By April Brader, DOM Traditional Chinese Medicine Physician, Acupuncturist & Herbalist

In December 2019, a mysterious viral pneumonia illness was discovered infecting patients in Wuhan, China.  This novel (new) coronavirus was named SARS-CoV-2.  COVID-19 is not the formal name for the virus as the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses calls it the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”, or SARS-CoV-2, because it is related to the virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003.

The most commonly reported patients symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 are a fever, dry cough, tiredness, and in very mild cases people may get just a runny nose or a sore throat. About 50% of patients also have gastrointestinal distress and/or experience diarrhea.  In the most severe cases, people with the virus can develop difficulty breathing (dyspnea), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and may ultimately require hospitalization and advanced life support to survive. From the research coming from China and Italy so far we know individuals of advanced age, (especially men), Type A Blood Type, and those with pre-existing diseases like Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Lung Disease are at the most risk for serious health complications.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has thrived for thousands of years during many pandemic type illnesses.  We use various herbs and herbal formulas to help patients boost their immune system to strengthen their systems against viral exposures. Once infected with viruses, our herbal and acupuncture therapies also help patients recover more quickly from their illnesses by “clearing heat, toxicity and rectifying their immune system to attack and overcome pathogens.

Some of the herbal allies we use to boost the immune system are Huang Qi (Astragalus), Ren Shen (Ginseng), Tai Zi Shen (Pseudostellatia Root), Dang Shen (Codonopsis) and Zhi Gan Cao (Licorice Root), etc.

Herbs we use to clear toxicity include Pu Gong Ying (Dandelion), Da Qing Ye (Woad Leaf), Jin Yin Hua (Honeysuckle Flower), Zi Hua Di Ding (Yedeon’s Violet) and Chuan Xin Lian (Andographis), etc. and depending upon the patient’s presentation and symptoms we plan and create an herbal formula to address precisely what is happening with the patient. In other words, the best herbal formulations are custom formulations to address specifically what is happening with each unique patient.

We know from the research published from China in internationally respected journals, the death rate dramatically declined from ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) in SARS-CoV-2 patients who used Traditional Chinese Medicine AND the initial mild cases of the disease did not exacerbate to more severe, life threatening  symptoms.  For more information for published research on this topic see this link:

It is prudent to use nutritional therapies to naturally boost your immune system.  The following are very good ideas according to Chinese Medicine:

Eat easy to digest warm nourishing foods like warm soups, stews and rice porridge

Eat vegetables steamed, stir fried or baked.  AVOID raw foods that tax the digestion.

AVOID greasy, deep fried or difficult to digest foods.

Eat very few COLD foods including cold fruits, yogurts, cold drinks, etc.

Add some ginger to foods to aid your digestion.

Drink warm organic green tea which research demonstrates is replete with nutrients and has been shown to be anti-viral.

AVOID sweets, sugars, refined carbohydrates like pies, cookies, donuts, etc.  Sugar has been shown to dramatically reduce the immune system.

Additional ideas to boost immunity include getting thirty minutes of trunk sun (Full Chest) sun every day.

Engage in Tai Chi, Qi Gong and brisk walks daily to keep your Qi and blood strong and flowing. (There are many FREE YouTube videos online to try).

Turn off the TV and all electronic devices at least two hours before bed to allow the mind to settle.  Instead try reading, making crafts or engaging in activities that brings you peace.

Meditate, meditate and meditate.  With all the stress of this pandemic it is vital to engage in quiet, deep belly breathing for fifteen to twenty minutes each day.  The research done at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital demonstrate the immense immune boosting benefits of mediation.

For more information on an organic herbal formulation to boost your immune system, adjunctive treatment for COVID-19 or to schedule a virtual Telemedicine consultation via Skype, Facetime, etc. Please contact me at: (727) 515-8380 to schedule or view my website at: