Newsletter April 30, 2020


Dear clients and friends,

I am writing to tell you that my office will remain closed for the next 2 weeks starting Monday March 30. This is in keeping with all I’ve read about how to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. I hope everyone understands. I look forward to getting back to work at some point, hopefully soon. I hope that all of you will stay safe and well during this difficult and stressful time.

I am available during this time by phone or online for Chinese herbal medicine consultations. The cost for the consultation if you are an existing client is $50, including all follow up visits, and $100 for a new client. Chinese herbs can be helpful for prevention of the virus and for treating the initial phases of the illness. Chinese herbal medicine has been effective for centuries in helping with some of the worst pandemics the world has known, including the recent SARS epidemic, and there have been some very encouraging treatment protocols established for use in the current pandemic.

Most of my focus to this point has been on using Chinese herbs for prevention, and, there are also useful formulas to help with the initial stages of the illness. This is not meant to be used in place of conventional medical care, should you need that. If you have any questions about whether Chinese herbal medicine is appropriate for you, please contact me with questions and concerns.

For those of you already using Chinese herbs, I want to say a few words about the appropriate use of 2 popular formulas, Gan Mao Ling Wan and Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian. Both formulas are used for the initial onset of cold or flu symptoms, when you first start to notice a scratchy or sore throat, headache, malaise, etc. There are most effective if taken within the first day of the appearance of symptoms. They are not usually used as a preventive measure, unless you are traveling or know you will in a situation that exposes you to risk of infection. These formulas are generally not taken long term because many of the herbs in them are cold in nature, as most antiviral herbs are, and long term use can cause digestive problems.

There are a number of Chinese herbal formulas that boost immunity and strengthen resistance to illness. The most well known of these is Jade Windscreen formula (Yu Ping Feng San Wan) which consists of 3 herbs, Astragalus Huang Qi, Atractylodes Bai Zhu, and Siler Fang Feng. In Hubei proveince in China, which has been the epicenter of this disease, Jade Windscreen has been supplemented with anti-viral herbs like Forsythia Lian Qiao and Lonicera Jin Yin Hua (honeysuckle vine) to increase the formula’s ability to fight the virus. Other herbs can be added to further boost resistance.

I am not suggesting that Chinese herbs will cure the coronavirus or will be 100% effective in helping you avoid getting sick, but these herbs can be a very helpful addition to other healthy habits. It is also critical to eat well, sleep well, reduce stress, have appropriate contact with friends and family, and exercise. The herbs can act as a Jade Windscreen that protects you from harmful pathogens and maximizes your body’s innate talent for keeping you healthy.

There are a number of supplements or herbs you should not take if you become symptomatic, because they might stimulate an inflammatory response and make you worse. These include black elderberry, echinacea, astragalus and medicinal mushrooms. Those substances are appropriate for prevention though.

It’s also recommended you avoid ibuprofen as it seems to worsen symptoms, and corticosteroids, like prednisone, are known to increase viral shedding and replication. If in doubt contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

One last suggestion I have is to watch this video of Gregg Braden. He is scientist, amongst other things, and he does a really good job separating fact from fiction regarding coronavirus. There is one discrepancy between what Gregg says and what others in the know have said. He says that the virus can hang in the air. Other experts say that it does not. Based on information I’ve read, the only method of transmission is touching something that’s infected and then touching your face, or someone with the virus sneezing or coughing within 6 feet of you. You can find his video here

Thank you for reading and please stay safe! I value your feedback, so feel free to comment on this newsletter.

David Mortell, Licensed Acupuncturist

412 888 9390