To start 2022, I got covid. After managing to not get any form of covid in the last 2 years, this fate inevitable. At around this time, every second person in the Netherlands seems to be getting it (or already had it) and noticed most of my friends and colleagues were struggling with this being their first covid experience!
This detailed account is to describe my personal experience, while also sharing the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis and characteristic of this variant (for practitioners and health enthusiasts alike)
*Medical disclaimer: the Chinese herbal medicine ingredients listed in this post are can be recommended but if you wish to take personalized herbal medicine , please seek a Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner or get in touch with us for medical guidance
The evolution of covid in my body over the next 7 days..
Day 1 - I had a long training day in an enclosed space and by 6pm, my throat started to have a small itchy feeling. I didn’t have a cough yet, but there was definitely something itchy that I didn’t recognize. In the middle of January it’s not expected to have this kind of allergenic type of cough (at least for me) so I assumed it was due to the heat of the facilities that also made me feel quite dry in the mouth. I went to an outdoor workout class (it was very cold but my body did not feel freezing) and went home. The itchy throat continued to persist but no other symptoms that night.
Day 2 - woke up energized, the itch was still there and I started to have more of a cough. The cough is dry, and scratchy. No phlegm, no sputum. It really felt like I had a ball of cotton or wool from a sweater and it was stuck inside the throat. I start to have more coughs, maybe once every two hours or so. By evening, I am freezing. I feel extremely cold and presume I may have caught a cold from the workout class the night before. I drink ginger tea and honey to try and expel the cold, and also to heat the body up. By evening, I am cold and shivering and I wake up at 2am from a 39C fever. I take 1 paracetamol and go back to sleep.
Day 3 - I wake up fresh, I feel like the fever has gone and I must have sweated it out because I went to bed with a sweater on and woke up in a t shirt. I start to eat more light foods to ease the digestion. I have had no bowel movement for 2 days. At 3pm I feel a light fever coming, it rises quickly and I am burning up. Before dinner, I take paracetamol and am in bed for the rest of the afternoon, evening, until sleep. I am mostly sleeping with a fever this day.
Day 4 - I wake up with a sore throat and extremely dry eyes. This is the first time I have a sore throat and I have no fever. I feel tired and I am breathing heavy. My mouth is dry and tongue feels like a chalkboard, My lips are also dry, likely due to the fever. No aches or pain, just a fuzzy head and a bit of a small fever still. Breathing is very heavy and it feels like something is on my chest.
Day 5 - I feel much more energized. The mouth is still very dry but I am able to attend an online lecture for the whole day from 10am-5pm. Eyes are still dry. I feel a little weak but generally okay. I still have a slight sore throat this day and feel tired by evening. Breathing is still heavy, like I cannot fully take in a deep breathe like before.
Day 6 - Continue to feel mentally energized and physically I’m still catching up. I make a long day of work and end quite late and still feel okay. At this point my symptoms have mostly subsided and I continue to have a light cough, dry throat, dry lips, etc. Breathing less heavy, I have some phlegm in my throat now that I need to clear every so often (which is a good sign!)
Day 7 + - I am very energized, continue to have a small tickle in the throat and it is less difficult to breathe. My dry cough is turning more phlegmy, which means I can actually purge the virus out now.
What are Chinese herbal medicines for fighting covid omicron?
- Days 1-3: extreme clearing of heat, the Chinese herbal medicine formula I used include ingredients such as jin yin hua, ju hua, pu gong Ying, she Wei Huang, Xian Feng can, ya she Huang, pro hai can, Huang Lian, da Qing ye, cha chi Huang, Feng Wei can, hu Yao Huang. If you are a practitioner, you can try Yin Qiao Jie Du, and use extra doses in these critical days.
- Days 4-6: While I started to feel better the fever was gone, I still had a tongue coating that was thick and white, especially in the middle and in the lower jiao, red edges and red tip. I focused on herbs to treat the lung yin deficiency, expel my feelings of cold, and also to help with the cough. These herbs included ingredients such as: bei sha shen, jie geng, gan cao, pang da hai, shan dou gen, fang Feng, pi pa ye, ku Xing ren, bai he, zi wan, kuang dong hua, zhe bei mu, gua lou pi, sang ye, fu ling, lai fu zi
- Days 7+: to combat the overall fatigue, include bai zhu, chen pi, for continued eye dryness add chrysanthemum and goji
- Important: Herbal cough syrup I took everyday (5-7 spoons a day ever 2-3 hours): Pi Pa Gao
What is a Chinese medicine diet for covid?
When you are sick (covid or not) it’s very important to avoid hard to digest foods because the Lung + Large Intestine is currently working on transforming the pathogens and toxins inside of your body. For covid omicron, this variant produces extreme dryness, lung heat, and a combination of cold and hot
- Avoid: sugar, dairy, oily or greasy foods, fried foods, spicy food, spiced herbs, garlic, onion, fresh and cooked seafood, raw salads or juices, beef or lamb,
- Eat more of: rice porridge, oats, stewed/boiled fruits, steamed veggies, vegetable soups with light broth, avoid flavours
- Keep your body warm! Shower for a short amount of time, dry your hair with a blow dryer, and stay bundled.
Foods for you omicron: these foods help cool, moisten, and lubricate the lung and restore Yin to the overall body.
- Cooked pears (3x a day)
- Millet, oats, rice porridge
- Honey water
- Silken tofu (2x a day)
- Daikon radish + carrots in soup
- Lily bulb (Chinese medicine herb) cooked with steamed spinach
- Steamed egg (to ensure proper recovery of the virus, protein is important to build energy which builds immunity. Dr Sun advises his patients to eat up to 4 steamed eggs a day)
Hope this helps you, a family member, or a friend in need! Luckily our bodies are amazing organisms and will recover in time. If you found this helpful or have any questions, please leave a comment or get in touch!