‘I didn’t care if it killed me’

After feeling deep, aching pain in her right lung for two years following COVID-19, Lily Godsoe of Half Moon Bay is grateful to the woman who made the anguish go away.

Her savior wasn’t the doctor who peered at her X-rays and prescribed inhalers that didn’t help. It was the Costco vendor who sold her an elixir of turmeric, extra-strength, on sale for $20.

Godsoe never got her name. But in April the vendor prescribed three daily teaspoons of the orange liquid — always chilled. In a week, Godsoe was a believer.

“I realized that I felt well. It was really shocking,” said Godsoe, 54, an interfaith minister so debilitated by long COVID that she had to quit her job. “I had forgotten what it felt like to feel normal.”

Godsoe didn’t know that the Food & Drug Administration had its eye on the turmeric maker, Quten Research Institute in New Jersey, whose “therapeutic anti-inflammatory” claim for the plant-based product earned a rebuke in 2020 for “misbranding.”

But it might not have mattered. To Godsoe and thousands of other long-COVID sufferers whose doctors have been unable to relieve their mysterious symptoms, such unproven, poorly tested, or just off-label remedies provide hope and — sometimes — help.

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