Natural selection… – Brian Lamb

This month Naomi Murray from Botanica Health in Rusthall invites her medical herbalist Brian Lamb to tell SO readers about natural ways to combat Post Viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Over the last 40 years my father has successfully treated many patients with Post Viral Fatigue. Historically, as he mentions below, it was rarely taken seriously. It was deemed as almost ‘imaginary’. But over the last few years the term ‘Long Covid’ has emerged and it is now commonly understood by most people, to some extent. Here, in the first installment of a two-part series, he addresses the subject in more detail. So if you too are struggling to make a swift return to good health, then read on…

“Herbs have so much to offer in regaining strength and resilience after an illness, especially when guided by a professional practitioner. More to come on that, but let’s begin here. How do you ‘get’ chronically fatigued after a virus?

Many who have suffered a moderate to severe infection from seasonal flu’ or COVID-19 complain of chronic fatigue – a debilitating condition that stands in the way of a return to vibrant health. Fatigue and exhaustion are the primary symptoms, but there are many more. Those suffering from Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVCFS) present a picture of ‘something retained’ after the crisis subsides. It would appear that the virus has left its imprint. When associated with Covid-19, this condition is now referred to as Long Covid. For clarity, I will include Long Covid within PVCFS. Many medics who formerly dismissed chronic fatigue syndrome as ‘all in the mind’, have had to think again in the face of Long Covid.

On December 3, 2020, I attended an international Zoom seminar on Long Covid conducted by two medical professionals. The stark facts are grim and underscores the old adage: ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure’! If we succumb to a common cold or a bout of ‘flu, how we manage it makes all the difference and can prevent long-lasting symptoms including PVCFS. All evidence points to PVCFS arising as a sequel to a serious bout of the ‘flu or Covid-19. A mild infection will not lead to PVCFS. Also, and of great importance is the observation that PVCFS can develop by being careless when symptoms of an infection show up. By ‘carrying on as usual’ what could have been a small inconvenience, can morph into PVCFS.

The common cold (a corona virus!) is an acute phase of toxic release and should be seen as such and not suppressed. Influenza, however, is a rapidly prostrating illness and must be managed by bed rest. Working through a serious virus is not an option and can have long-lasting consequences including PVCFS and worse.

We are starkly reminded of the findings of Dr D.A. Richardson, physician in attendance to the indigenous people in their pueblos at Albuquerque during the 1918 Spanish ‘flu pandemic: “Those who remain prostrate in bed and eat only a liquid diet, mostly recover, but those who get dressed and eat solid food, mostly die”.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in a 2019 posting: “The majority of deaths during the influenza pandemic of 1918- 1919 were not caused by the influenza virus acting alone, report researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Instead, most victims succumbed to bacterial pneumonia following influenza virus infection. The pneumonia was caused when bacteria that normally inhabit the nose and throat invaded the lungs along a pathway created when the virus destroyed the cells that line the bronchial tubes and lungs.”

During the 1918 pandemic, the average age of death was 30, thus cutting short an expected further lifespan of about 45 years. Whereas Covid-19 average age at death is 83 years, thus cutting short just a few useful years by contrast.

The common cold and especially ‘flu rapidly depletes vital reserves of Vitamins C and D, so these should be supplemented from the outset. It has been found that a virus depletes vitamin C to ‘scurvy’ levels…”

Don’t miss part two of this fascinating essay which will examine the root cause of Post Viral Fatigue and the path to regaining whole health once again. It will be published in the March edition of SO magazine.

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