The entire household came down with covid two weeks ago. Luckily, we all recovered but other than the youngest family members, we’re all exhausted. What would you suggest?
I recently attended a practitioner conference on the impact of covid and treating long covid. One of the key takeaway points was the virus’s negative effect on gut health, often leaving people feeling drained and with reduced immunity.
The first place to start is with a good probiotic supplement for beneficial bacteria and to support general gut health.
Traditional botanicals to help constitution and vitality include Rehmannia root, star anise, Schisandra berries, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, turmeric root, garlic cloves, ginger root, cayenne pepper, lemon peel, and raw honey.
Rehmannia is a blood tonic; star anise is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties; Schisandra berries are adaptogenic, support liver function, help with endurance, and boost energy levels. Nigella seeds also exhibit potent antioxidant activity, are anti-inflammatory, and can help with respiratory issues.
Fennel seeds have long been used to help digestion, respiratory health, and viral infections.
Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is being investigated as an effective complementary medicine in supporting covid recovery.
You don’t need to take all these remedies (many are common kitchen spices) — any combination will help restore energy and rebuild your immune health.
Brew your remedy as a strong tea or infusion using a heaped teaspoon of botanicals per cup of boiling water.
Choose foods dark in colour, especially richly coloured berries, plums, and beetroot — and eat healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, and coconut.
These food choices can make a difference to your energy levels when you suffer from the mental and physical exhaustion of post-viral fatigue.
As well as using natural remedies and optimising your nutrition, ensure you stay hydrated, get as much quality sleep as possible, and keep your stress levels to a minimum.
Take time to practise conscious breathing and meditation. Even gentle exercises such as yoga or tai chi can help replenish your energy stores.
My sports-mad, 15-year-old son complains of leg pain during the night. He’s on a good diet and drinks plenty of water. Is there a natural supplement you could recommend?
I’m glad your son eats well and drinks plenty of water, given he is so active. If the pain is in both legs, it is often explained away as growing pains.
It is now thought that “growing pains” in children may be an early manifestation of restless legs syndrome (RLS).
This condition tends to worsen as we age and could be linked to nutritional deficiencies, so it is a good idea to take preventative measures.
Low levels of folic acid and iron (ferritin in particular) are common to most restless leg sufferers.
Both nutrients are required by the brain and peripheral nervous system, although the exact link to how low levels might cause restless legs is still unknown.
The other essential nutrient for your son is magnesium — the recommended daily dosage is 400mg.
Iron should only be used if your son has low ferritin levels since it is important only to take iron if needed.
Since folic acid is one of the B vitamins, essential for nerve health and function, supplementing with a B-complex is recommended.
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NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.