China is encouraging herbal remedies to treat COVID-19

As China appears to emerge from the worst of its coronavirus outbreak, government officials are encouraging the use of traditional medicine for treatment and prevention。


According to Yu Yanhong, secretary of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, speaking at a March 23 press conference in Wuhan, traditional remedies have alleviated symptoms, reduced the severity of the virus, improved recovery rates and reduced mortality rate.


Traditional Chinese medicine has been around for more than 3,000 years and includes a variety of diagnostic approaches, such as the physical examination of a patient’s pulse and tongue, and a range of treatments, including ingesting herbs such as ginseng, and acupuncture.


It accounts for up to half of all medicines consumed in China, according to the World Health Organization. More than 7,000 herbal drugs available through pharmacies are regulated by the National Medical Products Administration.


"It is a legal health system in China which is parallel with Western medicine, and of course, there is also integration between traditional medicine and Western medicine," Dr. Jianping Liu, professor of clinical epidemiology at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, told NBC News.


The main herbal formulas recommended for treatment of COVID-19 are jinhua qinggan capsules, lianhua qingwen capsules and shufeng jiedu capsules, according to Liu. These remedies consist of a combination of dozens of herbs and a clear breakdown isn’t widely available, Liu said.


Recent reports in the Japanese journal BioScience Trends and the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine support the various COVID-19 traditional treatments,


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