Dear all friends：
At this moment, the whole country is very anxious over coronavirus, and many people who are infected with COVID-19 are not receiving treatments in a timely manner. It also seems that it will take some time to find an effective antiviral medicine and produce an approved vaccine.
On the contrary, Chinese medicine has been proven to be effective in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Below are two examples of retrospective analyses for people treated with both Chinese medicine and western medicine.
From February through Mar 13, 2020, there are 1261 coronavirus patients were treated with a Chinese herbal formula recommended by China National Health Commission. There is no single death after taking the Chinese herbs. 1120 is completely healed. 29 cases have symptoms disappeared. 71 cases have symptoms improved. Among these patients, there are 40severe cases: 28 of them have been cured and discharged from the hospital, 12cases have been improved with the symptoms and are continuing with treatments.
Another small retrospective analysis(54 patients) from a Hospital in Hubei China. The study showed that the average duration to control fever is 2.64 days treated with both Chinese medicine and western medicine. If only treated with western medicine, the average duration to control fever is 4.38 days, which is almost two days longer. The time duration for overall symptom control is 5.15 vs 7.15 days. Average hospitalization duration is 7.38 vs 9.59 days.
On March 23rd, 2020, the government held a press release and concluded that there is total of 74187 people in China used Chinese herbs in the treatment of COVID19, which is 91.5% of all patients. The clinical results showed that the overall effectiveness is over 90%. Chinese herbs are very effective in releasing symptoms, reducing the numbers of mild patient to progress to severe symptoms.
You may wonder what is inside the herbal formula. Some of the ingredients in this formula include:
Ma huang, or Ephedra, which is a known bronchodilator, that helps to open the lungs. Shen Shi Gao, that clears excess heat from the lungs and stomach. Bai zhu, an herb that strengthens the body by boosting its immune system. And Zi wan, promoting a productive cough to release excessive phlegm and clear the lungs.
They are just part of our exclusive proprietary blend of herbs joining together to form a lung-clearing and detoxifying soup.
Now, now the USA’s COVID19 cases are increasing. But, the majority of Americans are not choosing Chinese medicine. Here, I would like to discuss a few reasons why people aren't comfortable with Chinese medicine and address these concerns:
Though it is still far away to completely understand all of the herbs, much research has been conducted over the last few decades. Many of the bioactive components of the herbs have been identified and their specific functions in the human body have been found. Let’s take Ephedra as an example. The main bioactive ingredient of ephedra is ephedrine. That is a bronchodilator, stimulating both α1- andβ-adrenergic receptors and indirectly stimulating the release of norepinephrine, resulting in increased blood pressure, cardiac output, and central Nervous System stimulation. Results are based on science.
When taking herbs or another medication, there are those who may be concerned about the side effects. Whatis a side effect? Side effects are secondary, typically undesirable, effects of a drug or treatment. Chinese medicine is prescribed specifically to meet the needs of the individual being treated. These prescriptions include directions as to how much and when to use. Again, using Ephedra as an example, you will find it has been banned in the US because of its high incidence of cardiovascular-related side effects. Why? Because people abused it by using it to lose weight or to improve athletic performance. Actually, research shows that the various effects of ephedrine were analogous to those of epinephrine and reminiscent of the classic, early-20th-century work of the Nobel prize-winning, Englishpharmacologist, Sir Henry Dale, on the sympathetic amines. Furthermore, when compared to epinephrine, ephedrine has three distinct advantages for clinical use: (1) it is orally effective; (2) it has a long duration of action; and (3)it has lower toxicity. So, if being prescribed correctly, the benefits of herbs to the patient outweigh the risks.
Everyone is concerned about how plants are grown. Pesticides pose a real risk to our health. Fortunately, there are tough standards for growing, harvesting, and processing of plants for human consumption. Guidelines in the US protect consumers by restricting the use of pesticides with strict regulations. For products imported from overseas, there are reliable distributors in the US who examine the use of heavy metals as well as pesticides.
Regarding politicizing healthcare, whenever there are people, there is a political agenda, especially in cases where money and power are at stake. Throughout the world, leadership needs to put politics aside and focus on the health and well-being of its people.
People may also wonder how ChineseMedicine and Western Medicine can work together. Chinese Medicine and Western medicine, each play their distinctive roles yet complementing each other very well. Let’s see how Chinese medicine and western medicine differ in treating infectious diseases.
Let's Remdesivir as an example of western medicine in the treatment of infectious disease. It is a novel antiviral drug developed for the treatment of Ebola and multiple coronaviruses including MERS and SARS. The mechanism of Remdesivir is to block a particular enzyme that is required for the virus to replicate, thus causing its demise.
Chinese medicine chooses another path to treat infectious diseases. It does not focus on killing viruses. Their main purpose is to maintain a clean and healthy internal environment for each cell. Human beings have evolved with a great ability for self-healing from many diseases.
Chinese medicine, such as Acupuncture and herbs, are potent and effective for revitalizing and nourishing our cells so they are optimally primed to remove dead cells and metabolic waste, allowing nutrition to reach each cell for proper functioning. If every cell is happy, the whole body is happy.
I often use a metaphor to explain the difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine. When the house has piles of trash, it generates a lot of bugs. What’s the best way to get rid of the bugs? Western medicine dictates that we spray toxic pesticides on the piles of trash and kill the bugs. An effective measure, but if we don’t follow up by cleaning the house, it is just a temporary fix; the trash will again pile up and will generate more bugs. Chinese medicine would have us clear the trash. However, if we only remove the trash without killing the bugs that have infested the house, once again the house is unsanitary. But by bringing western medicine and Chinese medicine together, we now can maintain a shiny and pristine home that we can all enjoy.
When we deal with infectious disease, western medicine, and Chinese medicine can work together to maintain a clean and healthy body. Western medicine becomes the exterminator, using antiviral, antibiotics medication to kill the virus, bacteria, etcetera, while Chinese medicine takes on the role of the housekeeper by helping to clean out dead cells, mucus, and the like. Together they form a holistic approach to maintaining good health. Health has no borders!
Dr. Weihui Li, PhD, MS
President of Acupuncture Herbs and Beyond