Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat #COVID19?

The information in the post is not medical advice, please consult a medical professional before using health supplements.

We keep hearing how a common Malarial drug Chloroquinoline derived from the herb Artemisinin, is effective against the virus. But why is this? It is not an anti viral medication.
Dr Marty Ross says in his Q and A this month that it maybe because Chloroquinoline is an Ionophore, and this helps transport zinc into the cells:

“Zinc blocks the enzyme that controls virus replication inside infected cells. Hydroxychloroquine is an ionophore that helps carry Zinc into cells. Taking zinc supplements without an ionophore like hydroxychloroquine is not that helpful. Another zinc ionophore that is shown to help in laboratory studies is the supplement quercetin I mentioned earlier in the section on Cytokine storm.”

Elsewhere, information on the use of Chloroquinoline relates to Toll Like Receptors:

‘TLRs are the main elements of our immune system, and they should be maintained functioning to keep the integrity of innate immunity’.

Another herb that appears to be gathering much attention in regards to Covid19 is Liquorice, due to its anti viral characteristics. In the MERS and SARS outbreak 2002 – 2003, liquorice was described as the only TCM substance that the SARS – CoV was susceptible to IN VITRO:

 ‘The only TCM for which anti-SARS-CoV activity was demonstrated in cell culture (but at relatively high concentrations), was glycyrrhizin, a compound found in liquorice (Cinatl et al., 2003a)’.

Intravenous TCM for Pneumonia.

In a publication in the Lancet 2017, titled: ‘Intravenous infusion of Chinese medicine Xuebijing for patients with severe pneumonia: a multicenter, randomised, double-blind controlled trial’, 710 patients were randomly allocated to receive intravenous injections (100 mL) of 0·9% NaCl BID (control) or Xuebijing (in 0·9% NaCl) BID for 5–7 days. Clinical and laboratory parameters were recorded and analysed for efficacy and safety, the results proved the IV’s to be beneficial in patient recoveries:

‘Taken together, Xuebijing infusion combined with standardised treatment could reduce mortality in patients with severe pneumonia, suggesting that Xuebijing could be a potential and promising adjunct therapy in severe pneumonia’.

Science Supporting TCM.

If your like me and waiver in your confidence of herbal remedies and Traditional Chinese Medicine, then you may find these scientific studies on acupuncture points using CT imaging and on meridians with injected dyes, make you feel a bit more open minded to the ancient practice of oriental medicine:

‘In a study published in the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, researchers used contrast CT imaging with radiation on both non-acupuncture points and acupuncture points. The CT scans revealed clear distinctions between the non-acupuncture point and acupuncture point anatomical structures…..Whilst in Korea, scientists studying oriental medicine with biophysical methods injected a special staining dye which coloured the meridians. By injecting the dye onto acupuncture points, they were able to see thin lines. These did not show up at non-acupuncture point sites where there are no meridians. The researchers discovered that the meridian lines are not confined to the skin, but are in fact a concrete duct system through which liquid flows, and that this liquid aggregates to form stem cells’.

One cannot help but question if the Chinese employed natural remedies or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), to assist with the treatment of Covid19?

It just so happened that the State Council Information Office (of the People’s Republic of China) the SCIO, gave a presentation the the press on March the 25th titled: 

SCIO briefing on TCM’s important role and a list of effective drugs in COVID-19 prevention and control.

In this briefing the first speaker divulges that there was more than 4,900 TCM medical staff across China supporting Hubei which included three academicians and hundreds of experts, accounting for about 13% of the total medical staff assisting Hubei. The population of Hubei in 2015 was 58,500,000,

‘A total of 74,187 COVID-19 patients, or 91.5% of the total confirmed cases nationwide, have been treated with TCM. Among them, 61,449 were from Hubei, accounting for 90.6% of confirmed cases in the epicenter province. Clinical observation showed that the total effective rate of TCM treatment reached over 90%’.

Yu Yanhong, a member of the Central Guidance Team in Hubei province, a member of the Leading Party Members’ Group of the National Health Commission, and secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, goes on to divulge that in the absence of allopathic medication during the Covid19 pandemic civilians in Wuhan were treated, effectively, with TCM:

‘Since there is no effective medicine or vaccine, we began to give TCM decoctions and proprietary Chinese medicines to our patients. At the beginning, it didn’t go well; we only delivered medicines to some 3,000 to patients from 13 districts of the city on the first day. The curative effect of TCM appeared after two or three days, however. With the fever gone and cough reduced, patients began to try TCM on their own initiative, and more than 10,000 bags of TCM decoction were delivered at that time. So far, we have delivered TCM products to more than 600,000 patients. What’s the effect? It has contained the spread of the epidemic’.

Adjunct Therapy to Support Immunity in the West.

In the UK we have not been given any advice acknowledging the relevance of vitamins, minerals or herbal medicines to strengthen the immune system, yet it is long established in medical literature that the immune system fights infection when functioning well – the correlation is undeniable. Yu Yanhong summarizes that:

‘Centralized isolation of all suspected infection cases, and enabling our patients to take TCM have contained the spread of the epidemic, which is the foundation of our fight against COVID-19’.

Because I have existing health problems and am educated in the treatment of my immune compromised condition, I have every confidence in helping myself and don’t need our Government or health service to advise me what to do, but the majority of people are looking for answers and confused by conflicting advice. Could it be that our health service or rather allopathic medicine, is simply lacking in knowledge? It has certainly been offered to us by China in this statement by Yu Yanhong:

‘We are willing to share with the rest of the world our valuable experience and effective treatment on COVID-19. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also underlined the effectiveness of the measures taken by China to deal with the virus, urging other countries to learn from China’s experience’.

The WHO urged other countries to learn from China’s experience? 

Or, could it be a vested interest on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry to ignore Medicines that cannot be patented?

We in the West, rightly or wrongly, won’t treat the virus without our own clinical trials, the use of Chloroquine is not licenced for use, so what are we treating patients with? Nothing yet, it would seem after trawling through the NICE guidelines on Covid19 I cannot find anything recommended to treat the virus……yet in Hubei province, three medicines have been found effective:

‘Up to now, “three medicines and three formulas” have been proven effective in treating the disease, namely: Jinhua Qinggan Granule, Lianhua Qingwen Capsule, Xuebijing Injection, Lung Cleansing and Detoxifying Decoction, Huashi Baidu Formula, and Xuanfei Baidu Formula’.

What a shame we have not taken the knowledge, experience and advise of the Chinese on this one.

In a typically sober comment to the press regarding China’s recommendations to use TCM, Dr. Edzard Ernst, a professor emeritus of complementary medicine at the United Kingdom’s University of Exeter, said:

“TCM mixtures can be toxic, contaminated or adulterated with prescription drugs; they can also interact with prescription drugs,” Ernst said. It can also give patients a false sense of security, leading them to neglect proven medications or therapies.”

Of course there is always more than one facet to such a complex medical situation, but the Chinese seem to have done a good job at eradicating the virus, I hope we can follow in their footsteps.

In the meantime here is what I am using to boost my immune system:

High doses of Vitamin C (4,000 to 8,000 mg per day, depending on symptoms). I like to use Vitamin C that contain Rosehip Bioflavonoids.

Zinc 50mg twice a day.

Multi – B vitamins (I use Methyl B vitamins to assist with MTHFR gene polymorphisms). Once daily.

To lower Inflammatory Cytokines:

Bioflavonoids (I use pine bark extract or Pycnogenol), 100mg twice a day.

I prefer Pycnogenol due to its higher absorption rates but Quercetin is also highly recommended, see this article for further information on bioflavonoids.

Please leave a comment and share what you are doing to help your immune system, or not!

Further reading:


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