The Early Stage of COVID-19, Active Infection

The early stage of Covid-19

The Early Stage of COVID-19 from an herbalists perspective

Hello My Friends,

It is with an open heart and best wishes to each and everyone of you that we continue our journey through the stages of the COVID-19 illness. Now we come to the first stage of active infection, called the Early Stage.  In the clinical observation stage, we began to feel unwell but couldn’t put our finger on what was really going on.  At this stage, you know we’re sick.  If you haven’t already, it’s time to get tested if and to talk to your doctor. 

Symptoms of the Early Stage of COVID-19

  • Fever or no fever
  • Dry cough
  • Itchy throat
  • Chest tightness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Pale, red or pink tongue with a thick, white sticky coating.
  • Incomplete bowel movements
  • Cloudy, opaque Phlegm that tends to thicken. 
  • Cold dampness with functional depression (Where organs and systems aren’t operating as efficiently)

Let’s talk about Mucus

Dampness manifesting as lingering, sticky mucus is at the core of Corona virus’s respiratory symptoms.  Mucus is the slippery, protective substance produced by our mucus membranes.  Its purpose is to keep our inside passages moist and to prevent damaging substances, including viral infections, from entering the body. Excess mucus is produced as an effort to flush out invading pathogens.   

The color and consistency of mucus can, and often does, change during the course of any illness.  Most of time, early mucus is clear.  Later it can change to white, yellow, or green. The color of mucus indicates how easily your able to process fluids, how well your immune system is operating and the level of heat, or cold, your body is dealing with. 

In the early stage of COVID-19 mucus is beginning to congeal and may be whitish or opaque. In later stages mucus turns thick and sticky. Fluid movement around the lungs becomes stagnant.  Breathing and expectoration are difficult.   Later still, if illness progresses, mucus can turn rubbery or glue-like, severely obstructing respiratory function.

Our goal is to keep the mucus as thin and as easily moving as possible.  If the mucus drops into the lungs, we’ll want to warm and loosen it. Loose, fluid mucus is much easier to expel.

Herbal Strategies for the Early Stage of COVID-19

Use what you have. 

When you or someone in your life is at the early stage of COVID-19, it’s time to take action. Make a list of what you have. Use warming herbs (those that heat the stomach) to keep things loose and fluid. We’re not attaching the virus. Rather we are supporting the functioning of your internal environment. Heat has been shown time and time again to be inhospitable to viral infiltration.

Use the warming herbs already in your cupboards. Garlic, Onion, Ginger and Cayenne can be found in most kitchens. Oatmeal tea may nicely lubricate dried out mucus membranes. And remember, drink lots of hot water. Click here to review how the virus operates and some ideas about what to do.

Herbal Suggestions for the Early Stage of COVID-19

Fennel Seeds Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel for early stage COVID-19
Image by Schwoaze from Pixabay

A simple and effective herb.  Fennel seeds act as a bronchodilator with anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and antimicrobial actions.  Add fennel to your formula to ease nausea, cough and wheezing.  In formula it acts as a harmonizing agent, helping the other herbs to work better together. Thereby increasing the actions of all the herbs. 

Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum

Fenugreek has an oil on the seed that is nicely warming.  Taken as a tea or tincture,  Fenugreek acts as a soothing lubricant to mucus membranes and other affected tissues.  It is a nice expectorant that gets congestion moving. This herb also bolsters the immune system by stimulating the activation of specialized cells called lymphocytes. 

White Horehound Marrubium Vulgare

Think of White Horehound to clear stagnation.  It is specific for dry coughs and respiratory infections including laryngitis, bronchitis, Chronic cough, sore throat and sinusitis.  White horehound also helps lower a fever.  Another benefit is that it helps regulate the urinary system.  The urinary system is involved in the processing and movements of fluid.  Horehound helps resolve accumulation and stimulate fluid circulations.  A good thing with the early stage of COVID-19 (and later stages).

Mullein Verbascum thapsus

Mullein Leaf for early stage covid19
Taken at Gila National Forest

The leaf of the Mullein plant is helpful for dry, unproductive coughs. It also protect respiratory cilia.  This is one of the most suggested herbs for this ailment.  And Mullein grows all over the place.  Even if you can’t order some, go for a walk and pick some leaves.  (Taking care to make sure their clean).  Then make a simple hot infusion of with Mullein leaves by steeping 1 teaspoon in boiling water for 10-20 minutes.  Drink a cup every 2-4 hours. I’ve been hearing wonderful reports about this alone.  I like to mix Mullein with equal parts of Fenugreek, and a dash of fennel for a nice remedy. 

Grindelia spp.

Grindelia to protect lungs in early stage of COVID19

Grindelia works well when mucus is heavy and congealed.  When it’s hard to breath.  It is often used to treat asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough.  Another of my favorite herbs, Grindelia also works to reduce kidney stagnation and edema. (buildup of fluids).  I like to combine it with some Yerba Mansa and Fenugreek. Phillis Light suggested mixing Pleurisy Root, Red Root, Grindelia and Yerba Mansa for a formula to move out the stagnation.                                               

Pleurisy Root Asclepius tuberosa

pleurisy root for every stage of COVID19
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

Also called butterfly weed, Pleurisy Root is well suited for working with acute lung edemas.  Pleurisy Root has always been considered a respiratory herb. It is one of the most relaxing, sedative expectorants found in the plant kingdom.  Pleurisy Root helps drain overly moist lungs tissue. It also helps re-moistens the lungs when their too dry.   Pleurisy root helps reduces kidney excess and clarifies liquid away.  If you are hot it makes you sweat.  If your cold it works with the kidneys and intestinal tract to create more fluid, bile and soften the stool.  Take Pleurisy Root as a tincture in drop doses of 3-10 drops.  Best used in formula.

Other herbs that may prove useful for the early stage of the COVID-19 infection include Black Cumin, Angelica, Osha, Pine, and Spruce.  Click here to review our discussions of these herbs.

Support Organ Function

At this stage, if you’re experiencing fluid build up and pneumonia, it may be time to add some herbs to support other systems.  Herbs like Solidago, Hawthorn, Nettle, or Parsley (root or leaves) to protect the kidneys.  And Oregon Grape or Barberry, Dandelion, Milk Thistle or Nettle are a nice addition to support liver metabolism. 

Recipes for the Early Stage of COVID-19

Possible Tincture Formulas

Clear Out the Congestion- adapted from a lecture from Phyllis Light
1 part Grindelia spp
1 part Red Root (Ceanothus spp)
1 part Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis Californica)
1/4 part Pleurisy Root (Asclepius tuberosa)
Mix individually prepared herbal tinctures.  Take 1 dropper up to 1 teaspoon 4x per day.
I always start with the lower amount and work up the a therapeutic dose.  
No More Congestion
1 part Osha root (Ligusticum porteri)
1 part Angelica Root (Angelica archangelica)
1 part Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis Californica)
1 part Grindelia spp.
1/2 part Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Mix dried herbs or individually prepared plant tinctures.  
For the tea put 1 oz of herbs in 16 oz cold water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the temperature down to simmer and slowly simmer for 5 min.  Strain and drink hot.
Take the tincture 1-2 droppers full 4x per day.

Tea for the Early Stage of COVID-19

Protect and Heal the Lungs tea
1 part Mullein leaves
1 part Fenugreek seeds
1/2 part Fennel seeds
slice of fresh Ginger Root
Combine Mullein Leaves, Fenugreek seeds and Fennel seeds.  
Use about 1 tablespoon of mixture for mug of tea.  Add a slice of Ginger and cover with boiling water.  Let steep for 10-20 minutes.  Strain and drink hot.

An Herbal Protocol Suggestion for the Early Stage of COVID-19

  • Drink Lots of hot water and hot herbal tea.
  • Take Black Cumin tea or capsule (for immune and lung benefits)
  • Put Propolis extract in hot water of an infuser and inhale fumes.
  • Take 1 or 2 droppers of the tincture formulas above up to 4 times per day.
  • Drink Mullein Tea
  • Drink Nutritious bone broth
  • Onion, potato, ginger or garlic plaster as needed. (Click here for discussion on plasters.)
  • Rest
  • Know you are loved.

I hope this has been useful for you and those that you love. Next time we meet we will discuss the worst phase or stage of this illness, called “Plague Closes Lungs“.

As always, please feel free to contact me by phone, e-mail or message if you have questions or need some support.

I am always thrilled to hear from you. Let me know if you have any questions. I will try to be there and help anyway I can.

May you be well, May your heart be open and may you and your family be safe and filled with love.

Many Blessings



This information is based on reports coming out of China and Italy, reports by the CDC, the World Health Organization and the American Herbalist Guild. 

I’d like to offer thanks to the many herbal teachers in my life. Many of the references are from notes received by the many herbal teachers in my life including Matthew Wood and Phyllis light.


The statements and ideas presented here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. They have not been evaluated by the FDA. All ideas presented are for the sole purpose of education. To help you take control of your own health. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. We suggest that you always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.

These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.

Herbs taken for health purposes should be treated with the same care as medicine. Herbal remedies are no substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you are serious about good health, you’ll want to combine diet, exercise, herbals, a good relationship with your doctor and a generally healthy lifestyle. No one of these will do it alone.

This information is designed to be used as part of a complete health plan. No products are intended to replace your doctor’s care, or to supersede any of his/her advice or prescriptions.

3 thoughts on “The Early Stage of COVID-19, Active Infection”

  1. Thank you for all the work you do to present all of us with this information.
    It is appreciated.
    I forward your information to my daughter and others.
    Elaine Paulson

  2. Hola! I’ve been following your weblog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

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