Covid-19: 4 Brilliant ways functional medicine doctors are boosting immunity

Covid-19: 4 Brilliant ways functional medicine doctors are boosting immunity

Are you wondering how you can prevent and overcome some of your Covid-19 symptoms naturally?

In this post, I’ll share how we’re integrating supplements and herbs into my families diet to prevent and reduce symptoms of coronavirus.

>>Please note, I’m not claiming these herbs/supplements will prevent you from getting Covid-19, but they may, in fact, shorten your symptoms and boost your immunity for years to come.

By the end of this post, you’ll have my 13+ years of herbal medicine experience intertwined with master herbalists and functional medicine doctors who are helping our community get through and overcome Covid-19 with botanicals, supplements & diet.

The 4 little known ways you can boost your immunity during Covid-19:

Plus!! Consider Reducing your Oxidative stress to prevent Covdi-19- Read about it here:

Let’s dive in.

But first, these remedies and supplements NEVER take the place of your doctor. Please always see your doctor for ANY emergency and always consult them if you are taking medications.

What is Covid-19?

Stephen Buhner, Master Herbalist explains..

SARS-CoV-2 is an acronym, it is also known as Covid-19 (and sometimes as just the coronavirus or even SARS-2) which does make things confusing.

Regrettably, Covid-19 is also an acronym. It stands for COronaVIrus Disease of 2019, usually written COVID-19 (but also Covid-19). (It doesn’t mean that there were 18 Covids before this one.)

What are Covid-19 Symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How is Covid-19 spread?

The virus is primarily spread through the air (inhalation) and transfers during touch between the infected and the non-infected areas.

What can you do to make yourself more resilient during Covid-19?

Consider these 4 simple steps to support your immune system.

#1 Reduce inflammation with diet

Diet is always first. Eating well, staying a healthy weight, and reducing medications will always be your best friend for fighting viruses.

Consider the following..

  • Focus on whole, unprocessed/unpackaged, organic foods as much as possible
  • Reduce sugar and starch as much as you can – to reduce inflammation
  • Stop drinking! Yes, I know this one is hard. But, alcohol suppresses the immune system and steals vital nutrients from your body. *
  • Drink herbal teas daily like fresh ginger, peppermint, and lemon balm to soothe your stress, improve digestion, and boost immunity.
  • Consider additional vitamins and supplements to reduce inflammation in your body. {See below}

*Many of us have turned to alcohol to soothe our stress. But, it is well-known alcohol is very inflammatory, depresses the immune system, and can disrupt your sleep – which is so important to your healing. Cut out the alcohol and replace it with a cup of herbal tea!

#2 Add in vitamins & supplements to boost your immune system.

Boosting Immunity with Vitamins during the Covid-19 pandemic can be beneficial to your health. Here are the vitamins functional medicine doctors are suggesting we integrate to reduce symptoms of Covid-19 and to boost immunity. Of course, always check with your doctor first!

Here are the vitamins and minerals that have proven to reduce cold and flu symptoms in years past.

a. Zinc Acetate {other forms are ok as well}

  • If you tend to get sick a lot or your children have signs of asthma, you’ll want to add zinc to your diet. (source)
  • One of the first indications of zinc deficiency may be the white spots on your nails. Do you have them?
    • Zinc food sources: oysters, pumpkins seeds – meat, shellfish, legumes
    • Supplement Dosing: 25-60mg/day
  • Pro Tip: give zinc with food to prevent nausea
  • My favorite: Pure Encapsulations is a great company

Zinc lozenges may help prevent viruses from replicating in the nasal passages, may help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, have been shown to shorten the length of a cold by 2 to 4 days, and some studies have found zinc to be specifically preventative against certain coronaviruses, reducing their virulence and preventing their entry into cells. – Dr. Aviva Romm {source}

b. Vitamin D₃

c. Quercitin

Quercetin has antioxidant properties, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, and helps prevent heart disease and even cancer. {source} It’s derived from turmeric and works best when combined with black pepper.

  • Food sources for Quercitine: dill, broccoli, onions, apples, onions, berries berries, capers, grapes, onions, shallots, tea, and tomatoes, as well as many seeds, nuts, flowers, barks, and leaves. Quercetin is also found in medicinal botanicals, including Ginkgo biloba, Hypericum perforatum, and Sambucus canadensis {elderberry}
    • Look for 8-12 servings every day
  • Supplemental Dosing: 500 mg 2x day
  • Children: Children over 5. Dosing: 150mg 1-2x day
  • Pro tip: Take Quercetin with zinc for full absorption, not to be taken during pregnancy.

After the 2003 SARS-CoV-1 coronavirus outbreak, researchers in China found quercetin and other small molecules bound to the spike protein of the virus, interfering with its ability to infect host cells. (source)

d. Glutathione

Glutathione is known as an antioxidant, detoxifier, increases natural killer cells, and anti-inflammatory. It also is known to increase the function of the immune system. Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors, including poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress. Its levels also decline with age.

  • Food sources for Glutathione: cruciferous vegetables, green tea, garlic, onions, and shallots
  • Supplemental Dosing: 600mg 2x day
  • Pro tip: NAC boosts glutathione

e. Green Tea

If you change one thing, it would be to replace your cup of coffee with green tea! Green tea is known as an antioxidant and it produces Glutathione.

If you don’t like the taste of green tea, try a daily supplement.

  • Dosing: 4 cups a day or 225 mg/day through a supplement

f. Vitamin C

Vitamin C may shorten the duration of a cold and prevent pneumonia.

  • Food sources: Think bright orange fruits Cantaloupe, Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit, Kiwi fruit, Mango, Papaya, and Pineapple.
  • Adult Dosing: 500-1,000 mg/day up to 4,500 mg/day during infection
  • Kids Dosing:
    • Age 2-5: 200mg
    • Age 6-11: 250-500mg
    • Age 12+: 500-1000

g. Probiotics

Good bacteria line our nasal system and gut lining and contribute to our overall health. Consider adding in a probiotic if you’ve had many doses of antibiotics throughout your lifetime and after every round of antibiotics going forward.

  • Food sources: yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi, sourdough bread, and some cheeses.
  • Dosing: follow the information on the package.

60% of our immune system is in our gut which is why it is critical to focus on gut health now. – Dr. Mark Hyman {source}

h. Melatonin

Melatonin has an antioxidant capacity and reduces oxidative stress. {source}

  • Dosing: 3-5 mg at night

3. Stress-Reducing herbs

Lowering your stress can be one of the best things you can do for your health today. When you have an increase in stress, you are more prone to illnesses.

Read this post, I wrote for ICON on how you can reduce your stress every day with herbal remedies.

7 Natural remedies for everyday stress & anxiety

#4 Incorporate herbs during an infection

87% of people have Post Covid Symptoms; including symptoms that are similar to Chronic Fatigue Symptoms- Dr. Mark Hyman

Read this post to see the herbs I would use during and after exposure to Covid-19. COMING SOON…


It’s well-known that many of us are lacking valuable nutrients causing us to be more susceptible to viruses of any kind; including Covid-19.

During the pandemic, is the most optimal time to take note of your health and begin taking steps to improve your health with diet and vitamins. These are the vitamins and supplements that have helped us reduce the flu most years and have helped my son overcome “asthma-like” breathing.

Let us know in the comment area below. Have you had Covid-19? What helped you? Thank you for sharing. 💕

xo, Tara

P.S. Are you experiencing post-Covid symptoms? Book a health consultation today!


  • Stephen Buhner:
  • Dr. Mark Hyman:
COVID-19: How master herbalists are using herbs & homeopathy to decrease their symptoms

COVID-19: How master herbalists are using herbs & homeopathy to decrease their symptoms

Updated: 4.15.22

Are you wondering how you can reduce COVID-19 symptoms – naturally?

If you love using natural remedies and believe they can support you when you have an ever-changing virus like the Coronavirus – this post is for you!

Master herbalist Stephen Buhner has graciously shared these remedies in this handout and I have organized it into a more digestible blog post you can refer to for years to come!

But, before we begin, ALWAYS check with your doctor if you’re taking any medications as they may interact with these herbal remedies.

AND, always head to the ER for ANY high fevers and breathing concerns.

If you experience any adverse effects, always stop the remedy.

Stephen Buhner explains…

How is COVID-19 Spread?

  • Once in the nose, the virus looks for what is called ACE2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme-2) receptors.
  • There are about 40 trillion cells in the human body, many of which have these ACE2 receptors.
  • The spikes on the virus, are part of the virus that attaches to the ACE2 receptors on the cell.
  • To facilitate this, the spikes utilize an enzyme found on our cells – transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2).
  • This “primes” the virus’s spike protein so that it displays itself as a “fusion protein” to the cell via the ACE2 receptors.
  • This allows viral attachment to the ACE2 receptor and subsequent entry into the cell.
  • The primary herb which can be used to protect TMPRSS2 integrity, and stop the priming, is Salvia Miltiorrhiza- Dan Shen.
  • -Stephen Buhner {read the full report HERE}

Here are the 17 symptoms you may experience with the Coronavirus and some simple herbal remedies that can support you during this time.

30% percent of those infected have no fever, respiratory distress, or cough – Stephen Buhner

The following is from Stephen Buhner’s article:

Covid-19 is affecting the following organs:

  • lungs
  • kidneys
  • heart
  • brain
  • GI tract
  • skin
  • blood cells/circulatory systems are the main organs affected by the organism.

Covid-19 Statistics

  • 25% of people hospitalized for Covid-19 have some form of heart damage or arrhythmias
  • 20% have skin rashes
  • Significant blood clotting is occurring throughout the body for many people and this is probably the most serious common problem
  • Nearly all infected have high liver enzymes

The virus, in these cases, maybe sequester itself (as Lyme bacteria, and others, do) and then reemerge after treatment – or the organism may be generating a new form that the immune system does not recognize, or perhaps the immune system antibodies have become less effective over time.

Here are the major symptoms our community is experiencing and how you can integrate natural remedies to help reduce these symptoms faster.

Disclaimer: Below you’ll find the botanicals I use and the companies I trust. I’ve linked to the companies I have purchased from before, I did not link any herbs or companies I haven’t used before. For the full report, download Stephen Buhner’s vast document on COVID-19. I do receive a small commission if you purchase through this link.

Please note: Below is the dosing for Adults. I’ve noted the areas where I’m comfortable using herbs with kids. Always check with your doctor before adding in any new supplements.

Keep in mind… you’ll want to learn HOW to use herbs & homeopathy as well. Watch this video to learn how to use homeopathic medicine, then scroll down to see the remedies.

When you first notice you’ve tested positive and expressing symptoms, take one dose of Aconite 30c. Symptoms may spike and then resolve. Keep in mind, Aconite doesn’t work in stages 2 and 3.

Phosphorus, Arsenicum album, Kali muriaticum, and Bryonia are also first stage remedies to consider adding.

14 Common Covid-19 Symptoms and the herbal remedies to support you

#1 Air Hunger & Shortness of breath

  • Air hunger is described “as if every cell is gasping for breath at the same time”. For most people, it may be for just a few minutes at most. An inhaler is the most common use for acute shortness of breath.
  • Consider adding in these supplements if you experience shortness of breath or air hunger and over time, you may notice you don’t need the inhaler as much.
  • For kids? See the supplements we’ve used to help my son stop his asthma-like breathing.

How we cured “asthma-like” breathing naturally

For adult dosing for air hunger…

#2 Hypoxia- not enough oxygen

  • Rhodiola Rosea tincture
  • Known as an adaptogen, antidepressant, antioxidant, and cardio-protective. It’s used to nourish the lung and treat lung problems such as coughing blood and pneumonia. It’s also used to lower fevers, improve blood circulation, and enhance energy. ¹
      • Safety issues: Avoid using Rhodiola if you are bipolar, manic, or paranoid. It can cause insomnia in sensitive people.
      • Dosing: 10-40 drops 2-4x day

#3 Wheezing/Cough

  • Use the nebulizer as needed.
  • Look for expectorants to get the mucous out. You can also use Mucinex.
    • Fennel, fenugreek, Yerba santa (Eriodictyon), thyme, English ivy, coltsfoot, cayenne, osha, Pelargonium sidoides, myrtol
  • My sister suggested this herbal cough syrup. When they had Covid-19, she believes it helped her and her daughters.
  • Stephen lists this in great detail HERE.

#4 Brain fog/memory

Difficulty finding words.

  • Ginkgo Biloba – Traditionally used for a clear, sharp mind. Ginkgo has been shown to affect recall, recognition memory, reaction time, attention, concentration, mood, and energy levels.
    • Kids: Standardized extract has been used to treat asthma in children. ²
    • Dosing: 150mg, 2x day or 20-60 drops of the tincture OR…
  • Gotu Kola -In Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kolu is known as “Brahmi”, known as a rejuvenating nervine – it promotes mental alertness and sound memory.
    • Kids: Adverse effects are not expected. This dried herb has been used in India as a mental tonic for the mentally disabled and children. ²
    • Adult Dosing: 500 mg 2x day or 20-60 drops of the tincture

#5 Buzzing in nerves

  • Kava Kava-
    • This will make you sleepy; so take it at night or not when driving.
  • B-12
  • Medicinal marijuana

#6 Muscle twitching

  • Magnesium glycinate/citrate
    • Dosing: 200-400 mg 3x day
  • Vitamin B-12
    • Dosing: 1,000 micrograms daily {lower to 500 as symptoms resolve}

#7 Numbness

  • Ginkgo biloba
    • Dosing: 1tsp. 3-6x day
  • Fresh Ginger;
    • Dosing: 2 ounces fresh juice, squeeze of lime, a pinch of cayenne, and honey to taste in hot water 3-4x day

#8 Anxiety/panic attacks- I write about this on my youtube channel

  • Blue Vervain tincture
    • Dosing: 30 drops 6x day
With shock and uncontrollable anxiety add

#9 Insomnia

Inability to sleep.

  • Melatonin liquid
  • Ashwagandha tincture
    • Dosing: 1/2 tsp. one hour before bed
  • Scutellaria baicalensis {chinese skullcap}
    • Dosing: 1/2 to 1 tsp. 3x day
  • Motherwort
    • Dosing: 1/4 ounce of fresh tincture just before bed
Bolting awake at night
  • Ashwagandha 1/2 tsp. one hour before bed and/or
  • Cannabis various forms
  • Possibly add B vitamins to your diet as well

#8 Depression

  • Eleutherococcus: 1:1 formulation
    • Dosing: 1/4-1/2 tsp. 3x day with a break every 10 days {stop taking if it disrupts your sleep or causes anxiety}
  • Motherwort
    • Dosing: 1/4-1 tsp as often as needed
  • SAMe
    • Dosing: 200mg 1-2x day

#9 Headaches

    • Place 1 drop of peppermint essential oil in 1/4 cup of water. Drop a facecloth in the water and dab on your head.
  • Migraine-like
    • Vervain tincture 1/4-1 tsp. as needed
    • Scutellaria baicalensis 1/2 tsp. 6x day
  • Headache back of the head
    • Verbena Officinalis tincture 1/4-1tsp. as needed
  • Front of head
    • Milk thistle seed 1200 mg every 3 hours or
    • Yellow dock tincture 1tsp. in the water at bedtime

#10 Cardiovascular system

Caution: Check with your doctor if you’re taking anticoagulants. Botanicals can often raise or lower your blood pressure.

  • General health
    • Hawthorne berry 120-900 mg 3x day
  • Hypertension/tachycardia
    • Hawthorne berry 120-900 mg 3x day or
    • Motherwort 30 drops 6x day
  • Hypotension
    • Licorice tincture 1tsp to 6x daily {do not take more than 60 days in a row}
    • Caffeine
  • Palpitations
    • Scutellaria lateriflora 20-60 drops as needed
    • Passiflora incarnata 1/2-1.5 tsp. as needed
  • Angina
  • Poor circulation
    • Zingiber officinali {ginger root} 3-4xday

#11 Gastrointestinal tract

  • Nausea
    • Homeopathic nux vomica, 30x 4 pellets every hour and/or
    • Peppermint Essential oil, ONE drop on the tongue followed by 6 ounces of water.
      • Make sure you are using medicinal-grade essential oil! Not for use with children.
  • Cramping
    • Viburnum spp {cramp bark} 30-90 drops 4x day
    • Pulsatilla patens {pasque flower} 10 drops as needed
  • Diarrhea
    • Blackberry root infusion 1/4 ounce to 1 ounce in one quart of hot water, cover, and steep overnight. Rare to find, try Etsy.
    • Slippery elm or Marshmallow Root tea infusion

#12 Fever

  • Tea recipe for fever. Combine equal parts of:
    • Peppermint
    • Elderflower
    • Yarrow
    • Take 1 tbs. per 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add honey.
    • Safe for kids!
  • Tincture
    • Add Boneset tincture to tea as needed
  • Antiviral
    • Add 1 antiviral tincture every hour until the fever breaks.

#13 Pain

  • Homeopathic Bryonia
    • Dosing: 30c, 4 pellets, 4x day
  • Arnica
    • Dosing: 30c, 4 pellets 4x day – Stop if you experience adverse effects
  • Corydalis tincture
    • Dosing: 1/8-1/4 tsp. 3-4x day {contraindicated in liver disease}
  • Verbena Officinalis {vervain} tincture

#14 Muscle weakness

  • Panax quinquefolius {american ginseng}
    • Dosing: 3x day {stop if you cannot sleep or take just in the morning}
  • Homeopathic Lycopodium
    • Dosing: 30x, 4 pellets, 4x day

Anti-virals Covid-19 Symptoms

The most common botanicals being used for Coronavirus symptoms.

  • #1 Licorice root
  • #2 Japanese Knotweed
  • #3 Dan Shen {protective of heart issues}
  • #4 Gingko Bilboa
  • #5 Hawthorne Berry
  • #6 Astragalus*
  • #7 Rhodiola
  • #8 Goldenseal
  • #9 Andrographis
  • #10 Asian Ginseng – Panax Ginseng
  • #11 Reishi
  • #12 Echinacea
  • #13 Boneset
  • #14 Galium spp. Cleavers
  • #15 Eleutherococcus senticosus

During an active stage of Covid-19, you may consider…Hitting Pause on Vitamin D.

Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome

The community is noticing they are left very depleted after Covid-19 along with other adverse effects resembling CFS/ME symptomatology such as persistent fatigue, diffuse myalgia, depressive symptoms, and non-restorative sleep.

Consider this blend to boost your energy and reduce post-covid symptoms.

Recipe to Boost Adrenal Gland Fatigue- post-Covid-19

Take two parts (for example, 4 ounces) each of powdered herbs

  • spirulina
  • milk thistle seed
  • licorice
  • astragalus
  • turmeric
  • dandelion root
  • and nettle leaf
  • AND
  • One part each (for example, 2 ounces) each of :
    • chlorella, burdock root, Ashwagandha, Eleutherococcus, bladderwrack, and dried wheatgrass juice powder.
  • Blend with juice or water and take in the morning and evening to improve energy levels

Amazing grass is a great product with some of these ingredients:


Integrating natural remedies to reduce your viral symptoms, will help reduce your symptoms and boost your energy. As always, speak with your physician before adding in any new botanical; especially if you take medication.

What worked for my Covid-19 symptoms?

  • High doses of Liposomal Vitamin C – I took these 3x day {found here}
  • Echinacea tincture every hour
  • The best remedy was the homeopathic remedy for the flu! Learn more here:

xo, Tara

P.S. Most of these remedies will work with kids. If you are ready to learn more about herbs for kids, join my free challenge here 👇 Click the image below

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