China has approved three traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products for sale to help treat Covid-19, the government's National Medical Products Administration announced on Wednesday.
The agency used a special approval procedure to green-light the three products, which "provide more options for Covid-19 treatment," it said in a statement.
The herbal products come in granular form and trace their origins to "ancient Chinese prescriptions," said the statement. They were developed from TCM remedies that had been used early in the pandemic, and that were "screened by many academics and experts on the front line."
The three products are "lung-clearing and detoxing granules," "dampness-resolving and detoxing granules," and "lung-diffusing and detoxing granules," said the statement.
The safety and effectiveness of TCM is still debated in China, where it has both adherents and skeptics. Though many of the remedies in TCM have been in use for hundreds of years, critics argue that there is no verifiable scientific evidence to support their supposed benefits.
In recent years, ancient remedies have been repeatedly hailed as a source of national pride by Chinese President Xi Jinping, himself a well-known TCM advocate.