Traditional Chinese Medicine Offers Oriental Wisdom in Fighting New Virus



Zhang Boli, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, speaks in an interview with Xinhua about the effect of integrated treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine at the Jiangxia Temporary Hospital in Wuhan , capital of central China’s Hubei Province, Feb.14, 2020 (Xinhua / Cheng Min)

Another 1,701 patients infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were discharged from hospitals on Monday, bringing the total number of patients discharged in China to more than 12,000 since the epidemic.

When examining the commonalities of these people, the contributions of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) cannot go unnoticed.

“Western medicine offers important life-sustaining measures such as respiratory and circulatory support, while TCM focuses on improving the physical condition and immune function of patients. They complement each other,” he said. said Zhang Boli, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

A pharmacist weighs Chinese herbal medicines for patients infected with the novel coronavirus at the Anhui Provincial Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Hefei, east China’s Anhui Province, Feb. 18, 2020 (Xinhua / Bai Bin)

Last Friday, the first phase of a sports center transformed into a hospital began operating in Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic. It is the city’s first temporary TCM-focused hospital. A total of 800 patients will be treated there once the second phase is over.

The medical team of 209 doctors and nurses from 20 TCM hospitals in five provinces led by Zhang has since performed clinical treatment and TCM research at the hospital.

The recommended TCM treatment plan includes several herbal prescriptions targeting fever, heavy cough, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

A specific chapter detailing treatment for TCM during a patient’s medical observation, clinical treatment and recovery has been included in the latest version of the COVID-19 diagnostic and treatment regimen released by the National Health Commission .

A medical worker tests the pulse of a patient infected with the novel coronavirus at the affiliated hospital of Jiangxi Traditional Chinese Medicine University in Nanchang, east China’s Jiangxi Province, February 18, 2020. (Xinhua / Hu Chenhuan)

Wuhan’s coronavirus control headquarters has since ordered integrated treatment of TCM and Western medicine, especially in non-critical patients, and observation of the healing effects of TCM at designated hospitals.

Statistics show that 2,220 doctors from hospitals and TCM institutions across China have been dispatched to help fight the outbreak in Hubei so far. More than 75% of COVID-19 patients receive TCM treatment in Hubei and more than 90% in other parts of China.

On February 6 alone, 23 patients from Hubei were released from the hospital after receiving integrated treatment of TCM and Western medicine.

Zhang said that patients with mild symptoms showed obvious improvement after treatment with TCM, and for critical patients, TCM decreased their pulmonary exudation, stabilized blood oxygen saturation and reduced respiratory support and the use of antibiotics.

Patients recovered from novel coronavirus pneumonia, who have received integrated treatment with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine, leave a hospital in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province, on 6 February 2020. (Xinhua / Wang Yuguo)

TCM has never missed a single fight against epidemics throughout Chinese history. The classics of TCM have provided sufficient evidence of how TCM has cured epidemic diseases such as smallpox over the past thousands of years.

The fight against SARS in 2003 was a recent example. TCM has offered timely and effective solutions to the treatment and recovery of SARS patients.

“Compared to Western medicine, TCM offers a wide variety of prescriptions for each patient based on their unique conditions at different stages of the disease, which is more flexible and focused,” said Xiong Jibai, TCM expert and consultant. from the coronavirus treatment group. from neighboring Hunan province.

Hunan has sent hundreds of medical workers to help fight the outbreak in Huanggang City, one of the hardest-hit cities in Hubei.

Zeng Puhua, vice president of the Hunan Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliate Hospital, has been working around the clock at the Huanggang Model SARS Treatment Hospital since late January.

“Clinical experience has repeatedly proven that TCM plays an active and effective role in the treatment of pneumonia-related epidemics,” he said.

According to the Hunan Health Commission, TCM has been used in the treatment of nearly 95% of admitted patients. Of those discharged, more than 90 percent received integrated TCM and Western medicine treatment.

In Bozhou City, East China’s Anhui Province, TCM shortened treatment times and reduced medical expenses for seven discharged COVID-19 patients taking herbal soups or capsules.

“Patients have shown an accelerated reduction in fever after using TCM and evident relief from some symptoms such as cough, fatigue and loss of appetite. Some critical patients have become non-critical,” said Zhang Nianzhi, chief medical officer of the Anhui Province Respiratory Medicine Department. TCM Hospital.

Outgoing patients are required to stay at home for an additional 14 days. Zhang said that a 14-day herbal compound treatment based on TCM theories is prescribed to help them get back to their pre-illness condition.

Zhang plans to include 100 discharged patients in the herbal treatment group, to monitor their symptoms, physical and chemical indicators, CT scan results, and quality of life for one year. Thirty patients have so far taken the prescription.

Non-drug treatments such as cupping, acupuncture and scratching are another feature of TCM, which can help patients recover more effectively after discharge from hospital, said Tong Xiaolin, academician of the Academy. Chinese science and head of the state treatment group. administration of TCM.


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