Best At Home Remedies for Recovering from COVID and Flu
In summary of our article series on cold and flu symptom management at home, we are going to finish with talking about what to do with the after effects of COVID or flu infections. Long term COVID symptoms can linger for a long time and can be very unpleasant to live with. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, keep reading for more tips on how to feel better at home.
Earache, Hearing Loss, or Vertigo
Often times, ear ache and hearing loss can result from an infection in the throat, such as Strep throat. As the throat is inflamed and filled with exudate, that infection can spread via the Eustachian tubes into the inner ear. The Eustachian tubes are canals formed from the nose to the inner ear. The nose opens to the throat as well, so this is a pathway that infection can easily spread. The purpose of our Eustachian tubes is to equilibrate pressure in our ear. This is the same sensation when flying at altitude and why we feel the need to “pop our ears”.
Exudate can fill up the canals in the Eustachian tubes and make it difficult for the Eustachian tube to open and close properly. It can feel like hearing is poor and sufferers often feel like they are hearing underwater. The inner ear also contains the vestibular system, which helps us to maintain balance and senses where we are in space, vertigo can be a common etiology after there has been a throat or ear infection.
If you are experiencing vertigo, you can perform the Epley Maneuver at home. This is a great video to show you how. This podcast, Talk Dizzy To Me, is hosted by a vestibular physical therapist can help you understand the mechanism better. If you do the Epley Maneuver, make sure you have a trash can nearby.
Acupuncture can help a great deal to manage hearing loss and vertigo, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and no longer are infected with COVID, please make an appointment in our office.
Body Aches & Pain
Joint and muscle pain accompanied by an aching sensation is a hallmark symptom of post COVID recovery. It can be debilitating and it is often accompanied by fatigue and brain fog. This is a typical symptom that can occur after vaccination as well, it’s usually temporary and can be managed at home.
Often times, body aches and pains can result from not getting enough potassium. Good sources of potassium include bananas, coconut water, celery, apricots, potatoes, winter squashes (butternut, acorn, kabocha).
Epsom Salt Baths are probably the best way to manage body aches and muscle pain. Often times, body aches are the muscles signal that they are low in magnesium. Muscles need magnesium to be able to relax! Epsom baths contain magnesium sulfate which dissolves easily in water and can provide a lot of relief. Begin by filling your bathtub with warm water and dissolve 1 full cup of Epsom salts into the bath water. You can also add your own essential oils if you like, like eucalyptus, frankincense, peppermint or sweet orange oil.
A sauna bath prior to an Epsom salt bath can be helpful as well to sooth muscle pain and soreness, circulate blood, and release built up lactic acid in the muscles.
Gua Sha is another great tool, and I often recommend it for patients with fibromyalgia. While it is more popular in the beauty industry currently, traditionally gua sha has been used for muscle pain and fascial adhesions. We also can do gua sha in the office, but you can do it at home as well. Here is a video for gua sha on the neck and upper back, and it is a good tutorial on how you can do gua sha at home. Keep in mind your skin will be bright red afterwards, which usually fades after a couple of days.
Fever is a typical symptom that happens during the initial onset of an illness such as COVID or flu. If you are feeling feverish and you are looking for relief, you can try cupping at home. It is a good idea to get someone to help you with this. Follow the spine of your neck downwards until you feel a large bone, where it meets your upper back. This is C7, and on its border to T1 is a really, really good point for reducing fevers. Place a cup over it and apply suction, and allow it to sit for 5-7 minutes, then remove. Do not leave it on longer than that or it can cause blisters. You can also just cup the entire back, this will help if you have cough or congestion.
Juicing is another great way to clear inflammation from the system. Cilantro, mint, celery, cucumber, watercress, watermelon are all cooling and can help bring body temperature down.
I also like to drink a tea of dried honeysuckle and dried chrysanthemum flowers when suffering from any kind of flu like infection. These two herbs work really well together in combating flu like symptoms on the onset of an upper respiratory infection.
If you try these techniques and your fever does not go down, please consult with a physician right away.
Don’t eat sugar, avoid dairy, gluten, and greasy foods. Eat lots of warm, soupy broths. Keep some fresh ginger, garlic, and oranges so you can grate them into your food and teas. Eat lots of vegetables.
So the moral of this story is – don’t wait to get treated or tested. I waited b/c I didn’t want to infect my doctor in case I had COVID, but the truth is, I had a bacterial infection that got worse b/c I didn’t treat it in a timely manner. Some infections such as streptococcus infections can spread to the heart, to the kidneys and become severe so….don’t wait.
Use Chinese Medicine
If you aren’t feeling better and need relief, please reach out to us and we will give you a formula to help you! Even if we are not able to treat you in the office, you can consult with us virtually and tell us your symptoms then we can fill a Chinese herbal formula to meet your needs.
Also, please consult with a doctor if your fever exceeds 99 deg F.
It’s important to note that if you have an infection, especially a bacterial infection in the case of strep throat, that you see a physician for treatment immediately.
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