Is there a natural treatment for long COVID? You might wonder about this if you survived COVID -19, but still have symptoms. You are not alone. Many people who recover from COVID-19 continue to suffer from a variety of symptoms for weeks and months. These symptoms are collectively known as Long Covid or Long-Haulers or Post Covid Syndrome. According to one study, 50% of COVID survivors suffered from Post Covid Syndrome 77 days after the onset of their disease.1
Some people develop Long Covid even if they initially had mild or even no symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Long Haulers?
According to one study, many survivors of COVID suffer from an average of 14 symptoms.2
The most common symptoms are:
- Excessive chronic fatigue
- Impaired concentration, also called brain fog
- Anxiety, depression
- Sleep issues
- Impaired memory
- Headaches including Migraine
- Muscle pains – Joint pains
Natural Treatment of Long Covid
Long Covid is a new medical condition for which there is no established medical treatment. Below I describe my holistic approach to the treatment of this disorder.
- Vitamins and Supplements
- Stress Management
- Proper Nutrition
- Adequate Sleep and Rest
1. Vitamins and Supplements for Covid Long Haulers
Vitamins and supplements play an important role in recovering from any illness. Scientific studies have shown that the following herbs and vitamins can counter the effects of stress.* In addition, they can boost energy, improve focus, and calm anxiety.* Some even help with deep sleep.* Therefore, these supplements are an important part of a holistic treatment of Post Covid Syndrome.
- Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that is known to protect our body against the ill-effects of stress. Studies show it also improves cognition and memory, increases stamina, and relieves anxiety.*For this reason, the Government of India now officially recommends Ashwagandha for Post-Covid Syndrome.3
- Rhodiola is an herb that is native to Northern Europe. It is well-known to boost energy.* In addition, it may be able to calm down anxiety.* According to a review article, rhodiola can treat stress symptoms and increase energy.4
- Tulsi – Holy Basil – is well-known to boost the immune system.* In addition, it can improve cognition according to a study from India.5
- L. Theanine can help focus and promote relaxation and deep sleep.*6
- Bacopa has the potential to improve cognition, and attention.*7
- Lemon Balm use can improve mood and cognitive performance.*8
- Passion Flower has been found to decrease anxiety, relieve insomnia, and improve memory.*9
- Hawthorne has been found to be useful for weak heart. It also helps with anxiety.*10
- Hops Flowers have been shown to relieve anxiety and induce restful sleep.*11
Magnesium for Long Haulers
Magnesium is extremely important for the normal functioning of the nervous system. In particular, it is very helpful for headaches, insomnia, anxiety and depression.12 Magnesium is also very helpful for muscle aches and pains. For these reasons, magnesium is an important dietary supplement for the treatment of Long-Haulers.*
Zinc for Long Covid Sufferers
Zinc has been shown to boost energy and decrease depression significantly.13 Therefore, it is an essential mineral for the treatment of Long Covid.*
B Vitamins for the Treatment of Post Covid Syndrome
B vitamins, especially B1, B2, B3 and B12, are important for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Deficiency of these vitamins can cause fatigue, brain fog, and forgetfulness, common symptoms of Long-Haulers. For this reason, B vitamins should be an integral part of treatment of Long Covid.*
DHEA For Long Haulers
DHEA (DeHydroEpiAndrosterone) is a hormone that our adrenal glands produce on a regular basis. It keeps our immune system healthy and prevents chronic inflammation. Also, it is an important hormone to keep us energetic. In addition, it keeps our muscle healthy and strong. Furthermore, it has beneficial effcets on our mood and prevents depression.
DHEA levels go down with any chronic illness such as COVID-19. Low DHEA may be responsible for chronic fatigue, muscle aches, depression, and chronic inflammation in COVID-Survivors. Therefore, it makes sense to add DHEA supplement in the holistic treatment of Long Covid Syndrome.
Dose of DHEA:
Females: 25 mg per day
Males: 100 mg per day
Vitamin D3 for the Treatment of Long Covid
Vitamin D affects every organ in our body. For example, it plays a vital role in the normal functioning of the immune system. People low in Vitamin D are at high risk of overactive immune system which causes excessive inflammation and it may be one of the mechanisms for Post Covid Syndrome.
In addition, Vitamin D is extremely important to keep our muscles, nerves and brain healthy. For this reason, it is no surprise that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with fibromyalgia, which is a condition of chronic muscle pain, severe fatigue, and mood issues.14
Some Long-Haulers may suffer from muscle pains, fatigue, anxiety, and depression similar to fibromyalgia patients. This is one more reason to make Vitamin D an essential part of the treatment of Long Covid.*
Numerous studies have also shown that people with low Vitamin D have double the risk of getting COVID -19 and dying from it .*
Dose Of Vitamin D3
You need a higher dose than the usual dose – 600 IU – of Vitamin D3 to reap its benefits on the immune system and other organ systems in the body.* This observation is based on my clinical research of treating thousands of patients with low Vitamin D over the past 20 years. Based on this extensive clinical experience, I came up with a formula for the dose of Vitamin D3 which is 5000 IU per 100 Lbs. of your body weight. Thus, most adults need a dose of about 5000 – 10,000 IU per day. Let me share with you that I have not encountered any case of Vitamin D toxicity in my 20 years of treating thousands of patients with these doses of Vitamin D. Please refer to my book for more details.
2. Stress Management for Long Haulers
COVID-19 has put the entire world under unprecedented stress. In addition to physical stress of the illness itself, there is tremendous psychological stress. For example, survivors of severe cases who have been on ventilators in the ICU may suffer from Post-ICU syndrome, which is akin to PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Everyone is under tremendous stress even if they have not had COVID-19. This may explain why a lot of asymptomatic individuals have symptoms of Long Covid. People worry about their loved ones in the hospital. Those in the hospital suffer from extreme loneliness in addition to the physical stress of the illness itself. They often wonder if they will ever see their family and friends again. And what happens if you die? In many countries, your loved ones are not allowed to be with you, even when you are dying. Talk of dying in extreme loneliness! Terrible for the soul. Often, a dead body is taken straight from the hospital to the burial grounds without any friends and family members, who therefore have no closure. Thus, they suffer tremendously and may even develop symptoms of Long Covid.
Therefore, it is extremely important in these tough days to provide stress management to everyone, especially anyone having symptoms of Long Covid. I wrote my book, “Stress Cure Now” in 2010. It is based on my own deep insight into the root cause of stress. And this root cause lies inside you, not out there. Hence, you can become free of stress with deep inner wisdom.
3. What to Eat When You Have Long Covid
After battling the coronavirus infection, your body needs nutritious food to fully recover. Therefore, well-balanced food becomes even more important than ever for the treatment of Long Covid. However, your digestive system is not up to par yet. Therefore, try to select food items that are relatively easy on your digestion.
15 Vegetables for Long-haulers
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
Vegetables are a great source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese. In addition, vegetables have plenty of antioxidants. For this reason, vegetables are extremely important to recuperate from the Post Covid Syndrome.
15 Fruits to Eat if You Have Long Covid
- Pomegranate (juice)
In general, fruits are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. In this way, fruits help to neutralize the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals that are released due to COVID-19 and its aftermath – Post Covid Syndrome.
Nuts for the Treatment of Long Covid
Diet experts believe that nuts are a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Most nuts are packed with minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, manganese, folate, copper, calcium, and zinc.
There is mounting evidence to show that nuts may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, two key elements of Post Covid Syndrome.
Among nuts, almonds, pine-nuts, and pistachios contain more protein than other nuts. These days, many nuts are available as flours which you can use to bake muffins and breads for easier digestion. Click here for my Almond muffins recipe.
Seeds for Long-Haulers
Like nuts, seeds are a good source of protein. For example, 100 grams of seeds will provide you with 30 grams of protein.
In addition, seeds are an excellent source of the amino acids tryptophan and glutamate. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin which elevates our mood. Low serotonin can lead to depression. That’s why many modern anti-depression medications, such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro act by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain.
Glutamate – the other amino acid – is a precursor for GABA (Gamma -Amino Butyric Acid) in the brain. GABA is known to reduce your anxiety.
In this way, nuts may ameliorate depression and anxiety many Long-Haulers suffer from.*
Meats, poultry, and fish are great source of energy that most Long-Haulers need. However, avoid processed meats – such as cold cuts, salami, and hot dogs,- as these are loaded with preservatives.
Red meat is an excellent source of protein, iron, and vitamins, especially vitamin B12. You need these essential nutrients to heal from Post Covid Syndrome.
Chicken and/or turkey are also great sources of protein and vitamins.
Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids in addition to protein and vitamins. Omega 3 is important to heal your brain and heart from the devastating effects of Post-Covid Syndrome. However, be aware that over-consumption of fish can lead to mercury poisoning.
Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, especially Riboflavin (B2), vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium, which are all important to recover from Post Covid Syndrome.
Whole grains are an excellent source of energy that many Long-Haulers need so desperately. In this regard, whole wheat, brown rice, oats, barley and quinoa are all excellent food items. In addition, whole grains are full of fiber that is essential for the normal functioning of our digestive tract. Whole grains are also a decent source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Among whole grains, quinoa has an exceptionally high content of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Obviously, avoid wheat if you are sensitive to gluten.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are a good source of energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, these are relatively hard to digest. So Long-Haulers should keep them relatively low in their diet. However, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, you may have to consume relatively large amounts of beans and lentils to get adequate amounts of protein.
Avoid These Foods if You Have Long Covid
- No white sugar. Use honey instead.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners such as Sucralose (Splenda), Saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet’N Low), Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)…..
- Beware of sugar alcohols: Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Lactitol, Maltitol…. These products are typically marketed as sugar-free and low calorie, which obviously has great appeal to the public.
- Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols can give rise to neurologic symptoms such as confusion, headaches, or dizziness. These symptoms are present in many Long-Haulers.
- Avoid any food item that contains high fructose corn syrup, as it provides fuel for the growth of bacteria in the intestines. In addition, it also leads to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Many Long Covid patients already suffer from these medical conditions.
- Do not drink any sodas, even diet versions. Why? Because sodas are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and white sugar. Diet sodas use artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages. Why? Because alcohol makes you lose magnesium in the urine. Low magnesium can worsen symptoms of Post Covid Syndrome.
In Summary, get involved in your food. Read labels on food while you are in the grocery store. You’ll be surprised how many food items contain sugar, fructose syrup, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols. Avoid these food items.
Try to cook your food as much as you can. In this way, you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Remember you are what you eat and how you think.
4. Adequate Sleep and Rest When You Have Long Covid
Our body rejuvenates during sleep. Therefore, it is important to get good sleep to recover from Post Covid Syndrome. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep at night. To this end, you can follow these tips:
- Start to calm down as evening approaches.
- No caffeinated beverages in the evening.
- Avoid exciting, sensational and worrisome news at night.
- Go out for an evening walk, weather permitting. Don’t chat or listen to music while walking. Simply enjoy what you see, hear, smell. Also pay attention to your breathing and steps. In this way, you stay in the Now and stress stays miles away from you. This becomes your walking meditation.
- Bright light sends a signal to the brain that it is daytime. Therefore, avoid sitting in front of a screen – TV, computer, smart phone, etc. Instead, stroll in the calming vibes of the evening. Feel the stillness of the night. In this way, your brain starts to settle down. It knows night time has begun and starts to prepare for sleep. To this end, it produces melatonin which is important to induce deep sleep.
- You may also do sitting meditation and light yoga, especially if the weather does not allow you to be outside.
Rest throughout the day is also important to recover from Long Covid. Listen to your body and rest as often as your body tells you. For the same reason, avoid excessive walking, talking and mental work. In this way, you will save energy which goes towards healing your body. You also may want to do stretches and deep breathing instead of going to the gym, jogging or going on long power walks.
Symptoms of Long COVID may be managed with a holistic approach of vitamins, herbs, stress management, proper nutrition, rest and adequate sleep.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product in not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.