Seeing Through the Fear of COVID-19

Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people are immediately alarmed and worried when they feel a little tickle in the throat or have to cough to clear the throat. “Am I infected with the novel coronavirus?” “What should I do?” As a physician, I want to address the anxiety arising from the uncertainty of infection and the sense of helplessness against fighting off an infection.

It is difficult to diagnose COVID-19 based on symptoms alone because infected individuals have varying symptoms depending on the strength of their immunity. Generally, those with a strong immune system tend to experience milder symptoms: a slight fever or alternating hot and cold sensations as well as some coughing. Your symptoms can be very similar to the common cold. Having a healthy immune system, you can recover within 7 to 10 days. A strong immune system is key to mitigating COVID-19 symptoms. To keep your immune system strong, try to be in deep sleep by 11pm, eat cooked foods made from fresh ingredients, and take a natural supplement to support immune function.

For those who have weak respiratory systems (smoking, asthma, COPD), compromised immune systems, or existing illnesses, which are common conditions in the elderly population, initial symptoms tend to be tiredness or soreness all over the body, irritated throat, and coughing. Within 3 days, however, the initial symptoms progress quickly to severe coughing and difficulty breathing. For these individuals, there is a 7-day window in which Chinese herbal medicine can be taken to vent heat or reduce fever, eliminate phlegm and relax bronchial spasms to alleviate coughing.

To conclusively determine infection, laboratory testing is required. Here in the U.S., it may be difficult to get tested because of a shortage of supplies. Patients who have symptoms and are concerned about infection can do a quick breath test: Breath in deeply, hold to a count of 10, exhale slowly. If you coughed any time during that breath test, you probably have an infection. The earlier your cough appears during the breath test, the more severe your condition.

If your breath test produces a cough, go get tested at the hospital or at a testing site. If your laboratory test comes back negative for COVID-19, but you have a dry cough, you can take a natural cough and cold remedy.  

If your laboratory test confirms COVID-19 infection and you do not have trouble breathing, the hospital will most likely send you home to rest and wait it out. Western medicine currently has no cure, no vaccine, no anti-viral for treating COVID-19. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), however, has effective herbal remedies that alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19 and thereby facilitate the body’s innate ability to recover. American interest in TCM for combating COVID-19 has only recently made the news.

Unknown to most Americans, TCM doctors in China have already crafted a specific herbal formula, called Qing Fei Pai Du Tang, to treat COVID-19 patients. Because Qing Fei Pai Du Tang has shown 97% effectiveness, it has become the official formula throughout China for all COVID-19 patients presenting with mild to severe symptoms including pneumonia.

Qing Fei Pai Du Tang is not readily available in the U.S. because two ingredients that eliminate phlegm and relax bronchial spasm (ephedra & Chinese wild ginger root) are banned by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and would like to take a modified version of Qing Fei Pai Du Tang (4 herbs that eliminate phlegm and open the airways are substituted for ephedra & Chinese wild ginger root), click on this link to Silkie Herbs, a California-based company that has a long tradition of producing herbal remedies of the highest quality.

Dr. Patricia Nguyen graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in Asian Languages and Civilizations before completing the Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine and the Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine degrees at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. In 2013 she received the Golden Flower Award for excellence in herbal medicine.  She is board certified by state and national standards and is in private practice in Newport Beach, CA.

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