COVID 19: Treatment and Updates – Based on What We Now Know


For more details on this please refer to my previous blog:


Keep stress levels low.

Yes, we are in challenging times. It is OK to feel fear, be startled, and wonder about what to do. Here in this blog you will find good information to ease your stress.

Gratitude and Kindness.

Be grateful for all the good you already have. When we are grateful for what we have it opens the door for more good to come in. Be kind to everyone in close quarters and everyone you interact with. What goes around comes around. What a stress reliever it is when others respond to us with kindness and a caring attitude. Let us be the kindness in action.

At night Turn off your Wifi and keep cell phones on airplane mode (or turn off entirely until the morning comes) so these things do not disrupt your sleep.

Social distancing: yes.

Only go into public / social situations for essentials like food. Wear gloves or sanitize the handles on the shopping cart. When out stay 6 feet away from others, cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue (and throw it away) or with your elbow (not your hand). If you are sick stay home period, no discussion about it. Get someone to shop and care for you. Do not go out if you are sick.

Also, get out in nature and walk or do Tai Chi or Qi gong or yoga. Look at and smell the spring flowers.

These new friends I just met on my walk in the mountains with my wife ignored the social distancing sign at the park but still kept more than six feet away from us.

Healthy personal practices: What are yours? Now is the time to use them.

Prayer, meditation, yoga, journalling, dance, reading mystical and religious texts, tai chi, qi gong, martial arts, creating art, writing, singing, connecting with the earth.

Commit to your practices each day! They will help you.

Plant a garden to stay in touch with the Earth and cycle of the year. We are waiting until the frosts pass to plant these beauties.

Stock up on essentials for home: medicines and food. However, it is very important to be considerate of your neighbors and not hoard supplies and leave others without the means to care for themselves. We are all in this together.

Killing germs at home: Studies of other corona viruses (MERS) showed that bleach was more effective than 70% alcohol on killing the virus on surfaces (counter tops, door handles, railings etc). This is based on viral DNA testing of the surfaces before and after disinfection with these agents. Use a bleach or soap spray on surfaces. Use soap for hand washing as it is reported to breakdown the outer fatty layer of the virus and destroy it. Wash your hands.


In Western North Carolina from the NC Medical Board 3/23/20

Testing recommendations: People with mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 do NOT need testing and should be instructed to stay at home to recover. Mild symptoms are defined as a fever, sore throat, nasal congestion and mild cough. Of note we still do not have enough tests locally to go around and the time to get results even in hospital patients has been up to 5 days after the test was done. This is getting better (more tests and faster time to get results) so recommendations may change.


My previous blog details prevention and early treatment to be done at the first sign of minor symptoms: nasal irrigation, hydrogen peroxide gargles to reduce or kill viral load in you throat and nose to prevent spread to the lungs, immediate use of immune boosting herbs and virus killing doses of vitamin C and how to do all that.

Moderate Case:

If the first line of treatment in the first blog did not stop the virus and your symptoms increase (Persistent fever, more than a mild cough, any hint of shortness of breath); start as many of the following things you can at home and contact your doctor.

Severe Case:

If you have the following symptoms call your doctor immediately.

Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, altered thinking, cyanosis (finger tips or lips turning blue). Also of note persons with these symptoms of advanced symptoms of COVID 19 are asked to call 911 and be taken to the hospital by EMS, not by personal car if can be avoided.


Keep well hydrated. Drink plenty of water, warm tea not sweetened or just use 1/2 teaspoon of honey, as sugar weakens the immune system. Water with electrolytes (minerals, a pinch of salt, make yourself, not Gatorade which is high in sweeteners).

VITAMINS AND HERBS (information on how to order at the end of the blog)

N- Acetyl Cysteine: (NAC for short) over the counter amino acid 600mg 2 pills twice a day. This helps the body generate glutathione which is very important to prevent cellular damage including in the lungs. The lungs naturally have one of the highest glutathione levels of any organ in the body. NAC also helps keep mucous thin. If you have liposomal glutathione available to you use that instead (liqiud or gel caps; dry powder capsules are not absorbed). Take 400mg 2 to 3 times a day away from food or beverages that have protein in them (milk, smoothies, protein shakes, etc.)

Vitamin C

As I posted earlier high doses of vitamin C kill the virus. This has been known for a long time and I have used this approach since the 1990’s. Many hospitals are using it now to treat COVID 19 including in NYC and here in Asheville. The doses you see of 1500mg 4 times a day used in the hospital is still low. Take 2000 mg. every 1 to 2 hours as described in my first COVID blog. The higher the dose the more effective! I have used 25,000 mg. i.v. in the office (and have seen it stop the flu and other viruses in 24 hours) and use similar doses by mouth. Do not be fooled by reporters who freak out at doses higher than the RDA, they are not experienced doctors. We are killing viruses here not eating a diet that prevents scurvy.


These recommendations are based on sources in China who have treated COVID 19 successfully. They were also helpful in treating persons infected with the SARS corona virus in 2002-3 per herbalists who actually treated those people. The American health system is generally biased against herbs. In my opinion this is mostly based on ignorance and not on science and certainly not on the experience of actually using herbal medicine. So take what you hear in the mainstream media with a healthy dose of skepticism.

The Key in treatment is to help lungs including if they start breaking down. That is what makes people very sick. The goal is not only immune support but to clear the fluid from cell breakdown, mucous and toxic heat that can build up in the lungs.

Astragalus tincture (each brand will have slightly different potency) use higher recommended dose on bottle such as 40 drops 3 to 4 times a day for GAIA brand. You will need to get 2 to 4 or more ounces of the tincture (be aware most bottles on line are only 1 ounce).

Eupatorium perfoliatum: Also commonly known as Bone Knit (different than comfrey which is sometimes called bone set)

Tincture is great if you can find it. (As above each brand will have slightly different potency) use higher recommended dose on bottle. Eupatorium also can be made into a tea from the dried herb. Herbalists who have successfully treated corona virus report success in patients drinking 6 cups of strong tea daily. Use at least 1 tablespoon of dried herb per 8 ounces of water and steep/ brew for 5 full minutes to get the herb into tea form. Do this every 3 to 4 hours while awake (6 times a day) until better.

Black Seed Oil (not to be confused with black currant seed oil, totally different thing, not for this)

Immune stimulant that has been used for centuries in Northern Africa to the Middle East. I learned about this many years ago from one of my teachers who is from a multi-generational line of herbalists in Jerusalem. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon twice a day. I would take with food as some people find it too warming if taken on an empty stomach. You can also get the seeds and grind them up at home and put on food or in a smoothie. 1 teaspoon of ground up seeds twice a day.

Licorice Root: you want the full herb here with the glycyrrhizin intact. (some versions take out the glycyrrhizin out because it can have side effects like higher blood pressure if taken for more than 4 weeks, hence my caution below) However, this component is what works for its immune function do not get the DGL deglycyrrhizinated form) Also can help heal the gut if affected by the virus, some infected persons are getting significant gastrointestinal symptoms.

Not for long term use (up to 4 weeks is safe for acute conditions, longer term use can raise blood pressure in some people)


I have great respect for this 5,000 year old traditional medical system based on 30 years of working with professionals trained in it and my own study of it. Many patients over the decades have had great results when western medicine was not able to help them.

Chinese herbs have been effective in treatment of COVID 19 in China and here in the US, too, according to trained Chinese medicine professionals in both places who are treating it. Ask your local Chinese medicine doctor or certified master herbalist about herbal options and herbs that treat the fluid/ dampness and toxic heat caused by this infection.

There are at least 2 Chinese patent herbal formulas that have been helpful: Jade Screen and Wind Screen. Again, if possible consult local experts (your acupuncturist) to get these products and find out if they are appropriate for you or other options that might be better for your unique constitution and situation.


What’s up with the malaria anti-biotic you are hearing about?

2003 Study in Lancet Infectious Disease Journal (prestigious UK medical journal) showed Chloroquin worked against corona viruses. The study also discussed the mechanisms of action including how it reduces viruses ability to get into our cells. A small recent study in South Korea with COVID 19 showed positive results including faster clearing pneumonia by CAT scan and better outcomes/ faster resolution.

A new study in France from Marseille University Hospital, lead author Philipe Gautret, finished in 3/16/20 and just released and pre-printed in US via Yale looked at COVID 19 patients and showed dramatically improved clearance of the virus by DNA testing and improved health in hospital patients over 6 days treated with hydroxychloroquin. It did not cure everyone but lead to better outcomes. A few patients (only 6 treated in this study with both medications) did even better when an anti-biotic azithromycin was added.

Even the NC Medical Board said this on 3/23/30:

Studies with small numbers of patients suggests that hydroxychloroquine could reduce the length of hospital stay and improve COVID-19 pneumonia in severely ill patients.

Only to be used by persons getting lung symptoms: shortness of breath, cough, feeling of fluid in the lungs.

You need a doctor’s prescription for these. Again, remember only to get and use if needed. There is not enough of these medications for 300,000,000 Americans right now. If healthy people stock up and dying people have no access to life saving medications, it will not be good.


Chloroquin 500 mg. twice a day, once a day may also work (may not be so available as used to treat malaria which is not common in USA)

Hydroxychloroquin 200 mg. 2 times a day suggested by some experts and 3 times a day, in the French study mentioned above, is the highest dose that is expected to be needed. These doses will get blood levels shown to be effective if ill with lung symptoms. It works the same way as chloroquin and may be more available at pharmacies as it is used to treat other conditions like Lupus.

What about other Anti-viral medications? I have not seen any data to support that they are useful. They have been tried in COVID 19 and did not work according to medical reports. Tamiflu and antivirals for AIDS based upon all of the information I can find have not been helpful at all. I do not recommend them (not helpful, very expensive, carry some toxicity). There is reportedly a brand new medication to treat influenza that may be helpful but I have not seen any data to support that. It is also not readily available and who knows if it works as well as the other methods mentioned in this post.

There are also reports of other biologic treatment such as monoclonal anti-bodies being researched. None are available and none are tested.


Not available but reportedly being developed and tested. Any use of a COVID 19 vaccine is experimental. Nobody can know if it will work and nobody knows if it will be safe. We will have to follow this story over the next several months to a year or more to know how it pans out.


As treatments develop we need to use a critical eye. You will hear people and some so called experts say that certain treatments are or are not proven effective. Wait for the research before attempting to follow a questionable protocol. We must also be aware that the results of new research will only be available after tens of thousand of more people get sick and thousands more die.

As a physician for 30 years, I recommend being sensible and using things that have at least some good research and effective clinical experience behind them that can save you from a severe illness and maybe save your life. Think about it, if your house was on fire you call 911 to get the fire department there as fast as possible. The fire fighters come to spray water on your house to put the fire out. Do you stop them and say, “Wait a minute how many double blind studies can you show me that show pouring water on a house fire works better than just watching it to see what happens?” True there are no double blind scientific studies to prove putting out the fire saves more homes and lives than doing nothing, but we all know what the sensible thing to do is and we call our fire fighters to put out the fire.

Act reasonably and responsibly.

Be safe my friends and take care or yourself and your loved ones and your larger community.


Mark Hoch, MD
Co-Chair Past Presidents Council, Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine


Use the URL:

Once on the site you will create a log in and can order.

Those who already have a Wellevate account can just sign in and order.

If these specific products are not available you can find others on this site and hopefully in your local health food store. Products recommended and the companies that make have been vetted by me, Dr. Hoch, and are known to be of excellent professional grade quality and purity. I have been studying and using health products and the companies that make them for 30 years. At Wellevate and the companies I recommend, the products also been stored properly to maintain their effectiveness. Be aware the same cannot be said for many products on the internet including via Amazon that may be counterfeit, improper potency, impure or improperly stored.

N Acetyl Cysteine any of the first 9 products that show up on searching for this on Wellevate

600 or 500mg cap. 2 twice a day.

Immune Support:

Black Seed Oil (not to be confused with black currant seed oil totally different thing not for this)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon twice a day

Food Alive Emerson Item Code FAL645

Biodynamic organic Marcela Emerson Item Code DM3143 label says tablespoon start with teaspoon 5ml.

Astragalus and Combination Products: use any ONE of these astragalus products not all of them

GAIA 4 oz. tincture bottle Emerson Item Code AST14 40 drops 3 to 4 times a day or

Vital Nutrients capsules Emerson Item Code AST22 2 capsules 3 times a day or

Vital Nutrients Immune support Emerson Item Code IMM10 2 caps 2 to 3 times a day or

Orthomolecular Viracid Emerson 2 caps 3 times a day Item Code R25250

Eupatorium perfoliatum also known in herbal circles as Boneset

Dried herb from Mountain Rose Herbs (common supplier to Food Co-ops)

they also may have it in tincture and also Astragalus or licorice in tincture or dried herb form. Search the site for those.

Licorice Root: again you want the full herb here with the glycyrrhizin intact.

Do not get the DGL deglycyrrhizinated form). immune enhancement also can help heal the gut if affected by the virus, some infected persons are getting significant gastrointestinal symptoms from it.

Not for long term use (up to 4 weeks is safe for acute conditions, longer term use can raise blood pressure in some people)

GAIA 30 drops 3 times a day Emerson Item Code LICO3

GAIA Alcohol free version Emerson Item Code LIC10

Chinese Herbs including classical formulas like the Jade Screen mentioned above.

Check with your local Chinese medicine professional. Again these formulas have worked with Covid 19 and customized formulas based on your constitution and your presenting symptoms and pulse readings.

Past Recommendations from previous Blog with Wellevate codes

Rapid Immune Response 2 caps 5x a day for 2 days. #40 enough for 2 people

Item Code RX-AD

Quick Defense same as for Rapid Immune Response. #20 enough for 1 person

Item Code QUICK

Echinacea Supreme. 4 oz. age 13 and up 2 full droppers 4 times a day

Item Code ECH21

Kids Echinacea Supreme 2 oz.

age 9 mos. to 2 yrs. 15 drops in water 4 times a day

3-6 yrs. 30 drops (1 full dropper) in water 4 times a day

7-12 years 60 drops (2 full droppers) 4 times a day

Item Code: ECH49

Black Elderberry Syrup 3 oz. 1 teaspoon twice a day for adults, children 4-12. 3/4 teaspoon twice a day. Age 1-3. 1/4 teaspoon twice day

Item Code C07003

Vitamin C:

Potent C Guard™ Powder 8 oz by PERQUE is what I recommend to my patients. Heaping 1/2 teaspoon is close to 2,000mg per dose in 2 or more ounces of water.

Item Code PERQ3

Metabolic Maintenance Vitamin C Powder 1 lb (not buffered) is a good option good for big families

Item Code VITCP

Colostrum Products:

IgG Protect Powder by Orthomolecular 1 scoop twice a day

Item Code R03715

Douglas Laboratories Colostrum Powder 2 g

Item Code COLP

Vitamin D:

Thorne D-5000 caps #60

Item Code T38013

Vital Nutrients Vitamin D3 #120

Item Code VID3


People have been asking if elderberry causes cytokine storm and if it should not be used. Below is a good article on that. In summary, cytokine storm is an end stage manifestation of some infections and is seen in very sick persons late in the disease such as those going into Intensive Care Units (ICU) in a hospital. It is not caused by herbs or medications used to prevent illness or in the early stages of illness. I can find no evidence of significant risk based on centuries of use of this herb and any studies. I do not recommend elderberry in severe cases of COVID 19 anyway as the other measures discussed above are likely to be much more effective.

I find the article cited below to be illuminating on this topic. It also talks about how Vitamin D deficiency is linked to worse outcomes during infectious epidemics. I found the link to this article from Patrick Murray of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.

Herbal Medicines and Cytokine Storm in respiratory infection. Paul Bergner, Director, North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, for Coronavirus resources, see