Traditional Chinese medicine proves its value amid COVID-19, expected to benefit world

By Wang Junping
When the novel coronavirus pneumonia continues to spread around the globe, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is gaining huge popularity for the wonders it has created for China’s COVID-19 control achievements.
The prevention and control of new contagious diseases is a war without gunfire. Every time when human beings are confronted with these illnesses, such as SARS, the Influenza A virus and Ebola, they face a “meeting engagement,” as it takes time to develop vaccines and specific antiviral drugs.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also posing similar challenges. However, TCM has been proved effective against the disease, including the Chinese patent medicines Jinhua Qinggan Granule, Lianhua Qingwen Capsule (Granule), Shufeng Jiedu Capsule (Granule), as well as Qingfei Paidu Decoction, Huashi Baidu Formula and Xuanfei BaiDu Granule.
According to statistics, over 70,000 COVID-19 patients in China have been given some forms of TCM, accounting for 91.5 percent of the total, and TCM has been proved to be effective for over 90 percent of the cases in clinical use.
TCM pursues integration and harmony, and that’s why it is able to resist new contagious diseases. For instance, the Qingfei Paidu Decoction “expels” the virus rather than “killing” it, so it takes effects in the newly emerging pandemic. By clearing the heat, damp and toxin, TCM can alter the living environment for the virus, thus containing the latter’s vitality and improving the immunity of the patients.
The traditional medicine branch from China is always able to strengthen the immune system and eliminate pathogenic factors. It played a vital role in the battle against COVID-19 this time. The regions that adopted TCM treatment at an early phase and in a massive manner saw relatively lower mortality rate. Facts prove that TCM is a sharp weapon against the novel coronavirus.
Viruses respect no border and the pandemic knows no ethnicity. It’s particularly urgent and important to build a community with a shared future for mankind in coping with the global public health emergency. To have the TCM benefit the world indicates China’s responsibility as a major country, as well as the cultural confidence of the Chinese nation.
China has conducted timely cooperation with the WHO, shared its own experience in treating the disease with TCM, and continually translated the latest diagnosis and treatment protocols for COVID-19 into English and published them on the website of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Besides, relevant Chinese departments and organizations have also donated Chinese patent medicines, herbal pieces in decoction, and acupuncture needles to over 10 countries and regions including Italy and France.
TCM is a treasure of the Chinese civilization, and is competent to contribute Chinese wisdom and schemes to the global fight against COVID-19.
The traditional medicine branch is gaining more and more recognition from the world. Last May, the 72nd World Health Assembly adopted the eleventh revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), incorporating traditional medicine originating from the TCM for the first time.
However, the TCM is still misunderstood due to cultural differences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients are advised to take medicines under the guidance of TCM doctors so as to avoid adverse reactions. Though the TCM has been spread to over 200 countries and regions, TCM products are still not considered as medicine in some developed countries. Under the proposal to construct a Health Silk Road with other countries and enhancing cooperation on traditional medicine, the TCM is expected to play a larger role and bring peoples closer.
The TCM carries the health philosophies and practices of the Chinese nation accumulated in the past thousands of years, and concentrates the broad wisdom of the Chinese people and nation. To cope with global health challenges, promote international health cooperation and improve global public health governance, the TCM will surely release infinite potential and play a unique and important role.

A screenshot of the English-version of the Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for COVID-19 (Trial Version 7) released by China’s National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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