy, pathogens have much easier targets. Thus, healthy lifestyle choices absolutely can have a positive effect. Nature is smart, our bodies are smart, and they work together well. We have a responsibility to our bodies – truly the first and last place we live while on this planet!
So, for anyone who wants to be better informed about simple protection protocols (which may also work for a host of other viruses and pathogens) and for those who ARE or will be caregivers for people with the disease, we share our personal protocol for Prevention.
This disease can have many different, long-term effects, from brain issues to lung issues, to heart issues…or truly any organ in the body. This is a blood-borne disease and it targets the linings of everything in your body. Think of them as “inner skins” such as blood vessel and organ linings.
The virus hijacks a process in the body which normally builds an antioxidant to protect cells from oxidative damage. The “good stuff” is glutathione, the most abundant antioxidant in the body. The virus creates a chemical cascade of effects which creates a very powerful and damaging agent called Radical Oxygen Species (ROS). Does it help to eat foods and take supplements or herbs containing high antioxidants? Definitely, “YES!!” We could write a lengthy article on this subject alone! But here’s one tip: Raw Chocolate (cacao) contains Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) which absorbs/neutralizes the ROS. And it can mess with the virus in other ways too!
This pandemic virus story became more personal in early January. The “third wave” of infections hit our closest inner circle and we found ourselves for the first time actively involved in the care and feeding of two single people, both living alone with this viral illness. We supported them by delivering warm foods, smoothies, fresh juices, water, herbs and supplements. Fortunately, they were able to remain home for their recovery. They each reported that the regular contact/support made a huge difference in their general outlook.
As is now known, they each had their own symptoms, common to each was fever at the beginning. One was sick and in bed for slightly over a week with a lingering fever a week beyond that, with severe head, stomach and body aches and pains. The other had a shorter fever time, but has had weeks of fatigue recovery.
This second person is now in what Chinese Medicine calls the “Recovery Phase,” aka “Long” (even though people no longer test positive for the disease). It is now known that this stage can plague (mostly) older people for weeks and even months–and no one knows for how long–with debilitating symptoms such as crushing fatigue, difficult breathing (some on oxygen therapy as prescribed by their M.D.), continued coughing, and mental fog.
Reports of mental health issues, some quite serious, are becoming more frequent. An article in AARP (January edition) written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s correspondent M.D., describes various mental issues which are being linked to the virus. Another personal story: suddenly one day, the daughter of someone we know landed in a mental hospital diagnosed with schizophrenia. Upon entry to the hospital, she had tested positive for the virus. Even though the disease has passed, she is still having many emotional problems.
Let’s dive in now with important considerations for caregiving during the Recovery Phase.
Caregiving tips for Recovery (of course, also ask your M.D. for guidance):
- The Recovery Phase person needs nutritious meals filled with protein, B vitamins (specially B-12), and antioxidants. We will cover this at a high level, and please know that we are here to help with individual consultations.
- There ARE herbs and supplements that will make a difference and most assuredly will shorten the cycle of recovery.
- Do your research. Seek medical guidance from several sources. Check out both natural and allopathic solutions, and follow what makes the most sense to you and the one for whom you are caregiving. Yes, we are recommending common sense!
- Know that with this virus, brain fog can be a real issue. Be patient and try not to take things personally.
- Where and when possible, open the windows and air out the house. Clean surfaces you’ll touch. Keep your body clean. In other words, do all the stuff you know to do that has been long recommended by the CDC.
- Wearing Masks – each of you will make your own decision. We err on the side of caution, knowing that lowering the volume of virus we encounter (and the time spent around it) lends some degree of protection.
Oxygen, Tiny Blood Clots & Lymph Movement
Dr. David has found that in the Recovery Phase patients usually have one thing in common: immense fatigue. This actually is not surprising. Their body is just not getting enough oxygen! From our research we understand that this disease causes thrombosis (blood clots). There are likely tiny blood clots in the vesicles of their lungs and other areas. Plus their immune system is stagnant. Since they have been lying around for a while not moving much, their lymph system hasn’t been moving out the toxins. This non-movement also negatively affects lung efficiency. Plus, it is likely they have not been eating enough nutritious food, or even getting enough calories. They probably need water too. Note: A warm tea can nourish the soul and that is healing also!
Chinese Diagnosis, Acupuncture, Herbs, Healing Supplements & “The Body Pump”
Recovery can be helped with the healing arts. At Lotus Blossom Clinic, patients start with Dr. David Martin, our Doctor of Oriental Medicine/Acupuncture Physician. He sees patients with the various debilitating issues of the Recovery Phase and can recommend herbs to assist in healing their specific symptoms. It requires that he visually be able to see and speak with the person, which can be done by a telemedicine call. Ideally this is an in-person visit where he can use also use pulse diagnosis, a most powerful and revealing technique!
Following the patient’s diagnosis, Dr. David can begin to help with both acupuncture and herbs. Acupuncture reestablishes the energetic pathways which have been disrupted. The immune system and energy get a boost. And he will recommend a customized blend of Chinese Herbs and/or other critical supplements. Some of these herbs can begin to quickly lift the fog and raise energy discernibly within hours. We have both seen their powers! (BTW, nutritious food can do this too. I saw a huge uptick in energy and alertness within 30 minutes after serving my Recovery friend her first egg dish, post fever phase.)
Dr. David performs a type of lymph massage he calls The Body Pump. It will help the body begin moving accumulated toxins out of the lymph system. This can also be done by a trained massage therapist. The caregiver can easily be shown the basics to help their loved one.
We have also learned that proper breathing exercises, and even singing, will help lungs recover. Our yoga teacher and therapist, Kandy Love, plans to teach powerful breathing classes soon based on the ancient yoga practice called Pranayama. There is discussion of opening up a support group for people experiencing the “Long” Recovery. Be watching for these classes/meetings on our website calendar. https://www.lotusblossomclinic.com/events-2.
Sometimes a team approach is needed. As we have a broad local network, Dr. David refers to other health care professionals to assist. For example, there may be mental health issues or additional food/supplement information needed. As a general practitioner, trained in Chinese Medical Diagnosis, Herbs, TuiNa (medical massage), as well as the medicines in food, he is a great person with whom to get started!
Food is Critical. Here are a few considerations:
Smoothies are an excellent foundation as it is easy to digest micronized food. As Dr. David states in our monthly Food as Medicine Classes, “It’s not just about what you eat, it’s about what you absorb!” For the Recovery Phase, start with a pile of spinach high in Vitamin C and cucumbers for their water and nutrients (such as silica and an enzyme that breaks down protein). Add an apple, ginger, other fruits, and a medical-grade protein powder. Perhaps include cinnamon for flavor, blood sugar stabilization and inflammation. For the lungs, include mint and basil and kiwis.
Bring on the high-C fruits in their whole form, such as kiwis, oranges and grapefruits. Camu-camu powder, the highest Vitamin C food we know, can be added to smoothies.
Chicken Soup is the time-tested healer your grandma quite possibly used as a staple during cold and flu seasons. (Avoid the gluten by using quinoa or GF noodles such as lentil pasta.) Organic eggs, mushrooms and beans offer high B-12 and have significant protein. We discovered various bean and lentil pastas several years ago and found them to be tasty and super satisfying too!
Sauerkraut, kefir, and other fermented foods which are HIGH in Vitamin C and, if in raw form (not pasteurized), contain live probiotics to heal the gut and boost immunity. Kefir, made preferably from goat milk or secondarily from A2 cow’s milk (smaller protein is more absorbable) is a nourishing, high protein drink for sure! Fermented foods are a powerful medicine to maintain OR regain health! Got an upset tummy? Out “go-to” is sauerkraut. Want to make your own super-charged kraut? We carry and use Cutting Edge Starter Culture. Serious assessible medicine. Want to pick it up at the grocery store? Read the labels, but nowadays you will likely find a “raw” sauerkraut on the shelves in most stores. One of my favorites is “Wildbrine.”
Take care of you too!
Let’s not forget caretaker self care! Make sure YOU are getting proper nutrition, rest and exercise, including fresh air. Take your vitamins and supplements to protect your own immune system. Receive a massage or acupuncture treatment yourself! Take time to read a great book. Meditate. Listen to music. Go for a walk with a friend. This falls into that common sense recommendation we are emphasizing.
Now, as promised, we’ll backtrack with the earlier disease phases. I think you will find some very useful and interesting information here!
EARLY PHASE HOME TREATMENT.
At the first sign of symptoms for any cold or flu, you want a good treatment plan in place! We also carry a variety of products, including Chinese Herbs, zinc and Vitamins C and D (needed in higher doses when someone is sick). But one thing is for sure, you NEED to be treating this disease with healthy respect…and treating early! According to one M.D. who testified at our national’s capital in December during final approvals for the early vaccine candidates, Dr. Peter McCullough, the statistics of countries which have done a good job in early phase home treatment, including Mexico, provide Home Kits for early treatment. Deaths per million in countries that actively support early care at home are significantly lower, e.g., 100 deaths per million vs. the U.S. at 800 deaths per million. Our country just hasn’t gotten onboard with early phase viral treatments!
Both WebMD and the NIH (National Institutes of Health) have published an article which goes into detail about the benefits of early treatment vs. just waiting until the disease is either burned out of the body, or the person is so sick they must go to the hospital. The research was initially published on August 7, 2020, under the title The Path of Physiologic Basis and Rationale for Early Ambulatory Treatment of COVID-19. (see Reference section below).
As Dr. David often says, “It’s easier to NOT get a disease than to heal from it.” One of the easiest decisions you can make these days is to have a prevention kit to boost your immune system and counteract the attack strategies of this disease. We offer a Mini Immunity Kit priced at $49 (in our physical and online stores, https://www.lotusblossomclinic.com/product/mini-immunity-kit/) Most of the kit will last you two months or longer. This is our personal Prevention Protocol, in addition to Vitamin C, and our recently added a high anti-viral medicine in the form of a specific, powerful oregano gel cap. It’s been proven to melt the shell of the Coronavirus family. (See 2nd to last Reference below).
And for those who want a more complete or deeper dive, I offer you additional articles. Over this last year, we’ve researched and written a lot about the prevention and early treatment of this disease. Most of you may not have seen these due to a software glitch in our mail distribution system. Also below are published studies and videos of interest. Take a look!
How the Chinese are Winning the Viral War
Natural Medicines for Coronavirus
Coming out of Hiding, is it Safe?
MedCRAM, COVID-19 Update #97: Vitamin D Research and COVID-19
“The Path of Physiologic Basis and Rationale for Early Ambulatory Treatment of COVID-19”
Suggestions for Combating COVID-19 in the Absence of Standard Medical Regimens
English National Opera Well-Being Program
As always, we wish you and your loved ones well. We are here to serve our Community…and beyond in this day and age of global connectivity!
Health and Blessings,
Dr. David & Deb Martin
…and all the Practitioners at Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine, including Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Energy & Transformational Sessions…and Community Classes & Events both Virtual and (carefully) In-Person!