Opinion: Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine to Fight Disease | Opinion
Traditional Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years in China to fight epidemic diseases.
Doctors Zhang Zhong-Jing (150-219 CE) and Ye Gui (1666-1745) are the main TCM doctors who have organized their respective diagnostic frameworks “cold-induced disorders” (Shang Han) and “hot diseases” (Wen Bing) to treat epidemic diseases that have occurred in China.
There have been over 320 large-scale epidemics in China over the past 2,000 years. As our population continues to skyrocket and travel the world, epidemics can easily turn into pandemics, especially with an extremely contagious virus like the one that causes COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the Chinese government are now promoting the use of TCM to treat COVID-19, as research papers abound showing its effectiveness. TCM has been very effective in treating SARS because SARS-CoV (SARS) and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) are coronaviruses with a genomic identity of 96%.
Based on current research and my 22 year clinical experience at the Willow Clinic using the TCM diagnostic frameworks mentioned above, I believe I can help my community prevent and treat the early signs of COVID. -19 using MTC.
Prevention step: This flu is preventable if we all work together to reduce its spread. Due to its extremely high level of contagion and the fact that we now know that at least 25% of COVID-19 cases have no symptoms, our best way to mitigate the spread is with strict hygiene, social distancing and wearing a face mask in public.
If you think of COVID-19 in terms of ‘Game of Thrones’ military strategy, COVID-19 is the army of the dead with white walkers marching, social distancing and wearing masks is the closing of the doors of Winterfeld and going underground to hide. TCM herbs are the dragon glass stones which can kill the gradual invasion of the virus in the body and the Valyrian steel swords are the acupuncture needles which prevent patients from falling due to the virus.
The Journal of Integrative Medicine published on February 13, 2020 concludes that “Chinese herbal treatments classically used to treat viral respiratory infections may contain direct anti-2019-nCoV compounds.” We may not yet have a cure for completely eradicating corona-type viruses, but we can prevent most people from developing severe symptoms and potentially save lives.
I encourage all of my patients to seek out TCM herbal teas that contain most of the herbs identified by the latest studies to fight COVID-19. Again, TCM herbal teas have been used in China for thousands of years and I have used this method of treatment successfully in my clinic for 22 years to combat seasonal flu.
Early Symptoms: If a person develops flu-like symptoms that may or may not be COVID-19, TCM can help by treating the early symptoms of the flu or any allergies those symptoms may be. Sneezing, fever, chills, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue and lethargy are the first symptoms. Do not ignore these symptoms. The antiviral herbs in TCM herbal teas can stop the virus in its tracks. The earlier one uses antiviral herbs, the more effective the action of the herbs.
Breathing difficulties and pneumonia are not early symptoms. If anyone is experiencing these symptoms, it is time to go to the hospital. Western medicine is much better equipped for the pneumonia stage of COVID-19.
These are difficult times for all of us. Traditional Chinese medicine can help prevent and treat symptoms early. TCM can also help relieve the emotional discomfort that emanates from these uncertain times. Some of the conditions that TCM can help include: depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and more.
In conclusion, I would say that staying positive, physically away from each other, and wearing a mask in public are the most important actions anyone can take right now. TCM is an effective way to prevent and treat the flu in general and can help lessen the spread of COVID-19 by preventing and treating the early symptoms.
Dr Caroline Colonna has been a Doctor of Oriental Medicine at the Willow Clinic of TCM for 22 years.