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Chinese medicine for coronavirus (COVID-19)

On this page

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms
  3. Prevention
  4. Severity
  5. Origin
  6. Who is at high risk?
  7. Getting tested
  8. Treatment of COVID-19
  9. Natural herbs
  10. Clinical trials

1. Overview

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

2. Symptoms of COVID-19

The symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  1. Fever
  2. Dry cough with no phlegm
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Loss of smell
  6. Sore throat
  7. Fatigue
  8. Aversion to cold and drafts

In more severe cases, COVID-19 can cause:

  • Chest pain
  • Kidney pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pneumonia
  • Death

Long-COVID symptoms include poor eye sight, reduced energy levels, reduced lung capacity, tinnitus and reduced cognitive function.

3. How to prevent viral infections

There are several things you can do to prevent getting infected. They include:

  1. Wash your hands regularly
  2. Wear an N95 mask when outside and especially in close contact to groups of people (only an N95 or N99 mask not a surgical mask will filter the virus)
  3. Don't touch your eyes or mouth with fingers that haven't just been washed with soap
  4. Read the handbook of COVID-19 prevention complied by Zhejiang University in China

4. The four categories of COVID-19 severity

There are four categories of severity that people can develop after contracting the COVID-19 virus. This video explains the four categories:



5. Where did COVID-19 come from?

It's difficult to determine where COVID-19 originated. It certainly become widespread in Wuhan, but has been found in the sewage water samples taken in Spain in March 2019 and in Italian sewage water samples taken in January 2020.

6. People at high risk

Those at high risk include people with a weakened immune system like the elderly, pregnant women and babies. Other high risk groups include those with an underlying heart or respiratory condition and diabetics.

Ethnic groups who originate from Asia or Africa are at even greater risk due to underlying health problems present in those groups and have a higher mortality rate.

7. Testing

You can get tested to see if you have COVID-19 or if you have developed immunity. However, the antibody immunity test may only be positive if you have the test 1-2 months after contracting the virus.

There are two types of immunity, B cells and T cells. B cells are like the paramedics that rush to a problem, whereas T cells are like doctors that provide long term care.

The antibody test checks for B cell immunity, to see if the paramedics are still in action. But the latest research has shown this only lasts for 2-3 months. However, people may have T cell immunity instead. This would explain why people in Japan have a low death rate as they already have T cell immunity as they have been exposed to the virus before, probably the original SARS virus.

8. Treatment of COVID-19 using Chinese herbs

There are numerous media stories which state how the coronavirus is being treated in mainland China with a combination of pharmaceutical drugs and Chinese herbal medicines, which has proven to be very successful. Traditional Chinese medicine has been used in 85-90% of COVID-19 cases. This can be seen in the low death rate and virus infected rate when compared to other countries that don't use Chinese herbal medicine, such as Italy. Acupuncture treatment using points such as Taiyuan (LU9) and Yangxi (LI5) have been used on patients in China with COVID-19.

The traditional chinese medicine (TCM) treatment strategy used to treat the coronavirus with Chinese medicine is similar to that used to treat the SARS out-break. Herbs that boost the person's defensive wei qi (immune system) are combined with other herbs that are used to treat respiratory disorders such as ma huang have proved effective in treating covid-19 patients in Hubei province, China. There are several Chinese medical formulas that have been used by the Hubei Province Integrated Chinese\Western Medicine Hospital in China.

During Italy's COVID-19 outbreak, China donated medical supplies including 100,000 boxes of the herbal formula Lian Hua Qing Wen.

The Chinese government's president Xi Jinping supports the use of Chinese herbal medicine in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The video below explains how Chinese herbs played an important role in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China by treating patients with mild symptoms early became they become worse, reducing admissions to hospital.

There are several Chinese herbal remedies that were used in front-line hospitals in Wuhan, China. They include:

  1. Chai Ge Jie Ji Tang
  2. Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang
  3. Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan
  4. Chai Ping San, San Ren Tang
  5. Sheng Yang Pi Wei Tang
  6. Zhuye Shigao Tang
  7. Wangshi Qing Shu Yi Qi Tang
  8. Liu Junzi Tang
  9. Sheng Mai San
  10. Qing Shu Yi Qi Tang
  11. Yu Ping Feng San

Research has shown that acupuncture can help people recover from the virus. There is no cure for COVID-19 but there are several vaccines undergoing clinical trials.

9. Natural herbs for COVID-19

There are many natural herbs (medicinal plants) that you can easily source and take each day to improve your immunity and prevent infection. They include:

  1. Ginseng (Ren Shen)
  2. Astragalus (Huang Qi)
  3. Chinese red dates (Jujube)
  4. Brown sugar
  5. Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

10. Clinical trials

Currently, there are 126 clinical trials using traditional Chinese medicine to treat COVID-19 with 126 trials according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These studies show that Chinese herbs can play an important role in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

References

Can Chinese Medicine Be Used for Prevention of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)? A Review of Historical Classics, Research Evidence and Current Prevention Programs. Luo H, et al. Chin J Integr Med. 2020 Feb 17. doi: 10.1007/s11655-020-3192-6.
Expert highlights traditional Chinese medicine in fight against novel coronavirus: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/19/c_138796388.htm.
Coronavirus Covid-19: China uses traditional medicine for treatment: https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/covid-19-china-traditional-medicine/
Coronavirus: 85 per cent of patients in China benefiting from traditional Chinese medicine, officials claim: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3052763/coronavirus-80-cent-patients-china-benefiting-traditional?fbclid=IwAR0Lv79vefnQQ-4iS6-W3fOosFH6tBhsv3sT6NCAksc6JtR7gTYMk60nQh4
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-02-25/TCM-used-to-treat-85-of-COVID-19-patients-OmQG7PIGWs/index.html?fbclid=IwAR05XNgDxbfBOqwoPj2OtYZWz6IrttS-6WNL8G9oVvIqV1MPl6ERA-DPF50
Yang, Y, et al. Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Patients Infected with 2019-New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): A Review and Perspective. nt J Biol Sci 2020; 16(10):1708-1717. doi:10.7150/ijbs.45538
Beijing pushes traditional Chinese medicine as coronavirus treatment despite questions over benefits. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3076500/beijing-pushes-traditional-chinese-medicine-coronavirus Re, J, et al. Traditional Chinese medicine for COVID-19 treatment. Pharmacological Research, Volume 155, May 2020, 104743, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104743.

Please note that this webpage is for information purposes only. I do not lay claim to be able to treat COVID-19.