In part one of this post I discussed prevention of COVID-19. However, some people are going to get infected despite their best efforts to prevent it, such as health care workers (like me) who will likely be exposed in our efforts to treat our patients, or someone who is a checker at a store who is having relatively close contact with a lot of different people (so be grateful to those who are putting themselves at risk to help others). Unfortunately this is spreading like wildfire in certain areas despite people best efforts to avoid getting and spreading it. So this post is about how to treat COVID-19 infections.
One of the main reasons people are so concerned about COVID-19 is that conventional medicine does not yet have any effective treatments. But this does not mean that there are not effective treatments out there. I believe there are many effective treatments including nutritional supplements, herbs, homeopathy and ozone. While none of these treatments have been proven, for all of them there are good reasons to presume they can help. When evaluating ANY treatment, be it conventional or alternative, I ask three question
1. Is there a scientific rationale to believe it might be effective?
2. Is it safe/are there significant potential side effects?
3. Is it affordable?
This has taken me over 11 days to write because there is no much information and the information keeps evolving so, as usual, please consider this a work in progress as I expect to be updating and expanding this.
In discussing treatments of COVID-19 the first point I want to make is THERE ARE NO PROVEN TREATMENTS FOR COVID-19.
There is some evidence to support all of the treatments I will be discussing but none of these are likely to help everyone who tries them. Treatment is best individualized and a treatment that may help one person may harm another so none of this is meant as medical advice and I recommend you discuss any potential treatments you try with your personal practitioner (though, especially if he or she is a conventional practitioner they will likely know little or nothing about most of these).
While the main information we have on treatment of COVID-19 comes from China, there were two other varieties of coronavirus that have caused outbreaks, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) which had an outbreak in China from 2002-2004, resulting in 8098 cases with 774 deaths and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which was first reported in 2012 and has had 100-492 cases per year, mostly in Saudi Arabia. There is information on treatments that helped those types of coronavirus and it is reasonable to presume that such treatments are likely to help COVID-19.
The most important thing to be aware of is that at least 80% of those infected have mild symptoms, with many having no symptoms at all. So this advice is primarily for those who develop symptoms. The most classic symptoms are fever, dry cough with shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue with the most serious complication, in a small minority being pneumonia, which can be fatal, esp. in the elderly, especially those with chronic disease such as diabetes and chronic lung disease, as well as those who are immunocompromised.
My recommendations are based on the advice of a variety of experts that I respect.
I previously discussed the recommendations of herbalist Stephen Buhner for prevention. For treatment he advises the same herbs as recommended for prevention in higher doses, as well as the addition of Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum).
1) Core formulation: Scutellaria baicalensis (3 parts), Polygonum cuspidatum (2 parts), Pueraria (2 parts), Glycyrrhiza (1 part), decocted Sambucus leaf tincture (1 part). Dosage: 1 tsp 3x day, if acute 1 tsp 6x day.
2) Immune formulation:Cordyceps (3parts), Angelica senensis (2parts),Rhodiola (1part), Astragalus (1 part). Dosage: Same as number one.
3) Cellular protection/cytokine modulation/spleen-lymph support:Salvia miltiorrhiza (3parts), Ceanothus (2 parts), Bidens pilosa(1 part). Dosage:Same as number one.
For active infection strong boneset tea 6x/day
Buhner also advises as a “General protective: Shuanghuanglian formulation. (Note: this was found in the earlier SARS outbreak in China to help considerably – a review of the already mentioned mechanisms indicates why. It is now being tested in clinical
trials in China for treatment of Cov-19 infections. The formulation is composed of Forsythia suspensa fruit (2 parts), Lonicera japonica(1 part), Scutellaria baicalensis (1 part).”
This formula is available on Amazon.
In his essay Buhner discusses the mechanisms via which COVID 19 causes illness and the physiological rationale for each of the herbs he recommends (linked in part 1 of this published on 3/15).
At least one company, Sage Woman Herbs, has created formulas based upon his recommendations, but it is currently out-of-stock but hopefully will be available again soon. See https://www.sagewomanherbs.com/buhner-cvs1-bundles.html?id=42785265&quantity=
It may not be possible or necessary to do all of the herbs Buhner recommends to have success. My personal streamlined protocol for someone who is infected is
Andrographis (ideally from Paradise Herbs) 2 capsules (or 1 dropperful of tincture) 4-8 x/day
Japanese Knotweed (aka polygonum cuspidatum) sold as Resveratrol from Paradise Herbs or Source Naturals, 3 capsules 2-3x/day
Vitamin C 1000 mg 4-6x/day
Cordyceps (I like Aloha medicinals) 3 2x/day
Rhodiola 200 mg/day
Ceanothus (Red Root) 1 dropperful 3x/day
Salvia miltiorrhiza (Red Sage) 1 dropperful 3x/day
Astragalus 1 dropperful/day
Licorice Root 1 dropperful 2-3x/day
and ideally Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicallensis) the hardest one to obtain, 1 dropperful 3-4x/day; do not use American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) as a substitute; my favorite source is woodlandessence.com but they are closed for at least a week but you can find it from other companies on Amazon etc.
My next expert is Detrich Klinghardt MD PhD who discusses published research such as an in vitro study published on 2/20/20 suggesting the pharmaceutical Chloroquine phosphate 500 mg 2x/day for 10 days for those with pneumonia from COVID-19 (see the 18 minute mark of his video presentation for the reference to this study). Another study suggested the combination of hydroxychloroquine (a close cousin of chloroquine phosphate) 200 mg 3x/day and Azithromycin, a commonly-used antibiotic at 500 mg/day was very effective in treating those with COVID-19. While a small study it was very impressive, helping all 20 who were treated- see https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Hydroxychloroquine_final_DOI_IJAA.pdf
However, I urge caution in using these drugs as they are not entirely benign. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have a long list of serious side effects, though, as typical, the side effects are often related to the dosage and how long they are taken. One concern is that these drugs, as well as Azithromycin, are known to result in a change in our heart function known as a prolonged QT interval which can result in cardiac arrhythmias and even cardiac arrest. So I only advise trying this treatment in those who are confirmed to have pneumonia caused by COVID-19 and NOT as a preventative. HOWEVER, Dr. Kilnghardt believes a natural alternative to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine is the herb Artemesia annua, aka Sweet Annie, 1 dropperful 4x/day (or more)
Nitazoxanide (brand name Alinia), widely used to treat parasites, was found to be very effective in treating MERS and thus can be expected to be effective for COVID-19. Like chloroquine it has been shown to inhibit COVID-19 in in vitro studies, This drug is generally safe and well-tolerated (much more than chloroquine) though rather pricey in the US (60 tablets from a Canadian pharmacy costs less than 1 tablet from a US pharmacy, though it can be relatively affordable from compounding pharmacies. A dose of 500-1000 2x/day is recommended. (again, see Dr. K’s powerpoint presentation at the 18 minute mark for the reference). It may also be available at reasonable prices from your friendly neighborhood compounding pharmacy, but it does require a prescription.
A press release from a Chinese hospital specializing in infectious disease stated that intravenous Vitamin C in doses of 100-200 mg/kg given 3 days in a row was extremely effective. This would translate to a dose of 7.5-15 grams for a 180 pound person. This is a very safe dose as doctors who administer IV C routinely give doses of 25-50 grams for acute and chronic infections. The only people who may not tolerate high doses of Vit C are those with a relatively rare genetic condition called G-6PD deficiency, which affects about 5% of people, but even those people can tolerate 15 grams of IV C.
Vitamin C, safe and simple as it is, has a long history of use in treating infections, dating back to the 1950’s when pioneering doctor Franz Klenner successfully cured polio with it. I have used it on hundreds of patients (including myself) with tremendous success for treating many different infections. Nowadays there are not only many integrative MD’s, DO’s and naturopaths who administer IV C but freestanding centers that administer IV nutrients.
If I felt I might be infected with COVID-19 this would be the first treatment I would try.
There is an impressive report on the use of IV Vitamin C in China for those hospitalized with COVID-19.
Quoting from the article below:
(IVAA stands for IV Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C))
“Chinese facility patient load: 358 total Covid-19 patients as of March 17th, 2020.•Facility treated approximately 50 cases (of the 358) of moderate to severe COVID-19 infection with IVAA. •The IVAA dosing was moderate and affordable (detail below) and dose determined by clinical status.•All patients who received IVAA improved. •There was no mortality in the IVAA group. •There were no side effects reported from any patients in the IVAA group.•Average COVID-19 patients had a30-day hospital stay, but COVID-19 patients that received IVAA had a hospital stay that was3to 5 days shorter than the non IVAA treated patients.”
to learn more about IV C.
However, if this is not available to you there should still be some benefit to taking high doses of oral Vitamin C. If you feel you are becoming ill take 1000-3000 mg of Vitamin C every hour until you reach what is called “bowel tolerance.” Normally we can only absorb about 5000 mg of Vit C a day but when we are ill we absorb much higher amounts. When we reach the point where we have ingested all we need then we stop absorbing it and the unabsorbed C stays in our intestines and acts as a laxative. See http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html for the classic article on taking Vit. C to bowel tolerance.
There are many more supplements that are wise to take but before discussing those Dr. Klinghardt discusses something that he believes is crucial, which is to reduce/minimize our exposures to EMF’s (electromagnetic fields), especially wi-fi and frequencies from cell towers.
This is controversial as there are still some clueless scientists who claim these frequencies are harmless but there is a tremendous amount of sound science showing how harmful they are. This is a sensitive subject because you can not see, smell or hear EMF’s; they are omnipresent and insidious and our modern life (more than ever in this era of social isolation) relies a great deal on being connected via the internet and cell phones. Thus, for those interested in the science on this here is a good thorough yet relatively concise overview with many links for further exploration:
While all Wi-fi has deleterious effects 5G is especially harmful. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that the first city in the world fully wired for 5G was Wuhan, China. Milan, Italy is another center of 5G roll-out. Kirkland, WA is one of the leading centers for 5G in the US. At Evergreen Hospital, which has the highest level of EMF’s ever measured at a hospital, 6 of 10 patients with COVID-19 died.
Here is a brief video by another brilliant doctor from San Francisco, Dr. Thomas Cowan, where he explains his take on the connection between 5G and COIVD-19:
There are simple steps to reduce EMF exposures. One is to, as much as possible, not keep your cell phone on your body and, if you do, keep it on airplane mode as much as possible. When talking on your cell phone it is ideal to put it on speakerphone and hold it a couple feet from your body- the farther away from you the less the amount of EMF’s. And for computers and iPads, it is ideal to have an old-fashioned wire modern but few of you will probably do this, so the simplest thing is to turn off your wi-fi router whenever you are not online, esp. at night while you are sleeping. EMF protective clothing is another option to consider.
One of the things wi-fi does is lower our melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone produced by our pineal glands and is important in immune function. One way to enhance immune function to prevent infections as well as to treat it is to supplement with melatonin in doses of 40-60 mg at bedtime.
Next i will discuss something advised by both Dr. Klinghardt and another renowned researcher, Dr. Marco Ruggiero MD, PhD, a molecular biologist from Italy who is the author of 225 peer-reviewd papers. Both Dr. Klinghardt and Dr. Ruggiero have discussed the important role of FURINS in the biology of COVID-19 infections. Furins are enzymes in the wall of all our cells that break down proteins (known as proteases). This is complicated so I will try to keep it simple: when COVD-19 infects us it is initially in a form that is inactive; our bodies attack the virus with furins but the furins activate certain proteins in the virus that make it much more infectious (you can see Dr. Klinghardt’s and Ruggerio’s presentation for more detail). So inhibiting furins appears to be one of the best strategies for fighting this infection. Furins are also involved in the activation of other infections such as HIV and Anthrax so there is successful experience in inhibiting furins to treat those infections.
Dr. Klinghardt recommends the herb Andrographis, which has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, as a potent furin inhibitor. This herb also has many other properties as a natural antimicrobial, immune booster and anti-inflammatory. Dr. Klinghardt believes blocking furins is the best way to prevent the infamous Cytokine Storm that COVID-19 can trigger.
He advises a dropperful of the tincture 4x/day as a preventive and a dropperful every hour for active infection.
Vitamin C in high doses also has anti-furin properties.
Other furin inhibitors include Folic acid, a B vitamin (though I advise taking the methylfolate form), L-arginine, which is an amino acid, Milk Thistle extract, Glutathione, an endogenous enzyme that can also be taken as a supplement and epigallocatechin gullate (EGCG) from green tea.
Dr. Ruggiero also discussed how the spike proteins on the COVID-19 (which, of interest, appear to be identical to the spike proteins on the HIV virus) have a strong positive charge and substances with a high density of negative charges should inactivate it. He proposes a novel type of chondroitin sulfate produced by microbial fermentation that he has been developing since 2011. His product that has this is called “imuno.” The bad news is that a 3 ml vial costs $650 (though if you get 3 vials it is 4% off) so I am not recommending it, esp. since the idea it can help is purely theoretical, but you can get it here https://naturalsolutions.nz/imuno/imuno-3ml-vial?product_rewrite=imuno-3ml-vial
To listen to Dr. Ruggiero’s detailed presentation go to http://www.sophiaeducate.com/vulnerability/
It is long (slightly over an hour) but there is also a transcript and slides on that page.
Dr. Klinghardt also discussed the Inflammasone which are part of the immune system that activate inflammation. Again, inflammation results in a cytokine storm, the over-reaction of the immune system which can be fatal. The mechanism is activation of the NLRP-3 Inflammasone. Strategies for calming this over-reponse include high doses of Vitamin C, Melatonin in doses of 40-60 mg/day at bedtime, Propolis (a natural anti-microbial produced by bees) and, interestingly enough, humming! Viruses stimulate our cells create proteins called viroporins that basically create holes in our cell walls that allow new viruses to leave the cell but also cause calcium to enter the cells, causing an inflammatory response. Wi-fi also facilitates entry of calcium into cells, aggravating inflammation. Nitric oxide, a substance found in every cell of our body, also inhibits NLRP-3 activation and one way of stimulating nitric oxide production is the amino acid L-arginine. However, for those with recurrent herpes or chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection L-arginine can aggravate those, so a safer way to stimulate nitric oxide production is to eat beets, beet juice or beet powder (this is not Dr. Klinghardt’s advice but my personal advice). But Dr. Klinghardt has found that simply humming as one exhales immediately increases nitric oxide in the sinuses and nasal passages which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and has been used as a successful treatment for chronic sinusitis.
A common medication for high blood pressure is a family of drugs known as ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) inhibitors (Lisinopril/Zestril, Ramipril/Altace, Quinapril/Accurpril etc.). COVID-19 enters our cells by binding to the ACE receptors so at first glance it might seem like ACE inhibitors would be a good thing, but the body responds to ACE inhibitors by creating more ACE receptors so those on these meds may be at greater risk. However, another group of drugs called Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (Benicar/Olmesartan, Diovan/Valsartan, Cozaar/Losartan etc.) may actually be protective.
Selenium is a trace mineral that is considered a strong anti-viral supplement but selenium is also a natural ACE inhibitor so Dr. Klinghardt advises avoiding it. However, I have also heard about a study showing that those in China with COVID-19 who had low levels of selenium had a poorer outcome and many other holistic practitioners are advising selenium. So this is probably a situation where you want to make sure you are not deficient in selenium but also want to avoid very high doses- the Goldilocks dose.
While Dr. Klinghardt advises high doses of Vit C, Andrographis and melatonin as his initial measures, there are many other herbs that may help, including Calendula, Licorice, Baikal Skullcap, Artemesia annual and Dandelion.
In terms of treatments to avoid, you may have heard it is best to avoid Nonteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibupofen (Advil/Motrin), Naprosyn and Aspirin, as they may make the lung involvement more severe. But the main reason I advise avoiding these, as well as drugs like Acetaminophen (Tylenol) because they sabotage our immune system. The human race (and our primate ancestors) has co-evloved with microbes for millions of years and our primary strategy is to respond with a fever. Not only do microbes such as COVID-19 not survive as well at high temperatures but our white blood cells function much more efficiently. Lowering fever disrupts this process.
During the great 1918 influenza pandemic up to 30% of those who sought care from conventional allopathic doctors died while it is documented that only about 1% of those who were treated by homeopaths died. I would like to believe that is because how wonderfully effective homeopathy is for infections but it also appears that one of the reasons is that allopaths gave their patients massive doses of aspirin and that interference with their immune function contributed to the death of many. See this fine article by my friend Dana Ullman MPH:
I am about to dive deeper into homeopathy but first want to mention 2 treatments not discussed by Buhner, Klinghardt or Ruggiero but which is likely to help a great deal. The first is N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), a form of the amino acid L-Cysteine, which is a natural expectorant (an agent that thins mucous). COVID-19 seems to often result in a lot of thick mucous in the lungs, which can be difficult to clear, so anything that thins mucous is likely to help. Not only does NAC thin mucous but it reduces inflammatory cytokines so may well help suppress cytokine storms. Also, NAC is a precursor of Glutathione, an endogenous antioxidant that is a good immune booster and which is also inhibits furins. I advise 1200-`1800 mg 2x/day for anyone with a cough caused by COVID-19, taken at least 2 hours after protein (and no protein for 45 minutes after)- first thing in the morning and bedtime may be best.
Another excellent natural expectorant that is also a strong anti-microbial is Iodine. I advise Lugol’s iodine (I like J, Crow’s brand), available at many health food stores, as well as Amazon) 6 drops in a glass of water 3-4x/day. See https://drsircus.com/general/dosages-and-treatments-for-coronavirus-infections/ for advise not only on iodine but other supplements that can help COVID-19.
Now for something that is really important though somewhat controversial, homeopathy.
As a holistic medical doctor I have studied virtually every system of healing: allopathic medicine, herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine etc. The system of healing that has impressed me most is homeopathy. But it is not only not accepted but ridiculed by the mainstream. For example, if you look up homeopathy on Wikipedia it says “Homeopathy or homoeopathy is a pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine…All relevant scientific knowledge about physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology gained since at least the mid-19th century confirms that homeopathic remedies have no active content. They are biochemically inert, and have no effect on any known disease.”
These statements are outright lies and a great example of why one can not trust much of the information that is online. There is a huge body of impeccable double-bind controlled studies in the peer-reviewed medical literature proving that homeopathy is an effective system of healing. Anyone who is skeptical about homeopathy or who wants to see why Wikipedia is incredibly biased and inaccurate on this subject is encouraged to see https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dysfunction-at-wikipedia-_b_5924226
As a graduate of a 4-year postgraduate training program, the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy, as well as someone who has practiced homeopathy for over 30 years I can testify that it is capable of producing astounding cures of conditions considered incurable by conventional medicine. And it is remarkably safe as well as very affordable, a true “people’s medicine” which is why the Pharmaceutical Industry is so threatened by it and has gone to great lengths to discredit it.
There is a long historical record of homeopathy being very successful in treating epidemics from the 1918 Influenza epidemic to epidemics of cholera, malaria, polio etc. This article discussed prevenitve treatment known as homeoprophylaxis:
Homeopathy is famous for being an individualized treatment; for example 10 people with influenza may need 10 different remedies. When there is an epidemic often homeopaths find one of two remedies that work in almost everyone who acquires the illness but, in this case, homeopaths have not found it so simple. There are many homeopaths in China, India, Japan, Italy etc. who are reporting great success in treating COVID-19 but there are many different remedies that have been found to be successful. Among the remedies that are suggested by leading homeopaths are
You can read about these remedies at https://abchomeopathy.com/
One more treatment I want to mention is ozone therapy. I have learned about ozone therapy from another extremely brilliant doctor, Robert Rowen MD. He believes that IV ozone is a treatment that is almost certain to be very effective for COVID-19 based upon his extensive clinical experience with it. This is not as widely available as the other treatments mentioned but a growing number of innovative practitioners offer it (most are listed on Dr. Rowen’s website).
To learn more about ozone therapy see
That’s it for now but check back for regular updates.
And, while I would never dream of charging for this information, it took me many hours to assemble this and if you find it of value even a small donation would be most appreciated by going to paypal (https://www.paypal.com/us/home) and then sending your donation c/o
Thanks and Blessings,
Randy Baker MD