(Yicai Global) March 23 -- Chinese medicine's anti-inflammatory properties are proving key in the fight against Covid-19, with 91.5 percent of all China's confirmed cases using the traditional medicine as part of their treatment.
A total of 74,187 people in China diagnosed with Covid-19 have been treated with traditional Chinese medicine, according to data released today by the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Chinese medicine is playing a role in fighting this epidemic as it has many substances with anti-inflammatory properties, Jing Xuan Kang, director of the Laboratory for Lipid Medicine and Technology at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Yicai Global.
"Controlling inflammation is key to reducing Covid-19 mortality rates and promoting patient recovery," he said. Herbs used in Chinese medicine have many antioxidant substances which can fight free radicals and are very beneficial in controlling inflammation, he added.
Clinical practice shows that oral administration or intravenous injection of Tanreqing, a Chinese herbal preparation, has significant anti-inflammatory properties, Fang Bangjiang, director of the department of emergency medicine at Longhua Hospital affiliated to the Shanghai University of TCM, said.
It can also help to reduce fever and get rid of phlegm, said Fang, who was also part of medical relief efforts at Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan.
Shanghai Kaibao Pharmaceutical's Tanreqing injection was included in the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission's Chinese medicine treatment plan for Covid-19 as early as Jan. 29, the company told Yicai Global.
As the clinical effects of Chinese medicine in controlling Covid-19 become more recognized, this could bring new opportunities to the sector. Provincial drug regulators have already approved 21 Chinese medical preparations for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Shanghai has stepped up treatments using both traditional Chinese and Western medicines, Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai health commission, said at a news conference yesterday.
Traditional Chinese medical treatments and a selection of prescriptions have been included in the National Health Commission's Diagnosis and Treatment Plan for Pneumonia Caused by the Novel Coronavirus since its fourth edition. It also includes reference prescriptions for the initial, intermediate, critical and recovery stages of the disease.
"For patients with mild symptoms and numerous complications, the combination of traditional Chinese and western medicine is evidently advantageous," Hu Liangshen from the Nanchang Hongdu Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. An accurate individual-specific treatment plan can improve the effectiveness of treatment.
A scientific, safe and effective anti-inflammatory program using both Chinese and Western anti-inflammatory drugs should be developed and evaluated from all angles, Kang added.
Connecting Chinese medicine with fortune telling and geomancy is irresponsible, said Chai Chunquan, chief physician of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Department of Shanghai Postal and Telecommunication Hospital.
The Chinese medicine education has long incorporated modern medicine into its teaching curriculum. Every good Chinese medical doctor is able to use both traditional Chinese and Western medical methods to examine patients and treat disease. They are able to leverage the two medical systems' advantages since they understand their characteristics and strengths.
The legislation of Chinese medicine is on the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress' to-do list this year. It will also provide legal protection for companies and practitioners.
Editor: Xia Ruirui, Kim Taylor