Research Update: Chinese Medicine for COVID-19

In December 2019, an outbreak of a new strain of a pneumonia-like virus had occurred in Wuhan, China and by January 7th, 2020 a new case of coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) had been confirmed.

Since then, the world’s scientists have been working hard to understand this virus, how it spreads and what precautions and preventive measures can be taken to slow (and even stop) the spread of this illness.

We have been reading through published research papers related to the treatment of COVID-19 using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and have come across some helpful information you can use to try and combat COVID-19 should you catch it.

Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Patients Infected with 2019-New Coronavirus:

The above mentioned paper involved research on finding a treatment of SARS-Cov-2 through Traditional Chinese Medicine which was said to be inspired by the treatment methods used during the SARS outbreak in the 2002 Guangdong Province of China (which later spread drastically in 2003). From those studies, there was compelling evidence that supported the notion that TCM had beneficial effects of SARS treatment. 

During the 2002/2003 SARS cases, a dramatic decrease in the percentage of SARS-related deaths occurred once TCM was introduced as a supplemental treatment method in comparison to the conventional method that was being used at the time. 

During the SARS outbreak, it was reported that there were over 1,000 volunteers including 926 hospital workers and over 30 laboratory technicians working in high-risk virus laboratories using a TCM herbal extract that had “… resulted in marked improvement of symptoms and shortened the disease course.”


Fast forward to present day with the 2020 SARS-Cov-2 Pandemic. The National Health Commission (NHC) for the People’s Republic of China reported that over 60,000 confirmed COVID-19 patients (nearly 85% of the total confirmed cases) had successfully been treated with a combination of TCM and conventional medicine.

 With this information, and more cases being treated with TCM, the NHC has published documents stating that Traditional Chinese Medicine is a recommended treatment of COVID-19 based on symptom differentiation and the stage of the disease. 

The NHC recommends TCM for both preventative care of the virus, as well as to help the recipient through their illness should they contract it.

Suggested TCM Herbal Formulas (used for the Treatment of SARS-CoV infection)

Before you make a list of items to get at your next outing for the following recipes, keep in mind that herbs are considered a powerful medicine and that they should be consumed and used only after consulting a professional, especially if a serious illness is involved.


Yin Qiao San: Fructus Forsythiae, Flos Lonicerae, Radix Platycodonis, Herba Menthae, Herba Lophatheri, Radix Glycyrrhizae, Herba Schizonepetae, Fermented soybean, Fructus arctii, and Rhizoma Phragmitis


Shuang Huang Lian: Lonicera japonica, Scutellaria baicalensis, and Forsythia suspensa


Sang Ju Yin and Yu Ping Feng San: Sang Ju Yin [made with chrysanthemum, mulberry leaf, and 6 other herbs] and Yu Ping Feng San

For more information on how to best navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic, stay up-to-date on our blog! If you have questions about acupuncture and coronavirus, reach out to us at (218) 724-3400 to schedule an appointment!


TCM Covid Review Yang 2020

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