Natural-Based Breathing Recommendations for Mild COVID-19 Symptoms

Here are Our Top Natural-Based Recommendations to Support Breathing in People With Mild Coronavirus Symptoms

The body's respiratory system includes the nose, sinuses, mouth, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea), and lungs. Upper respiratory infections or illnesses affect the parts of the respiratory tract that are higher on the body, including the nose, sinuses, and throat, while lower respiratory infections affect the airways and lungs. There are a range of illness that can affect the body’s respiratory system, from pneumonia to the common cold to COVID-19. 

According to the CDC, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, even gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach pain. People with chronic conditions including diabetes, lung disease and heart disease appear to be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

As of April 1, 2020, there is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19, and no specific medicine to treat or manage symptoms.  While we are certainly in uncharted waters dealing with this havoc-reeking coronavirus, we do know people with mild symptoms may need extra supportive care to help them breathe while they stay at home during recovery.

Here are our top natural-based recommendations to support breathing in people with mild coronavirus symptoms:

Inhaling Steam

Inhaling steam can help to keep a person’s nasal passages clear, which can help them breathe more easily. Heat and moisture from steam may also break down mucus in the lungs, which might also reduce breathlessness.

To try steam inhalation at home, a person should:

  • fill a bowl with very hot water
  • add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil
  • place their face over the bowl, with a towel over their head
  • take deep breaths, inhaling the steam

It is important to make sure that the water is left to cool slightly if it has just boiled. Otherwise, the steam could scald the skin.

You can also use a humidifier (if still available in stores). Essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree, oregano, lavender, or orange can be added to the water in the humidifier, though you should check the humidifier’s instructions before adding anything other than water.

Eating Fresh Ginger

Antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger effectively fight the root cause of the respiratory tract infection. You can chew a few slices of ginger every day with some salt. You could also drink ginger tea by boiling a few slices of ginger in water. Eating fresh ginger, or adding some to hot water as a drink, may help reduce shortness of breath caused by a respiratory infection.

One study has shown that ginger may be effective in fighting the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections.


Sit in the Sun

Daily sunshine helps to keep lungs healthy. Medical scientists have found that vitamin D, which is absorbed through the skin and produced with exposure to sunlight, is a major factor in the survival rate of pneumonia patients and those with respiratory illnesses.

So, get a few minutes of some early morning sunlight, between the hours of 8am-10am, and soak in that immune-system-boosting vitamin D.  If you can’t get outdoors, open the windows and let that healing light in.

Eat Fruits & Vegetables For Vitamin C & Vitamin E

A 2015 review of existing research found that vitamin C may have a protective effect on the respiratory system. However, the studies reviewed also suggest that eating foods high in vitamin C appear more effective than taking a vitamin C supplement. Try adding some of the following foods to your diet to reap the potential benefits of vitamin C: spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, and oranges.

This same review also noted a possible link between improved respiratory health and diets high in vitamins You can find vitamin E in: sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, peanut butter.

Hint Hint:  Spinach covers both Vitamin C and Vitamin E needs.

Immediate Lifestyle Changes

Let’s not forget people with chronic conditions including diabetes, lung disease and heart disease appear to be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.  While some chronic conditions are genetic, there are several changes you can make for long term health.  

The changes include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding exposure to allergy, and air pollutants (particularly for asthmatics)
  • Losing weight (if you are obese or overweight)
  • Trying to avoid exertion when at high altitudes
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and researching herbs and healthier options
  • Practicing cardiovascular exercises at least two times a week
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Consulting a doctor if you have underlying medical issues
  • Following any treatment plan provided by your doctor

So do the right thing. Again, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthily, and managing your stress levels all help maximize your overall immune potential.  “This sounds like no-brainer advice, but you’d be surprised by how many people still don’t do the right thing for their body” says Takiyah Rodriguez, CEO of Hazel’s Honey Tree, a monthly subscription box service with products that enhance the practice of wellness and wholeness.  Rodriguez adds “the information is out there, the research supports a healthier lifestyle, there are products out there to support wellness and wholeness, but many people will ignore their body’s need for basic things like sleep, sunlight, fruits, herbs, exercise, and self-care until it’s too late.  We are living in times of uncertainty and uncharted waters with COVID, but we can still practice good wellness habits to give this virus a good fight”.

IMPORTANT: The best way to prevent infection of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often. There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  As always, consult a medical doctor before taking any nutritional supplements and if you have or suspect a medical condition, or serious illness such as COVID-19, please consult a doctor immediately before acting on any of our recommendations.