Wuhan virus cannot be stopped with traditional Chinese medicine

0


[ad_1]

As the novel coronavirus continued its march across China over the weekend, Xinhua, the country’s official news service, advised a worried public to turn to herbal medicine. Shuanghuanglian, an oral remedy, sold in stores across the country. The impetus for the Xinhua article came from a study supposedly conducted by two institutions, the Shanghai Institute of Medical Material and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, using the principles of what the state calls traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) an important part of Chinese medicine. medical system. State-supported TCM does not include all traditional medical practices, it is a very specific set of state-supported treatments, theories, and drugs, many of which were invented in the 20th century.

Skeptics immediately criticized the opinion, and the backlash from Xinhua’s initial report led other parts of the state media to minimize the magical properties of the drug. Popular medical site dxy.cn, which has become a go-to resource for information on the virus, also refuted the claims. But that’s not the only role TCM plays in fighting the virus. One hundred and twenty-five practitioners have been shipped in Wuhan. (Imagine an epidemic in Florida and the United States responding by sending the best homeopaths in the country.) China’s official devotion to nationalist pseudoscience is hurting its medical system and could hamper its handling of the viral crisis.

Shuanghuanglian is a blend of honeysuckle, Chinese skullcap, and forsythia. Like many so-called traditional Chinese medicines, it was actually invented in the 1960s, based on a mixture of fiction humorous theories which underpin pre-modern Chinese medical theories and the herbology accumulated by Chinese physicians over the centuries. As with most of these practices, the clinical evidence is very inconclusive; There are some suggestions shuanghuanglian may help with respiratory tract disease, but there is no evidence that it can be successful in treating bacterial and viral infections, especially on a large scale. (Allergic reactions are also common in traditional medicine, despite advocates’ regular claims that they are impossible; shuanghuanglian is no exception.)

As the novel coronavirus continued its march through China over the weekend, Xinhua, the country’s official news service, advised a worried public to turn to herbal medicine. Shuanghuanglian, an oral remedy, sold in stores across the country. The impetus for the Xinhua article came from a study supposedly conducted by two institutions, the Shanghai Institute of Medical Material and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, using the principles of what the state calls traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) an important part of Chinese medicine. medical system. State-supported TCM does not include all traditional medical practices, it is a very specific set of state-supported treatments, theories, and drugs, many of which were invented in the 20th century.


Skeptics immediately criticized the opinion, and the backlash from Xinhua’s initial report led other parts of the state media to minimize the magical properties of the drug. Popular medical site dxy.cn, which has become a go-to resource for information on the virus, also debunked the claims. But that’s not the only role TCM plays in fighting the virus. One hundred and twenty-five practitioners have been shipped in Wuhan. (Imagine an epidemic in Florida and the United States responding by sending the best homeopaths in the country.) China’s official devotion to nationalist pseudoscience is hurting its medical system and could hamper its handling of the viral crisis.

Shuanghuanglian is a blend of honeysuckle, Chinese skullcap, and forsythia. Like many so-called traditional Chinese medicines, it was actually invented in the 1960s, based on a mixture of fiction humorous theories which underpin pre-modern Chinese medical theories and the herbology accumulated by Chinese physicians over the centuries. As with most of these practices, the clinical evidence is very inconclusive; There are some suggestions shuanghuanglian may help with respiratory tract disease, but there is no evidence that it can be successful in treating bacterial and viral infections, especially on a large scale. (Allergic reactions are also common in traditional medicine, despite regular claims by advocates that they are impossible; shuanghuanglian is no exception.)

TCM is a big business. Modern practice is not the business of herbalists and hobbyists, but of industrialized pharmaceuticals – a $ 45 billion market in China a year for these drugs alone. The industry in China is not an alternative medicine, but a completely conventional enterprise and strongly supported by the government. Shuanghuanglian, although a staple food for sore throats and produced by four different manufacturers, is not as prevalent as Yunnan Baiyao, an example of 1930s quackery where apparently all the grandmothers in the country do not. swear by. But the seal of approval on the virus might be enough to send it into the stratosphere. Amid Monday morning’s stock market crash in China, drug companies producing TCM soared.

Running on folk remedies is common during health crises all over the world. In India, for example, a government department dedicated to traditional medicines issued an opinion last week, advising the use of homeopathic herbs and Unani to prevent and manage symptoms of coronavirus infections. But TCM occupies a particularly dangerous role in China. The idea of ​​a separate body of study in Western medicine arose out of professional and business feuds between physicians in the 1920s, but it was codified by Mao Zedong in the early years of the People’s Republic of China and institutionalized. It was formulated as a unique form of Chinese medicine, a response to a more technologically advanced West and an integral part of the medical system. Early practices transformed it from an art to a pseudoscience, rejecting some of the more overtly magical elements while still retaining a fundamentally imaginary fundamental theory and practices such as poorly measured herbal assay and premodern diagnostic techniques.

[fp_related}

Much of the Chinese healthcare system is still devoted to TCM, at least nominally. About 10 percent of all hospitals are industry-centric, and these services are provided in almost all institutions. The actual amount of medical care provided in hospitals labeled as TCM varies widely, but sometimes these hospitals are considered the best option available. And the inherently unclear system may encourage transplant: for example, the story of a man trying to pay for his dying wife’s care in Hubei, in the province surrounding Wuhan, and being billed multiple times the couple’s monthly income for each day of his treatment at Huanggang TCM Hospital. (It is not known what techniques were used to treat it; the mix of vague diagnoses, demands for money, and unexplained treatments is sadly typical of Chinese provincial hospitals of all types.)

The Traditional Chinese Pharmacopoeia, of course, contains many drugs that have been clinically proven to be of value. Bringing this knowledge to evidence-based medicine is a project that helps everyone, as, for example, the discovery of artemisinin, a powerful antimalarial drug, by eventual Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou . But these findings are easily incorporated into mainstream medical practice, without the irregular doses and false diagnoses that TCM encourages.

Clinical standards within traditional practices, on the other hand, remain appalling, not only in theory but in practice; data tampering is common, as is pharmacological fraud. 1998 study found 99 percent of TCM papers published in china product positive results—A statistical impossibility and a sure sign of professional misconduct. About 30 to 35 percent of TCM drugs, when tested in UK laboratories, proved contain conventional drugs, often in dangerously dangerous doses. So-called herbal pain relievers were packaged with ibuprofen, sex aids with Viagra, and healing patches with steroids.

The industry has experienced a renewed thrust under Chinese President Xi Jinping, still keen to emphasize historic nationalism. Xi has praised TCM in public on several occasions, calling it a “jewel of Chinese culture” and continuous pressure for institutionalize in global health care organizations like the World Health Organization, it has been given more prominence and funding. Prior to 2013, Chinese newspapers sometimes held vigorous debates about the value of such treatments; these, like other critics of Xi-backed institutions, have disappeared. Xi’s past praise means that such practices have be given a place in the treatment of the virus, whatever their utility or practicality, because of their institutional weight. Instead, resources that could be spent on research or effective treatment in a dangerously overburdened medical system will be diverted to state-sponsored quackery.

Staff trained in TCM can play a role in the fight against the epidemic, if only because many are co-trained in conventional medical practice and can be effectively deployed as nurses or nurse practitioners while hospitals struggle to keep the bodies in the front line. For poor Chinese who cannot afford hospital treatment or fear quarantine, home remedies may be the only options available. But bogus herbs and make-believe theories can only hurt attempts to tackle a virus that needs a scientific answer, not politicized pseudoscience.

[ad_2]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.