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How to Detox from Long COVID

Interview: How to Detox from Long Covid According to medical and health experts, long COVID symptoms range from chronic fatigue, aches and pains, headaches, depression and brain fog to name a few. Wellness writer, Judy Chapman, chats to Natalie Purcell of Byron Bay Detox Retreats about ways we can detox our body from these lingering symptoms.

detox from long covid

Firstly, how have the last two years been for you at Byron Bay Detox Retreats? We have been extremely busy here at Byron Bay Detox Retreats, especially outside the lockdown periods. Our clients have really needed nurturing, connection, and peace from all the stress. Alongside our purification protocols, we provided treatments to improve immunity, dampen inflammation and support the nervous system. Everything has been tailored to what each client needed physically, mentally and emotionally during this time. What’s your understanding of long COVID and are there ways we can detox from this? We know that COVID-19 hits the immune system hard, generates mast cell activation and a large cytokine-storm which results in widespread endothelial inflammation. This overactive immune system response and inflammation can then attack tissues and organs. Long COVID is where symptoms persist longer than three months. It often appears in immune, gut, circulatory and neurological system dysfunction. Findings have found that that long COVID is not from the virus itself but from the ongoing inflammation which causes central nervous system damage and neurological changes that can lead to mitochondrial (ATP energy) dysfunction and mast cell activation. This neuro-immune mediated disorder also involves the gut and brain barrier. Some of the symptoms of long COVID include fatigue, joint and muscle pain, brain fog, autoimmunity, headaches, cough, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, allergies and thrombosis. There seems to be a strong link between the brain gut axis and long covid. Since 80% of our immune system resides in the gut and if we have an inflamed gut known as “leaky gut” this contributes to systemic inflammation, immune activation and neuro-inflammation. We have also seen an increase in mast cell activation from covid and this where many intolerances and allergies from food, mould and environmental toxins have been triggered, again due to the high amounts of inflammation within the body. Are clients asking for treatments for long COVID? Yes definitely! Studies are showing that 10-30% of people will develop long covid and at Byron Bay Detox Retreats we are seeing more clients presenting with this. Many have come to the point of not knowing what to do and are fed up with how they feel. I am seeing many clients present with fatigue, brain fog, inflammation, body aches and pains, headaches and just needing some love and support to help them heal and get their mojo back. However, no two COVID experiences seem to be the same. There are many different underlying factors when it comes to long covid which is why a personalised approach to treatment is highly recommended. What are some of the cleansing protocols you recommend for long COVID? At Byron Bay Detox Retreats, we offer a holistic and personalised naturopathic program, and on stepping back out into the world clients are given their own individualised treatment plan of nutrients, herbal, diet and lifestyle recommendations. To heal the body of long covid our main goals are to reduce viral and toxic load, reduce inflammation, heal the gut and support the nervous system. These are some of the holistic therapies that worked well for me and my clients in recovery from COVID. Fasting - I would have to say my favourite! As it alkalises the body, brings down inflammation, regenerates the immune system and gives our body the space and time to heal. Through fasting autophagy is stimulated where our body can clean out damaged cells, in order to generate new healthier cells. It has also been shown that just with 48hrs of fasting we are able to regenerate our immune system and lower inflammation by reducing oxidative stress in cells. For any prolonged fasting I do recommend supervision with a health professional. Infrared Sauna - decreases inflammation, eases joints and muscle pain and increases the elimination of viruses, and toxins. FIR radiation is reported to deactivate single-strand RNA viruses. Colonic Hydrotherapy - increases elimination of toxins, hydration, mental clarity and immunity when used in conjunction with probiotics to rebalance microbiome. Rest, Gentle Yoga & Meditation - calms the nervous system and gives the body space to heal. Breathwork & Cold Immersion - decreases inflammation, alkalises the body, increases circulation and mental clarity. IV therapy - intravenous nutrients and antioxidants: anti-viral, scavenges free radicals, supports detoxification pathways and nourishes the nervous system. All of the above modalities are part of our retreats here at Byron Bay Detox Retreats. During our retreats, guests are given two Naturopathic health consultations which is a great opportunity for one to discuss any lingering symptoms and ways to get back on track – through detox, nutritional and herbal support, movement, and infrared sauna to name a few. And food and remedies? From a Naturopathic perspective, we recommend the following: *Stay away from foods that promote inflammation such as sugar, processed foods, dairy, gluten, high carbohydrates, and alcohol. *Consume anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, green vegetables, green superfoods such as Byron Bay Detox Greens, hemp seeds, ginger, wild fish and olive/hemp/avocado/flaxseed oils. *Reduce exposure to environmental toxins such as pollution, cigarettes, mould, plasticides, pesticides and herbicides. *Identify any underlying pathogens, intolerances or allergies and remove them. *Heal the gut and rebalance gut microbiome. *Nutrients & supplements: Quercetin, Vit C, NAC, Zinc, Vit D, CoQ10, Resveratrol, and Turmeric. *Herbal support: Chinese Skullcap, Nigella, Andrographis, Polygonum, Andrographis. *Intermittent fasting or extended supervised fasting. Finally, have there been any silver linings over the last two years? Obvious challenges aside, the last two years offered many the rare opportunity to hit the pause button and reflect upon what's truly important. We were forced to face things we may have been avoiding, but we were also given time to rest, recuperate and revaluate. In some ways, COVID has been a two year ‘retreat’. ABOUT NATALIE PURCELL Natalie Purcell (B.Nat, I-ACT) is founder & facilitator of Byron Bay Detox Retreats and is one of Australia’s leading detox specialists. She has over 20 years’ experience in cleansing and detoxification, and a Bachelor of Naturopathy specialising in detox, nutrition, colonic hydrotherapy, reiki, massage, chi nei tsang and spiritual healing. Recently, she launched ‘Byron Bay Detox Greens’, an ACO certified organic potent and vital mix of alkalising and antioxidant-rich vegetables, algaes, herbs and extracts. This blend helps to detoxify the liver, heal the gut, alkalises the body to bring down inflammation and increases energy.


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