Chinese Government uses Chinese Medicine to help control Covid-19 outbreak – Alone or in conjunction with Western Medicine.
(Important note #) The below Chinese herbal medicine formula is not a substitute for Western Medical treatment in severe cases – In China both modalities are being used together in combination. I would like to make it very clear that if anyone contracts COVID-19 then their first thought should be to seek medical advice from their GP or local hospital first and foremost.
As scientists race to find a cure and vaccine, China is increasingly turning to its traditional remedies. As of late last month, more than 85% of all coronavirus patients in China — about 60,000 people — had received herbal remedies alongside mainstream antiviral drugs, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Many Chinese Provinces using TCM
In eastern Zhejiang province, more than 95% of coronavirus patients had been given traditional medicines as of late February, according to the state run Global Times. In Beijing, that ratio stood at 87%. Among those who had received TCM, 92% had shown improvement, said Gao Xiaojun, a spokesperson for the Beijing Health Commission. “Traditional Chinese medicine has played an active role in improving the recovery rate and lowering the fatality rate among patients,” he told a press conference late last month. Official figures showed that, up to Sunday (15 March), 91.6 percent of the patients in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, and 92.4 percent of the patients nationwide have been treated with Traditional Chinese medicine.
“We are willing to share the ‘Chinese experience’ and ‘Chinese solution’ of treating Covid-19, and let more countries get to know Chinese medicine, understand Chinese medicine and use Chinese medicine,” Yu Yanhong, deputy head of China’s National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said at a press conference last week.
Western Medicines being used
So far there is no known cure for the coronavirus which has killed more than 4,000 people, sickened over 115,000 and spread to 75 countries and regions worldwide. Scientists are working to find ways to stamp out the deadly virus. China has also recommended Western medical therapies. Some drugs that have been found to have the potential to defeat the virus and have entered clinical trials. Drugs being used or trailed are Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, antibiotic Azithromycin, Tocilizumab (Interleukin 6 blocker), Convalescent plasma, Remdesivir (RNA polymerase inhibitor) and Lopinavir/Ritonavir (Protease inhibitors), Glucocorticoids, ACE inhibitors and interferon.
But for now, the mainstream antiviral treatments focus on relieving the symptoms — and that’s where China believes its ancient remedies can help.
Yu Yanhong explained that “By adjusting the whole body health and improving immunity, TCM can help stimulate the patients’ abilities to resist and recover from the disease, which is an effective way of therapy,”, adding that traditional medicine had helped fight viruses in the past, such as the SARS pandemic in 2002 and 2003 that killed hundreds in China.
It has been demonstrated in various studies in China that for patients in the early stages of infection, usage of TCM alone was sufficient to reduce the fevers, symptoms and viral loads to be deemed as ‘recovered’ while in the cases of patients in sever conditions, the usage of TCM in conjunction with various Western medical antiviral protocols, helped the patients to recover.
Trials being conducted on TCM formula
In a clinical trial of 102 patients with mild symptoms in Wuhan, patients with combined treatments compared with the control group of patients receiving only Western medicine, Yu said. Their recovery rate was 33% higher, she added.
In another study of more serious cases, patients receiving combined treatments also left hospital sooner than the control group and had greater levels of oxygen in their blood and a higher lymphocyte count — an important indicators of the health of recovering patients, according to Yu.
Last month, China’s National Health Commission recommended a TCM prescription, Qingfei Paidu decoction (QPD), in an updated version of the guideline: the “lung-cleansing and detoxifying soup”
The prescription is promoted by the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the National Health Commission as a suitable remedy for patients with mild to serious symptoms, and has since been widely used in Wuhan and other provinces.
Tong Xiaolin, chief researcher of the Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, said 1,261 novel coronavirus patients in 10 provinces took the decoction, with 1,102 recovering and symptoms no longer appearing in 29, a further 71 showing improvement and no cases deteriorating.
A recent peer reviewed study published in the Lancet detailed that of 701 confirmed cases treated by Qingfei Paidu decoction (QPD) , 130 cases were cured and discharged, clinical symptoms of 51 cases disappeared, 268 cases of symptoms improved, and 212 cases of stable symptoms without aggravation. The effective cure rate of QPD against COVID-19 is over 90 %.
The Chinese Herbs in Qingfei Paidu Decoction
The exact ingredients for the Qingfei Paidu decoction (QPD) concoction is listed as Ma Huang (Ephedrae Herba), Zhi Gan Cao (Glycyrrhizae Radix et Rhizoma Praeprata cum Melle), Xing Ren (Armeniacae Semen Amarum), Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum), Gui Zhi (Cinnamomi Ramulus), Ze Xie (Alismatis Rhizoma), Zhu Ling (Polyporus), Bai Zhu (Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma), Fu Ling (Poria), Chai Hu (Bupleuri Radix), Huang Qin (Scutellariae Radix), Ban Xia (Pinelliae Rhizoma Praepratum cum Zingibere et Alumine), Sheng/Gan Jiang (Zingiberis Rhizoma Recens), Zi Wan (Asteris Radix et Rhizoma), Kuan Dong Hua (Farfarae Flos), She Gan (Belamcandae Rhizoma), Xi Xin (Asari Radix et Rhizoma), Shan Yao (Dioscoreae Rhizoma), Zhi Shi (Aurantii Fructus Immaturus), Qing Pi (Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium), and Huo Xiang (Pogostemonis Herba).
Other Chinese herbs that could be also added to this formula are: Zhi Zi (lowers Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNFa), interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6 which are inflammatory cytokines involved with inflammation – also increases IL10 which is anti-inflammatory), Sang Bai Pi and Sang Shu Gan (both lower Angiotensine Converting Enzyme (ACE) – which COVID-19 uses to enter the body via the lungs).
Jin Yin Hua contains Luteolin. In western medicine Luteolin is used to inhibit the proprotein convertase furin which many viruses utilise to bind and dock to receptors on cells within the human body, thus begine their replication via the RNA of these cells. Jin Yin Hua is also rich in chlorogenic acid (CHA). CHA acts as a neuraminidase blocker. Many viruses need neuraminidase to allow the release of newly replicated viral fragments from infected cells.
3- chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) is vital for replication of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Chinese herbs that had the capacity to inhibit the enzymatic activity of SARS 3CLpro are Da Huang, Yu Xing Cao and Ban Lan Gan. Another herb that could be added to the over all formula which has broad antiviral properties would be Chuan Xin Lian (Andrographis)
Feng Yibin, acting director of the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said the prescription (Qingfei Paidu decoction) was based on four herbal formulas from ancient China, with one dating back as far as 1,800 years ago.
“After being first adopted in four provinces, clinical observations show that the remedy has desirable results, so it was promoted nationwide,” he said.
In addition, Feng said research had shown that the 29 herbs used in the remedy will interact with ACE2 — a receptor used by the novel coronavirus to infect host cells, and are thus an effective method to treat Covid-19.
Other Chinese medicine formulas that have shown different levels of efficacy are: Jinhua Qinggan Granule (金花清感颗粒), Lianhua Qingwen Capsule/Granule (莲花清瘟胶囊/颗粒), Xuebijing Injection (血必净注射液), Lung Cleansing and Detoxifying Decoction (清肺排毒汤), XuanFeiBaiDu Granule (宣肺败毒颗粒) & HuaShiBaiDu Formula (化湿败毒方).
Apart from everything listed above I would recommend that everyone just have the basic health supplements to help boost their immune system – Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, B Complex, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Tumeric, Andrographis & Olive leaf extract (has antiviral properties). Licorice has shown to have antiviral properties in relation to SAR’s which is also a corona virus (SARS-CoV).