Combating COVID-19 with integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine in China

A research team from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Suguang Hospital, Ruijing Hospital and Shanghai Jiaotong University reviewed the integrated application of traditional Chinese and Western medicine in China in combating COVID-19 (​(Ni et al. 2020)​). The inclusion of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the Chinese protocol is based on its successful historic experience in fighting against pestilence. Current findings have shown that TCM can reduce the incidence of severe or critical events, improve clinical recovery, and help alleviate symptoms such as cough or fever. To date, there are over 133 ongoing registered clinical studies on TCM/integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine. The three Chinese patent medicines (Lianhua Qingwen Keli/Jiaonang (Forsythiae and Honeysuckle Flower Pestilence-Clearing Granules/Capsules), Jinhua Qinggan Keli (Honeysuckle Flower Cold-Relieving Granules), and Xuebijing (Stasis-Resolving & Toxin-Removing) Injection were officially approved by the National Medical Products Administration to list COVID-19 as an additional indication. The pharmacological studies have suggested that Chinese medicine is effective for COVID-19 probably through its host-directed regulation and certain antiviral effects.

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  1. Ni, Liqiang, Lili Chen, Xia Huang, Chouping Han, Jianrong Xu, Hong Zhang, Xin Luan, et al. 2020. “Combating COVID-19 with Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine in China.” Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, July, 1149–62.
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