We introduce: Petra Kamb, Naturopath

Who advises Altea on technical issues of Long COVID? Here we introduce the members of our Expert Board. Today we introduce you to Petra Kamb, naturopath.

Why are you involved in Altea's Expert Board?

As a biologist and alternative practitioner, I am rooted in both the natural sciences and holistic systems of healing, and I have internalized a way of thinking in cycles. I have been dealing intensively between the two conflicting fields for a long time and with how insights from one system can be used for another.

That, in turn, is what motivated me to join the Altea Expert Board: it is exciting to get to know the approaches and experiences of others and, conversely, to contribute my own perspectives. Through this networking approach, I hope to contribute to the development of therapy concepts for Long COVID.

“I’m looking at how insights from one system can be used for another.”

What is your professional relationship to Long COVID?

I have been working intensively with Covid since the beginning of the pandemic and keeping my patients and those around me informed as much as possible. It wasn’t long before Long COVID became an issue. Because a lot of it reminded me of the symptoms of the flu, Epstein-Barr infection, or herpes zoster, I started researching in that direction. I reviewed my treatment records and experiences and evaluated potential remedies from the fields of phytotherapy and mycotherapy. What concerns me most is why the recovery process for Long COVID takes so long compared to the aforementioned diseases, and what causes the crashes that we see again and again with Long COVID. 

Bild Petra Kamb

Petra Kamb, naturopath, and biologist. (Image: Private)

What is your experience with Long COVID so far?

To date, I have only been visited by a few Long COVID patients, the first of which was in early 2021. Some of them have now fully recovered, while others have improved, but are still severely impaired.

I have much more experience with people who contact me less than three months after the acute Covid infection. They usually have typical “reconvalescence problems,” i.e., they feel unfit overall and become tired more quickly. They often have irritable coughs or headaches. Some may show signs of Long COVID-related symptoms, such as pulling or pain in the ribcage area, fatigue after light exertion or unexpected crashes.

In these cases, my therapies can support the recovery process and possibly help to reduce the risk of prolonged discomfort. The observations of the patients are very important to me. They help to further develop the therapy and my understanding of the disease.

“In addition to developing therapies, it is important to keep an eye on prevention.”

How do you see the future with regards to Long COVID?

I believe and hope that we will develop therapies for Long COVID and expect these findings to be useful for many other (infectious) diseases as well. In my view, this requires even greater disciplinary openness to discover, link up and ultimately fully exploit existing potential.

That’s why I advocate focusing not only on therapy but also on prevention. For example, I see the therapeutic agents I use as an opportunity to specifically strengthen those affected, to support the immune system and to release harmful substances without losing too much energy. This can have a positive effect on the healing process.

It is important to speak openly about the opportunities offered by different disciplines. That’s why I really value the discussion with the Altea Expert Board.

Bild 1

Petra Kamb likes to cycle a lot, but at a leisurely pace.  (Source: private)

What are you enthusiastic about as a private person?

For me, my free time and my career are not so clearly separated. I also do a lot of research in my free time. I also enjoy cycling a lot and meeting friends.

Depending on the time of year, the occasion, and the time available, there are a lot of things I enjoy doing:  handicrafts, listening to a podcast, baking, visiting an exhibition, experiencing special places, picking mushrooms and harvesting herbs.

Petra Kamb is a biologist and alternative practitioner. She runs a practice for complementary therapy with a focus on phyto- and mycotherapy (herbal and fungal medicine), nutrition and shiatsu.

Bild 2

How to: a great yield from mushroom picking. (Source: private)

Exchange on Long COVID in the Altea Forum
How does the Expert Board work?