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Nourishing Tips & Recipes

Immune-Boosters and Phone Visits: COVID-19 Info from Dr. Siegel

Dear Community,

During this sensitive time, I wanted to reach out with some support and information regarding COVID-19 and my personal practice.

Like many of you, I have been pouring over the research and the news while trying to juggle children at home and the swirling energy of so much uncertainty. It’s truly an emotional rollercoaster, and I hope that you can be gentle with yourself right now, which includes expectations of how to spend this time.

I hope this finds each of you feeling safe in your home, where you plan to stay for the time being. I also hope that this time may feel like a “space in-between,” when you get to slow down, take stock of what’s important to you, and give yourself some loving attention. Perhaps it will be a gift that you have really needed for quite some time.

During times of acute stress, self-care becomes of utmost importance. What would bring some comfort to you right now? A night-time bath, a walk in the woods, a deep closet clean-out, making a big batch of soup, a long nap, or a call to an old friend…?

I know that my first response was to become the busiest of bees, and fill the house with as many vegetables and herbal medicines as I could get my hands on. My stress response was to manage all that I could by frantically cooking, cleaning and organizing. We all have our unique ways of feeling prepared and maintaining some control in our lives, right? (I suggest not judging other people’s ways of coping, as moments like this push us to our primal survival edge, and we can only do our best in response.)

Now I’m feeling the call to allow for some rest and reflection to enter the picture. And while distancing myself from people, I will be spending more time with Mother Nature, as she is always ready to accept us and has really good medicine for a broken and scared heart.

Regarding my practice, I will only be working with patients over the phone right now. This policy will remain in effect until I can guarantee your safety and mine. I have ample phone appointments available, and will make more as needed. You can set up a 30-minute visit online if you want to discuss immune health, preparedness, or an existing health concern. I’m offering a reduced phone visit rate for new and existing patients, and I will waive my usual new patient set-up fees for people who need acute viral care. (My website has the details.)

I am also completely stocked with an herbal medicinary, and ready to advise on how to strengthen immunity and treat pulmonary conditions. I will be offering pick-up in SW Portland for individualized formulas, as well as shipping product locally and within the US. If you would like to take advantage of these formulas, or would like personalized advice about what to take, please schedule a phone visit.

I have been compiling links, articles, news, and tidbits, but it is simply too much to put into a comprehensive document that will ever feel complete. Instead, I am going to share my top immune tips, and then some articles from my friend and esteemed colleague, Dr. Eric Blake, because he did such a wonderful job and I am in alliance with his recommendations.

Here are my top 7 immune supportive techniques. Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram for additional tips and suggestions.

  • Prioritize 8-9 hours of sleep nightly

  • Stay constantly hydrated; add electrolytes to your water 1-2x daily

  • Sauna daily – 15-30 minutes, twice in 2 hours – if you have access. (COVID-19 is not heat resistant!) End with cold rinse for 30 seconds.

  • Supplements are key! Take them religiously, and go big and frequent with all of them. Contact me for a phone visit if you want specific dosages for your situation.

  • The best vitamins/minerals:

  • A

  • C (divide in several doses daily to maximize effect and minimize GI issues)

  • D

  • NAC

  • Zinc (with food)

  • The best plants/herbs/mycelium:

  • Elderberry

  • Olive leaf

  • Oregano (in caps)

  • Rhodiola

  • Garlic (eat ½ clove daily!)

  • Ginger

  • Turmeric

  • Lomatium

  • Reishi

  • Shitake

  • Chaga

  • “Mushroom blends”

  • Eat your way to health! The best foods to fight respiratory viruses:

  • Potassium-rich food: avocados, leafy greens, prunes

  • Antioxidant-rich foods: berries, acai smoothie packs, greens, brazil nuts (2 max daily)

  • Beta-carotene-rich foods: carrots, squash, greens

  • Watch your consumption of:

  • Sugar

  • Dairy

  • Advil and Tylenol (see the research HERE)

  • The news!!

  • Focus on parasympathetic support (the healing side of the nervous system): slow walks/stretching, 10 slow deep breaths a few times daily, meditation (try the Insight Timer app), sauna, warm baths, long hugs, listening to or playing your favorite music, watching comedy, gardening, crafting, and focusing on all the beauty you have in your life. (This is as important as all the other tips!! A stressed system doesn’t heal as quickly as a relaxed system.)

I’m wishing you all my best. Please reach out if I can help you navigate the choppy waters right now. I sincerely believe we were made for these times. We are strong, resilient, and resourceful – and we have each other.

Lastly, please read these Naturopathic Guidelines to COVID-19 articles by Dr. Blake ND:

And remember to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more tips and information.

In good health and peace,

Erika Siegel ND LAc


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