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Covid-19 and Recovery

One of the things lacking in Western medicine is an approach to recovery post-Covid or the flu. Chinese medicine empowers us and provides us with a blueprint for not only recovery, but ideally establishing foundational health for resilience and long term health. While immunity has been a focus this past year, a nourished and hydrated body is also key to foundational health. Chinese medicine’s toolbox is vast with acupuncture and herbs as key players, but nutrition and lifestyle tweaks can empower all of us.

When we think about hydration, we typically think about our water consumption. But from a Chinese medicine perspective there is the concept of yin, one component of which is our fluids relating to not only the body as a whole, but also the various organs. One of the common patterns in Covid recovery is a deficiency of Stomach (ST) and Lung (LU) yin. The stomach likes moisture and is also the source for fluids in the body, including the lungs.

One of the ways that acupuncturists diagnose ST and LU yin deficiency is via tongue diagnosis. A body deficient in yin will lack a tongue coating. It can take time to replenish yin, hence the importance of the prevention path. Consider that our food choices provide us with Post-Heaven Qi (source of all the Qi produced by the body after birth). A person suffering from fatigue is lacking Qi aka energy.

Eastern nutrition emphasizes warm and moistening foods especially in the cold weather months, when our bodies are more susceptible to the common cold and viruses. When a body is actively sweating as it is fighting off a virus, the ST yin is being depleted.


  • Have regular meal times and don’t eat too late.

  • Consume moistening foods such as porridge or oatmeal for breakfast, soups and stews.

  • Consider steaming rather than frying whenever possible.

  • Nourishing ST yin will also benefit the Lung yin. Chinese medicine has long touted pears as supporting Lung health. More recently, researchers in the Netherlands have found that apples, pears and other fruits rich in certain plant compounds may help protect the lungs from chronic disease.

  • Don’t forget the old standby! Warm honey.

If you’d like an Chinese herbal formula to speed recovery, please consider scheduling an herbal consultation with one of our acupuncturists:

Image by Gustavo Zambelli

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