Herbal Support for COVID-19

May flowers

Well the news has been pretty grim and unnerving these last couple of months.  I’m guessing Mother Nature is a little upset with the human race these days.  Can’t  say as I really blame her.  But the good news is that she offers us support, to those of us who are aware, through her abundance of natural things that can nourish, protect and comfort us during these trying times.

I came across this article, and list of herbs, from Elise Krohn, herbalist and native foods educator and I thought it definitely was worth sharing:

Herbal Support during COVID-19 Times

With the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, most people are experiencing fear and anxiety. We can support ourselves, our family, and our community by staying calm, practicing good personal health habits, and remembering that our bodies are resilient.

This is an opportunity for us to slow down and consider what will best support our health. It is also a potential time to strengthen relationships with the land. How can we cultivate and utilize the medicines around us? How can we build a strong and resilient community?

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people and those with serious medical conditions are at greater risk. Please follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for updates.

COVID-19 is new in humans, and we don’t know what medicines will treat the disease yet. This handout includes general recommendations, including supportive plants and foods. It is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Check with your health care provider to make sure herbs are safe to use with your medications.

Quick Guide to Herbal Support:

I am feeling fine, and want to boost my immunity

  • Follow general recommendations including drinking plenty of water, eating well, and staying well-rested.
  • Use immune-supportive plants: astragalus, echinacea, elderberry, licorice, and medicinal mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, lion’s mane, turkey tail, etc.)
  • Vitamins A, C, D-3 and zinc in sufficient amounts
  • Incorporate medicinal kitchen spices into your foods and beverages including cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, garlic, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, etc.
    For nervous system support and energy: ashwagandha, ginseng, holy basil.

I am having cold or flu symptoms

Take radical action to care for yourself. Stay home and make your health your priority. Drink plenty of fluids including teas and soups, and eat healthy foods with immune supportive and antimicrobial plants. Boost vitamin C intake. Use essential oils in a diffuser, bath, and/or respiratory steam. See the plant list for remedies to fit your symptoms. Be in touch with your health care practitioner if you are showing any signs of COVID-19.

  • Antibacterials – alder, cedar leaf, evergreen tree needles, garlic, ginger, goldenseal, oregano, Oregon grape, sage, thyme, usnea, yarrow
  • Antivirals – cedar, elderberry, lemon balm, Lomatium, licorice, medicinal mushrooms
  • Soothe coughs – elecampane, honey, licorice, marshmallow, mullein
  • Decongestants – cottonwood, elder flower, elecampane, horseradish, mint, sage
  • Expectorants – cottonwood, elecampane, garlic, goldenseal, horseradish, mullein, oregano
  • Fevers – boneset, catnip, cottonwood bark, elder flower, ginger, willow, yarrow
  • Immune Support – Medicinal mushrooms, astragalus, licorice, evergreen tree leaves including cedar, fir, pine, and spruce (used as syrup, tea, lozenges, steams, incense)
  • Sore Throats – alder, cinnamon, ginger, licorice, marshmallow, rose, slippery elm.

© Elise Krohn, Valerie Segrest, Renee Davis, Rhonda Grantham, Sophie Geist.
Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND).
This information is not intended to diagnose or prescribe


A video and pdf download of the full article are available at Urban Indian Health Institute:

Immune & Respiratory Herbs and Herbal Support During the COVID-19 Outbreak