Barbara Roberts, Homeopath


There is much fear in the news at the moment about the novel Coronavirus originating in China that has killed over 80 people to date.

Initially China released information on the first 17 deaths in Wuhan. 15 were over the age of 60, and 10 had a pre-existing condition. ( At that point there had been around 600 cases. Since then they have not been publishing information about the deaths so it is hard to know if the trend of elderly and people with pre-existing conditions at increased risk has continued, but I think it likely.

Symptoms of Coronavirus include fever, nasal congestion, headache, cough, sore throat, muscle pain and a general unwell feeling. The more severe cases from this Wuhan outbreak have had Pneumonia with breathing difficulties, sepsis and organ failure. The severity varies widely.

WHO treatment protocol for severe acute respiratory infection when they suspect the novel Coronavirus recommends: oxygen therapy, empiric treatment with antimicrobials based on risk assessment and may include antivirals and antibiotics and recommends against corticosteroids. While antimicrobials are recommended to start within one hour, unneeded drugs would be discontinued after microbiology results showing the pathogen cause. The SARS Coronavirus was not susceptible to any antiviral available and it is likely that this Coronavirus is the same.

With any illness, treat early and reduce the risk of complications. Homeopathy is also compatible with conventional treatment, and can provide both physical and mental and emotional support.

To reduce the spread of contagious disease, and the risk to yourself and others:

** wash your hands. Simple, but effective. You can read more about the history of hand washing here:

But basically, wash your hands before touching your mouth, nose or eyes, and before eating.

** it should go without saying: stay home if you are sick. Reduce the risk to others.

** wearing a face mask is not necessary in New Zealand generally. It is being recommended in Wuhan and other quarantined cities, and may be of benefit if you are looking after someone with pneumonia or influenza, or if you are sick and coughing and sneezing and you have to go to a public area. Make sure the mask is fitted over your nose, mouth and chin.

Homeopathically, for any respiratory virus there are remedies you can have on hand. Note these are not specifically for Coronavirus, homeopathic remedies are based on signs and symptoms not diagnosis, and based on General Coronavirus symptoms these may help:

** Aconite- first signs of any illness. Symptoms may come on suddenly, particularly after exposure to a cold, dry wind. Frequent sneezing, burning throat, thirst and restlessness.

**Belladonna- sudden onset high fever with red, flushed face, skin feels hot and dry. Sore throat is worse on the right side and a dry, tickling cough worse at night.

**Arsenicum- thin, watery discharge that irritates the nostrils and upper lip. Sore throat better for hot drinks, feel better inside even though nose is stopped up. May be anxious.

**Gelsemium- this is slow to come on, feeling sluggish, chilly and lethargic. Sneezing, a water discharge that irritates the nose and a dull headache.

**Natrum muriaticum- sneezing, watery or egg white like discharge. Nose becomes stopped up and there is a loss of smell and taste. May have a bursting headache and be annoyed by sympathy.

**Nux Vomica – sneezing spells, nose runny in the daytime and stopped up at night. Chilly, sore throat and they are irritable.

These remedies are all appropriate in the earlier stages of a mild upper respiratory tract infection. As it changes and the mucus changes consider Pulsatilla, with thick, yellow, bland discharges and a cough that is dry in the morning and chesty at night or Hepar Sulph, with rattling cough, sore throat like a splinter and thick yellow mucus from nose and coughing.

It is possible to use Homeopathy to support the body with severe respiratory infections including Pneumonia- I suggest you contact a Homeopath because this will need ongoing support, likely several remedies over time.

Supplements for the prevention and minimisation of viral infections, as recommended by the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine for adults (for children reduce the amount given proportionately, if in doubt contact a Naturopath or integrative Doctor):

Vitamin C 3000mg daily in divided doses

Vitamin D3 2000IU daily

Magnesium 400mg daily

Zinc 20mg daily

Selenium 100mcg daily

You can read the article here and join their mailing list here

For herbal support read this post from the Herb Federation of New Zealand:

To briefly summarise Kawakawa, Parsley, Scutellaria baicalensis, Elderberry and St Johns Wort all contain bioactive compounds that may be effective against this novel Coronavirus. I suggest talking to a Medical Herbalist or Naturopath for information about these herbs, how much to use and how to prepare.

If you are concerned in NZ, ring Health line on 0800 611 116 to talk to a registered nurse.

Send me a message if you would like support with remedies to have on hand in your home kit, or to make an appointment for constitutional treatment or acute support.

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