SAN DIEGO — At San Diego Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture in Hillcrest, founder Ramtin Dehkhoda has a degree in chemistry and is a Traditional Chinese Medicine primary care practitioner.
"Very successfully treating COVID. I've had over 300 patients,” Dehkhoda said.
Dehkhoda runs the San Diego office and said in order to treat someone suffering from COVID, he and his team “look at your constitution, and we balance your body to achieve homeostasis.”
Dehkhoda’s pharmacy adjacent to his clinic on Walnut Avenue contains rows of over 700 herbs imported from China.
“This is where the magic happens. We make the formulas and pack them,” Dehkhoda said.
Dehkhoda, who is an acupuncturist and herbalist, said there is no one-size-fits-all way to treat someone suffering from COVID. He pulls from a variety of different herbs to find out what may work best.
While displaying a wooden tray with chopped pieces of bark, fruit and spices, Dehkhoda said, “This is the herb that I believe works best for as anti-viral for the treatment of COVID. It's Jin Yin Hua or Honeysuckle.”
Dehkhoda combines dates with bark and honeysuckle to create his COVID Phase 1 Formula: Modified Ge Gen Tang.
"The patient takes about three scoops twice a day and melts it in hot water, and it is really easy, good for compliance,” Dehkhoda said.
Dehkhoda said some COVID patients like to cook the raw herbs by using a gauze pack like a tea bag, and others want the herbs boiled down into a juice
"One packet a day, just drink it,” he said.
Dehkhoda said each recipe is based on the individual's symptoms, and the granular medicine in a bottle has been popular largely because it's just $25, no insurance required.
"As far as the treatment of COVID, we have yet to have someone go into the hospital,” Dehkhoda said.
He said he and his team of practitioners have treated patients with severe omicron symptoms from headaches to sinus problems to long hauler cases suffering from numbness, dizziness and nausea and lack of sense of taste or smell.
"Taste and smell by far the hardest part to treat,” Dehkhoda said.
But he said acupuncture works.
“The auricular points with a leave-in needle - it's kind of like a piercing in the ear that goes to the sinus part of the brain, Dehkhoda said.
From COVID prevention to recovery, Dehkhoda said poking the skin's pressure points is getting results.
"Acupuncture has been great for neuropathy, sense of smell, fatigue and for mood. We’ve helped a lot of patients with anxiety and depression,” Dehkhoda said.
"On the one hand seems so simple but are actually really powerful. A really great tea can help to break up some of that mucus and help make you feel a little better,” said Dr. Khamba, who is also a cancer survivor, holds a master's degree in public health.
Dr. Khamba mixed together apple cider vinegar, fresh grated ginger, local honey and Elderberry syrup poured over 8 to 12 ounces of hot water to relieve symptoms.
Sharp Chula Vista Chief of Pediatrics Dr. Ahmad Bailony said COVID vaccines and boosters are the best medicine.
"There are no…alternative treatments to COVID. I think there's nothing wrong with trying holistic things and remedies, but at the same time there are no studies showing that those things do or don't help,” Dr. Bailony said.
Bailony said he knows of a vaccine's importance since he almost died from bacterial meningitis as a toddler 37 years ago.
"I still have these terrifying nightmares from being inside the children's hospital, and I almost passed away, and then they invented a vaccine for the thing that almost killed me in 1987, and now, as a working pediatrician, I have never seen a case of that,” Bailony said.
Dr. Bailony said the COVID-19 vaccine isn't an anti-natural approach.
"In reality, vaccination is a natural process. That immunity comes from you. It doesn't come from the vaccine,” he said.
But for those who can't get or won't get the shot, Dehkhoda said herbal medicine is available.
“If you had a good experience with the first two shots, go get a booster and take these herbs. If you reacted severely and had horrible side effects from a shot, and your system can't handle it, then yes, we are here for you. I think the more resources that we have either Western or Eastern are amazing, so let's use them to treat this disease,” Dehkhoda said.
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